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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In her first week on the job, Amy Coney Barrett may be deciding which votes to count in the presidential election. By her third week, she’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Where it stands: The Senate votes on Barrett’s nomination tomorrow. If she’s confirmed, Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to swear her in at the Supreme Court within hours, an administration official tells Axios.

  • At that point, she's officially on the job, even if a ceremonial swearing-in at the White House comes later.
  • The official said they're following the same speedy process as they did for Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. He was confirmed on a Saturday and began hearing cases on Tuesday.
  • This means Barrett could weigh in immediately on election-related cases piling up, including emergency petitions on extending deadlines for counting absentee ballots.

Between the lines: Barrett could seal a majority delivering Republicans some decisive wins.

  • Because of a 4-4 tie last week, the court let stand an extended ballot-counting deadline in Pennsylvania. Roberts joined the three remaining liberals, while his conservative colleagues voted to block the extension.
  • If that conservative bloc held and was joined by Barrett, it could change how ballots are counted after Election Day in two critical swing states, Wisconsin and North Carolina.
  • More election-related lawsuits could reach the court in the coming weeks.

What’s next: Barrett also could jump straight into some enormously consequential work on the court’s regular schedule.

  • On Nov. 4, the court will hear a significant case on the collision of LGBTQ rights and religious freedom: whether Philadelphia violated the First Amendment by requiring adoption agencies to serve same-sex couples.
  • The week of Nov. 10, the court is scheduled to hear the Affordable Care Act case that dominated Barrett’s confirmation hearings.

Go deeper

Pennsylvania certifies Biden's victory

Photo: Aimee Dilger/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Pennsylvania officials on Tuesday certified the state's presidential election results, making President-elect Joe Biden's win in the key battleground official.

Why it matters: The move deals another blow to President Trump's failed efforts to block certification in key swing states that he lost to Biden. It also comes one day after officials voted to certify Biden's victory in Michigan.

6 mins ago - World

Israeli parliament opts for early elections in preliminary vote

Netanyahu (C) arrives in parliament today. Photo: Alex Kolomiensky/Pool/AFP via Getty

After six months of a dysfunctional power-sharing government, Israel is headed for its fourth elections in less than two years, most likely at the end of March.

Driving the news: The Knesset voted 61-54 today to approve the preliminary reading of a bill to dissolve the parliament and call new elections. Benny Gantz's Blue and White party supported the bill while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud and the rest of the coalition voted against.

1 hour ago - Sports

The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Packed stadiums and a more normal fan experience could return by late 2021, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said yesterday.

Why it matters: If Fauci's prediction comes true, it could save countless programs from going extinct next year.