Darron Cummings / AP; J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Anthem wants to take its twice-blocked merger with Cigna to the highest court in the land, announcing its plan to file a petition for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court, per Modern Healthcare.

Anthem's argument: The precedents relied upon by the lower courts that blocked the merger "must be updated to reflect the modern understanding of economics and consumer benefit." The D.C. Circuit court decision against the merger specifically cited the merger's "anticompetitive nature" for insurance participants.

Will it happen? It's a long shot — the Supreme Court only hears about 80 cases out of thousands. But Axios' Bob Herman noted this week that there was a dissenting judge in D.C. Circuit case. So if Anthem's arguments convinced that judge, they could get some traction with the Supreme Court.

Go deeper

The next cliff for the unemployed

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A program supporting Americans who are typically ineligible for unemployment benefits will expire at the end of the year, with millions still relying on it as the labor market sputters.

Why it matters: The result could be catastrophic for the economic recovery that Wall Street fears is already fragile.

The apocalypse scenario

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democratic lawyers are preparing to challenge any effort by President Trump to swap electors chosen by voters with electors selected by Republican-controlled legislatures. One state of particular concern: Pennsylvania, where the GOP controls the state house.

Why it matters: Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, together with a widely circulated article in The Atlantic about how bad the worst-case scenarios could get, is drawing new attention to the brutal fights that could jeopardize a final outcome.

Federal judge rules Trump administration can't end census early

Census workers outside Lincoln Center in New York. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled late Thursday that the Trump administration could not end the 2020 census a month early.

Why it matters: The decision states that an early end — on Sept. 30, instead of Oct. 31 — would likely produce inaccuracies and thus impact political representation and government funding around the country.

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