Jun 27, 2018

The bottom line: Anthony Kennedy’s retirement preserves recent Trump wins

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring, leaving room for a second Trump nomination and putting vulnerable Senate Democrats on the spot during the confirmation process, expected to take place this fall.

The big picture: Conservatives have been on a recent winning streak at the court, with Kennedy a frequent tie-breaking vote. This potentially protects those rulings and moves the court further right.

Between the lines... Here are the cases where narrow or tight rulings left the room for a change of mind to significantly affect conservative policy outcomes:

  • Travel ban: 5-4, focusing on the text of the policy itself, rather than Trump’s tweets and public comments. Kennedy wrote of the travel ban that “an anxious world must know that our government remains committed always to the liberties the Constitution seeks to preserve.”
  • Anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers: 5-4, and the court said California went too far in trying to regulate them.
  • Partisan gerrymandering: The court declined to take up a case of Texas partisan gerrymandering, allowing GOP-drawn congressional districts to stand. But the lack of a decision means there can be future cases.
  • Gay wedding cakes: 7-2 ruling that said a baker could refuse to bake a cake for a gay couple. The baker’s case was narrowly decided, and Kennedy explicitly said similar cases could go the other way in the future.

Go deeper: More on the conservative winning streak at the Supreme Court

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Trump touts press briefing "ratings" as U.S. coronavirus case surge

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

President Trump sent about a half-dozen tweets on Sunday touting the high television ratings that his coronavirus press briefings have received, selectively citing a New York Times article that compared them to "The Bachelor" and "Monday Night Football."

Why it matters: The president has been holding daily press briefings in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, but news outlets have struggled with how to cover them live — as Trump has repeatedly been found to spread misinformation and contradict public health officials.

World coronavirus updates: Total cases surge to over 700,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now than more than 700,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 32,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Saturday he would issue a "strong" travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 44 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 704,095 — Total deaths: 33,509 — Total recoveries: 148,824.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 132,637 — Total deaths: 2,351 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: The first federal prisoner to die from coronavirus was reported from a correctional facility in Louisiana on Sunday.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "really panicked" people
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reported 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reported almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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