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

Go deeper

Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 32,746,147 — Total deaths: 991,678 — Total recoveries: 22,588,064Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 7,007,450 — Total deaths: 204,486 — Total recoveries: 2,750,459 — Total tests: 100,492,536Map.
  3. States: New York daily cases top 1,000 for first time since June — U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases.
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.
Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

What they're saying: Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Rose Garden of the White House on Sept. 26. Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Democratic and Republican lawmakers along with other leading political figures reacted to President Trump's Saturday afternoon nomination of federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

What they're saying: "President Trump could not have made a better decision," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. "Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an exceptionally impressive jurist and an exceedingly well-qualified nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States."

Amy Coney Barrett: "Should I be confirmed, I will be mindful of who came before me"

Trump introduces Amy Coney Barrett as nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Photo: Olivier Douleiry/Getty Images

In speaking after President Trump announced her as the Supreme Court nominee to replaced Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett said on Saturday she will be "mindful" of those who came before her on the court if confirmed.

What she's saying: Barrett touched on Ginsburg's legacy, as well as her own judicial philosophy and family values. "I love the United States and I love the United States Constitution," she said. "I'm truly humbled at the prospect of serving on the  Supreme Court."