Dec 26, 2017

Appeals court rejects challenge to Trump voter fraud commission

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

A U.S. appeals court judge on Tuesday rejected a lawsuit against President Trump's controversial voter fraud commission, ruling that The Electronic Privacy Information Center does not have legal standing to challenge the panel for allegedly breaching the 2002 E-Government Act, The Hill reports.

Why it matters: The group had been seeking to block the panel, formally known as the President's Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, from its planned collection of millions of voter records from 50 states and the District of Columbia, including political affiliations, birth dates and partial social security numbers.

In a D.C. circuit court opinion, per The Hill, Judge Stephen Williams wrote that the EPIC is "not a voter" and therefore had no standing to sue. He also said the EPIC "has suffered no informational or organizational injury from the defendants' attempt to collect voter data without first producing an assessment."

Background: The commission was created to probe unsubstantiated and largely debunked claims of widespread voter fraud, which Trump has claimed cost him the popular vote in 2016 presidential election.

Go deeper: Some states worry Trump launching "voter suppression" efforts; Judge orders Trump's voter fraud commission to turn over internal documents

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Coronavirus updates: First case in sub-Saharan Africa confirmed

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.

Nigeria confirmed its first novel coronavirus case in an Italian who flew to Lagos from Milan — the first known case in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization has been working to prepare Africa's health care systems to be ready for the outbreak, which is now also confirmed in Algeria and Egypt.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,700 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Ad spending on 2020 primary tops $1 billion

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Spending on the 2020 presidential primary has officially surpassed the $1 billion mark, with more than half of that total coming from billionaire Michael Bloomberg, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

Why it matters: It's the most money that has been spent this early on in an election cycle in U.S. history.

The growing coronavirus recession threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In just a matter of weeks, top economists and investment bank analysts have gone from expecting the coronavirus outbreak to have minimal impact on the U.S. economy to warning that an outright recession may be on the horizon.

What's happening: The spread of confirmed coronavirus cases in Europe, the Middle East and the U.S., and the speed at which they are being discovered has set the table for the outbreak to have a larger and much costlier impact.