Stories by Sam Baker

Supreme Court preserves favorable legislative map for Virginia Democrats

Photo of the U.S. Supreme Court building
Photo: Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Virginia Democrats scored a victory Monday at the Supreme Court in a case about racial gerrymandering in the state. The court's ruling was largely procedural, but the practical upshot is to leave in place a legislative map that's relatively favorable to Democrats. It replaced a map that was thrown out for discriminating against black voters.

Why it matters: The court is set to rule later this month on a question it has never answered: Whether gerrymandering for purely partisan purposes can ever go too far. Monday's ruling doesn't have any direct implications for those cases, but Democrats are happy for any victory, however small, in any gerrymandering suit.

A proposal to bring all local governments into opioids settlement

Photo: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Photo: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Lawyers involved in the enormous, nationwide lawsuit against opioid manufacturers have proposed a "novel" settlement arrangement, the New York Times reports.

The state of play: Every local and county government in the country would be part of it — not just the 1,650 governments that are currently suing.

Trump’s trump card: Social conservatism

Illustration of President Trump hugging an elephant trunk
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Social conservatives say they've gotten more from President Trump than from any other president. And a lot of it will last.

The big picture: Activists and advocates are happy with Trump’s policies. They are thrilled about his judicial confirmations. But what has really sent them over the moon, they say, is the way he talks about them and their issues — loudly, constantly and without reservation.