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Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Top Republicans are calling for a public uprising to protest President Biden's broad vaccine mandates, eight months after more than 500 people stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to overturn the election.

Why it matters: It has been decades since America has witnessed such blatant and sustained calls for mass civil disobedience against the U.S. government.

J.D. Vance — author of "Hillbilly Elegy" and a candidate for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination in Ohio — urged "mass civil disobedience" to Biden's plan to use federal authority to mandate vaccination for roughly two-third of America workers.

  • "I have a simple message for America's business community," Vance wrote. "DO NOT COMPLY."

Biden said in his remarks: "Today, in total, the vaccine requirements in my plan will affect about 100 million Americans — two thirds of all workers." 

  • Several Republican governors say they'll go to court to try to stop the mandate for federal employees, contractors and private employers with 100+ workers (enforced by OSHA).
  • South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem told Sean Hannity on Fox News: "In South Dakota, we’re going to be free. ... We will take action. My legal team is already working."

A top House Republican aide tells me: "Every Republican in the country — especially those running to the right in primaries — is salivating over Joe Biden [igniting] the vax debate."

  • "Republicans think that he's made even pro-vax conservatives into 'anti-vax mandate' Americans."

An official close to Biden tells me the West Wing "knew there would be strong backlash. But unless someone took this on, we'd be in a pandemic forever."

  • "Biden beat Trump by promising strong action based on science. He can't let Abbott/DeSantis block tough action."

Invoking a civil-rights parallel, the official added: "Basically Biden is staring down Southern governors (and some Northern allies). ... Is America divided? Yes. But Biden is uniting the 75% vs. the 25% that is in opposition."

  • The official's bottom line: "That is unity politics in a divided nation — unifying the overwhelming majority threatened by an unruly minority."

🐦 Twitter's top U.S. trends last night had "#IwillNOTComply" at No. 6 — with the NFL's season kickoff in the top four slots, followed by "Big Brother" on CBS at No. 5.

  • #VaccineMandate was No. 8, with #DoNotComply as a trend.

What's next: Fencing will be reinstalled around the Capitol before a Sept. 18 rally, "Justice for J6," supporting those charged in the Jan. 6 riot. Far-right extremist groups plan to attend.

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Go deeper

Updated 19 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Smaller than expected "Justice for J6" rally met with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: Four people were arrested at the rally, including one person with a gun, one with a knife and two with outstanding warrants, per the U.S. Capitol Police.

The Exvangelicals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Even as evangelicals maintain their position as the most popular religion in the U.S., a movement of self-described "exvangelicals" is breaking away, using social media to engage tens of thousands of former faithful.

The big picture: Donald Trump's presidency, as well as movements around LGBTQ rights, #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, drew more Americans into evangelical churches while also pushing some existing members away.

Updated 7 hours ago - Science

Huge wildfire reaches edge of Sequoia National Park

A plume of smoke and flames rise into the air as the fire burns towards Moro Rock during the KNP Complex fire in the Sequoia National Park near Three Rivers, California, on Saturday. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Firefighters in Sequoia National Park were working into the night after two wildfires merged to reach the Giant Forest Saturday.

Why it matters: This forest contains over 2,000 giant sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree — the world's largest tree by volume. Park officials wrapped the redwoods in foil last week as the Paradise and Colony Fires, now known as the KNP Complex Fire, neared. Protection efforts appeared to be working overnight.