Updated Jul 10, 2018

Where Brett Kavanaugh sits on the ideological spectrum

Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, would have the second most conservative score (0.693) on the bench if confirmed, next to Justice Clarence Thomas (0.725), per a measure that scores judges on a liberal-conservative spectrum.

Current justices: Epstein, Martin, and Quinn, 2017 "President-Elect Trump and his Possible Justices", Kavanaugh's score: Epstein, Martin, and Quinn, 2016 "Possible Presidents and their Possible Justices"; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon, Harry Stevens/Axios

Why it matters: Kennedy often sided with the liberal wing of the court, so with this choice, Trump is cementing a solid conservative majority on the bench.

How to read the chart: An analysis by political scientists Lee Epstein, Andrew D. Martin, and Kevin Quinn places judges on an ideological spectrum called the “Judicial Common Space." Conservative justices receive scores from 0 to 1, liberal justices from –1 to 0.

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MIT puts tenured professor on paid leave over Jeffrey Epstein gifts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

MIT announced Friday that mechanical engineering professor Seth Lloyd was placed on paid administrative leave following the school's review into donations it received from convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

By the numbers: MIT found that Epstein made 10 separate gifts to the school totaling $850,000 from 2002 to 2017. Nine of those donations were made after Epstein's 2008 conviction, including $225,000 to Lloyd and $525,000 to the MIT Media Lab.

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Leonard Leo to shape new conservative network

Photo: Federalist Society/Matt Wood

Conservative powerhouse Leonard Leo tells Axios that he'll step aside from the daily running of the Federalist Society to focus on a new venture — inspired by Arabella Advisers on the left — that will funnel big money and expertise across the conservative movement.

Why it matters: Leo is considered one of the most powerful conservatives in the country, playing a key role in shaping President Trump's selections for the Supreme Court and raising hundreds of millions of dollars to fill the nation’s courts with conservative judges.

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America's ideological balance continues to lean center-right

Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Despite 47% of Americans identifying with the Democratic Party in 2019, the ideological balance of U.S. voters remains center-right, according to a survey of 29,000 U.S. adults released by Gallup Thursday.

Why it matters: Ideology and party identification both play a role in election variability, Gallup points out. Without ideology, the prevalence of voters identifying as Democrats would likely lead to electoral dominance. Without partisanship, a center-right candidate would consistently prevail.

Go deeperArrowJan 9, 2020