A shot of the Stanford University campus. Photo: David Madison/Getty Images

California voters recalled Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky Tuesday night, reports the New York Times. It's the first time a California judge has been recalled in 80 years.

The backdrop: In March 2016, Stanford student Brock Turner was found guilty by a jury on three felony sexual assault charges after he assaulted an unconscious woman after a fraternity party. Turner was eligible for up to 14 years in prison, but Persky sentenced him to only 6 months, stating Turner would “not be a danger to others” and that “a prison sentence would have a severe impact” on him.

How it happened: A petition to recall Turner — started by Michele Dauber, a Stanford law professor whose daughter is friends with the woman Turner assaulted — earned enough signatures to make Persky's recall a ballot question. Other supporters of the recall were Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Anita Hill.

  • In 2016, after Turner's sentencing, Persky was cleared of any official misconduct over his sentencing decision by a state agency.
  • Turner's decision also prompted California to enact a law that created minimum sentences for sexual assault cases — and closed a loophole that treated the cases of sexual assault victims who were unconscious or intoxicated differently.

Go deeper

The cliffhanger could be ... Georgia

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1992, but Georgia's changing demographics may prove pivotal this year — not only to Trump v. Biden, but also to whether Democrats take control of the Senate.

Why it matters: If the fate of the Senate did hinge on Georgia, it might be January before we know the outcome. Meanwhile, voters' understanding of this power in the final days of the election could juice turnout enough to impact presidential results.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
5 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.