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Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Democrats plan to make health care the central issue in their fight to oppose whomever Trump picks to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.

What they're saying: Here's Democratic leader Chuck Schumer framing the strategy on the Senate floor Wednesday: "This is the most important Supreme Court vacancy for this country in at least a generation. Nothing less than the fate of our health care system...[is] at stake."

Democrats plan to keep hammering two arguments:

  1. That Kennedy's replacement will tip the court into deep social conservatism and will ultimately lead to abortion becoming illegal in America.
  2. That Kennedy's replacement will ultimately vote to overturn the Affordable Care Act, removing protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Why this matters: Democrats believe these arguments will resonate with voters whom polls show are already worried about their health care under Republican leadership. Democrats also think they'll resonate with the swing vote senators needed to confirm Kennedy's replacement — many of whom support abortion rights and voted against Trump's efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

  • "Republicans had hoped they put a band aid on the self-inflicted wounds that came from health care repeal and gutting protections for people with pre-existing conditions," Democratic strategist Jesse Ferguson told me.
  • "Then, Donald Trump ripped the band aid off with his lawsuit to overturn those protections and now the fight over his Supreme Court Justice will pick the scab."  

Go deeper: Read Axios' Sam Baker on the Trump Justice Department's decision to not defend the Affordable Care Act in court, including "the provision of the law that forces insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions."

Go deeper

27 mins ago - Sports

Robot umpires inch closer to calling MLB games

The Automated Ball-Strike system (ABS), the tech powering what's colloquially known as robo-umps, is inching ever closer to the big leagues.

Driving the news: The independent Atlantic League — which has partnered with MLB since 2019 — last week announced it was doing away with robo-umps after testing them for the past season-and-a-half.

FBI conducts "court-authorized" search of Rep. Henry Cuellar's home

Rep. Henry Cuellar. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The FBI said it conducted a "court-authorized" search on Wednesday in the area of the Texas home of Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas).

State of play: "The FBI was present in the vicinity of Windridge Drive and Estate Drive in Laredo conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity," an FBI spokesperson told Axios, adding that they "cannot provide further comment on an ongoing investigation."

Big Tech lobbies hard against looming antitrust bill

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big Tech CEOs, including Apple's Tim Cook and Google's Sundar Pichai, have been jawboning lawmakers as a Senate committee takes up a key antitrust bill Thursday.

Why it matters: The bill prompting this lobbying frenzy could upend how tech's giants do business, and tech's critics see this as a "now or never" moment for Congress to check the industry's power.