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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

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

🚨: China wins 1st gold of Tokyo Olympics

📺: The Olympic events to watch today

🎾: Athlete spotlight - Naomi Osaka looks to snag gold on home soil

👻: How the no-spectator Olympics could affect the athletes

🇺🇸: "What an honor it is to watch you soar," first lady tells U.S. Olympians

🥇: The six new sports at Tokyo 2020

💉 About 100 U.S. Olympic athletes are unvaccinated

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

2 hours ago - Sports

China wins 1st gold of Tokyo Olympics

Silver medalist Anastasiia Galashina of Russia, gold medalist Yang Qian of China and bronze medalist Nina Christen of Switzerland celebrate on the podium after the 10m air rifle women's final. Photo:

China's Yang Qian won the first gold of the Tokyo Olympics, narrowly beating Anastasiia Galashina of the Russian Olympic Committee in the women's 10-meter air rifle final.

Why it matters: The first medal ceremony of the Games took on extra meaning after a year-long delay and other hurdles brought on by the pandemic. Athletes are required to hang medals around their own necks in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Journalism's two Americas

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

There's a sharp divide in American journalism between haves and have-nots. While national journalists covering tech and politics on the coasts reap the benefits of booming businesses and book deals, local media organizations, primarily newspapers, continue to shrink.

Why it matters: The disparate fortunes skew what gets covered, elevating big national political stories at the expense of local, community-focused news.