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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

"Democrats are likely to watch helplessly [this fall] as the Senate confirms Trump’s second Supreme Court," WashPost congressional reporter Sean Sullivan writes from Orono, Maine:

Be smart: "The fizzling of the campaign to block Kavanaugh underscores the relative weakness of the Democrats, who had promised their political base a pitched battle to protect the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion ruling."

What's new: "Democrats have all but acknowledged that they are unable to stop the Senate from confirming ... Brett M. Kavanaugh."

How we know: "Moderate Republican senators such as Susan Collins of Maine, the most closely watched GOP swing vote, are sending strong signals that they will back Kavanaugh. Several Democrats facing difficult reelections this year have indicated they are open to voting for the judge."

  • "[L]eaders of the resistance are already delivering post-mortem assessments and blaming fellow Democrats for a looming failure."

Go deeper

Updated 50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies.

The state of play: Biden also raised arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to a White House readout. The statement said Biden and Putin agreed maintain "consistent communication," and that Biden stressed the U.S. would "act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies."

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.