Mar 20, 2017

Dems playing with fire on Gorsuch nomination

Susan Walsh / AP

Leonard Leo, the Federalist Society leader who drafted Donald Trump's list of potential Supreme Court justices, has a neat way of summarizing the dilemma Democrats face with Neil Gorsuch:

They need to figure out how they want to lose

What he means: Chuck Schumer and the red state Democrats can disappoint their base by choosing not to filibuster Gorsuch. Or, they can launch a filibuster which will likely end with Mitch McConnell using the nuclear option - meaning Republicans will steamroll Gorsuch through with a simple majority.

Why nuclear is worse for Dems: Every Supreme Court fight matters, but the next one is for all the marbles. Conservatives don't view Anthony Kennedy as one of their own. They believe adding Gorsuch to the court wouldn't bring a profound ideological swing, but the next justice could. Another originalist would threaten landmark decisions like Roe v. Wade, which is why normalizing the nuclear option this time around would give priceless flexibility to Republicans for when they really need it.

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In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd

Police officers grapple with protesters in Atlanta. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd spread nationwide on Friday evening.

The big picture: Police responded in force in cities ranging from Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to D.C. and Denver to Louisville. In Los Angeles, police declared a stretch of downtown off limits, with Oakland issuing a similar warning.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court sides with California on coronavirus worship service rules

The Supreme Court has ruled 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court's liberal justices, to reject a challenge to California's pandemic restrictions on worship services.

Why it matters: This is a setback for those seeking to speed the reopening of houses of worship, including President Trump.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 5,923,432— Total deaths: 364,836 — Total recoveries — 2,493,434Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,745,930 — Total deaths: 102,808 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  5. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  6. 1 sports thing: NCAA outlines plan to get athletes back to campus.