Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump, with his refusal to take advice or yield to experts, is the West Wing. Republicans who control both halves of Congress won't lift a finger against him and fully support his every move. 

The big picture: With his chance to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, Trump may have fewer checks on his power than any president in his lifetime. (Trump was born in 1946, the year after FDR died in office, 72 years ago.)

The media, normally the last check on a president with total control of government, has lost the trust of most Republicans and many Democrats, after two years of Trump pummeling. 

  • An alumnus of the Bush 43 administration told me: "This president is facing fewer checks and balance than any president in recent history except perhaps George W. Bush after 9/11."

Consider Trump's scorecard:

  • Trump will soon have the conservative Supreme Court that Republicans dreamed of for a lifetime. 
  • His one big legislative accomplishment — a huge tax cut — will silence business critics as long as he’s around. 
  • Scott Reed of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told me that for all the establishment skepticism of Trump, he "has united national security conservatives, social conservatives and economic conservatives."
  • The Republicans who control the House and Senate have performed little real oversight — and won’t.

Be smart: The 2018 elections matter exponentially more today than they did 24 hours ago.

If you're a Democrat who now can't digest breakfast, presidential historian Michael Beschloss has this solace:

  • "If you look at presidential power in terms of checks and balances, Donald Trump may feel as if he is riding high. If he manages to get his first choice confirmed, he could soon enjoy a strong conservative majority on the Supreme Court, and he dominates his party in Congress in a way we have rarely seen in modern times."
  • "Polls show him with high standing among Republican voters. But history suggests that this may not last forever. Trump is under the growing shadow of the Mueller probe and other investigations."
  • "If those inquiries or failure of any of his key policies should undermine his popularity and standing, he may find that Republican senators and members of Congress are no longer so obedient."
  • "As for the Supreme Court majority, history is full of examples in which justices have not turned out to consistently vote as expected."
  • "And how often in history has a President been opposed by a majority of the voters with the intensity of the current national opposition to Trump?"

Go deeper: What Anthony Kennedy's retirement means.

Go deeper

Who Biden might put on the Supreme Court

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In the wake of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, Democrats are compiling lists of Black women they want Joe Biden to consider for the bench if he's elected — with an eye toward people from outside the traditional legal establishment.

Why it matters: Supreme Court appointments are one of the most consequential parts of any president's legacy, and a President Biden would need to find picks who could try to wrangle liberal victories from a solid conservative majority.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. EST: 32,135,220 — Total deaths: 981,660 — Total recoveries: 22,149,441Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m EST: 6,975,980 — Total deaths: 202,738 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,481,026Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats prepare new $2.4 trillion coronavirus relief package.
  4. Health: Cases are surging again in 22 states — New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: America is closing out its strongest quarter of economic growth.
  6. Technology: 2020 tech solutions may be sapping our resolve to beat the pandemic.
  7. Sports: Pac-12 will play this fall despite ongoing pandemic — Here's what college basketball will look like this season.
  8. Science: Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China — During COVID-19 shutdown, a common sparrow changed its song.
10 hours ago - Sports

Pac-12 will play football this fall, reversing course

A view of Levi's Stadium during the 2019 Pac-12 Championship football game. Photo: Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Pac-12, which includes universities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington state, will play football starting Nov. 6, reversing its earlier decision to postpone the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The conference's about-face follows a similar move by the Big Ten last week and comes as President Trump has publicly pressured sports to resume despite the ongoing pandemic. The Pac-12 will play a seven-game conference football season, according to ESPN.

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