Residents cast their votes at a polling place. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday blocked cuts to early voting in Wisconsin that were enacted late last year by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature during a controversial lame duck session.

The backdrop: The same judge, U.S. District Judge James Peterson, had struck down a similar two-week early voting restriction as unconstitutional in 2016. At the time, Patterson said Republican lawmakers crafted the measures to suppress minority voters and others who traditionally vote Democratic.

Details: A coalition of liberal groups, with the support of former Attorney General Eric Holder, argued in the latest challenge that the Republicans' move was "in direct violation" of Peterson’s 2016 order, calling the lame-duck session a “partisan attempt to retain and regain power.”

  • Slashing early voting would deprive counties the authority to decide when to start. Democratic strongholds like Madison and Milwaukee, unlike other more conservative communities, began early voting six weeks before last year's midterm contests.
  • But Republicans argued the date that voting starts should be uniform across the state.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 32,844,146 — Total deaths: 994,208 — Total recoveries: 22,715,726Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 7,078,798 — Total deaths: 204,497 — Total recoveries: 2,750,459 — Total tests: 100,492,536Map.
  3. States: New York daily cases top 1,000 for first time since June — U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases.
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.

Texas city declares disaster after brain-eating amoeba found in water supply

Characteristics associated with a case of amebic meningoencephalitis due to Naegleria fowleri parasites. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Texas authorities have issued a warning amid concerns that the water supply in the southeast of the state may contain the brain-eating amoeba naegleria fowleri following the death of a 6-year-old boy.

Details: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued a "do not use" water alert Friday for eight cities, along with the Clemens and Wayne Scott Texas Department of Criminal Justice corrections centers and the Dow Chemical plant in Freeport. This was later lifted for all places except for Lake Jackson, which issued a disaster declaration Saturday.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

What they're saying: Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Rose Garden of the White House on Sept. 26. Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Democratic and Republican lawmakers along with other leading political figures reacted to President Trump's Saturday afternoon nomination of federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

What they're saying: "President Trump could not have made a better decision," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. "Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an exceptionally impressive jurist and an exceedingly well-qualified nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States."

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