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Former Rep. Katie Hill at the Capitol in Oct. 2019. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A judge ruled Wednesday that the Daily Mail did not break California's law against revenge porn by publishing nude photos of former California Democratic Rep. Katie Hill without her consent, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Why it matters: Hill resigned from Congress amid an investigation into allegations of an inappropriate sexual relationship with a congressional staffer, after photos were published in the U.K.-based tabloid and conservative blog RedState.

  • She later sued her ex-husband and the owners of the Daily Mail and RedState, alleging they distributed “nonconsensual porn” by publishing photos of her.
  • The Los Angeles judge dismissed her case against the U.K.-based tabloid by finding the photos protected as “a matter of public issue or public interest” under the First Amendment.

What they're saying: "Hot take: revenge porn — illegally shared images — cannot be considered in the public interest in any circumstance," Hill tweeted on Thursday morning.

  • "If that’s the precedent, countless women will be afraid to run for office because they have shitty exes."
  • "This fight has massive implications for any woman who ever wants to run for office, so quitting isn’t an option," she tweeted on Wednesday. Hill’s lawyer has indicated that she will appeal, per AP.

The other side: “The court today basically said sharing or distributing [images] is protected if it’s a matter of public concern,” Krista Lee Baughman, attorney for RedState managing editor Jennifer Van Laar, told the LA Times.

  • “I think the judge is really right, and this is an important 1st Amendment case because it goes to what speech we can have around our representatives in government. If we go down that slippery slope of censoring what journalists can publish about our elected officials, that’s a dangerous place to be for our 1st Amendment," Baughman said.
  • A Daily Mail attorney declined comment to the Times.

Go deeper

The front-runners for Biden's Supreme Court pick

Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson (left) and Justice Leondra Kruger (right) Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images and Lonnie Tague, US Department of Justice

Two highly accomplished Black female judges — Ketanji Brown Jackson, a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals; and Leondra Kruger, a justice on the California Supreme Court — are seen as the early front-runners to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

The big picture: Jackson is a powerful federal judge with a record that progressives feel they can trust. Kruger was a highly regarded litigator and has carved out a reputation for working well with conservative judges.

Fed: Rate hikes are near

The Federal Reserve's headquarters building. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve is on track to raise its main target interest rate in mid-March, as Chair Jerome Powell pledged to be "humble and nimble" in adapting policy to a fast-changing economy.

Why it matters: Fed leaders are looking to choke off inflation by raising interest rates in the near future, but keeping its options open for how fast and far the effort will go.

How long it’s taken to confirm Supreme Court justices

Expand chart
Data: Axios research, U.S. Supreme Court, Supreme Court Historical Society; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

It takes a U.S. president an average of 70 days from the date a Supreme Court seat is vacated to nominate a replacement, according to data from the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Why it matters: With news outlets reporting liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's plans to retire, Democrats will be looking to confirm President Biden's nominee with enough time to refocus the national political debate ahead of the midterms.

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