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President Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to fill the seat of Justice Anthony Kennedy comes just 120 days before the 2018 midterm election.

Expand chart
Data: U.S. Senate, Supreme Court; Chart: Kerrie Vila/Axios

The big picture: There have been five other cases since 1950 when seats have opened within 150 days of a midterm election. In three of them, the nomination process was completed before the election (David Souter, Antonin Scalia, Arthur Goldberg). In the remaining two instances, both under President Eisenhower, the nomination was delayed until after the election (Potter Stewart, John Marshall Harlan II).

Why it matters: Mitch McConnell, who stalled Merrick Garland’s nomination to replace Antonin Scalia because it was close to a presidential election, has promised that Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings and vote will take place before November.

The bottom line: Democrats are looking for ways to block or delay the nomination, but they don't have the votes to do it as long Republicans stick together.

Go deeper

37 mins ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."