J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Joe Manchin, the moderate West Virginia Democrat, became the first Senate Dem to announce he'll vote in favor of Neil Gorsuch on Thursday. Shortly thereafter, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota followed suit.

The context: Minority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to launch a filibuster, meaning Republicans need eight Dems to break ranks to avoid having to "go nuclear" and force Gorsuch through with a simple majority. Other Dems are skeptical of the filibuster plan, but Manchin and Heitkamp have gone a step further in saying they'll vote to confirm Gorsuch.

Why it matters: We said earlier that Manchin's move could provide an opening for other Dems who don't want to battle the GOP over Gorsuch. With two now having jumped ship, this is turning into a major test of the Dems' resolve.

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Chief Justice John Roberts was hospitalized in June after fall

Chief Justice John Roberts overseeing the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump. Photo: Senate Television via Getty Images

Chief Justice John Roberts was hospitalized overnight after a fall on June 21, a Supreme Court spokesperson confirmed to the Washington Post on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Speculation regarding justices' health — given their lifetime appointments — always runs rampant, and this incident may have not been made public if the Post hadn't "received a tip."

Congress vs. tech's gang of four

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The CEOs of tech's four leading giants will defend their industry's growing concentration of power from critics on both right and left who view them as monopolists when they testify, most likely virtually, before Congress on July 27.

Why it matters: The joint appearance by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Apple's Tim Cook, Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Google's Sundar Pichai will mark a historic collision between the leaders of an industry that has changed the world and political leaders who believe those changes have harmed democracy and individual rights.

2020 attention tracker: The Trump policy trap

Data: Newswhip; Graphic: Axios Visuals — Note: Hover over the graphic on desktop to see weekly articles and interactions for candidates and issues.

The three topics generating the most intense interest online are the coronavirus, racial injustice and foreign policy, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios — and all are issues that are working against President Trump right now.

Why it matters: Storylines in Trump's populist sweet spot that carried the news cycle for much of his presidency — immigration, trade, a strong economy — have fallen away during the pandemic.