Jan 22, 2019

McConnell: Blocking Garland was "most consequential thing I've ever done"

President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who blocked former President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland from ever having a hearing in 2016, told the New York Times Magazine that his "decision not to fill the [Justice Antonin] Scalia vacancy" was the "most consequential thing I've ever done."

The big picture: McConnell cited "a longstanding tradition of not filling vacancies on the Supreme Court in the middle of a presidential election year" in his refusal to even meet with Garland after the death of Scalia — a tradition deemed "false" and "entirely a matter of circumstance" by Politifact. Since Trump's election, McConnell has led the effort to reshape the ideological makeup of the federal judiciary, successfully confirming 2 Supreme Court justices and at least 84 lower-court judges.

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Updated 16 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 6,804,044 — Total deaths: 362,678 — Total recoveries — 2,788,806Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 1,909,077 — Total deaths: 109,497 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.

George Floyd updates

Protesters in Washington, D.C. on June 6. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Thousands of demonstrators are gathering in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds have assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make new changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct.

Why the coronavirus pandemic is hitting minorities harder

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The coronavirus’ disproportionate impact on black and Latino communities has become a defining part of the pandemic.

The big picture: That's a result of myriad longstanding inequities within the health care system and the American economy.