Jun 27, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon. Today's PM is 439 words, a 2 minute read.

Situational awareness: House Democrats will pass the Trump-approved GOP emergency budget funding, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said today.

1 big thing: The Supreme Court's historic day

FOX News intern Brannon Dewolf runs with a decision released by the Supreme Court. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is now firmly in control of a firmly conservative court, and the concessions conservatives sometimes have to accept from him are not large, Axios' Sam Baker writes.

Driving the news: President Trump criticized the court today after it said his administration has not offered a persuasive justification for adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

  • The case had echoes of the challenge to Trump’s travel ban, in which Roberts opted not to question the administration’s motives.
  • This time, the mountain of evidence was simply too big, Roberts said. “We cannot ignore the disconnect between the decision made and the explanation given,” he wrote.
  • But the court gave the administration the chance to try again. It may well be able to add the citizenship question in the end, even without delaying the survey, election-law expert Rich Hasen writes.

The big picture: Even if it can’t, and the Census proceeds without a citizenship question, that loss pales in comparison to the victory conservatives won in the day’s real blockbuster ruling, on partisan gerrymandering.

  • Roberts effectively gave state legislatures a green light to be as aggressive as they want in redrawing legislative maps to preserve their partisan advantage. After today, no federal court will be able to tell a state it has gone too far. 
  • Republicans don’t have a monopoly on gerrymandering. The court was considering one GOP-led map and one that favored Democrats. But because Republicans control more state legislatures right now, they’ll benefit more from the unrestrained power to preserve those majorities.

The bottom line: Roberts may have denied Trump a question on the Census, but he’s handed the Republicans in control of most statehouses an incredibly valuable tool to preserve that power.

Bonus: Chart du jour
Data: Axios research; Chart: Rebecca Zisser; Note: Joe Sestak did not respond to our request for comment so we chose not to include him in this iteration.

Go deeper: Use the interactive chart.

2. What you missed
  1. More than 15 million tuned in to the first Democratic debate last night on live TV. Go deeper.
  2. Ford intends to cut 12,000 jobs in Europe by the end of 2020 as part of a broader plan to reduce costs. Go deeper.
  3. Temperatures in France have risen to dangerous levels, resulting in a "red" weather warning, the highest level, for the Marseille and Montpellier areas. Go deeper.
  4. Twitter will flag — but not ban — politicians' tweets that break its rules. Go deeper.
3. 1 fun thing

Upscale restaurants "have long tried to accommodate requests for Wikki Stix and a kid’s menu. Now some are getting more creative to keep youngsters occupied," the WSJ reports.

  • "Tours, baby sitting, specialty classes, movies and unique play spaces are popping up even in deluxe dining rooms."
  • "The goal: Keep the kids too distracted to distract the adults."

Why it matters: "These days, parents are most likely to pick a dinner spot requested by their child."

Mike Allen