Photo: Erik McGregor / Getty

A group of four dozen Silicon Valley companies filed an amicus brief Wednesday in support of a California federal judge's decision to permanently block President Trump's executive order, which threatened to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities.

Big picture: Most major tech hubs are also sanctuary cities, and the loss of immigrant talent and federal funding could be detrimental to companies in the tech industry. San Francisco and Santa Clara initially filed the lawsuit, which resulted in District Court Judge William Orrick temporarily blocking the order last April and then permanently blocking it in November. The Department of Justice appealed the both injunctions.

Who's backing it: The brief is missing big names like Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Salesforce, which have taken on the government in other cases. Among the biggest names on the list are PayPal, Airbnb

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The apocalypse scenario

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democratic lawyers are preparing to challenge any effort by President Trump to swap electors chosen by voters with electors selected by Republican-controlled legislatures. One state of particular concern: Pennsylvania, where the GOP controls the state house.

Why it matters: Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, together with a widely circulated article in The Atlantic about how bad the worst-case scenarios could get, is drawing new attention to the brutal fights that could jeopardize a final outcome.

Federal judge rules Trump administration can't end census early

Census workers outside Lincoln Center in New York. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled late Thursday that the Trump administration could not end the 2020 census a month early.

Why it matters: The decision states that an early end — on Sept. 30, instead of Oct. 31 — would likely produce inaccuracies and thus impact political representation and government funding around the country.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Where bringing students back to school is most risky

Data: Coders Against COVID; Note: Rhode Island and Puerto Rico did not meet minimum testing thresholds for analysis. Values may not add to 100% due to rounding; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Schools in Southern and Midwestern states are most at risk of coronavirus transmission, according to an analysis by Coders Against COVID that uses risk indicators developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The big picture: Thankfully, schools have not yet become coronavirus hotspots, the Washington Post reported this week, and rates of infection are lower than in the surrounding communities. But that doesn't mean schools are in the clear, especially heading into winter.

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