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Kavanaugh speaks as Trump looks on. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

"It is not every day that a potential constitutional showdown over a presidential subpoena coincides with a confirmation hearing for a crucial Supreme Court seat. Less likely yet is a nominee who has written extensively about the very question at the heart of the dispute," the N.Y. Times' Adam Liptak writes.

The bottom line: "[T]hat novel historical moment is here."

  • Walter Dellinger, acting United States solicitor general in the Clinton administration: "It is not at all far-fetched to think that the question of whether President Trump must respond to a subpoena could come before the Supreme Court shortly after the confirmation process."

All politics is local: Lead of today's WashPost Metro section ... "Kavanaugh's confirmation would be a high distinction for school: Georgetown Prep already has one graduate — Gorsuch — on the Supreme Court."

Go deeper

22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

53 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.