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Photo: Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty

The Supreme Court announced Monday that it would postpone oral arguments for its March session because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: It's a critical arm of the U.S. government shutting down as a response to the crisis.

  • Two of the nine justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, are in their 80s.
  • The session was due to take place March 23–25 and March 30–April 1.
  • The Court stated in its press release it "will examine the options for rescheduling those cases in due course in light of the developing circumstances."

The big picture: It noted that postponing arguments "in light of public health concerns is not unprecedented," though it does mark the court's first postponement since the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918.

  • Among the delayed cases is President Trump’s lawsuit to prevent congressional committees and New York prosecutors to subpoena his financial records.
  • The development will also affect the $8 billion copyright feud between Google and Oracle.

Go deeper

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.

The Supreme Court's abortion showdown arrives

Protesters gather at the Supreme Court during arguments about the Texas abortion law Nov. 1. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Supreme Court will debate today whether to overturn Roe v. Wade, and neither side is trying to lower the stakes — or to make today’s case anything less than a referendum on Roe’s very survival.

The big picture: Conventional wisdom, on both the left and right, says the court is likely to chip away at abortion rights without overturning its precedents outright. But neither side has spent much time trying to help the justices thread that needle.