Capitol Hill on May 23. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Supreme Court today reinstated an Indiana law that requires the burial or cremation of fetal remains after an abortion. At the same time, it chose not to revive a part of the same law that banned abortions intended to select the sex or race of a child.

Between the lines: The court offered explicit reassurances that its rulings today did not touch the fundamental principles of Roe v. Wade — but the justices' ideological divisions were nevertheless on full display.

Details: The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down both parts of Indiana's anti-abortion law, and the appeal to the Supreme Court was seen as a potential referendum on Roe v. Wade.

  • But the court wrote that its fetal-remains ruling "does not implicate" broader questions about women's right to an abortion.
  • And it said it would simply stay out of any debate over sex- and race-selective abortions because only one federal appeals court has dealt with the issue.
  • Those decisions were issued "per curiam," or for the court — a tool the justices employ when they wish to speak with one voice, rather than in a traditional decision written by an individual justice.

Yes, but: Even as the court tried to speak with one voice, it engendered plenty of dissent.

  • Two liberals — Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor — said the court shouldn't have gotten involved in the fetal-remains question.
  • And conservative Justice Clarence Thomas wrote his own opinion about sex- and race-selective abortion, calling it "a tool of modern-day eugenics" and reiterating his opposition to abortion generally.

The bottom line: The court avoided core abortion questions today, but, as Thomas wrote, "cannot avoid them forever."

Go deeper: Where abortion restrictions stand: The states that have passed laws

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Sports

Pac-12 will play football this fall, reversing course

A view of Levi's Stadium during the 2019 Pac-12 Championship football game. Photo: Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Pac-12, which includes universities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington state, will play football starting Nov. 6, reversing its earlier decision to postpone the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The conference's about-face follows a similar move by the Big Ten last week and comes as President Trump has publicly pressured sports to resume despite the ongoing pandemic. The Pac-12 will play a seven-game conference football season, according to ESPN.

Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China

Data: Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A global initiative to ensure equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines now includes most of the world — but not the U.S., China or Russia.

Why it matters: Assuming one or more vaccines ultimately gain approval, there will be a period of months or even years in which supply lags far behind global demand. The COVAX initiative is an attempt to ensure doses go where they're most needed, rather than simply to countries that can produce or buy them at scale.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:15 p.m. EST: 32,062,182 — Total deaths: 979,701 — Total recoveries: 22,057,268Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:15 p.m EST: 6,967,103 — Total deaths: 202,558 — Total recoveries: 2,670,256 — Total tests: 97,459,742Map.
  3. Health: Cases are surging again in 22 states — New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine.
  4. Business: America is closing out its strongest quarter of economic growth.
  5. Technology: 2020 tech solutions may be sapping our resolve to beat the pandemic.
  6. Sports: Here's what college basketball will look like this season.
  7. Science: During COVID-19 shutdown, a common sparrow changed its song.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!