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Expand chart
Current justices: Epstein, Martin, and Quinn, 2017 "President-Elect Trump and his Possible Justices", Kavanaugh's score: Epstein, Martin, and Quinn, 2016 "Possible Presidents and their Possible Justices"; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon, Harry Stevens/Axios

With the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in 2018, President Trump cemented a solid conservative majority on the bench. Kavanaugh has the second-most conservative score (0.693) next to Justice Clarence Thomas (0.725), per a measure that score judges on a liberal-conservative spectrum.

How to read the chart: An analysis by political scientists Lee Epstein, Andrew D. Martin, and Kevin Quinn places judges on an ideological spectrum called the “Judicial Common Space." Conservative justices receive scores from 0 to 1, liberal justices from –1 to 0.

  • Most liberal: Sonia Sotomayor (-0.521)
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg (-0.518)
  • Elena Kagan (-0.302)
  • Stephen Breyer (-0.280)
  • John Roberts (0.089)
  • Samuel Alito (0.317)
  • Neil Gorsuch (0.486)
  • Brett Kavanaugh (0.693)
  • Clarence Thomas (0.725)

Go deeper: 2019's Supreme Court cases to watch

Go deeper

Oct 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court won't expedite Pennsylvania GOP's request to block mail-in ballot extension

Amy Coney Barrett being sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts. Photo: Fred Schilling/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States via Getty Images

The Supreme Court voted 5-3 on Wednesday to deny a bid from Pennsylvania Republicans to expedite their request to shorten the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots. Newly confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in the decision.

Why it matters: A lower court ruling allowing ballots to be counted until 5pm on Nov. 6, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day, will remain in place for now.

Supreme Court rejects second GOP effort to cut absentee ballot deadline in N.C.

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The Supreme Court, for the second time in two days, rejected a GOP request to shorten the deadline mail-in ballots must be received by North Carolina officials to be counted.

The state of play: The state's deadline had been extended from 3 days to 9 days post-Election Day.

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

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