Expand chart
Data: Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Abortion rights are in the balance with Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement from the Supreme Court, but most voters want the high court to keep abortion legal, according to polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The survey was conducted before Kennedy announced his retirement.

Why it matters: The Supreme Court isn't responsive to public opinion in the same way the elected branches are, but it does often try not to get too far ahead of public opinion — especially under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts, who's known for his concern for the court's institutional standing.

Abortion rights will also be the No. 1 issue for the Democrats gearing up to fight President Trump's nominee, even without enough votes to block him or her.

Between the lines: Public support for abortion rights helps explain why a post-Kennedy court is likely to chip away at abortion rights incrementally, rather than immediately taking on Roe v. Wade.

  • If a more conservative court does begin to roll back abortion rights, it would almost certainly start by upholding state-level restrictions like bans on abortion after a certain point in a pregnancy, or prohibiting specific types of abortion procedures.

The intrigue: This isn't really about health care, but The New York Times has a good story on the family connections and not-so-subtle lobbying the White House deployed to push Kennedy toward the exit.

Go deeper: How the Supreme Court could start rolling back abortion rights

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election — Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — University of Michigan students ordered to shelter-in-place.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden has huge cash advantage over Trump as Election Day nears

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had $177.3 million in the bank at the end of September, per the latest Federal Election Commission filings.

Why it matters: President Trump's re-election campaign reported having $63.1 million in the bank at the end of last month, as campaigning enters the final stretch ahead of Election Day on Nov. 3.

Court allows North Carolina mail-in ballots deadline extension

An absentee ballot election worker stuffs ballot applications at the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections office in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

North Carolina can accept absentee ballots that are postmarked Nov. 3, Election Day, until Nov. 12, a federal appeals court decided Tuesday in a 12-3 majority ruling.

Why it matters: The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling against state and national Republican leaders settles a lawsuit brought by a group representing retirees, and it could see scores of additional votes counted in the key battleground state.