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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

33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's latest executive order: Buy American

President Joe R. Biden speaks about the economy before signing executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Friday, Jan 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services.

Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.

Tech digs in for long domestic terror fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With domestic extremist networks scrambling to regroup online, experts fear the next attack could come from a radicalized individual — much harder than coordinated mass events for law enforcement and platforms to detect or deter.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Twitter stepped up enforcement and their conversations with law enforcement ahead of Inauguration Day. But they'll be tested as the threat rises that impatient lone-wolf attackers will lash out.

The pandemic could be worsening childhood obesity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The 10-month long school closures and the coronavirus pandemic are expected to have a big impact on childhood obesity rates.

Why it matters: About one in five children are obese in the U.S. — an all-time high — with worsening obesity rates across income and racial and ethnic groups, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show.