Jun 3, 2018

Supreme Court lookahead: The pending blockbuster decisions

Photo: Zach Gibson/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court has 29 cases to decide by the end of this month, including all of the term’s biggest blockbusters.

Why it matters: All of these cases have enormous political implications. Some, like deciding whether partisan gerrymandering is constitutional, could directly and immediately affect the actual practice of politics.

The big questions the court still has to resolve:

The bottom line: The public-sector unions case, like the gerrymandering one, will also have the potential to immediately threaten political practices — the court is expected to limit their collective bargaining power, which in turn will likely weaken their political influence.

  • Cases like the travel ban and religious objections to same-sex marriage, meanwhile, threaten to reignite explosive cultural issues with the midterms just around the corner.

The X-factor: As if this month wasn’t sufficiently full of drama, throw in the persistent speculation about whether Justice Anthony Kennedy will retire — giving Trump an opportunity to pull the court further to the right, especially on issues like LGBT rights.

  • Burn this into your brain: Any time you hear someone talking publicly about Kennedy’s intentions — especially members of Congress — remember that they absolutely do not know what Kennedy’s intentions are.

What to watch: The court will issue rulings Monday at 10am. Until the very end, there’s no way of knowing which decisions will come down when. So all we know for sure is that we’re in for a dramatic and high-stakes June at the Supreme Court.

Get more stories like this by signing up for our daily morning newsletter, Axios AM. 

Go deeper

Coronavirus stress tests drug industry's dependence on China

A Hong Kong commuter wears a face mask. Photo: Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

It's unclear whether the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus will actually result in prescription drug shortages, but it has undoubtedly highlighted the potential vulnerabilities of having the supply chain for American drugs so dependent on China.

Driving the news: About 150 prescription drugs — including antibiotics, generics and some branded drugs without alternatives — are at risk of shortage if the coronavirus outbreak in China worsens, per two sources familiar with a list of at-risk drugs compiled by the Food and Drug Administration.

Go deeperArrow56 mins ago - Health

Bernie's path to the presidency

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks yesterday during a rally at Houston University. Photo: Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

Lots of Democrats are in full panic that Bernie Sanders will win the nomination and get clobbered in the general election — and bring the party down, too. But the evidence, particularly the polling, doesn't back those doomsday warnings.

Why it matters: Virtually every national and swing state poll shows Sanders tied with or beating President Trump.  And, unlike every rival, he has a huge base of fervent, unshakable supporters he can only grow.

These swing voters don't like Trump’s environmental rollbacks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Swing voters in four battleground states decisively oppose President Trump’s sweeping rollbacks of environmental regulations — but it’s unlikely to sway their votes.

Why it matters: It’s voters living in states like these, including Florida and Pennsylvania, who fill pivotal roles electing America’s presidents, so we should listen.