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Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the NCAA Monday, upholding a lower-court order that will allow schools to provide unlimited academic-related benefits to their student-athletes.

Why it matters: The ruling bars the NCAA from limiting education-related benefits that colleges can provide their athletes, such as laptops, tutoring services, internships and more.

  • The NCAA had argued that the limits were necessary to preserve the amateur nature of college sports. Athletes had argued that the restrictions violate federal antitrust laws.
  • Some critics say the ruling could open the door to a pay-for-play system in which schools compete for talent by shelling out thousands under the legal guise of education benefits.

What they're saying: "The NCAA’s bankrupt model is finally starting to come apart," tweeted California Gov. Gavin Newsom. "Sickening that colleges reap BILLIONS from student athletes but block them from earning a single dollar. This brings us one step closer to fixing that."

The big picture: The Supreme Court ruling does not touch on the question of whether student athletes can be paid a salary for the rights to their names, image and likeness. Congress is currently considering legislation related to that issue.

Go deeper

Arizona judge: Adding mask mandates ban to budget bill unconstitutional

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

An Arizona judge ruled Monday that the state's ban on mask mandates in schools, and other measures put into the state budget by Republicans, are unconstitutional, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The sweeping ruling voids a ban on vaccine requirements for public universities, community colleges and local governments, and strikes down some non-COVID-related measures like a ban on teaching critical race theory in classrooms and anti-fraud measures for ballots.

Death of Justice could mean more conservative Tennessee Supreme Court

Justice Cornelia Clark. Photo courtesy of Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Cornelia Clark, a trailblazer who sat on the high court for 16 years, died last week.

  • Clark was the second woman to serve as Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court. She earned a reputation as an inquisitive and passionate jurist with a zest for the law.
  • She was also the first woman to serve as a judge in a rural Tennessee county.

Breaking Biden's diplomatic logjam

Expand chart
Data: Center for Presidential Transition via Congress.gov; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The logjam for reviewing and confirming President Biden's ambassadorial picks is finally starting to break.

Why it matters: Biden is far behind his predecessors in the rate at which his ambassadorial picks have been confirmed. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a series of high-profile hearings and votes this week to finally begin chipping away at the backlog.