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Photo: Erin Scott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to a Mississippi law that bans nearly all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.

Why it matters: It will be the first abortion case to be argued before the Supreme Court since Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed, handing conservatives a 6-3 majority. The case could potentially provide a pathway to challenging Roe v. Wade and allowing outright bans on abortion.

Details: The Mississippi law, which was struck down by lower courts after being enacted in 2018, would only grant exceptions to its 15-week ban in cases of severe fetal abnormality or medical emergency, per AP.

  • Mississippi has only one abortion clinic, which remains open and performs abortions up to 16 weeks, AP reports.
  • The case will likely be heard in the fall, setting up a major showdown over abortion rights ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

What they're saying: "This will be, by far, the most important abortion case the Court will have heard since the Casey decision in 1992," University of Texas School of Law professor Steve Vladeck told CNN.

  • "If states are allowed to effectively ban abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy, as the Mississippi law in this case does, then pregnant women would have a far shorter window in which they could lawfully obtain an abortion than what Roe and Casey currently require."

Flashback: Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, former President Trump's two other Supreme Court nominees, dissented last year in a ruling that struck down abortion restrictions in Louisiana.

  • Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court's more liberal justices in the decision, though his concurrence was based on a precedent established by a previous Texas case.

Go deeper

Aug 22, 2021 - Health

Kentucky governor loses COVID emergency powers legal challenge

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear during an April press conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

The Kentucky Supreme Court on Saturday ordered a lower court to dissolve an injunction that had prevented Republican-backed legislation from limiting the executive authority of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear during the pandemic.

Why it matters: Beshear has imposed emergency health measures including an indoor mask mandate for K-12 schools, child care and pre-kindergartens, as cases surge across the state. The ruling paves the way for the Republican-led legislature to enact legislation curbing his emergency powers.

SEC debunks conspiracy theories about meme stock mania

Photo: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The SEC issued its long-awaited report on the meme stock mania, which downplayed the narrative that a "short squeeze" was the primary driver behind GameStop's historic stock moves — and shot down conspiracy theories about the event.

Why it matters: The postmortem was highly anticipated, largely because of what it could hint about what the regulator thinks should be done in wake of the saga. But the report stopped short of specific policy recommendations.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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.