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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court in a 5-3 decision Monday rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups to extend the state's deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3.

Why it matters: All ballots must now be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in Wisconsin, a critical swing state in the presidential election.

Of note: The decision came as senators were preparing to vote on confirming President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

What they're saying: Chief Justice Roberts noted that unlike the Pennsylvania case, the Wisconsin one "involves federal intrusion on state lawmaking processes."

  • "Different bodies of law and different precedents govern these two situations and require, in these particular circumstances, that we allow the modification of election rules in Pennsylvania but not Wisconsin," Roberts added.

The other side: The court's liberal justices opposed the decision.

  • In her dissent, Justice Elena Kagan wrote, "Tens of thousands of Wisconsinites, through no fault of their own, may receive their mail ballots too late to return them by Election Day."
  • She added that "without the district court's order, they must opt between "brav[ing] the polls," with all the risk that entails, and "los[ing] their right to vote."

Read the decision via DocumentCloud.

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Go deeper

Jan 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Kamala Harris sworn in as vice president

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

In a historic inauguration, Kamala Harris was sworn in on Wednesday as the vice president of the United States.

Why it matters: Harris is the first woman, Black American and Indian American to serve as vice president in U.S. history. In addition to serving as Biden's No. 2, she will act as a critical tie-breaking vote in the 50-50 Senate.

House passes $768 billion defense spending bill

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House approved a $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 fiscal year in a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday.

Why it matters: The annual bill, which authorizes Pentagon spending levels and guides policy for the department, would require women to register for the military draft, among other provisions.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans’ secret lobbying

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The five Senate Republicans who helped negotiate and draft the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill have been privately courting their Republican colleagues to pass the measure in the House.

Why it matters: House GOP leaders are actively urging their members to oppose the bill. The senators are working to undercut that effort as Monday shapes up as a do-or-die moment for the bipartisan bill.