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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.

Texas abortion law remains in effect after appeals court ruling

Pro- and anti-abortion protesters outside the Supreme Court as arguments begin about the Texas abortion law on Capitol Hill in November. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A U.S. appeals court transferred a challenge to Texas' law banning most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy to the state supreme court in a 2-1 vote on Monday evening.

Why it matters: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision means the country's most restrictive abortion law can remain in place for the time being.

2 hours ago - World

At least 2 dead after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

A satellite image of the explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday. Photo: UNICEF/NOAA

At least two people are confirmed to have died in Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption that sent tsunami waves toward the island nation and across the Pacific over the weekend, officials said Monday.

The big picture: Officials reported major damage along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital, Nuku'alofa, was covered in ash and dust, including on the runway of the airport. A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told Axios over the phone that two people had been confirmed to have died in the disaster.