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Photo: Taylor Hill/WireImage

Apple is no stranger to the Supreme Court, but today its CEO and another top executive are signing on to an amicus brief for the first time.

The big picture: The brief is a passionate defense of the Dreamers, or those protected from deportation by an order established during the Obama administration, which the Trump administration wants to end.

  • The brief opens by noting that CEO Tim Cook and senior VP Deirdre O'Brien "speak for Apple and, importantly, for themselves."

Why it matters: Corporate leaders are increasingly a moral voice in American politics, speaking out to represent the interests and desires of their employees — and a rising moral imperative.

  • Microsoft brought one of the original DACA cases with Princeton in 2017 and filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case last Friday.

Highlights from Apple's brief, which cites Apple Dreamers by their initials to protect their identities:

  • "After the DACA program was created, Apple eagerly sought out and hired Dreamers — relying on the commitment our government made to them."
  • "Apple employs 443 Dreamers who come from more than 25 different countries on four continents. We did not hire them out of kindness or charity. We did it because Dreamers embody Apple’s innovation strategy."
  • Apple is not the only company that subscribes to the view that diversity drives innovation — and that has found huge value in hiring DACA recipients."
  • "We collectively owe it to the Dreamers to hold up our end of the bargain. It is not just a legal requirement. It is the moral thing to do. Who are we as a country if we renege? What does it say about us as a people to turn our backs on the Dreamers now?"

The bottom line: Tech companies — especially Microsoft and Apple — have walked a fine line here, working with the government in some areas while strongly opposing some policies — particularly around immigration and LGBTQ rights, notes Axios' Ina Fried.

Read the full brief:

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Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”