Updated Sep 24, 2019

U.K. Supreme Court rules Parliament's suspension is unlawful

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks in the United Nations General Assembly Hall Monday. Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

Britain's Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision by all 11 justices Tuesday that the ongoing suspension of Parliament by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government is unlawful, the BBC reports.

Why it matters: In response to the decision, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has ruled that the Commons will sit Wednesday morning — prompting a dilemma for Johnson, who is currently at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The effect on the fundamentals of our democracy was extreme."
— Lady Hale, president of the U.K. Supreme Court

The state of play: Lady Hale, President of the U.K. Supreme Court, said in her ruling that Johnson's advice to Queen Elizabeth II was "unlawful, void and has no effect," and so was the prorogation of Parliament for 5 weeks. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has ruled that the Commons will sit tomorrow morning

  • As Axios' Shane Savitsky notes, the ruling means that the queen is in an awkward place as she approved the order to suspend Parliament based on advice from Johnson's administration.
  • While that might traditionally lead Johnson to resign immediately, he indicated this week that he has no intention of doing so, per The Guardian.

What they're saying: The prime minister's office told the BBC it was "processing the decision." Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the BBC beforehand that the government would "abide by the ruling," but the broadcaster noted that Johnson has refused to rule out seeking to prorogue Parliament for a second time if the Supreme Court ruled against him.

  • House Speaker John Bercow welcomed the ruling and said in a statement the House of Commons must now convene without delay, per Sky News. "To this end, I will now consult the party leaders as a matter of urgency," he said.
  • Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said on stage at the Labour Party conference that the court's decision demonstrated that Johnson is guilty of "contempt of democracy" and an "abuse of power."

The big picture: It's the latest in a series of blows for Johnson, who's in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly this week. Before prorogation began, members of Parliament voted to pass legislation requiring Johnson to extend Brexit beyond Oct. 31 if no deal is in place by Oct. 19.

  • The ruling Conservatives expelled 21 lawmakers who voted against Johnson to pass the legislation — including Winston Churchill's grandson, Sir Nicholas Soames.
  • Johnson has twice failed in his attempts to call a snap election.
  • Johnson has vowed to deliver Brexit on Halloween, "do or die." If he defies the law, he could face jail — or choose to resign rather than break his promise, Savitsky notes.

Read the ruling:

Go deeper: The wild scenes on Parliament's last day before prorogation

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Brazil on Monday recorded for the first time more deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day than the United States, Reuters notes. Brazil reported 807 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, compared to 620 in the U.S. for the same period.

By the numbers: Almost 5.5 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.2 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 14.6 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,900 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,490,954 — Total deaths: 345,962 — Total recoveries — 2,228,915Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,662,250 — Total deaths: 98,218 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 53 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Authorities issue warning as Americans venture out for Memorial Day weekend

Ocean City in New Jersey on May 25. Photo: Donald Kravitz/Getty Images

Authorities urged Americans to maintain social distancing and wear masks to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus amid reports of packed beaches and bars during the Memorial Day weekend.

Details: Law enforcement stepped up beach patrols, and there were crowded scenes in several places, notably at Lake of the Ozarks bars in Missouri and at Daytona Beach and on the Gulf Coast in Florida, per AP. Police dispersed crowds in some places, ABC notes. But many Americans did take precautions against COVID-19 as they ventured outside for the long weekend, some three months after the pandemic began in the U.S.