U.S. Supreme Court. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Courts around the country are facing a wave of cases regarding LGBT rights, the Associated Press reports, as the Supreme Court nears a decision on the wedding cake case.

The big picture: The pending result of the case for the Colorado baker who refused to serve a same-sex couple could indicate "how willing the justices are to carve out exceptions to anti-discrimination laws," per the AP.

State of play: In 21 states, business owners in the wedding business are involved in legal disputes who refuse to serve same-sex couples as they reject gay marriage "on religious grounds."

  • There are several cases regarding protections for the LGBT community under civil rights law, the AP reports.

What to watch: California and Texas courts are working through lawsuits regarding hospitals refusing to perform hysterectomies on individuals transitioning from female to male, citing religious objections.

  • The American Civil Liberties Union is suing against Michigan's policies which allow "faith-based child placement agencies to reject same-sex couples."

What's happening: Federal appeals courts in New York and Chicago recently overturned previous decisions and ruled that gay and lesbian workers are protected from discrimination under Title VII.

  • Two federal courts have decided on whether or not transgender people are included in the "prohibition on sex discrimination in education." They ruled in favor of transgender students using bathrooms that correlate with their identities.

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Data: Bully Pulpit Interactive; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

President Trump is pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into Facebook ads on the Supreme Court and conservative judges in the final stretch of his campaign, while Joe Biden is spending over a million on voter mobilization, according to an analysis by Axios using data from Bully Pulpit Interactive.

The big picture: Trump's Facebook ad messaging has fluctuated dramatically in conjunction with the news cycle throughout his campaign, while Biden's messaging has been much more consistent, focusing primarily on health care and the economy.

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Joe Biden hasn't gone out of his way to talk about outer space during his presidential campaign. That could be bad news for NASA's exploration ambitions, but good news for the Space Force.

The big picture: NASA faces two threats with any new administration: policy whiplash and budget cuts. In a potential Biden administration, the space agency could get to stay the course on the policy front, while competing with other priorities on the spending side.

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Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note ±3.3% margin of error for the total sample size; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Americans believe the federal government's handling of the pandemic has gotten significantly worse over time, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: Every other institution measured in Week 29 of our national poll — from state and local governments to people's own employers and area businesses — won positive marks for improving their responses since those panicked early days in March and April.

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