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Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined Pennsylvania Republicans' request to delay the drawing of a congressional map before this year's midterm election.

Why it matters: This is a significant blow to the GOP's effort to fight the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling last month that said the state's 18 congressional district lines, which give Republicans an electoral edge, “clearly, plainly and palpably” violated the state’s constitution.

The backdrop: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the Republican-controlled state legislature to draw the new congressional map by February 9 and for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to submit it to the court by February 15. The court also ruled that next month's special election to replace Republican Rep. Tim Murphy will still take place under the current congressional map. The GOP has a 13-5 seat advantage in the state's U.S. House delegation.

What they're saying:

  • Gov. Wolf lauded the decision in a statement, saying “there is no reason to delay implementing” the court order. “Now, all parties must focus on getting a fair map in place”
  • Pennsylvania House Speaker Michael Turzai (R) and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R), who petitioned the Supreme Court to halt the redistricting ruling, said in a joint statement that their “request was necessary.” They added that they'd “do [their] best” to draw a new map by the deadline, "but may be compelled to pursue further legal action in federal court.”
"We still do not believe that there was a violation of the state Constitution, that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court can direct us to draw a new congressional map, or that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has the authority to draw a new Congressional District Map under the Pennsylvania Constitution or United States Constitution." — Turzai and Scarnati said in the statement.

Go deeper: The gerrymandering cases to watch in 2018

Go deeper

Biden confronts mounting humanitarian crisis at the border

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Pool/Getty Images     

Just over a month into his presidency, President Biden is staring down a mounting crisis at the border that could be just as bad as the ones faced by Barack Obama and Donald Trump, if not worse.

Why it matters: Immigration is an issue that can consume a presidency. It's intensely and poisonously partisan. It's complicated. And the lives and welfare of vulnerable children hang in the balance.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
56 mins ago - Economy & Business

The rise of vaccine passports

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Vaccine passports were touted early in the pandemic as an important piece of the plan to get people back to normal life. Now they’re becoming a reality.

Driving the news: CLEAR, the secure digital identity app that you see in airports around the world, and CommonPass, a health app that lets users securely access vaccination records and COVID test results, have joined forces.

"Vaccine tourism" stretches states' supplies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans who are highly motivated to get vaccinated are traveling across state lines after hearing about larger vaccine supplies or loopholes in sign-up systems.

Why it matters: "Vaccine tourism" raises ethical and legal questions, and could worsen the racial socioeconomic and racial inequalities of the pandemic.

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