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Election 2020

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
How the Supreme Court will upend 2020

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios


The Supreme Court is already poised to drop some big political bombshells right into the heat of the 2020 campaign. And there are even more waiting in the wings, Axios' Sam Baker writes.

  • Why it matters: The court will likely hand down rulings on some of the most contentious issues in American politics just a few weeks before the Democratic convention (which will be in Milwaukee in mid-July). That will be a reminder of just how often the justices effectively have the final say — and that 2020 is a race to pick the next justices.
  • The court’s next term will “probably help to crystalize people’s thinking in the political season about the importance and the role of the court,” said Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society, a key adviser on President Trump’s Supreme Court nominations.
The lineup:

  • The justices have taken their first big Second Amendment case in over a decade — a challenge to New York City’s restrictions on transporting guns.
  • They’ll also decide whether Trump has the power to end the Obama-era immigration program known as DACA, which shields about 700,000 young adults and children from deportation.
  • And they’ll decide whether federal civil-rights law prohibits employers from firing workers because they’re gay or transgender.
There’s more on the way.

  • The justices are likely to take up an abortion case out of Louisiana.
  • Yet another challenge to the Affordable Care Act is also working its way through the system. Depending how things play out in a federal appeals court, it could land on the high court’s docket before Election Day.
Between the lines: Trump's ability to steer the court to the right, and specifically the presence of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, looms large in all of these cases.

  • New York is now trying to undoits own gun rules, hoping to scuttle the Supreme Court case rather than risk a loss that could jeopardize other gun laws.
  • Louisiana's abortion restrictions are highly similar to ones the court struck down in 2016 — but with then-Justice Anthony Kennedy as the decisive vote. Kennedy was also a consistent advocate for LGBT rights.
All these cases carry major legal and political implications:

  • DACA is a question of executive power. And immigration is central to Trump's 2020 campaign, just as gun control animates Democratic candidates.
  • These rulings, at least some of which will likely come at the end of next June, would be hard for either Trump or the Democratic nominee to avoid — even if they wanted to, and they may not want to.
Traditionally, conservative voters are more focused on the courts than liberals.

  • That was evident in 2016, when the court's vacant seat helped Trump rally a base of both evangelical activists and establishment Republicans.
The bottom line: If Trump is reelected and able to replace a liberal justice — or even if a Republican Senate blocks a Democratic president from filling lower-court vacancies — the judiciary could become a roadblock that stymies Democrats for generations.

 

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Sanders, with a series of new policy plans, has put into full, detailed view how he would reorder or referee almost every part of American life, Axios' Jim VandeHei and Juliet Bartz write.

  • Why it matters: A new Quinnipiac Poll shows Sanders leads Trump, 53% to 39%. So yes, America might elect a socialist. Meanwhile, he's pulling the 2020 field closer to his views.
A Sanders government would take control of ...

  • Your energy choices: His Green New Deal would spend $16 trillion to force you to stop using the energy mostly used today — oil, gas and nuclear. He promises cleaner power and air in return.
  • Your house and car: The Sanders government would pay to weatherize homes and small businesses, and to upgrade gas-powered cars for electric ones. He would mandate the end of conventional gas car manufacturing in a decade.
  • Your health insurance: He would eliminate private insurance and put you on a government plan more generous than Medicare. No more copays, deductibles or premiums, too.
  • Your current student debt: He would eliminate it for everyone.
  • Your kids' college: Everyone gets free tuition at public universities, community colleges, trade schools and apprenticeship programs, too.
  • Your teachers: He will hire more teachers, pay them more, and fund better school supplies.
  • Your job: He promises full employment.
  • Your wage: He would guarantee you at least $15 per hour.
  • Your rich friends: They'll be paying for much of this with a fat tax increase.
  • Your own taxes: Sanders has been vague on this one. But the total cost of just the programs listed above are $20 trillion-plus at the lowest possible end over a decade, excluding Medicare for All, which experts say could at least double the total.
What the Sanders campaign says ... Josh Orton, policy director, tells Axios:

  • "Bernie will continue to fight for proposals that save American families money and hold giant corporations accountable. ... [T]he cost of doing nothing is significantly more expensive for average Americans."
Go deeper: Listen to a Joe Rogan interview with Sanders for one of the more detailed, coherent articulations of his philosophy. (YouTube)
 
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