Plus, the Supreme Court is about to hear its first big abortion case since Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the bench.
Federal Reserve announces emergency rate cut to slow coronavirus effects
The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee announced an emergency half-point cut to interest rates, due to the economic slowdown brought on by the coronavirus outbreak. In a statement issued Tuesday, the central bank wrote it trimmed rates to a target range of 1 to 1.25 percent in order to “achieve maximum employment and stability goals.” It was a unanimous decision from policyholders, following a meeting from G-7 finance members. Wall Street saw an immediate hike after the announcement.
Super Tuesday may come down to revolution v. rerun
Fourteen states and American Samoa vote today in the presidential primaries, potentially deciding if the Democratic nominee will be Sen. Bernie Sanders or former Vice President Joe Biden. Moderate Biden picked up steam with the endorsements of Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, but Sanders is expected to do well with California’s Latino electorate and the 416 delegates it carries. Also of note is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who could pull enough votes to prevent either Biden or Sanders from a majority and push a contested convention.
Trump’s SCOTUS to hear its first abortion case
The Supreme Court is about to hear its first big abortion case since Donald Trump appointed two conservative justices, weighting the body hard right. At issue is Louisiana’s requirement that clinics that provide abortions also have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital—a stipulation that only two of the five abortion providers in the state have. The court struck down a similar law from Texas in 2016, with Justice Stephen G. Breyer writing that it was unlikely the requirement “would have helped even one woman obtain better treatment,” but the court had a liberal majority then. Louisiana currently has only three abortion providers. If the high court allows the law to stand, it could lose two of those. Justices will hear arguments on Wednesday.
Deadly tornadoes hit Tennessee overnight
At least 19 people were killed early Tuesday morning when tornadoes ripped across Nashville and middle Tennessee. Homes and buildings were damaged, and schools, courts, public transportation and the state Capitol are closed. Tennessee is one of the 14 states voting today for Super Tuesday; some polling stations have been moved, while others were delayed in opening. “Last night was a reminder about how fragile life is,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper said at a Tuesday morning news conference.