Justice Jackson’s ascension foreshadows what will likely be a historic term for the Supreme Court. States of emergencies have been issued in Georgia, Virginia and the Carolinas as Hurricane Ian plunges ahead. Will the Yankees’ Aaron Judge make history with a 62nd home run tonight?
Happy Friday. Let’s get to the news.
🌅 Up first: A crash in space produced some amazing photos. Check them out here.
Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson formally welcomed to a Supreme Court she will help to shape
The newest associate justice of the Supreme Court will take her seat behind the court’s mahogany bench Friday at a formal investiture ceremony. Three days later, she will take part in her first oral argument – delving into an environmental case that has vexed the court for years. Read more
One thing to know: The Supreme Court will grapple with affirmative action, LGBTQ rights and election rules in a fraught new term that begins Monday, even as the justices and the nation continue to wrestle with the fallout from the decision in June to overturn Roe v. Wade.
- Among the major cases this term: A decision involving race-conscious admissions policies at Harvard College and the University of North Carolina. Those schools consider race as one of many factors in deciding whether to accept prospective students, a policy that is consistent with current Supreme Court precedent.
- The court of public opinion: Trust in Supreme Court is at a historic low, down 20 points in two years.
- Just beyond the debate over the court’s legitimacy is a question about the conservative majority’s commitment to precedent. And what does that mean for future cases?
Ian regains hurricane strength as it targets South Carolina
Ian became a hurricane again Thursday evening after hammering Florida with heavy rains and powerful winds, leaving a rising death toll and thousands of residents desperately seeking rescue from the effects of one of the most devastating storms in U.S. history. The large system, which had been downgraded to a tropical storm on its way out of Florida and into the Atlantic Ocean, is expected to head toward the Carolinas and Georgia. Ian’s sustained winds increased to 85 mph late Thursday and it could bring “life-threatening flooding, storm surge and strong winds” to those states, the National Hurricane Center said. Read more
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What’s at stake in the Beto-Abbott debate
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Democratic rival Beto O’Rourke are set to go head-to-head in their first, and most likely only, in-person debate Friday evening, scarcely more than five weeks before Election Day. But with Abbott consistently leading O’Rourke by 5 or more percentage points in multiple polls, the debate carries very different stakes for the two candidates. The race is one of several gubernatorial contests attracting national attention where issues such as abortion, border politics and a flagging economy socked by high inflation have brought federal issues into state campaigns. Read more
Russian strike kills 23 as Kremlin to annex Ukraine regions
A Russian strike on the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia killed at least 23 people and wounded dozens, an official said Friday, just hours before Moscow planned to annex more of Ukraine in an escalation of the seven-month war. The Kremlin announced Thursday that four regions of Ukraine that were forced into elections would be annexed into Russia on Friday. The U.N. Security Council has scheduled a vote for Friday afternoon on a resolution that would condemn Russia for its “illegal so-called referenda” in the regions and declare that they “have no validity.” Read more
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Judge goes for 62nd home run
Aaron Judge is going for the home run of history. The 30-year-old New York Yankees slugger made baseball news Wednesday with homer No. 61, tying Roger Maris for the American League single-season home run record. Now he’s back Friday as the Yankees open a three-game series in the Bronx against the Baltimore Orioles. Judge’s next home run would move him one ahead of Maris, solidifying his spot in baseball infamy. But even if Judge hits No. 62 in the next seven games, MLB’s records clearly state Barry Bonds is the record-holder with 73 in 2001. However, those numbers came during baseball’s performance-enhancing drug era. Read more
📷 Photo of the day: Hurricane Ian blasts Florida 📷
After blasting Florida Wednesday and Thursday, Ian isn’t done yet. Even after weakening some on Thursday, Ian’s tropical-storm force winds still reached 415 miles from its center on Thursday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said. The Hurricane Center warned that storm surge of 6 feet or more was still possible from Daytona Beach, Florida, to north of Charleston, South Carolina. And rainfall of up to 8 inches threatened flooding in the Carolinas and Virginia. Here’s more on where Ian will go next
Click here to see more photos of Ian’s path in Florida.
A little less heavy
Nicole Fallert is a newsletter writer at USA TODAY, sign up for the email here. Want to send Nicole a note, shoot her an email at NFallert@usatoday.com or follow along with her musings on Twitter. Support journalism like this – subscribe to USA TODAY here.
Associated Press contributed reporting.