4 cases / Who needs $600? / Halloween guidance

Four cases. Now that Amy Coney Barrett has been confirmed to the Supreme Court, Vox’s Ian Millhiser says her call on four looming cases will reveal what she’s really about.
Politico’s Shia Kapos (second item in today’s Illinois Playbook): “The swearing-in ceremony … was the ultimate thumbing of the nose to … anyone concerned about the seriousness of the pandemic.”
Advocates for women’s rights are prepping for a nation without legal abortion. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
Even before she joined, yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling cutting short the deadline for acceptance of Wisconsin mail-in ballots threatened to reverse a century of voting rights law.

Next? Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne Jr.: Enlarging the court under a Democratic president and Congress “is a necessary response to the right’s radicalism.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls for Democrats to do that: “Republicans … don’t believe Dems have the stones to play hardball like they do.”
Mother Jones’ David Corn sees the U.S. at the brink of authoritarianism: “The harm Trump has done is not irreversible, but …”
BuzzFeed News explains a statistical “political stress indicator” that points to growing political violence—regardless of Election Day’s outcome.
 The white extremist group Patriot Front is plotting for a post-Trump world.

Who needs $600? Households struggling through the pandemic can apply for one-time payments from Cook County.
ComEd is offering the needy up to $500 to cover electric bills.

Lighten your wallet. If you have an iPhone or an Apple Watch, you can dump your Ventra card and ride the CTA and Pace just by tapping your device on a card reader …
 … but, Streetsblog Chicago’s John Greenfield notes, you could then find yourself stuck if your battery dies.
Mayor Lightfoot’s under fire for a budget that would let (correction) cops speed cameras ticket cars going just 6—instead of 10—miles per hour over the speed limit.
The city reports a 52% drop in parking tickets and a 42% reduction in booting—two of its biggest revenue generators—under the pandemic.

Halloween guidance. Here’s the State of Illinois’ official counsel on how to handle trick-or-treating.
A pediatrics professor warns that COVID-19 heightens candy’s risks: “There has never been a better time than now to reduce our consumption of sugar.”
The Conversation: Even as demand for remote “telehealth” doctor visits rises in the pandemic, insurers are rolling back coverage.

‘A comic force for our times.’ The Sun-Times’ Richard Roeper reviews Trump lip-sync mime Sarah Cooper’s Netflix special, premiering today.
The Los Angeles Times calls it “a dark and uncomfortable hour.”

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