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5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Supreme Court hears challenge to Trump's travel ban

  • Republican wins Arizona special House election, keeping seat for GOP

  • Third federal judge rules against Trump's order to end DACA

  • Trump reportedly assured VA nominee Ronny Jackson he still has his support

  • Scott Pruitt wants to limit scientific research used by the EPA

The Supreme Court is hearing its final oral arguments of the season Wednesday, and it's one of their highest-profile cases of the year: President Trump's ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries. Trump's third iteration of his travel ban has been in full effect since December, but the challengers, represented by former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal, argue that the ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, as well as North Korea and a limited number of Venezuelans, is an unconstitutional manifestation of Trump's promised Muslim travel ban. The Trump administration asserts that the ban is a lawful exercise of executive authority. The justices are expected to hand down their decision in the case, Trump v. Hawaii, by late June.

Source: The Associated Press

Republican Debbie Lesko won a special election in Arizona's 8th congressional district on Tuesday, a race that was closer than expected in this conservative area. Lesko beat Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, 53 percent to 47 percent, in a district President Trump won by 20 percentage points. The seat was vacated by former Rep. Trent Franks (R), who resigned last year in the midst of a sexual impropriety scandal. Republican groups plowed more than $1 million into the race, swamping Tipirneni's war chest, but GOP pollster Mike Noble said the narrow win is still worrisome: "This district isn't supposed to be competitive, and so to see this margin, especially with the Republicans pouring in resources here — again, it's a tough year."

Source: Politico, The New York Times

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John Bates rejected the Department of Homeland Security's legal reasoning for President Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Bates, a Republican appointee to the District of Columbia court, said DHS "failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful." He gave the department three months to come up with a better reason for ending the program, and said if they couldn't do this, DACA would be restored. In September, Trump announced he would wind down DACA, only allowing renewals through March 5, but his order has been challenged in court several times, and Bates is the third judge to rule against the administration.

Source: Politico

During a meeting in the Oval Office on Tuesday afternoon, President Trump told White House physician Ronny Jackson, his nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, that he will continue to support him, two senior administration officials told CBS News. Jackson is under fire, accused of drinking on the job, improperly dispensing drugs, and creating a hostile work environment. His confirmation hearing has been postponed indefinitely. Jackson has said he wants to share his side of the story. Earlier Tuesday, when asked about whether Jackson will stay the course and seek confirmation, Trump told reporters he let the doctor know that "if I were him, I wouldn't do it."

Source: CBS News

On Tuesday, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt proposed a rule that would restrict the scientific research used by the agency to make regulatory decisions. Under the rule, only studies where the data is publicly available could be used, something conservatives have long wanted. "The science that we use is going to be transparent," Pruitt said. "It's going to be reproducible." Scientists and public health experts are concerned because long-standing studies on pollution and pesticides often rely on confidential personal and medical data. There will be a 30-day comment period, and if the rule goes through, it's expected to be challenged in court.

Source: The Washington Post
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