1/ Trump — the twice-impeached former president who tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election, encouraged a deadly insurrection at the Capitol, and is the subject of multiple criminal investigations — filed to run for president for a third consecutive time. “In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” Trump said from Mar-a-Lago despite some Republicans blaming him for the party’s disappointing midterm election results. “We are a nation in decline. We are a failing nation for millions of Americans,” Trump said, adding that the “gravest threat to our civilization” was what he called the weaponization of the Justice Department and the FBI. Trump enters the race facing multiple ongoing civil and criminal investigations in multiple states related to tax fraud, his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and the mishandling of classified documents stored at Mar-a-Lago. (Politico / Associated Press / NPR / Washington Post / New York Times / CNN / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / CNBC)
- Senate Republicans voted to retain Mitch McConnell as minority leader – the longest serving GOP leader in Senate history. (NPR / Washington Post / Associated Press)
2/ The Senate advanced bipartisan legislation to protect same-sex marriage. In a 62-37 vote, 12 Republicans voted with all Democrats to end debate on the bill and advance the Respect for Marriage Act, which would enshrine same-sex marriage protections into federal law. The bill also repeals the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as one man and one woman and allowed states to decline to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. In May, 71% of Americans said they supported legal same-sex marriage – up from 27% in 1996. A final Senate vote could happen this week, which would send the amended version to the House for another vote before it would head to Biden to be signed into law. (Washington Post / New York Times / Politico / Wall Street Journal)
3/ A judge overturned Georgia’s six-week abortion ban, ruling that key parts of the law “were plainly unconstitutional when drafted, voted upon, and enacted.” Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney noted that because the law was enacted before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, the ban must be evaluated using a 2019 lens. As a result, abortions will — for the first time since July — be legal in Georgia, up to 22 weeks of pregnancy, effective immediately. The Georgia attorney general’s office immediately filed an appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court. (NPR / New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / CNN)
4/ A federal judge struck down a Trump-era policy used to expel more than 1 million migrants at the nation’s Southern border. The Trump administration first issued the Title 42 policy in 2020 at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic to stop the “introduction” of contagious diseases in the U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan said the order was “arbitrary and capricious in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act,” arguing that the policy had little proven benefit to public health and hasn’t been updated to align with the present state of the pandemic and availability of vaccines and treatment options. The order will go into effect on Dec. 21. (Politico / Washington Post / CBS News / CNN)
5/ The Biden administration warned of a “historically large increase” in federal student loan delinquency and defaults without its forgiveness plan. The Education Department stopped accepting applications for its student loan forgiveness plan last week after a judge in Texas called the policy “unconstitutional” and struck it down. Approximately 18 million borrowers are eligible to have their federal student loans discharged in their entirety under the program. These same borrowers are most in jeopardy of defaulting. About 60% of borrowers who qualified for forbearance haven’t made a single payment since August 2020. Payments, however, are set to resume Jan. 1, 2023, unless Biden extends the pause on repayments. (CNBC / Axios / Bloomberg)
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