In one of the most anticipated cases of the year, the Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday on the Trump administration's plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The Obama-era program defers the deportation of certain undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers - an estimated 700,000 children and young adults who were under 16 years old when they entered and have no criminal record. President Trump announced in 2017 that applications would stop being accepted last March; however, the proposal was challenged and has wound its way through the courts for nearly two years. While the case has been viewed as a proxy in the larger struggle over immigration policy, this case examines whether the administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act (deep dive here), which lays out guidelines for changing major executive branch policies. A final decision is expected next spring; analysts say the Court appeared to lean toward the administration's argument.
In a separate case, families of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting will be allowed to file suit against gunmaker Remington.
Jimmy Carter Undergoes Brain Surgery
Former President Jimmy Carter is recovering at an Atlanta hospital after undergoing surgery to relieve pressure from bleeding on the brain, a representative said yesterday. Doctors said the injury was the result of the cumulative effect of a series of recent falls suffered by the 95-year-old, including an accident in early October in which he sustained a head injury and a fall two weeks later in which he fractured his pelvis. Both incidents followed a fall in the spring which ultimately required a hip replacement. Carter, the country's 39th president, was viewed during his one term in office as a Washington outsider and has spent his post-presidency time as a driving force behind many philanthropic efforts, most notably Habitat for Humanity. Despite the health scare, Carter still teaches Sunday school twice a month - an activity he is expected to resume after recovering.
Impeachment Hits Public Stage
The first public hearing in the ongoing impeachment inquiry will be held today, with the top US diplomat in Ukraine, William Taylor, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent set to testify. Both have previously appeared behind closed doors, as has former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who will testify Friday. Republicans - who have criticized the process as unilateral - have submitted their own witness list (see here), which includes Hunter Biden and the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint sparked the probe. Democrats, with majority veto power over GOP subpoenas, appear unlikely to approve a number of the requests. Unlike usual hearings where each committee member is reserved five minutes for questioning, Chairman Adam Schiff (D, CA-28) and ranking member Devin Nunes (R, CA-22) will follow the opening statement with 45 minutes of questioning each. You can watch live here beginning at 10 am ET.
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