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Federal Judge Rules ObamaCare Is Unconstitutional

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A federal judge Friday evening ruled the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare, is unconstitutional nationwide. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth, Texas, a George W. Bush appointee, sided with a group of Republican Attorneys General and other GOP officials from 20 states, led by Texas, that without the individual mandate, the law itself is unconstitutional.

The Republican led House and Senate, under President Donald Trump, outlawed the individual mandate in the tax cut law last year. The mandate was ruled a tax by the U.S. Supreme Court, in a ruling many believed at the time sealed ObamaCare as permanent.

The lawsuit, which was designed to kill ObamaCare, is supported by President Trump. The ruling threatens the ObamaCare health exchanges and aspects of the Affordable Health Care law, including a ban on insurance companies’ refusing to cover pre-existing conditions.

“The Court finds the Individual Mandate ‘is essential to’ and inserverable from ‘the other provisions’ of the ACA,” O’Connor wrote in his ruling, as Vox reported. “The remainder of the ACA is non-severable from the individual mandate, meaning that the Act must be invalidated in whole.”

An appeal is expected, and that could go as far as the Supreme Court.

In the mean time, the fate of the ObamaCare exchanges and other aspects of the law is unclear.

Bloomberg News reports the ruling “casts uncertainty on insurance coverage for millions of U.S. residents.”

The sign up period for health care plans ends Saturday, December 15. There is no reason to not sign up while the implications of the judge’s ruling are tested.

“Today’s ruling is an assault on 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions, on the 20 million Americans who rely on the ACA’s consumer protections for health care, and on America’s faithful progress toward affordable health care for all Americans,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement, Bloomberg reports, adding that a “spokeswoman for Becerra said an appeal will be filed before Jan. 1.”

Image by LaDawna Howard via Flickr and a CC license

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Fauci: Trump Hasn’t Been to a Coronavirus Task Force Meeting in ‘Months’ and Hasn’t Talked to Me ‘in a While’

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NIH Director Says White House Now Has ‘Different Priorities’ Than Coronavirus

Dr. Anthony Fauci says President Donald Trump has not attended a coronavirus task force meeting in “several months.” Fauci, the most respected and most recognized health official in the federal government, also says meetings of the task force have been only “about one per week.”

Almost since its inception the task force had been meeting daily, but that dropped done to weekly several weeks ago, Fauci told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd. Vice President Mike Pence still leads the group.

Fauci also says, “I definitely don’t have” Trump’s “ear as much as Scott Atlas,” the Fox News radiologist who has all but made “herd immunity” the official policy of this White House.

“Direct involvement with the President,” Fauci said, “I have not done that in a while.”

It is a staggering revelation, as the U.S. heads into what experts are calling America’s “third wave” of the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday more than 70,000 new coronavirus cases were recorded. The U.S. now has had 8.7 million COVID-19 cases and is rapidly approaching 230,000 deaths.

Meanwhile, Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently called it “a bit of a chaotic time with the election,” noting that “there’s not a direct connection between the task force members and the president as there was a few months ago. But this seems to be a different time with different priorities.”

 

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Judge Shoots Down Effort to Delay Hearing on Trump Rape Case — After Barr’s DOJ Was Caught Lying: Report

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The United States Department of Justice received a public rebuke from a federal judge on Wednesday.

At issue was a hearing about the DOJ’s efforts to have taxpayer-funded lawyers defend President Donald Trump in a civil case over whether he defamed E. Jean Carroll after she accused him of sexual assault.

The DOJ attempted to delay the case after a government attorney was denied access to the courthouse due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The DOJ claimed that the new rules had started on Tuesday, even though Gov. Andrew Cuomo had announced the ban a week earlier.

The judge denied the motion and noted the hearing could be conducted by phone.

The judge added that “contrary to the government’s suggestion, it appears that Virginia was added to the list of Restricted States over a week ago.”

The order was posted to Twitter by Courthouse News reporter Adam Klasfeld:

 

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Biden Is Offering ‘Xanax for Americans’ Who Need ‘Calm’ After 4 Years of Trump: CNN Panel

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A CNN panel on Wednesday said that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign has taken the nickname “Sleepy Joe”to heart and is now using it as part of its closing argument in the 2020 race.

Reacting to the Biden campaign ad that aired during the first game of the 2020 World Series, host John Berman noted that much of the 60-second spot seemed dedicated to projecting a return to normalcy after four chaotic years under President Donald Trump.

CNN correspondent Jeff Zelany shared Berman’s assessment.

“He’s hoping to present it as you know, Xanax for Democrats, milk of magnesia for Americans,” he said. “That ad in the World Series speaks volumes about where the Biden campaign is right now: They have resources and he is in command of this race. So he is trying to present an air of calm, really like he’s been trying to do from the very beginning.”

Reporter Abby Phillip also thought that the ad signaled where Biden’s closing argument is headed.

“What you do hear from a lot of voters is that they really are tired,” she said. “They really are kind of exhausted by this whole thing, they really do want things to be a little bit more calm.”

Watch the video below.

 

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