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January 1, Supreme Court’s Rulings Upset Both Sides Of The Aisle



Welcome to Friday Americans,

The Supreme Court had an eventful day on Thursday. In a 7-2 vote, they rejected the latest GOP-led effort to kill the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), effectively preserving insurance coverage for roughly 31 million Americans. The court ruled that Texas, other Republican-led states, and two individuals had no right to bring their lawsuits to federal court. Their decision was not universally celebrated. “Obamacare was sold on a lie to the American people,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. “Yet, seven justices decided to avoid the question of the constitutionality by limiting its decision to a ruling on standing.”

A separate Supreme Court ruling upset people elsewhere on the political spectrum on Thursday. In a decision that AP calls “another victory for religious groups at the Supreme Court”, the justices unanimously sided with a Catholic foster care agency that says it’s unable to work with same-sex couples due to its religious views. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the agency, Catholic Social Services “seeks only an accommodation that will allow it to continue serving the children of Philadelphia in a manner consistent with its religious beliefs; it does not seek to impose those beliefs on anyone else.”

Juneteenth is now officially a federal holiday. On Thursday, President Joe Biden signed legislation into law marking June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a holiday which commemorates the end of slavery in the US. The origin of Juneteenth comes from June 19, 1865, when Union Major General Gordon Granger announced the end of slavery in Galveston, Texas, though President Abraham Lincoln ended slavery in 1863 with the Emancipation Proclamation.

Is it hot in here or is it just me? According to new NASA research, Earth is now trapping twice as much heat as it did in 2005. The increase was described as “alarming”. Norman Loeb, lead study author, and NASA researcher said, “It’s likely a mix of anthropogenic forcing and internal variability. And over this period they’re both causing warming, which leads to a fairly large change in Earth’s energy imbalance. The magnitude of the increase is unprecedented.”

Buying a home just became more expensive. The average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages moved notably higher on Thursday, hitting 3.25%– the highest rate since April. CNBC says that the jump was a reaction to comments made on Wednesday by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Officials indicated that rates could be hiked up in 2023.

Finally, here’s a case of mistaken identity gone wrong. A Florida beach-goer was attacked by a shark on Thursday near a fishing line off the coast of Grayton Beach State Park. The victim was taken to the hospital by South Walton Fire Department officials. “First contact with the victim points to this incident being a case of ‘mistaken identity’ as they were swimming near a fishing line when bitten,” the department said via Twitter.

Stay safe,

Fraser Dixon


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