ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

heavy-rain-night
85°
Partly Cloudy
H 93° L 75°
  • heavy-rain-night
    85°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 93° L 75°
  • cloudy-day
    76°
    Morning
    Partly Cloudy. H 93° L 75°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    88°
    Afternoon
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 90° L 75°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National Govt & Politics
Appeals court panel wrestles with challenge to Obama health law
Close

Appeals court panel wrestles with challenge to Obama health law

Appeals court panel wrestles with challenge to Obama health law

Appeals court panel wrestles with challenge to Obama health law

Weighing the decision of a federal district judge to declare the entire Obamacare health system invalid, a three judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday searched for a legal path forward on the case, with a pair of more conservative judges expressing deep reservations about the requirement to buy health insurance, and whether the end of a tax penalty for failing to comply should kill the rest of the law.

"If you no longer have the tax, why isn't it unconstitutional?" asked Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod about the future of the Obama health law.

But while Elrod and Judge Kurt Engelhardt made clear their feelings about the law, they certainly did not offer up a road map on Tuesday for how to deal with the case.  A third judge - a Democratic appointee - said nothing during the court session.

During over 90 minutes of arguments, the two Republican judges openly struggled with whether to send the case back to a lower court for more work, puzzled by a new brief from the Trump Administration, which suggested that the Obama health law basically be repealed only in the 18 GOP-led states involved in this legal challenge.

"I think we would have to evaluate whether we've been the victim of a bait and switch," said Kyle Hawkins, the Solicitor General in the state of Texas, about that idea.

Judge Engelhardt vented his own frustration at the Congress, saying lawmakers should be working with the President to fix problems with the Affordable Care Act, without the need for judicial intervention.

"There's a political solution here," said Engelhardt, as the judge snapped his fingers to indicate he thought there could be speedy legislative action on health care reforms in Congress, which could be sent to the President for his signature.

That idea was met with skepticism by U.S. House Counsel Douglas Letter.

"And obviously the President would sign that, right?" said Letter, as with a heavy dose of sarcasm in his voice, he answered his own question about getting a deal with Mr. Trump.

"No, obviously not," Letter added, amid the sound of laughter and chuckles in the court.

The exchange reminded me of one at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015, during arguments about getting rid of the subsidies for the Obama health law, when Justice Antonin Scalia said he expected that if the court struck down that part of the law, then lawmakers would swiftly move to fix the situation.

"This Congress?" deadpanned the Solicitor General, Donald Verilli, as the audience roared with laughter, signifying the disbelief that lawmakers could reach a bipartisan deal on anything related to health care.

As with those arguments, both sides now must wait for a ruling from the three judge panel - to see whether the case will go back to lower courts, or up the chain to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • President Trump continues his public criticism of House democrats Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. He tweets, “The “Squad” is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart. They are pulling the once great Democrat Party far left, and were against humanitarian aid at the Border...And are now against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!” These comments come after President Trump last week said those four freshman House Democrats should 'go back to the crime infested places' from which they came. This also comes after a crowd at a Trump campaign rally in North Carolina chanted 'send her back.
  • A California woman and her boyfriend have been charged in connection with their newborn son’s death after investigators learned they strangled the boy at the hospital shortly after he was born, authorities said. Andrea Torralba, 20, and David Villa, 21, both of Oxnard, are being held in the Ventura County Jail on suspicion of felony assault on a child causing death, Oxnard Police Department officials said. Jail records show Villa, who is described as a field worker, is being held in lieu of $5 million. ABC 7 in Los Angeles reported that Torralba’s bail was set at $1 million. >> Read more trending news  Oxnard police investigators said officers were called just before 8 a.m. Friday to St. John’s Medical Center, where they learned a newborn boy was in critical condition with serious injuries. The boy was found unresponsive and despite all medical efforts, he died of his injuries. Detectives from the department’s Family Protection Unit learned that Torralba and Villa strangled the newborn until he lost consciousness, police officials said. Oxnard police Sgt. Brandon Ordelheide told ABC 7 that the couple, when questioned by detectives, admitted they did not want the baby. Both were arrested and charged in the boy’s death.
  • Police have apprehended an Ohio man accused of stabbing and setting fire to two women in a Willoughby Hills home before leaving with three young children, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  According to WEWS-TV, 27-year-old Allen Crawford bound, stabbed and burned the women – one of whom is the mother of his children – Saturday afternoon at the Willoughby Hills Towers, police said. He then fled the scene with the children, who are 2, 4 and 5 years old, authorities said. Shortly after 5 p.m., one woman broke free and called police, the TV station reported. Both women, who suffered critical injuries, were flown to a nearby hospital, authorities said. Crawford took the children to his mother's Cleveland home before turning himself in around 9 p.m., police told WEWS. All three were safe.  Information about what charges Crawford may face was not immediately available. Read more here.
  • A tropical wave churning off shore has a low chance of developing further into a tropical system this upcoming week. This system could potentially bring a surge in moisture to Florida.  Considering its position, movement and forward speed, this tropical wave is expected to be near or at our latitude by Tuesday.  As for Monday's forecast, WFTV Channel 9 meteorologist Brian Shields said there's 50 percent chance of scattered rain and storms, mainly in the afternoon. The high temperature will still be toasty, clocking in at 93. By Tuesday, the few models currently available forecast the tropical system to be parallel to Central Florida. How close to Central Florida will it be? That will all depend on the high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean.  Currently, we are monitoring this wave closely. The wave seems to be moving fast toward Florida, not giving it time to further develop as it gets close to Florida. We can expect high rain chances to start the week, especially Tuesday.  Temperatures will remain seasonably hot, with highs in the low 90s and lows in the mid-70s.
  • Bud Light is getting on the fun surrounding the 'Area 51 raid' that's been in the news recently. First, the brand distanced itself, tweeting, 'We'd like to be the first brand to formally announce that we will not be sponsoring the Area 51 raid' early last week. But on Thursday (July 17th) Bud Light changed its tune, tweeting, 'Screw it. Free Bud Light to any alien that makes it out.' They followed that by announcing a special edition beer, the Area 51 Special Edition. The top of the can reads, 'Greetings Earthlings. This is the famous Area 51. We know of no space beer by any other life form which is brewed and aged to be more refreshing. Our cryogenic aging produces a light-bodied space lager with a fresh tastes, a crisp, clean finish, and a smooth drinkability. Take us to your leader...for drinks.

Washington Insider

  • In a dramatic expansion of a process known as 'expedited removal' of illegal immigrants in the United States, the Trump Administration will start applying that everywhere in the United States - to anyone who has been in the U.S. illegally for less than two years - as critics quickly said they would challenge the change in federal court. 'The effect of that change will be to enhance national security and public safety,' the Department of Homeland Security states in a new rule set to go into effect on Tuesday, which the notice says will allow 'DHS to address more effectively and efficiently the large volume of aliens who are present in the United States unlawfully.' Up until this change, expedited removal was only used for illegal immigrants who were detained within 100 miles of the border - now it can be enforced anywhere in the U.S. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Trump Administration argues the Acting Homeland Security Secretary has the 'sole and unreviewable discretion' to change 'the scope of the expedited removal designation,' shifting it from the 100 mile policy to one that applies nationwide. Critics denounced the immigration policy change, with some vowing to challenge the move in court. 'One of the major problems with expedited removal is that the immigration officer making the decision virtually has unchecked authority,' said the American Immigration Council, as the process does not involve an immigration judge or any type of court hearing. 'We will sue to end this policy quickly,' said Omar Jadwat of the American Civil Liberties Union, who charged that deportations could occur with 'less due process than people get in traffic court.' 'This is a massive and dangerous change,' said Aaron Reichlin-Melnick of the American Immigration Council, which is joining in the ACLU legal challenge to the new policy. The announcement marked the second straight week that the Trump Administration had rolled out a new immigration policy - last Monday, the feds announced a new plan to restrict asylum claims by migrants from Central America. Those plans are also facing a legal challenge from the ACLU and other groups.