01-26-2020  1:05 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

PCC Cascade Expands its Food Pantry for Students

The majority of PCC students are food insecure, with up to 15% homeless

Controversial Washington Lawmaker Spreads Views Across West

Republican Rep. Matt Shea was suspended from the Republican caucus in the wake of a December report that found he was involved in anti-government activities and several lawmakers have called on him to resign, something he says he will not do

2020 Census Begins in Remote Toksook Bay, Alaska

Census takers begin counting remainder of 220 remote Alaska villages as part of national headcount

St. Andrew Parish Presents 2020 Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards

The awards are given to people whose service embodies the values of Dr. King, who used nonviolence, civil disobedience, and Christian teaching to advance the cause of civil rights in America

NEWS BRIEFS

States Sue Trump Administration Over New 3D-Printed Gun Rule

The administration’s latest rule allows 3D-printed gun files to be released on the internet ...

Shari's Restaurants Celebrate National Pie Day

Receive a free slice of pie with any entrée purchase at participating Shari's locations from 4 p.m. till 10 p.m. on Thursday, Jan....

Nashville Airport Store Seeks Works by African American Authors

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Annual “Salute to Greatness” Luncheon Celebrating Students, Community & Civic Leaders

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Grant High School Students to Read Their Own Work at Broadway Books

Local author and writing instructor Joanna Rose will lead thegroup of young writers at the event to be held on Wednesday, January 22 ...

Police: Oregon pair got kids "blasted" on marijuana

TALENT, Ore. (AP) — A couple in Oregon has been arrested after police say they got two 13-year-olds high on marijuana at their home and then sent text messages to friends bragging about it.Lindsey Ann Monda, 38, and her boyfriend Jason Michael Dunn, 46, taught Monda's two children how to use...

Idaho wildlife officials criticized for elk hunt

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Officials at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are being criticized for taking part in a research project that led to the killing of 206 elk across southern Idaho from Pocatello to Nampa in an attempt to learn more about how to control damage from elk herds.The...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

How Putting Purpose Into Your New Year’s Resolutions Can Bring Meaning and Results

Only 4% of people report following through on all of the resolutions they personally set ...

I Was Just Thinking… Mama in the Classroom

I wrote my first column in 1988 for a local newspaper about a beloved Dallas guidance counselor and teacher that most students called “Mama” ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Simmons doc, sans Oprah, receives huge ovation at Sundance

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Without Oprah or Apple, the Russell Simmons documentary “On the Record” went ahead with its premiere Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival, where the women who came forward with sexual assault allegations against the hip-hop mogul received one of the...

France reports 27% increase in anti-Semitic acts

PARIS (AP) — Anti-Semitic acts increased in France last year by 27%, acts against Muslims inched higher while anti-Christian acts remained stable but highest of all, France’s interior minister said Sunday, denouncing the situation as intolerable.On top of that, acts described as...

Georgia inmate who came close to execution in 2017 dies

ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia death row inmate whose planned execution was halted in September 2017 by the U.S. Supreme Court after his lawyers argued his death sentence was tainted by a juror's racial bias has died, according to the state Department of Corrections.Keith “Bo”...

ENTERTAINMENT

Rapper YG arrested in Los Angeles on suspicion of robbery

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rapper YG was arrested Friday at his Los Angeles home on suspicion of robbery just two days before he is scheduled to perform at the Grammy Awards, officials said.Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies took YG, whose real name is Keenon Jackson, into custody at his...

Actress Rosie Perez says she was told of Weinstein rape

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Khashoggi documentary 'The Dissident' lands at Sundance

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — A searing documentary about the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi made its anticipated debut at the Sundance Film Festival, unveiling a detailed investigation into the Saudi Arabia regime and the companies and governments that do business with...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Survivor in Slovenia turns 100 on Holocaust Remembrance Day

RAKEK, Slovenia (AP) — For Marija Frlan it's as symbolic as it can get: A survivor of a Nazi concentration...

Iraqi protesters defy top cleric and return to the streets

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Trump peace plan could boost embattled Israeli leader

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Burundi's ruling party picks general as presidential hopeful

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Burundi's ruling party has chosen an army general to be its candidate in the...

Dutch premier issues historic apology at Holocaust memorial

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte apologized Sunday for the failure of officials in the...

Zelenskiy marks Auschwitz anniversary honoring survivors

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McMenamins
By The Skanner News

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul hit its first major legal roadblock Monday, thrown into doubt by a federal judge's declaration that the heart of the sweeping legislation is unconstitutional. The decision handed Republican foes ammunition for their repeal effort next year as the law heads for almost certain eventual judgment by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Skanner News Video here

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, a Republican appointee in Richmond, Va., marked the first successful court challenge to any portion of the new law, following two earlier rulings in its favor by Democratic-appointed judges.

The law's central requirement for nearly all Americans to carry insurance is unconstitutional, well beyond Congress' power to mandate, Hudson ruled, agreeing with the argument of Virginia's Republican attorney general — and many of the GOP lawmakers who will take control of the U.S. House in January. Hudson denied Virginia's request to strike down the law in its entirety or block it from being implemented while his ruling is appealed by the Obama administration.

"An individual's personal decision to purchase — or decline to purchase — health insurance from a private provider is beyond the historical reach of the Commerce Clause," said Hudson, a 2002 appointee of President George W. Bush.

Nevertheless, the White House predicted it would prevail in the Supreme Court, although it may be a year or two before the health care law gets there. The next step for the Virginia lawsuit is the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, where Democratic-appointed judges hold a majority.

In an interview with television station WFLA in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, Obama emphasized that other judges had either found the law constitutional or dismissed lawsuits against it.

"Keep in mind this is one ruling by one federal district court. We've already had two federal district courts that have ruled that this is definitely constitutional," Obama said. "You've got one judge who disagreed. That's the nature of these things."

But in the short term, the latest court ruling hands potent ammunition to GOP opponents as they prepare to assert control in the new Congress with promises to repeal the law. Obama in turn has promised to veto any repeal legislation and appears likely to be able to prevail since Democrats retain control of the Senate. Republicans also have discussed trying to starve the law of funding.

Whatever the eventual outcome, Monday's ruling could create uncertainty around the administration's efforts to gradually put into effect the landmark legislation extending health coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans. And it can only increase the public's skepticism, which has not significantly receded in the months since the law's enactment, defying Obama's prediction that it would become more popular as the public got to know it.

Obama aides said implementation would not be affected, noting that the individual insurance requirement and other major portions of the legislation don't take effect until 2014.

Underscoring the potential for Hudson's ruling to become a political cudgel for the new Republican House majority, incoming House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, quickly cautioned states against "investing time and resources in Obamacare's implementation now that its central mandate has been ruled unconstitutional."

"Republicans have made a pledge to America to repeal this job-killing health care law, and that's what we're going to do," said Boehner. Calls to repeal the law were a staple of tea party campaign rallies this year.

Other lawsuits are going forward, including one by 20 states that gets under way Thursday in Florida. That suit also challenges whether the federal government can require states to expand their Medicaid programs.

The suit that was decided on Monday had gained a high profile because it was pursued by Virginia's outspoken attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli. The two earlier cases decided in favor of the administration were brought by little-known legal entities.

In his ruling, Hudson largely agreed with Cuccinelli's argument that Congress exceeded its authority, and he dismissed the Justice Department's argument that the insurance-buying requirement would come under the definition of regulating interstate commerce, a power given to Congress by the Constitution.

The mandate for people to buy insurance "is neither within the letter nor the spirit of the Constitution," the judge said.

Hudson limited his ruling to striking down the so-called individual mandate, leaving intact other portions of the law — something supporters cast as a victory. But administration officials and outside analysts agree that important provisions of the legislation could not go forward without the requirement for everyone to be insured. That's because insurers need to have large pools of healthy people, who are cheap to insure, or it is not financially tenable for them to extend coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition or guarantee certain policies to nearly all comers.

Some provisions of the law took effect in September, six months after its passage, including free preventive care, an elimination of lifetime limits on coverage and a requirement for insurers to allow adult children to stay on their parents' health plans until age 26.

Hudson recognized that his would not be the last word on the subject.

"The final word will undoubtedly reside with a higher court," he wrote.

White House health reform director Nancy-Ann DeParle said the administration is encouraged by the two other judges — in Virginia and Michigan — who have upheld the law. She said the Justice Department is reviewing Hudson's ruling.

In contrast to Hudson's ruling, the judges in Michigan and Virginia, both appointed by President Bill Clinton, said the purchase requirement was allowable under the Constitution.

Associated Press writer Larry O'Dell contributed to this report from Richmond, Va.

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