Here’s what’s happening Tuesday in Election 2020.
TODAY’S TOP STORIES:
BIDEN’S PITCH: President-elect Joe Biden is championing the Obama administration’s signature health care law as it goes before the Supreme Court in a case that could overturn it. Biden is delivering an Affordable Care Act speech on Tuesday, the day the high court will hear arguments on its merits. The Supreme Court ruled eight years ago to leave intact the essential components of the law known as Obamacare, but the court is now controlled 6-3 by a conservative majority. Biden’s speech reflects the importance he is putting on health care as he prepares to take office in January amid the worst pandemic in more than a century.
‘OBAMACARE’ FIGHT: Republican elected officials and the Trump administration are advancing their latest arguments to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, a long-held GOP goal that has repeatedly failed in Congress and the courts. Arguments are scheduled in the Supreme Court’s third major case over the 10-year-old law, popularly known as “Obamacare.” Republican attorneys general in 18 states and the Trump administration want the law to be struck down, which would threaten coverage for more than 23 million people. California is leading a group of Democratic-controlled states that is urging the court to leave the law in place.
TRUMP STALLING: The Trump administration is throwing the presidential transition into tumult. President Donald Trump has fired the Pentagon chief and blocked government officials from cooperating with Biden’s team. Even as Biden began assembling experts to face the surging coronavirus pandemic, the federal agency that needs to greenlight the beginnings of the transition of power held off.
NOT CONCEDING: Losing presidential candidates have conceded to their opponents in private chats, telegrams, phone calls and nationally televised speeches. Al Gore conceded twice in the same race. Trump isn’t expected to concede at all — not even with a tweet. There’s no law that says Trump has to concede, but if he doesn’t, he will be the first presidential candidate in modern times to ignore a tradition that has marked peaceful transitions throughout American history. Most concession speeches are gracious — less about the loser and more about closure for the country.
BARR’S MOVE: Attorney General William Barr authorizes federal prosecutors across the U.S. to pursue “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities, if they exist, before the 2020 presidential election is certified. Barr’s action comes despite little evidence of fraud in Biden’s victory. It also raises the prospect that Trump will use the Justice Department to try to challenge the outcome. Longstanding Justice Department policy would normally prohibit such overt actions before an election is certified.
QUOTABLE: “We could save tens of thousands of lives if everyone would just wear a mask for the next few months. Not Democratic or Republican lives, American lives. Please, I implore you, wear a mask.” — Biden pleading with Americans to put aside their political differences and wear masks to protect themselves and their neighbors from the coronavirus.
‘This is proof’: Biden’s win reveals power of Black voters
Trump faces long odds in challenging state vote counts
Indigenous candidates’ wins in Congress give hope for change
Find AP’s full election coverage at APNews.com/Election2020.
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