things you need to know now
Trump threatens to take 'common sense' immigration order to SCOTUS
President Trump on Tuesday said he would take his immigration executive order all the way to the Supreme Court if he continues to face challenges from the nation's courts. "We're going to take it through the system," Trump told reporters at a White House event with local sheriffs. "It's very important for the country." Last week, a federal judge temporarily suspended Trump's ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries entering the U.S. The Department of Defense has filed a defense of the order, and on Tuesday the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments to decide whether Trump's order can stand. The attorneys general of Washington and Minnesota say reinstating the ban would cause "chaos," but Trump insisted Tuesday that the ban is "common sense," and said "hopefully it doesn't have to" go all the way to the Supreme Court.
Source: The Washington Post
2. Vice President Mike Pence breaks Senate deadlock to confirm Betsy DeVos
The Senate voted 51-50 to confirm President Donald Trump's education secretary nominee, Betsy DeVos, on Tuesday. Vice President Mike Pence stepped in to break a 50-50 deadlock that occurred after the upper chamber's 48 Democrats voted along party lines and were joined by Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska). Pence's vote was the first time in U.S. history a vice president has ever been called on to tip a Cabinet confirmation vote. On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called DeVos the "least qualified nominee in a historically unqualified Cabinet." Republicans have called the billionaire school-voucher proponent the kind of reformer the education system needs.
Source: The New York Times, CNN
3. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to grant easement for Dakota Access Pipeline
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will grant an easement to finish the Dakota Access Pipeline, Reuters reports, based on court filings Tuesday. The controversial $3.8 billion pipeline runs through four states and has been heavily protested in North Dakota, where it passes through sacred Standing Rock Sioux lands as well as beneath a tribal water source. In December, under former President Barack Obama, the Army Corps said it would not grant an easement, claiming that "there's more work to do" and "the best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing." Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer confirmed that the decision for the easement was made based on information already available, which is why they will forgo the usual notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.
Source: Reuters, ABC News
4. White House official says administration will continue to call criticism 'fake news' until media lays off
The White House will continue to call media reports "fake news" until reporters stop attacking "a duly elected president," said Sebastian Gorka, a deputy assistant to President Donald Trump. "There is a monumental desire on behalf of the majority of the media ... to attack a duly elected president in the second week of his term," Gorka told conservative radio host Michael Medved on Monday. "That's how unhealthy the situation is and until the media understands how wrong that attitude is, and how it hurts their credibility, we are going to continue to say, 'fake news.' I'm sorry, Michael. That's the reality." Trump's administration has repeatedly deflected criticism with the phrase "fake news," with President Trump on Monday declaring on Twitter that "any negative polls are fake news" and telling CNN reporter Jim Acosta, "You are fake news," when Acosta repeatedly asked him to answer a question at a press conference last month.
5. New England Patriots take to Boston streets for Super Bowl victory parade
The New England Patriots paraded the streets of Boston on Tuesday to celebrate their historic comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Sunday's Super Bowl LI. Despite snowy weather, an estimated 500,000 to 1 million fans were expected to turn out for the Patriots Super Bowl Victory Parade, which departed at 11 a.m. ET from the Hynes Convention Center and made its way through the Boston streets toward City Hall Plaza. Quarterback Tom Brady and his teammates rode in World War II-era vehicles known as "duck boats" as they took turns hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in the air. This is the Patriots' fifth Super Bowl title — but the team fought particularly hard for this win, coming back from a 25-point deficit to win 34-28 in overtime, the first time in NFL history a Super Bowl extended past regulation.
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