Summary

That’s all for today, thanks for following along. Some key links:

  • The supreme court ruled on Friday that Texas abortion providers can sue over the state’s ban on most abortions, but the justices are allowing the law, the strictest such regulation in America to date, to remain in effect.
  • Sonia Sotomayor, the liberal-leaning justice on the US supreme court, said lawmakers in the Republican-controlled legislature of Texas had “substantially suspended a constitutional guarantee: a pregnant woman’s right to control her own body”.
  • The White House said that Biden is “concerned” about the Texas law staying in effect and is “deeply committed” to Roe v Wade.
  • Responding to new inflation figures that cite US inflation at its highest level since 1982, Biden said that inflation is a “real bump in the road” and that current figures are at “the peak of the crisis” with positive change coming.
  • The House select committee investigating the Capitol attack issued new subpoenas on Friday against two Trump White House officials involved in organizing the rally and march that descended into the 6 January insurrection.
  • Some areas in the US are facing shortages of pharmacy staff to administer vaccines.

Updated

US judge blocks Tennessee law that restricted mask requirements

A federal judge has temporarily blocked a Tennessee law that sharply restricts public schools from requiring masks and prohibits local officials from making decisions about quarantines, the Associated Press reports. From the AP:

The lawsuit against the state was filed on behalf of eight students between the ages of seven and 14 who have disabilities and who are deemed by federal health officials as being more vulnerable to serious illness or death if they get Covid-19. The ruling also blocks the law’s provision that says local health and school officials can’t make their own coronavirus quarantining decisions.

“It is also in the public’s interest to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Tennessee’s schools,” Crenshaw wrote in his ruling. “Defendants have proffered absolutely nothing to suggest that any harm would come from allowing individual school districts to determine what is best for their schools, just as they did prior to the enactment of (the law.)”

The judge, the Tennessean reported, raised concerns that the new law “offers no protection to students, let alone those that are disabled”, adding, “This does not serve the public interest ... Allowing children to safely attend school does.”

The AP previously reported that the governor has faced scrutiny for signing the legislation even though his administration had allegedly warned lawmakers that the bill could violate federal disability laws and risk the state losing federal funding.

The journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov received the Nobel peace prize on Friday at a ceremony that Ressa was almost blocked from attending because of travel restrictions related to legal cases filed against her in the Philippines, the Guardian’s Rebecca Ratcliffe reports:

Ressa, 58, the chief executive and co-founder of the online news platform Rappler, praised for exposing abuses of power and growing authoritarianism under the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, is facing charges that could lead to about 100 years in jail. Having been awarded the prize alongside Muratov in October, she was granted permission to attend the ceremony earlier this month by the Philippine court of appeals, which ruled she was not a flight risk.

Muratov, 59, the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, who shared the 2021 Nobel peace prize, was described as one of the most prominent defenders of freedom of speech in Russia today. “Novaya Gazeta is the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the Norwegian Nobel committee, said at the ceremony at Oslo City Hall.

More here:

More US states faced with Covid-19 surges are calling on the National Guard and military personnel to provide assistance at hospitals, the Associated Press reports. From the AP:

People who became sick after refusing to get vaccinated are overwhelming hospitals in certain states, especially in the Northeast and the Upper Midwest. New York, meanwhile, announced a statewide indoor mask order, effective Monday and lasting five weeks through the holiday season.

“We’re entering a time of uncertainty, and we could either plateau here or our cases could get out of control,” governor Kathy Hochul warned Friday.

In Michigan, health director Elizabeth Hertel was equally blunt: “I want to be absolutely clear: You are risking serious illness, hospitalization and even death” without a vaccination.

Johns Hopkins university data shows that the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases in the US rose over the past two weeks to 117,677 by Thursday, compared to 84,756 on 25 November, which was Thanksgiving day, the AP said.

A former Houston police officer has been sentenced to 45 days in jail for his involvement in the 6 January riot at the Capitol:

🚨JAIL TIME🚨 Former @houstonpolice Ofc Tam Pham gets 45 days in prison for misdemeanor #CapitolRiot charge. Judge strongly considered probation but said Pham violated sworn duties to uphold constitution and added air of legitimacy to riot because Pham was police officer at time pic.twitter.com/n7GaKEMh2M

— Eric Flack (@EricFlackTV) December 10, 2021

In September, Pham pleaded guilty to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. He was caught on video saying, “We’re taking the house back,” according to sentencing documents.

Sentencing in 10 minutes in Jan 6 case of former Houston police officer Tam Pham, who admits being unlawfully in Capitol & posing "for a picture in front of a bronze statue of President Gerald Ford in whose arms a flag had been placed that read, “Trump – 2020 – No More Bullsh**” pic.twitter.com/UfCLQ5CVoy

— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) December 10, 2021

Pham had worked for the Houston police department for 18 years, but resigned after the department learned of his involvement, Fox 7 in Texas reported. He was off duty when he was at the Capitol.

Sworn officers from across the country were caught traveling to the Capitol and participating in the protest and entering the Capitol while off duty.

The mother of Austin Tice, the journalist who went missing in Syria in 2012, met today with the White House’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan.

The White House press secretary confirmed the meeting but did not provide reporters with an update on the status of the case: “I can’t give you an assessment. Obviously we’re going to do everything we can,” Jen Psaki said. “It’s our standard practice not to share any specific details about any potential meetings or specific cases out of respect for the families, and to preserve confidentiality.”

Debra Tice criticized Biden earlier in the week in a press conference, McClatchy reported, saying: “We have not been able to get a meeting with him.: “He has never said Austin’s name publicly. And I wonder if he’s allowed himself to forget about Austin. I don’t have any indication otherwise.”

Last week, Axios reported, Sullivan held a Zoom call with families of dozens of hostages after some of them reportedly expressed frustration that they had not yet been able to meet with Biden.

Austin Tice's mother @DebraTice says Secretary Blinken is "all in" on bringing her son home. The hurdle is with the White House.

She hasn't gotten a meeting with Biden yet: "I wonder if he's allowed himself to forget Austin's name." pic.twitter.com/jSyzAQNckE

— Elizabeth Hagedorn (@ElizHagedorn) December 9, 2021

Biden condemns Kellogg's 'attack on the union' amid strike

Hi all – Sam Levin here taking over our live coverage for the rest of the day.

Biden has released a statement on the reports that Kellogg’s is permanently replacing 1,400 workers who have been on strike since October:

Permanently replacing striking workers is an existential attack on the union and its members’ jobs and livelihoods. I have long opposed permanent striker replacements and I strongly support legislation that would ban that practice.

And such action undermines the critical role collective bargaining plays in providing workers a voice and the opportunity to improve their lives while contributing fully to their employer’s success.

The full statement here:

Biden statement on Kellogg pic.twitter.com/boFGNYf2Dl

— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) December 10, 2021

The 1,400 Kellogg’s workers at four plants in the US went on strike after their current union contracts expired. The workers across four plants are represented by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) and produce cereals for brands, including Rice Krispies, Fruit Loops, Frosted Flakes and Raisin Bran, at plants in Michigan, Tennessee, Nebraska and Pennsylvania.

More on the latest developments:

Updated

Summary

That’s it from me today! I’ll be handing over the blog to Sam Levin.

Here’s a summary of today’s events:

  • The Congressional Budget Office has released its score for the Biden administration’s Build Back Better agenda, saying the social package will add $3tn to the US deficit. Democrats dispute the figures.
  • Biden addressed new inflation figures, saying inflation is at ‘peak of the crisis’ and ‘real bump in the road’, but that positive changes in the economy are expected and occurring.
  • The White House said Biden is ‘deeply committed’ to Roe v Wade and ‘concerned’ following a decision by Scotus on the Texas near-total abortion ban.
  • The US supreme court allowed America’s strictest abortion ban, in Texas, to remain in place, even as it permitted clinics to go ahead with legal challenges.
  • Joe Biden spoke at the funeral for Bob Dole at the national cathedral in Washington, DC, calling the former senator “one of our greatest patriots”.
  • The US president wrapped up the two-day inaugural White House summit for democracy, with world leaders attending virtually because of the pandemic, by defending fair elections and a free press.

Updated

Here’s an excerpt from the Guardian’s Hugo Lowell on more information concerning the House investigating committee’s additional subpoenas issued today on the events of 6 January:

The House select committee investigating the Capitol attack on Friday issued new subpoenas against two Trump White House officials involved in organizing the rally and march that descended into the 6 January insurrection, as they inquire into the extent of Donald Trump’s involvement.

The select committee issued orders compelling documents and testimony to Brian Jack, Trump’s former White House director of political affairs, now working for the House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, and Max Miller, a former deputy manager for the Trump campaign.

Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the select committee, said in the subpoena letter for Miller that the panel targeted him as he attended a 4 January meeting with Trump in a private White House dining room about who should speak at the rally on the morning of 6 January.

Miller also communicated with the then deputy secretary of the interior and the then-acting director of the National Park Service to strong-arm career officials, who had declined to allow the rally from taking place on the Ellipse, to reverse course, Thompson said.

Read the full Guardian article here.

Earlier today, Joe Biden said that he will speak to West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin next week, but is unsure if he can get Manchin to support the Biden administration’s Build Back Better bill.

While taking questions at his virtual Summit for Democracy, Biden responded to a question if he could get Manchin to vote for the bill given that inflation is at a record high:

“Well, I don’t know the answer to that. I’m going to be talking to him at the beginning of the week,” answered Biden.

Biden's full answer when asked if he thinks he can get Manchin to vote yes on Build Back Better if inflation is this high: "Well, I don't know the answer to that. I'm going to be talking to him at the beginning of the week..." pic.twitter.com/2yqFZjX9qt

— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) December 10, 2021

Manchin is a key moderate holding up the Biden administration’s Build Back Better agenda, a social spending package, though some democrats don’t think that Manchin is willing to secure a vote on Biden’s agenda by Christmas, according to the Hill.

During today’s press briefing, press secretary Jen Psaki responded to questions on Biden’s comment saying, “this is exactly the time to pass this bill and move it forward so that we can lower costs for the American people”.

Jen Psaki tells @Phil_Mattingly to expect Biden to make the case to West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin "that this is exactly the time to pass this bill and move it forward so that we can lower costs for the American people," next week, hitting Republicans for voting against BBB pic.twitter.com/KxWGGas9mD

— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) December 10, 2021

Updated

When asked if Joe Biden would consider a pardon of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, press secretary Jen Psaki said that Joe Biden is an advocate for free speech and freedom of the press.

Psaki referred questions regarding the Julian Assange case to the justice department, noting that it is still an ongoing case.

Additionally, Psaki responded to an inquiry about how some view prosecuting Assange as an attack on freedom of press, saying “the president has been an advocate for freedom of speech, freedom of press”, also noting the virtual Summit for Democracy the president is wrapping up today.

The questions came after a ruling today that Assange can be extradited to the US to face espionage charges. Here is more on the case from the Guardian’s Ben Quinn:

Julian Assange can be extradited to the US, according to the high court, as it overturned a judgment earlier this year and sparked condemnation from press freedom advocates.

The decision deals a major blow to the WikiLeaks co-founder’s efforts to prevent his extradition to the US to face espionage charges, although his lawyers announced they would seek to appeal.

Two of Britain’s most senior judges found on Friday that a then district judge based her decision earlier this year on the risk of Assange being held in highly restrictive US prison conditions.

In their ruling, they sided with the US authorities after a package of assurances were put forward that Assange would not face those strictest measures unless he committed an act in the future that required them.

Read the full Guardian article here.

Updated

The House select committee overseeing the investigation into the January 6 insurrection just subpoenaed six more people, including an Ohio Congressional candidate who has been backed by Donald Trump.

The committee says that Max Miller, the candidate and former Trump aide, met with Trump two days before the rally held outside the White House to discuss details of the event.

Others included in the subpoena are Brian Jack, a former Trump aide and current adviser to House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, and Ed Martin, an organizer of the “Stop the Steal” rallies that claimed Democrats stole the election.

In a statement, the House select committee say the witnesses “apparently worked to stage the rallies on January 5th and 6th”.

“Some appeared to have had direct communication with the former president regarding the rally at the Ellipse directly preceding the attack on the US Capitol,” the statement reads.

BREAKING: The Committee subpoenas individuals involved in the planning of January 5th and 6th rallies, including individuals who worked directly with the former President:
• Bryan Lewis
• Ed Martin
• Kimberly Fletcher
• Robert “Bobby” Peede, Jr.
• Max Miller
• Brian Jack

— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) December 10, 2021

Biden 'deeply committed' to Roe v Wade and 'concerned' by Scotus decision

Following the Scotus decision on the Texas near-total abortion ban, the White House has said that Biden is “concerned” about the Texas law staying in effect and is “deeply committed” to Roe v Wade.

The White House also said that the ruling today is a reminder that the right to abortion access should be codified.

During a press briefing today, press secretary Jen Psaki spoke on the Scotus ruling today, saying that Biden is concerned that the abortion ban will remain in place.

Psaki also noted “how much these rights are at risk” and the need to legislate on abortion access through Women’s Health Protection Act, which passed the House in September but has been stuck in limbo in the Senate.

Psaki would not say how the bill would get passed through the Senate, saying there was nothing new to add on that.

Pres. Biden is ‘very concerned’ about the Supreme Court allowing Texas’ abortion ban to remain in place, said press secretary Jen Psaki. She added that the ruling is a reminder of ‘how much these rights are at risk.’ pic.twitter.com/CaRtDkP1fC

— NowThis (@nowthisnews) December 10, 2021

Psaki also said that a statement on the ruling on Biden’s behalf will be coming shortly as Biden spent most of the day at a memorial for former US senator Bob Dole.

Updated

Biden addresses new inflation figures, says inflation at 'peak of the crisis' and 'real bump in the road'

Responding to new inflation figures that cite US inflation at its highest level since 1982, Joe Biden today said that inflation is a “real bump in the road” and that current figures are at “the peak of the crisis” with positive change coming.

During questions following closing remarks at his virtual Summit for Democracy, Biden responded to a question from a CNN reporter about inflation, saying that US consumers are seeing the peak.

“I think you’ll see it change sooner, quicker, more rapidly than people think. Every other aspect of the economy is racing ahead,” said Biden.

President Biden takes a question from @kaitlancollins on whether we’re seeking the peak of inflation:

“I think you’ll see it change sooner, quicker, more rapidly than people think. Every other aspect of the economy is racing ahead.” pic.twitter.com/nIZEcOmlRX

— Joey Garrison (@joeygarrison) December 10, 2021

Earlier today, Biden provided a statement in response to new inflation figures, noting that prices for several goods are coming down, reported Bloomberg:

“Today’s numbers reflect the pressures that economies around the world are facing as we emerge from a global pandemic -- prices are rising,” Biden said in a statement after a Labor Department report showed a 6.8% annual gain in the consumer price index in November...

Biden said that “half of the price increases in this report are in cars and energy costs from November” and that since then, prices have begun to slide in both sectors.

“Even with this progress, price increases continue to squeeze family budgets,” he said. “We are making progress on pandemic related challenges to our supply chain which make it more expensive to get goods on shelves, and I expect more progress on that in the weeks ahead.”

Read the Bloomberg article here (paywall).

Updated

Biden promoted the Freedom to Vote act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement act during his closing remarks at the virtual Summit for Democracy, saying that Congress will get the bills passed.

“The sacred right to vote, to vote freely, the right to have your vote counted, is the threshold liberty for democracy,” said Biden. “Without it, virtually nothing’s possible.”

Biden did not mention how the two key voting rights bills will get passed, as disdain mounts among voting rights advocates who say Biden is failing on addressing voting rights.

The Guardian’s Sam Levine has covered anger towards the Biden administration among voting rights advocates with many noting that “time is running out” to get key legislation passed:

Updated

Joe Biden will now be giving remarks for the last day of his virtual Summit for Democracy event that began yesterday.

Joe Biden delivers remarks, as Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State listens on, at the virtual Summit for Democracy at the White House in Washington, D.C.
Joe Biden delivers remarks, as Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State listens on, at the virtual Summit for Democracy at the White House in Washington, D.C. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

The Associated Press reported earlier that Biden will be focusing on election integrity and bolstering independent media during the today’s half of the summit.

Press secretary Jen Psaki will be holding a press briefing afterwards.

More information on what Biden said during the first day of the summit is available here in a piece written by the Guardian’s Julian Borger, Sam Levine and Shah Meer Baloch.

Updated

Interim summary

It’s been a lively morning in US politics, stay tuned for all the latest coverage this afternoon, too.

Here’s where things stand:

  • The Congressional Budget Office has released its score for the Biden administration’s Build Back Better agenda, saying the social package will add $3tn to the US deficit. Democrats dispute the figures.
  • Joe Biden spoke at the funeral for Bob Dole at the national cathedral in Washington, DC, calling the former senator “one of our greatest patriots”.
  • The supreme court allowed America’s strictest abortion ban, in Texas, to remain in place, even as it permitted clinics to go ahead with legal challenges.
  • The US president planned to wrap up the two-day inaugural White House summit for democracy, with world leaders attending virtually because of the pandemic, by defending fair elections and a free press.

Updated

Congressional Budget Office: Build Back Better will add $3tn to deficit

The Congressional Budget Office has released their score for the Biden administration’s Build Back Better agenda, saying the social package will add $3tn to the US deficit.

The GOP-requested estimate, available here, provides data for programs in areas like housing, child care, and other social initiatives that Democrats say they have not committed to making permanent, reports Politico. Democrats have also said that any future extensions for programs will be fully offset.

Republicans are hoping that these new estimates will entice moderates like Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia to help stop the spending package, but Democrats have pushed back, saying that estimates are in response to a bill that hasn’t been finalized, with majority leader Chuck Schumer calling the scores “fake.”

Updated

Coming as a surprise to almost no one, Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas was reportedly not wearing a facial mask during the memorial service despite rising cases of Covid-19 nationwide and several older attendees present.

Almost everyone else is wearing a mask at Bob Doles funeral, but not ….. pic.twitter.com/dcElYHhgVU

— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) December 10, 2021

For more information on rising Covid-19 cases and concerns sparked by the Omicron variant, check out the Guardian’s Eric Berger piece linked below.

In other news, Joe Biden has just wrapped up speaking at the memorial for former US senator Bob Dole which started at 11 am ET.

“My fellow Americans, America has lost one of our greatest patriots,” said Biden.

“Jill and I will always be there for you... as you and Bob were always there for us in ways nobody knows.”

Speaking to former Sen. Bob Dole's wife and daughter during his eulogy of the longtime statesman, Pres. Biden says, "Jill and I will always be there for you... as you and Bob were always there for us in ways nobody knows." https://t.co/bB2f4FFZV5 pic.twitter.com/Pdl36hZzki

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 10, 2021

During the eulogy, Biden spoke about Dole’s willingness to go against his own party, helping pass initiatives such as creating a federal holiday to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to continue funding Amtrak.

Pres. Biden: "Over the opposition of many in his own party—and some in mine—he managed to...create a federal holiday in the name of Martin Luther King, Jr."

"Bob Dole—Bob Dole did that." https://t.co/x9IGonh92g pic.twitter.com/NF35SnFajF

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 10, 2021

Pres. Biden remembers when Bob Dole angered his party by casting deciding vote to continue Amtrak funding.

"My guess is he was asked why? Why would you do that? He says, 'It's the best to get Joe Biden the hell out of here at night." https://t.co/x9IGonh92g pic.twitter.com/ciGrdNj0pv

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 10, 2021

Biden also spoke on Dole’s service during World War II, saying:

“There’s something that connects that past and present, wartime and peace, then and now: the courage, the grit, the goodness and the grace of 2nd Lt. named Bob Dole.”

Recounting Bob Dole's heroism during World War Two, Pres. Biden says "There's something that connects that past and present, wartime and peace, then and now: the courage, the grit, the goodness and the grace of 2nd Lt. named Bob Dole." https://t.co/fguG7NUC8I pic.twitter.com/EF1VVjCQO5

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 10, 2021

“Bob was taking his final journey. He’s sitting back now, watching us. Now it’s our job to start standing up for what’s right for America. I salute you my friend, your nation salutes you,” said Biden during the eulogy.

A number of pro-choice advocacy groups have reacted to the SCOTUS decision.

Planned Parenthood tweeted out a statement, saying:

The Supreme Court has once again failed to put an end to Texas’s bounty hunting scheme and protect our constitutional rights. They have failed to bring relief to Texas patients and providers who’ve suffered for 100 days under this unconstitutional law. We’ll keep fighting.

The Supreme Court has once again failed to put an end to Texas’s bounty hunting scheme and protect our constitutional rights. They have failed to bring relief to Texas patients and providers who’ve suffered for 100 days under this unconstitutional law. We’ll keep fighting. https://t.co/7YiI3z2kQU

— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) December 10, 2021

NARAL Pro-Choice also posted a number of tweets about the decision, explaining what the ruling meant and the impact that Texas’s abortion ban has had on those seeking abortion care.

#SB8 has caused untold harm—forcing those who can afford it to travel out of state for the care they need, and those who can’t to remain pregnant against their will. As it stands, SB 8 makes accessing abortion care in Texas nearly impossible. And #SCOTUS should have blocked it.

#SB8 has caused untold harm—forcing those who can afford it to travel out of state for the care they need, and those who can’t to remain pregnant against their will. As it stands, SB 8 makes accessing abortion care in Texas nearly impossible. And #SCOTUS should have blocked it.

— NARAL (@NARAL) December 10, 2021

The American Civil Liberties Union shared a statement via Twitter concerning the ruling:

BREAKING: The Supreme Court has once again failed to block Texas’s extreme abortion ban. Make no mistake: SB8 continues to wreak havoc on people’s lives every additional day it’s in effect. More to come on what this means from our legal experts soon.

BREAKING: The Supreme Court has once again failed to block Texas’s extreme abortion ban.

Make no mistake: SB8 continues to wreak havoc on people's lives every additional day it's in effect.

More to come on what this means from our legal experts soon.

— ACLU (@ACLU) December 10, 2021

The National Organization for Women called the decision a “partial win for reproductive freedom” while providing an explanation of the SCOTUS ruling.

BREAKING: #SCOTUS has not overturned SB8, the Texas restrictive abortion law, but has allowed Texas lower courts to hear cases challenging this unconstitutional law. This is a partial win for reproductive freedom! #BansOffOurBodies

— National NOW (@NationalNOW) December 10, 2021

Democratic Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington, who has spoken about her own experience getting an abortion with other congressional democrats, has reacted to the SCOTUS decision.

“By allowing this cruel abortion ban to remain in effect, SCOTUS is turning a blind eye to the direct attacks on the rights of pregnant people in Texas and across America,” said Jayapal on Twitter following the decision. In the same tweet, Jayapal encouraged the US Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, writing, “Enough of the political games.”

By allowing this cruel abortion ban to remain in effect, SCOTUS is turning a blind eye to the direct attacks on the rights of pregnant people in Texas and across America.

Enough of the political games — it’s imperative that the Senate pass the Women’s Health Protection Act now. https://t.co/GWGgeoIzz8

— Pramila Jayapal (@PramilaJayapal) December 10, 2021

Previously, Jayapal has spoken about her decision to terminate a pregnancy after experiencing severe postpartum depression following a previous pregnancy.

“Whether the choice to have an abortion is easy or hard, whether there are traumatic situations or not, none of that should be the issue. It is simply nobody’s business what choices we as pregnant people make about our own bodies,” said Jayapal back in September.

Here is a breakdown of the effects of the SCOTUS ruling on the Texas abortion ban from Steven Vladeck, a legal scholar with the University of Texas School of Law.

#BREAKING: By 8-1 vote, #SCOTUS holds that Texas abortion providers *can* challenge #SB8 by suing *some* state licensing officials in federal court, but by a 5-4 vote, the Court does *not* allow their suit to go forward against state court clerks:https://t.co/eHQZNbnKpy

— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) December 10, 2021

Vladeck, along with other experts, also discussed the implications of the decision.

Beyond the implications for pregnant people in Texas, this is perhaps the most alarming feature of today's decision.

Instead of disincentivizing states from playing such procedural games with our constitutional rights going forward, #SCOTUS has provided a blueprint for doing so. https://t.co/bBedHtCgQ1

— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) December 10, 2021

Here’s a take from Joyce Alene, former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.

The only clarity in today's abortion ruling is about how fractured the Court is on this issue. SB8 remains in effect in Texas. Abortion rights are severely restricted. No reason to believe it won't get worse when the Court decides Dobbs, where it will reverse or gut Roe v. Wade.

— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) December 10, 2021

Lawrence Hurley, a Reuters reporter who covers the U.S. Supreme Court and related issues, also provided additional context for the decision as well as a breakdown of Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s partial dissent.

Justice Sotomayor, dissenting in part, blasts colleagues for failing to "put an end to this madness" and says other states could still copy Texas b/c court isn't allowing AG or state court judges to be sued

— Lawrence Hurley (@lawrencehurley) December 10, 2021

This ruling on the Texas abortion case is separate from the pivotal case about a Mississippi law that is a direct challenge to Roe v Wade.

The Supreme court heard arguments on the Mississippi law case last week, with conservative justices, who have a supermajority in the court, signaling that they are leaning towards curbing abortion access in the future across the country. A decision on that case is not expected til the summer.

Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren reacts to the recent SCOTUS decision that leaves the Texas abortion ban in effect but allows providers to sue.

In a tweet posted shortly after the decision, Warren echoed sentiments of many pro-choice advocates at the SCOTUS decision that allows the abortion ban to remain in place.

“While SCOTUS has allowed challenges to SB 8 to proceed, it’s outrageous that the Court has again decided not to block Texas’ unconstitutional abortion ban,” tweeted Warren. “More Texans are harmed every day this law is allowed to stand. The Senate must pass the Women’s Health Protection Act.”

While SCOTUS has allowed challenges to SB 8 to proceed, it's outrageous that the Court has again decided not to block Texas' unconstitutional abortion ban. More Texans are harmed every day this law is allowed to stand. The Senate must pass the Women's Health Protection Act.

— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 10, 2021

Court won't stop abortion ban but votes to allow providers to sue over Texas law

In a blow to pro-choice advocates and those seeking abortion services, the US supreme court won’t stop the Texas near-total abortion ban from being enforced, but has voted to allow abortion providers to sue over the state’s abortion ban.

BREAKING: The Supreme Court allows abortion clinics to continue to pursue their challenge to Texas' near-total ban on abortions.https://t.co/uIydz88kz8

— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) December 10, 2021

The law, known as Senate Bill 8, bans the procedure after roughly six weeks gestation or before most women know they are pregnant.

The outcome is, in the best case, a partial victory for pro-choice advocates and abortion providers, says the Associated Press.

The law has been in place since 1 September.

More details, including reactions to the ruling, coming shortly.

Updated

Prices for US consumers in November increased by 6.8%, with US inflation hitting its highest level since 1982.

The Labor Department also reported that between October to November, prices jumped by 0.8%.

The rising cost of goods has put greater economic pressure on people across all incomes, especially for lower-income households. Everyday goods such as food and gas have also become more expensive, according to tracking indexes.

Rising inflation has also mitigated the impact of higher wages many workers have received, complicating the Federal Reserve’s plans to reduce its aid for the US economy and coinciding with flailing public approval rates for Joe Biden, reports the Associated Press.

Experts say that ongoing inflation in the US is due to a number of factors: increased government stimulus, continued supply shortages, and low rates manufactured by the Federal Reserve, reports AP.

For more news on US inflation, follow the Guardian’s business blog here.

Joe Biden will close out his virtual Summit for Democracy today with remarks about electoral integrity, fighting against foreign interference in elections, and bolstering independent media.

Joe Biden delivers remarks at Summit for Democracy at the White House, Washington, District of Columbia, USA.
Joe Biden delivers remarks at Summit for Democracy at the White House, Washington, District of Columbia, USA. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

Yesterday, on the first day, Biden announced a plan for the US to spend up to $424mn to support independent media around the world, anti-corruption work, and other initiatives.

Here’s more on what happened during the first day from the Guardian’s Julian Borger, Sam Levine and Shah Meer Baloch:

Facing video links with 80 world leaders arrayed on two oversize electronic panels, the US president said: “This is an urgent matter on all our parts, in my view, because the data we’re seeing is largely pointing in the wrong direction.”

Biden cited studies that found that global freedom has now been in retreat for 15 consecutive years and that more than half of all democracies experienced a decline in the past decade.

He acknowledged that one of those countries in democratic decline was his own. Since the November 2020 elections – the result of which is still not accepted by many supporters of the loser, Donald Trump – voting rights have been under assault from Republicans on the state level, where gerrymandering is still rife, carried out by both Republicans, and to a lesser extent, Democrats.

Biden has been accused by American progressives of hosting a global summit while not doing enough to combat democratic backsliding at home. In New York, activists staged a “funeral for democracy” outside the United Nations, in protest of US voter suppression laws.

Biden also repeatedly spoke on the value of democracies as better vehicles for governance than autocracies, with the ambassadors to the US from Russia and China releasing a joint statement that condemned the Biden administration for adopting a divisive “cold-war mentality.”

The president will be finishing his remarks this afternoon and is scheduled to speak at 1:45 pm ET.

Biden to discuss election integrity and media at close of democracy summit

Good morning, US politics live blog readers! Here’s what’s coming up today:

  • The US president will be closing the virtual Summit for Democracy this afternoon. Biden will be focusing on election integrity and bolstering independent media, reports the Associated Press, with remarks at 1.45pm ET
  • The president, the first lady, Jill Biden, the vice-president, Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff will be attending the memorial service for former US senator Bob Dole at 11 am ET. Biden will share remarks.
  • A supreme court ruling will be coming out today at 10am ET. Most people are expecting a decision on the Texas abortion law.
  • New data out shows that inflation is impacting people across all incomes, reports Axios. The consumer price index for November shows rising inflation despite economic data showing an increase in wages, falling gas prices, and other markers of economic recovery amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Updated

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Sam Levin (now) and Gloria Oladipo (earlier)

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