News in Brief: DREAM Act in Jeopardy, and More

DREAM Act in Jeopardy

The Hill reports that the DREAM Act, which would help children of illegal immigrants gain citizenship in the United States, faces an uphill climb in the lame-duck Senate session. Many GOP senators are promising to vote no on the bill, including Orrin Hatch and Kay Bailey Hutchinson. Hatch spokeswoman Antonia Ferrier on Friday said, “Everything’s a ‘no’ until the tax issue is resolved.” Democrat Sens. Ben Nelson and Jon Tester have also implied their opposition to the DREAM Act.

Prop 8 Heads to Court Again

The debate over marriage equality is back in federal court in California, The Sacramento Bee reports. The three-judge panel in San Francisco will hear arguments for and against the historic ruling that banned gay marriage in the state, including whether Prop. 8 supporters even have the right to defend voter-approved laws. Both Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gov.-elect Jerry Brown have refused to defend the measure.

Biggest Employment Discrimination Case in US History Set to Begin

According to The New York Times, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal in the biggest employment discrimination case in US history today, as Wal-Mart stands accused of widespread sexist practices, denying hundreds of thousands of women promotions and pay raises. The court’s decision on whether the individual claims can be combined into a class action lawsuit will likely affect similar cases in the future.

Obama Planning to Cave on Tax Cuts

After promising to side with Democrats, Obama is preparing to cave on Bush-era tax cuts and allow their continued extension, according to The Nation. Congressional Democrats faltered in the tax debate from the beginning by failing to prepare an overall strategy for new middle-class tax cuts; as the GOP gained momentum, the Obama administration had to cater to the “political theater” that the issue had become. Although the decision has not yet been made, extending tax cuts for the wealthy will cost $60 billion a year.