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OnPolitics: Juneteenth is officially a federal holiday

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It was a busy day in Washington.

It's Mabinty, with the news of the day.

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The nation's newest federal holiday: Juneteenth

President Biden signed legislation marking Juneteenth, a day commemorating the symbolic end of slavery in the United States, as a federal holiday.

"Great nations don't ignore their most painful moments, they embrace them," Biden said. "In remembering those moments, we begin to heal and grow stronger."

The law took effect immediately after Biden's signature, meaning that federal workers will be allowed to observe the occasion ahead of Saturday.

The legislation first passed in the Senate unanimously Tuesday. It passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives Wednesday. However, 14 Republican representatives voted against it.

A brief overview: Juneteenth, a portmanteau of June and 19th, commemorates June 19, 1865 — the date when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger issued General Order No. 3, informing the Galveston, Texas, community that President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freed enslaved African Americans in rebel states. It’s also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day.

In the wake of 2020's racial reckoning over the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, the celebration of Juneteenth spread outside the African American community. The day also drops into a culture war, as state legislatures attempt to ban school discussions of the long-lasting effects of slavery, systemic racism and critical race theory.

SCOTUS saves Obamacare once more

The Supreme Court turned back another major challenge to the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, allowing the 2010 law to stand despite objections from Republicans who had once again questioned its constitutionality.

After upholding the law in 2012 and again in 2015, the court was faced with a new challenge to the requirement that every American obtain insurance coverage, known as the individual mandate, or pay a penalty.

In a 7-2 ruling, the court held that the conservative states that sued over the law did not have standing to do so because they were not directly harmed. The law had

Who was pleased? Democrats.

Though the court's decision did not touch on the merits of the legal issues raised by the states, Democrats praised it as the latest indication of permanency for the controversial law, a centerpiece of former President Barack Obama's policy agenda.

Who wasn't pleased? Republicans.

Republicans slammed the decision, and the law, noting that the high court didn't address the underlying legal questions in the case.

More news to read:

SCOTUS delivers major blow to LGBTQ rights advocates

A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Catholic foster care agency in Philadelphia may turn away gay and lesbian couples as clients, a victory for conservatives with the potential to shift the balance between LGBTQ rights and the First Amendment's protection of religious exercise.

Read more on the case from USA TODAY Supreme Court reporter John Fritze.

Wishing you a restful weekend! — Mabinty

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Juneteenth is a federal holiday after Biden signs legislation

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