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People protest against repealing the ACA. Photo: Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Blue states are already defending the Affordable Care Act in court against red states’ latest legal challenge. Now Maryland has taken it a step further, filing what amounts to a competing lawsuit.

The details: Texas, the leader of the red states’ lawsuit, says the ACA’s individual mandate has become unconstitutional, and that the whole law should fall as a result. He asked a federal court to issue an injunction that would prevent the entire law from being enforced as a result.

  • Maryland filed its own lawsuit yesterday seeking an injunction that would require the Trump administration to enforce the ACA.

What to watch: "Depending on how quickly the Maryland case moves, it’s possible we could see dueling injunctions — one ordering the Trump administration to stop enforcing the law, the other ordering it to keep enforcing," ACA legal expert Nick Bagley writes.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.