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Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee denied President Trump's request that she change her 2015 ruling on the Flores Settlement, which prevents immigrant children from being kept in detention longer than 20 days, Politico reports.

Bottom line: This was not a surprising decision, but it's a big loss for the Trump administration, which is back where it started in dealing with undocumented migrant families. The only way for Trump to avoid the restrictions on child detention would be a Supreme Court decision — which is unlikely — or for Congress to act, according to former DOJ immigration judge Leon Fresco.

What's next: The Trump administration now has two options in dealing with migrant families:

  1. Release them into the U.S. until their immigration hearings, which the Trump administration has shown no interest in doing.
  2. Keep families in detention together for the legal 20 days, and allow the parents to choose to whether to keep their children with them in detention long term or have them placed in the hands of Health and Human Services while they await their hearing.

Key quote from Judge Gee: "It is apparent that Defendants’ Application is a cynical attempt...to shift responsibility to the Judiciary for over 20 years of Congressional inaction and ill-considered Executive action that have led to the current stalemate."

Go deeper

57 mins ago - Health

CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use"

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

The CDC is urging “universal face mask use” for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, citing recent case spikes as the U.S. has entered a phase of “high-level transmission” before winter officially begins.

Why it matters: Daily COVID-related deaths across the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday. Face coverings have been shown to increase protection of the wearer and those around them, despite some Americans' reluctance to use them.

2 hours ago - World

Saudi Arabia and Qatar near deal to end standoff, sources say

Qatar's prime minister (R) attends the 2019 Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Saudi Arabia. Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are close to a deal to end the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf following U.S.-mediated reconciliation talks this week, sources familiar with the talks tell me.

Why it matters: Restoring relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar would bring a sense of stability back to the Gulf after a 3.5 year standoff. It could also notch a last-minute achievement for the Trump administration before Jan. 20.

House passes bill to decriminalize marijuana

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a longtime marijuana legalization advocate and co-sponsor of the bill. Photo: Pete Marovich For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The House on Friday voted 228-164 in favor of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, marking the first time a congressional chamber has voted in favor of decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level.

Why it matters: The Washington Post describes the bill as a "landmark retreat in the nation’s decades-long war on drugs," which has disproportionately affected people of color.