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Photo: Samuel Corum-Pool via Getty Images

The Justice Department sued Texas on Friday over Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) executive order restricting transportation of undocumented migrants.

Driving the news: The DOJ is asking a federal judge to block the order immediately. It's the latest clash between Texas and President Biden's Justice Department.

State of play: Abbott's order, issued on Wednesday, bars people from providing ground transportation to migrants detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for illegally crossing the border.

  • The move gives the state's Department of Public Safety (DPS) authority to stop and reroute "any vehicle upon reasonable suspicion" of violating the order.
  • Abbott claimed the order is aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus, but the governor has made no move to mandate masks amid the new surge in cases.

Attorney General Merrick Garland urged Abbott to rescind the order one day after it was announced, calling it contrary to federal law.

  • It would "jeopardize the health and safety of noncitizens in federal government custody, federal law enforcement personnel and their families, and our communities," he wrote in a letter.

Abbott fired back earlier Friday, arguing that the Biden administration's failure to enforce immigration laws "directly caused the unprecedented crisis" in Texas.

  • The administration "fundamentally misunderstands what's happening at the border," and is only endangering the lives of both Texans and migrants, he added in a statement.

The big picture: The DOJ and Texas dueled earlier this year over the Biden administration's 100-day deportation moratorium. A federal judge ruled in the state's favor.

Go deeper

Texas redistricting maps "dilute" voting power for people of color, lawsuit argues

The Texas State Capitol building in Austin. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Texas' GOP-led state legislature passed redistricting maps based on the "unconstitutional and unlawful use of race," according to a new lawsuit filed Friday.

Why it matters: The new maps reduce the number of districts with Black and Hispanic majorities and come after recent census figures found that the state's growing and diverse populations don't bode well for Republicans.

Judge tosses out case against Florida's ban on mask mandates

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at a press conference at Neo City Academy in Kissimmee, Florida. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A judge on Friday dismissed a challenge to Florida's ban on mask mandates in schools, finding it within Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis' authority to issue the order.

Why it matters: State officials and educators have been caught in bitter clashes since the law was passed. Florida officials have started to withhold district funding and dock school board salaries in retaliation against school districts that defy the ban.

Updated 7 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.