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Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris during a Judiciary Committee hearing. Photo: Tom Williams/Pool/Getty Images

A group of Senate Democrats introduced legislation Friday that would make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

The big picture: 46 states and the District of Columbia recognize the holiday commemorating the end of slavery, but legislation to declare it a paid federal holiday has repeatedly stalled in Congress, according to the Congressional Research Service.

  • Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) were behind the move.
  • Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said on the Senate floor Thursday that he also planned to introduce similar legislation.
  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) also put forth a resolution asking the House to recognize the holiday.

Why it matters: It's yet another tangible effect of the Black Lives Matter protests across the country, highlighting their ability to fast-track societal changes and recognition.

Go deeper

Updated Sep 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

House Democrats and Trump admin strike deal to avert government shutdown

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

The House on Tuesday passed legislation to fund the government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 359-57.

Why it matters: The bill's passage comes shortly after House Democrats and the Trump administration struck an agreement on the short-term legislation, averting the threat of a government shutdown when funding expires in eight days.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.