As Judge Rules Obamacare Unconstitutional, Democrats Seethe, Republicans Stay Mum

President Trump called a Friday ruling striking down the Affordable Care Act "Great news for America!" Democratic lawmakers rushed to decry the decision, calling it " monstrous " and " harmful ." And Republican lawmakers remained mostly quiet Saturday. U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor explained that his decision turned on a 2017 congressional tax bill, which eliminated a penalty for people who don't acquire health insurance. Without the fine, the ruling says, the ACA is...

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Ever feel like you want to ask a question, but you hold back because you think the question is stupid or you will look silly asking it? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss getting past those barriers that keep us from asking what's on our mind.

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

Ryan Zinke is out as secretary of the interior.

Zinke will be leaving the Trump administration at the end of the year; his successor is expected to be announced next week.

On Saturday morning, President Trump tweeted that Zinke is leaving after serving for almost two years. He said Zinke has accomplished much during his tenure and thanked him for his service.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A federal judge in Fort Worth has ruled the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional, in a lawsuit filed by 18 Republican state attorneys general and two Republican governors. 

Updated at 8:35 p.m. ET

President Trump said Friday evening that Mick Mulvaney, his director of the Office of Management and Budget, will be the acting White House chief of staff.

It's unclear how long Mulvaney will serve in the role, succeeding outgoing chief of staff John Kelly. Trump announced on Dec. 8 that Kelly would leave at the end of the year.

KUT Weekend brings you some of our favorite stories from the KUT newsroom. Updated Fridays.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

From Texas Standard:

On Election Day in Stanton, just north of Midland, Ron Black was skeptical that a particular measure on the ballot would pass.

“Well, I think at first it was - uh, nobody thought it would go through because they’ve tried it so many times, you know? I can’t tell you how many times it’s gone to the ballot,” he says.

Former President Barack Obama released a video earlier this week urging people to hurry up and shop for health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchange.

"This year I'm giving it to you straight," Obama says in the video. "It's important to have health insurance in case, God forbid, you get really sick, or hurt yourself next year."

Nancy Wilson died Thursday after a long illness at her home in Pioneertown, Calif., her manager Devra Hall Levy told NPR. She was 81.

Born in Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1937, Wilson has recounted in interviews that she started singing around age 3 or 4.

"I have always just sung. I have never questioned what it is. I thank God for it and I just do it," she told Marian McPartland, host of NPR's Piano Jazz in 1994.

Updated at 4:57 p.m. ET Friday

A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who crossed the southern border into the United States illegally earlier this month died of dehydration and shock after being apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol in New Mexico.

Updated at 11:50 a.m. ET

Michael Cohen, President Trump's onetime lawyer and fixer, says his former boss knew it was wrong to order hush money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to two women who say they had affairs with Trump — but he directed Cohen to do it anyway to help his election chances.

Cohen also said in an interview with ABC News that aired Friday that the president's repeated assertions that Cohen is lying about the payments and other aspects of his work for Trump were false.

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