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Acting U.S. Atty. Gen. Matthew Whitaker
Acting U.S. Atty. Gen. Matthew Whitaker (Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images)

Three Senate Democrats filed a lawsuit Monday arguing that Acting Atty. Gen. Matthew Whitaker's appointment is unconstitutional and asking a federal judge to remove him.

The suit, filed by Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, argues that Whitaker's appointment violates the Constitution because he has not been confirmed by the Senate.

Whitaker was chief of staff to Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions and was elevated to the top job after Sessions was ousted by President Trump on Nov. 7.

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Republican Senate candidate Rick Scott speaks with his wife, Ann, by his side at an election watch party in Naples, Fla., on Nov. 7.
Republican Senate candidate Rick Scott speaks with his wife, Ann, by his side at an election watch party in Naples, Fla., on Nov. 7. (Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)

Florida's Republican Gov. Rick Scott says incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson called him to concede defeat in their extremely tight race.

Scott issued a statement Sunday saying Nelson "graciously conceded" their Senate race shortly after the state's recount ended. The final results show Scott defeated Nelson by just over 10,000 votes out of 8 million cast. Nelson is scheduled to release a videotaped statement later Sunday.

The defeat ends Nelson's lengthy political career. The three-term incumbent was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000. Before that he served six terms in the U.S. House and as state treasurer and insurance commissioner for six years.

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Gil Cisneros defeated Republican Young Kim on Saturday in the last of Orange County’s undecided House races, giving Democrats a clean sweep of the state’s six most fiercely fought congressional contests and marking an epochal shift in a region long synonymous with political conservatism.

For a party in freefall the last two decades, California Republicans learned that it's possible to plunge even further.

Democratic Rep.-elect Katie Porter is congratulated by volunteers at her campaign headquarters in Irvine.
Democratic Rep.-elect Katie Porter is congratulated by volunteers at her campaign headquarters in Irvine. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Congresswoman-elect Katie Porter said she plans to support Rep. Nancy Pelosi's bid for speaker of the House and will make campaign finance reform her top priority when she enters the chamber in January.

“I'm going to continue to have conversations, but so far I feel like Leader Pelosi is definitely making the things that were a priority to the families that elected me her priorities, including announcing her support for campaign finance reform and anti-corruption as HR1," Porter said in her first public appearance since being declared the winner in California’s 45th Congressional District on Thursday evening. 

“It means a lot to me that she is a Californian. She understands our state,” Porter added. “When we talk about environmental protections, this is a person who understands as a Californian how fragile our environment is and what's at risk in things like drilling off our coasts."

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President Trump and Acting Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Andrew Wheeler
President Trump and Acting Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Andrew Wheeler (Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA / Shutterstock)

President Trump says he will name the Environmental Protection Agency's acting head, Andrew Wheeler, to the post permanently.

Trump made the announcement almost in passing Friday at a White House ceremony for Presidential Medal of Freedom honorees.

The president singled out Wheeler in the audience at the ceremony, adding Wheeler "is going to be made permanent" at EPA.

Employees look through damaged ballots during a recount Thursday in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Employees look through damaged ballots during a recount Thursday in West Palm Beach, Fla. (Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)

Florida’s acrimonious battle for the U.S. Senate headed Thursday to a legally required hand recount after an initial review by ballot-counting machines showed Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson separated by less than 13,000 votes.

But the highly watched contest for governor between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum appeared to be over, with a machine recount showing DeSantis with a large enough advantage over Gillum to avoid a hand recount in that race.

Gillum, who conceded the contest on election night only to retract his concession later, said in a statement that “it is not over until every legally casted vote is counted.”

Congressional candidate Gil Cisneros
Congressional candidate Gil Cisneros (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Democrat Gil Cisneros pulled ahead of Republican Young Kim in one of California’s undecided congressional races Thursday, an ominous sign for a GOP already reeling from its loss of four House seats in the state.

In updated vote counts released by the registrars for Orange and San Bernardino counties, Kim fell 941 votes behind Cisneros in the contest to succeed Republican Rep. Ed Royce in California’s 39th Congressional District. The 39th straddles Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Orange counties.

In another unresolved House race, Democrat Katie Porter pulled further ahead of Republican incumbent Mimi Walters in the 45th District, which includes Mission Viejo, Tustin, Irvine, Rancho Santa Margarita and Laguna Hills.

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A Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputy walks past boxes of ballots before a recount on Nov. 15 in West Palm Beach, Fla.
A Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputy walks past boxes of ballots before a recount on Nov. 15 in West Palm Beach, Fla. (Wilfredo Lee)

Unofficial Florida election results show that the governor's race seems to be settled after a machine recount but the U.S. Senate race is likely headed to a hand recount.

Republican Ron DeSantis is virtually assured of winning the nationally watched governor's race over Democrat Andrew Gillum. Florida finished a machine recount Thursday that showed Gillum without enough votes to force a manual recount.

Unofficial results posted on a state website show the margin between U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott is still thin enough to trigger a second review. State law requires a hand recount of races with a margin of 0.25 percentage point or less.

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi speaks during a news conference in Washington on Nov. 14.
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi speaks during a news conference in Washington on Nov. 14. (Susan Walsh)

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi insisted Thursday that she has the votes to become the chamber's speaker despite solid opposition from more than a dozen Democrats who want fresh leadership when the party takes control next year.

"I have overwhelming support in my caucus to be speaker of the House," the San Francisco lawmaker told reporters. "I happen to think at this point, I'm the best person for that."

A vote within the Democratic caucus is scheduled for Nov. 28. The full House votes on Jan. 3 to elect a new speaker.