2012...The health care law, the Supreme Court and the right not to recuse

The Year End Report on the Federal Judiciary isn’t usually much of a page-turner. It’s an annual memo that the Supreme Court Chief Justice releases at the end of each year, just hours before the ball drops in Times Square. The document tends to be a mix of musing about judicial policy and philosophy, alongside some concrete plans for the Court’s year ahead. The 2010 report included a lengthy section on budget-cutting measures within the judiciary to reduce requests for new court staff members. Blame it on the wonky content, or on the proximity to New Year’s Eve, but it’s rarely an attention-getter.

Read more at the Washington Post

TEHRAN, Iran—Iranian scientists have produced the nation's first nuclear fuel rod, a feat of engineering the West has doubted Tehran capable of, the country's nuclear agency said Sunday.

The announcement marks another step in Tehran's efforts to achieve proficiency in the entire nuclear fuel cycle—from exploring uranium ore to producing nuclear fuel--despite U.N. sanctions and measures by the U.S. and others to get it to halt aspects of its atomic work that could provide a possible pathway to weapons production.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal

DES MOINES — Rick Santorum and Ron Paul defended themselves on Sunday against claims that they could not win in November, as a new poll suggested that they were now the primary threat to Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination, with two days left before the Iowa caucuses.

Read more at the New York Times

New year brings 760 new laws in California