Federal Judge Thomas Porteous is only the eighth federal judge to be impeached, convicted, and removed from office since the founding of the Republic. And for a while there, the decision appeared to be too close to call.

The Illinois legislature has passed a bill legalizing civil unions in the state, including homosexual partnerships. When Democratic Governor Pat Quinn signs the bill, which he indicated he would do early next year, the law will make Illinois one of the few states granting rights to same-sex partners, and will push the state closer to legalizing homosexual "marriage." Quinn called the measure a "landmark law" that will become "the law of the land of Lincoln in the coming year." The statute is set to go into effect in June 2011.

It appears as though Minnesota’s new governor will be Democrat Mark Dayton, and it only took a little bit more than a month to come to that conclusion. On Wednesday, Republican Tom Emmer finally conceded the Minnesota governor’s race to the Democrat, who held a 9,000 vote election night lead.Fox News explains, “He could have sued over the election outcome but decided against it after a key state Supreme Court decision went against him. He cited the court’s opinion in his concession, but also alluded to major issues facing the state.”

Today, the lame-duck session of Congress has four cloture votes scheduled: the DREAM Act, the 9/11 health bill, a piece of legislation providing a one-time payment of $250 to senior citizens, and collective bargaining legislation in regard to firefighters. Likewise, Senate leadership is expected to bring to the floor the military defense authorization bill that holds a provision which would repeal the military policy “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will begin hearing the debate over an Arizona law that punishes employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens in the United States.