The Note's Must-Reads for Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Note's Must-Reads are a round-up of today's political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at

Compiled by ABC News' Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen and Carrie Halperin

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The Washington Times' Susan Crabtree: " White House: Obama following gay-marriage cases closely" Despite the White House's obvious interest in this week's Supreme Court hearings on two gay-marriage cases, the president's spokesman Josh Earnest said he wasn't sure whether any administration officials will be in the courtroom to watch. "The Supreme Court doesn't actually televise the hearings, so it will impact our ability to watch it," he deadpanned. LINK

IMMIGRATION REFORM: ABC News' Mary Bruce: " Obama Pushes Congress To 'Finish The Job' On Immigration Reform" President Obama today called on Congress to pass an immigration bill in the coming weeks, saying lawmakers need to "work up the political courage" to fix the nation's broken immigration system. "I expect a bill to be put forward. I expect the debate to begin next month," the president said at a naturalization ceremony at the White House. "I want to sign that bill into law as soon as possible." LINK

USA Today's Aamer Madhani: " Obama wants immigration overhaul 'as soon as possible'" President Obama called on Congress on Monday to show "political courage" and get moving on an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws during a naturalization ceremony at the White House. Obama noted that lawmakers in the Senate and House have made some progress toward finding common ground on immigration. LINK

FEDERAL RESERVE: The Wall Street Journal's Victoria McGrane: " Fed Banker Backs Dialing Down Easy Money" A member of the Federal Reserve's inner circle Monday promoted a plan for the central bank to scale back the pace of its bond-buying program as the jobs market improves, though he stressed that a decision on how to proceed is far from imminent. William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said in a speech the Fed "should calibrate" how much U.S. debt and mortgage-backed securities it buys each month "by allowing the flow rate of purchases to respond to material changes in the labor market outlook." LINK

BUDGET: The Hill's Erik Wasson: " Murray, Ryan face new mission impossible on the budget" House and Senate budget leaders face a new mission impossible: reconciling their wildly different blueprints. The Senate's passage of a budget for the first time in four years sets the stage for leaders to name conferees to negotiate a compromise measure. A reconciled budget resolution would then be put before the full House and Senate for votes. LINK

SUPREME COURT: The Los Angeles Times' David Savage: " Supreme Court agrees to hear Michigan affirmative action case" The Supreme Court agreed to weigh in on college affirmative action for a second time in a year and decide whether Michigan's voters can forbid "preferential treatment" based on race in their state universities. The justices are closely split on whether school officials may ever use race as a factor for deciding who is admitted. A decade ago, the high court, by a 5-4 vote, upheld a limited use of race as a means to achieve classroom diversity in a case from the University of Michigan Law School. But that victory for liberal advocates of affirmative action was soon overturned by Michigan's voters. LINK

CONGRESS: The Hill's Mario Trujillo and Peter Schroeder: " Sen. Tim Johnson to retire, lifting GOP hopes in battle for Senate" Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) will not seek reelection in 2014, The Hill has confirmed, putting another red-state seat up for grabs in the battle for control of the Senate. Johnson, who is serving his third term, will announce the news on Tuesday at the University of South Dakota, his former school. Johnson will be the fifth Senate Democrat to retire this election cycle. LINK

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