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    In picking fights with Florida and Texas, two of the largest GOP-controlled states, Newsom is setting himself up as a foil to Republican governors and potentially as someone "who fights" in a future Democratic presidential primary, although he strongly denies holding any ambitions for the White House. "In no way, shape or form this has anything to do with that. Period. Full stop. Add six or seven exclamation points,” he told NBC News. The gun control bill Newsom will sign Friday mimics how Texas is enforcing the state's abortion law. It will allow private citizens to file lawsuits against people who make or sell illegal "assault weapons" or so-called ghost guns, adopting what the Texas law's critics have called a "bounty" mechanism. Texas' heartbeat law, enacted before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, was written so that it would survive expected legal challenges on constitutional grounds. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled there is no constitutional right to an abortion, states have more power to restrict abortion access — but the same is not true...
    Kristi Noem said Sunday that she won't let 'the tragedy' of children getting pregnant through rape lead to another tragedy in her state by allowing cases like these to lead to abortion. 'Every single life is precious,' the GOP South Dakota governor told CNN's Dana Bash when asked if a 'child' should have to give birth. 'This tragedy is horrific. I can't even imagine.' 'I don't believe a tragic situation should be perpetuated by another tragedy,' Noem added. 'And so there's more that we have got to do to make sure that we really are living a life that says every life is precious, especially innocent lives that have been shattered, like that 10-year-old girl,' she said during her interview on State of the Union Sunday morning. The response came after trigger laws went into effect in 13 states following the Roe v. Wade overturn and a heartbreaking case of a 10-year-old girl in Ohio needing to travel over state lines to terminate her pregnancy after she was raped. South Dakota is one of the states with these so-called trigger...
    The Supreme Court on Monday took a significant step toward allowing prayer back in public schools. As with a decision last week that required the state of Maine to subsidize religious schools, the court rejected any notion of a wall separating church and state. Indeed, the conservative justices have again overruled a half-century-old precedent in moving constitutional law radically to the right. In the early 1960s, the Supreme Court ruled that prayer in public schools, even voluntary prayer, violates the 1st Amendment’s prohibition against the establishment of religion. The court said that when teachers lead prayers, there is inherent coercion. Students of different faiths and of no faith feel pressure to participate. The core of the Establishment Clause is that the government, especially in its public schools, should be secular; the place for prayer is in people’s homes and places of worship. The court strictly adhered to this principle for 60 years. In 1985, the court declared unconstitutional an Alabama law that required that public schools begin each day with a moment of silent prayer. In 1992, it found that...
    In a frustrating and disappointing turn of events, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana technically allowed discriminatory legislation to make its way into law in the state without his signature, per local outlet WFAB 9. As you might remember, Republican legislators tried to ban trans girls from participating in girls’ sports teams back in 2021, but Edwards (rightfully) stopped the bill in its tracks. However, Edwards needed to either explicitly approve or veto SB 44, and because he didn’t do either, legislators were able to pass it. Basically, if Edwards really wanted to protect trans folks, he should have moved by executive action, and he didn’t. The notable difference between last year’s legislation and this year’s is that lawmakers narrowed the ban from both intramural and competitive sports to only competitive sports. Obviously, this is still discrimination.  What does this mean, practically speaking? Republican hate won in spite of a Democratic governor at the helm. In this case, trans women and girls are barred from competing on sports teams that align with their gender identity. This applies to not only...
    The U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to vote on another key issue; one that has garnered deep criticism because it actually should not be a federal issue. According to VOX, it centers around an election case, Ritter v. Migliori, which involves: "a fight over whether 257 ballots cast in a low-level state judicial race should be tossed out because of a very minor paperwork error. It also involves a fairly obvious violation of a federal law providing that voters should not be disenfranchised due to such errors." Ritter aggressively argues that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provision may be "unconstitutional." However, VOX reporter Ian Millhiser is pushing back against that argument with a number of important points. In his analysis, Millhiser explained why the Supreme Court's involvement is problematic where this matter is concerned. While the U.S. Consitution does give Congress substantial governing power over congressional elections, Millhiser notes that their power is quite different when it comes to state and local elections such as the judicial race at the center of Ritter's case. "A state law provides...
    SACRAMENTO (CBS SF/AP) — Tens of thousands of Californians facing eviction on Friday for not paying their rent will get to stay in their homes for at least another three months after state lawmakers voted to extend a law that protects them just hours before it was scheduled to expire. California will pay off people’s unpaid rent if they fell behind on their payments because of the pandemic. People must apply to get the money and state law says they cannot be evicted while their application is pending. READ MORE: Poll: Fear Of Crime Preventing Bay Area Residents Return To Big City DowntownsThat law was scheduled to expire at midnight Thursday. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of households still have pending applications as of Tuesday. It would have been impossible for the state to process all of those before the deadline, meaning households still waiting to get the money could have been evicted beginning Friday. Lawmakers voted Thursday to ban evictions for anyone with a pending application until June 30. Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis will sign the bill into law later...
    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge has struck down an Iowa law that seeks to stop animal welfare groups from secretly filming livestock abuse, the latest in a decade of legislative measures and judicial rejections. The decision Monday rejected the law approved by Iowa lawmakers in March 2019 that created a trespass charge punishable by up to a year in jail for those who use deception to gain access to a farm to cause physical or economic harm. A temporary court order will prevent enforcement of the law, and the restriction is expected to soon become permanent. The state can appeal to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The case is one of many so-called ag-gag laws that have surfaced in the U.S. in recent years that pit the right of farmers to protect their property from trespassers against animal welfare advocates. Farmers argue intruders could track in disease and want to unfairly portray their livestock practices, while animal welfare groups say producers don’t want the public to see how farm animals are treated. Judge Stephanie...
    Were I to write another book about California politics — which is very unlikely — it would be entitled “Unintended Consequences,” detailing how political policy decrees mutate to have unforeseen effects. Examples of the syndrome are legion, but here are just two: —In the 1960s, newly elected Gov. Ronald Reagan signed two pieces of legislation that purported to reform the care and treatment of the mentally ill. They set in motion a phaseout of the state’s extensive system of mental hospitals in favor of community mental health clinics. Reagan wanted to save money and advocates for the mentally ill had decried the prison-like, abusive atmosphere of the hospitals. Reagan, successor governors and the Legislature never fully delivered on the promise of community mental health care, leaving many of the mentally ill then and since to fend for themselves and contributing to the homeless crisis that now afflicts the state. —Two seemingly distinct acts in the late 1970s, the extension of collective bargaining rights to California’s public employees in 1975 and the passage of Proposition 13, the landmark property tax limit,...
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A statewide court that declared that Pennsylvania’s expansive 2-year-old mail-in voting law violates the state constitution followed that up Wednesday by saying its ruling can take effect in mid-March, a week after the state Supreme Court hears arguments on the appeal. Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt, in siding again with Republican officeholders who challenged the law, said they are likely to prevail at the state Supreme Court. READ MORE: Pennsylvania Court Declares Expansive Mail-In Voting Law UnconstitutionalLeavitt also said that the appeal by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration assumes the higher court will overrule decisions in 1862 and 1924 invalidating laws passed to expand absentee voting, but that administration lawyers did not identify an error in those decisions. The case is throwing Pennsylvania’s voting laws into doubt as the presidential battleground state’s voters prepare to elect a new governor and a new U.S. senator in 2022. READ MORE: Gov. Tom Wolf Has Wife Drop Off Ballot, Calls It Honest MistakeThe state Supreme Court scheduled the case for oral arguments on March 8. The Commonwealth Court’s...
    (CNN)Over the furious dissent of three liberal justices, the Supreme Court on Thursday rejected another attempt by abortion providers to block Texas' six-week abortion ban.The court's order is the latest setback for providers who are trying to revive challenges to the law five months after it was allowed to go into effect, bringing a halt to most abortions in the country's second-largest state. A conservative-leaning federal appeals court previously sent the case to the state's highest court, which means the law will remain in effect at the very least for several more weeks or months.The three liberal justices wrote a scathing dissent to the court's order. "This case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in Texas, who have a right to control their own bodies," Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote, joined by Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. "I will not stand by silently as a State continues to nullify this constitutional guarantee."This story is breaking and will be updated.
    ANOTHER batch of Golden State stimulus checks could be heading to Californians next year due to a 1970s law. Over the last several weeks, checks ranging from $600 to $1,100 have landed in the mailboxes and bank accounts of roughly two-thirds of California residents. 1Californians may continue to see stimulus payments in 2022Credit: Getty The payments are a part of the state's Golden State Stimulus II program. In July, California Governor Gavin Newsom's signed the state's $100billion budget. As part of the plan, the state expects to provide about $12billion in coronavirus relief to 15.2 million California households – or about two-thirds of the state's taxpayers. The payments are expected to stop at the end of the year; however, in 2022, the same law is expected to kick in again. Californians revolted against taxes in the late 1970s, with voters passing Proposition 13, a landmark measure that limited property tax increases, in 1978. The following year, Paul Gann, one of the proposition’s co-sponsors, suggested another tax break. Most read in The US SunFREE MONEY Surprise payments being sent NOW as $1,800 also set to be sent...
    CHICAGO (CBS) – An Illinois state trooper is injured after being struck by another vehicle while investigating a crash early Sunday morning, according to authorities. Police said around 1:25 a.m., the trooper was investigating a crash on Interstate 55 southbound near milepost 260 in Will County. While in his squad car, a 2017 black Acura crashed head on into the trooper’s squad car. The trooper was transported to a local area hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the Acura, Liem T. Nguyen, 36, from Joliet, IL, was charged with violation of Scott’s Law and driving under the influence. So far this year, there have been 21 ISP squad cars struck in relation to Scott’s Law and 13 Troopers have sustained injuries from Scott’s Law-related crashes.
    Washington (CNN)Members of the January 6 committee are working on potential legislation to tighten the process of certifying a presidential election in an effort to eliminate contentious avenues that spurred the January 6 riot, sources tell CNN. The legislation would give the committee a focus on developing a law as part of the investigation, undercutting a legal argument that former President Donald Trump has made that the committee has no true legislative purpose for seeking his White House documents. The effort is still in its early stages, but a proposed bill could offer more specific instructions for when Congress can overturn a state's slate of electors, and more clearly define the role the vice president plays in counting the votes -- after Trump and his allies pressured Mike Pence to try to block President Joe Biden's win, the sources say. Specifically, members are focused on making changes to a 19th Century law known as the Electoral Count Act that was intended to give Congress a process by which to certify the Electoral College votes submitted by the states. It's a...
    BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Voluntary euthanasia became legal in a fifth Australian state on Thursday, more than 20 years after the country repealed the world’s first mercy killing law for the terminally ill. Queensland’s Parliament passed the law with 61 of the state’s 93 lawmakers voting in favor. New South Wales, the nation’s most populous state, is now the only state that doesn’t allow assisted suicide. The Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory do not have the same rights as states and the Federal Parliament has barred them from making such laws. Queensland’s law, which takes effect in January 2023, allows people suffering from a disease or medical condition that is advanced, progressive and terminal to have access to so-called voluntary assisted dying. Their condition must be expected to cause death within a year, they must have decision-making capacity, and proceed without coercion. Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the law would ease pain and suffering. “It has been a very considered debate and … it’s been a very difficult debate,” Miles told Parliament. Opponents argued that due to a funding...
    Then Governor-elect Ron DeSantis speaking with attendees at the 2018 Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons A Leon County circuit judge on Wednesday again blocked Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order that seeks to bar school mask mandates, giving at least a temporary victory to parents challenging the order. Judge John Cooper issued a written ruling last week that said DeSantis’ had overstepped his constitutional authority in the executive order. The DeSantis administration quickly appealed to the 1st District Court of Appeal, triggering an automatic stay of the ruling while the case moves forward But Cooper on Wednesday vacated the automatic stay, meaning that his ruling last week is in effect and school districts can continue with student mask requirements as they try to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “There’s clear record evidence in the 1st District (Court of Appeal) within the last year to set aside stays. It should be not...
    Ever since President Trump started nominating new Supreme Court justices, reproductive health activists and court observers have sounded the alarm that Roe v. Wade was in jeopardy. Conservative legislators also took note—passing laws that would contradict Roe in case it did fall. On September 1, in the middle of the night, the five most conservative Supreme Court justices issued an unsigned order denying an injunction against a new Texas law that bans most abortions and deputizes the citizenry to enforce the ban. There is no silver lining, but there may be a layer of defense that hasn't been fully explored by activists and reproductive justice organizers to explore: the new "progressive prosecutor" movement. Prosecutors are granted a high level of discretion under US law, and they have the authority to simply not criminally charge people using laws they know to be unjust or unconstitutional. Progressive prosecutors have mostly focused on non-enforcement efforts on low-level drug charges. However, in 2019, four Atlanta-area prosecutors promised they would not use a new Georgia law criminalizing abortions to prosecute people for obtaining...
    More On: crime NYC woman allegedly butchered by ex had a restraining order against him Stranger pushes elderly woman to ground in attempted robbery, video shows Disturbing video shows man getting punched in unprovoked attack on street Elderly woman punched while getting off bus in unprovoked Queens attack Even as violent crime surges in New York City and elsewhere across the state, the Legislature’s “protect the criminals” caucus is pushing another “reform” in the spirit of the notorious no-bail law. The “clean slate” bill from state Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D-Queens) and others would go much further than the 2017 “fair sealing” law, which lets those with no more than one felony and one misdemeanor conviction (or two misdemeanors) get their records sealed if they remain crime-free for at least 10 years. It would automatically seal or expunge 2.3 million criminal histories, i.e., convictions, once eligible felons have finished their sentences to give the ex-offenders a better shot at jobs and careers. Yet it would also automatically expunge DNA evidence and other biometric...
    (CNN)The Supreme Court is staring at its self-imposed end of June deadline, but the justices have not yet released some of the most significant opinions of the term, including a challenge to the Affordable Care Act, the Voting Rights Act and a case on religious liberty, an issue that has split the justices along familiar ideological divides this year. In the coming weeks the justices will enter what the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg used to call the "busy season" where drafts fly between chambers and the justices seek to release all remaining opinions. The term, like the second half of last term, has been groundbreaking. Instead of appearing in their majestic chamber, participating in a freewheeling give-and-take with arguing counsel, the justices have convened by telephone for more stilted, less spontaneous arguments. Justice Amy Coney Barrett finally meets the other 8 Supreme Court justices for a class photoBut the term has been most impacted by the death of Ginsburg last September, a personal blow to many of the justices who served with her during part of her near...
    Washington (CNN)The Supreme Court is poised on Tuesday to hear a case that supporters of voting rights fear will lead the court's new conservative majority to weaken a key provision of the Voting Rights Act that prohibits laws that result in racial discrimination. The dispute comes in the aftermath of a contentious election which prompted former President Donald Trump to make unfounded claims of voter fraud and inspired his supporters to storm the US Capitol in an attempt to overturn the election. Republican state legislators across the country are also moving at a fast clip to pass laws to restrict voting access. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, as of February 19, state lawmakers have carried over or introduced 253 bills with provisions that restrict voting access in 43 states. Republican legislators around the country seek to strip governors and officials of emergency election powersEight years ago, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the 5-4 majority opinion in Shelby County v. Holder, effectively gutting Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, a provision that required states with a history of...
    BROOMFIELD, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado is one of the first states in the country to adopt a program where your driver’s license is on your phone, but wide acceptance has been slow. Broomfield police are now the third law enforcement agency in the state to accept the myColorado Digital ID on a smartphone. “It works seamlessly with the system that we already use,” said Sgt. Scott LaFluer with the Broomfield Police Department. “It’s another tool that we have to use to identify somebody. People don’t always carry their wallet or their ID, but they almost always have their phone.” RELATED: Colorado Researchers Working On Better Ways To Detect COVID Variants (credit: CBS) Broomfield is the first municipal agency in the metro area to adopt the technology, joining Colorado Springs and the Colorado State Patrol. So far, Broomfield says only a few traffic stops have resulted in using the technology. Colorado State Patrol widely adopted the digital ID technology in November and has used it with 1,400 traffic stops. “It’s beneficial to both driver and officers involved. It helps so that...
    By MARC LEVY, Associated Press HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — President Donald Trump's campaign continues to press lawsuits over Pennsylvania's election, appealing another case it lost to the state Supreme Court, this time over fewer than 2,000 ballots in a suburban Philadelphia county. The appeal, filed Friday, is one of at least four pending cases in which Trump or Republicans are trying to throw out certain ballots or trying to upend the entire election, including President-elect Joe Biden's victory in Pennsylvania over Trump in the Nov. 3 election. The Bucks County case involves 1,995 mail-in ballots in which voters failed to handwrite their name, address, date or some combination of that information on the outside ballot-return envelope, or enclosed their ballot in an inner unmarked secrecy envelope that became unsealed. The Trump campaign maintains the ballots should be thrown out under state law, although the state Supreme Court, ruling in separate cases from different counties, has refused to do so. The county election board chose to count the ballots, a decision that was upheld in lower courts. Bucks County's lawyers contend...
    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania's highest court on Saturday night threw out a lower court's order preventing the state from certifying dozens of contests on its Nov. 3 election ballot in the latest lawsuit filed by Republicans attempting to thwart President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the battleground state.The state Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, threw out the three-day-old order, saying the underlying lawsuit was filed months after the expiration of a time limit in Pennsylvania's expansive year-old mail-in voting law allowing for challenges to it.Justices also remarked on the lawsuit's staggering demand that an entire election be overturned retroactively."They have failed to allege that even a single mail-in ballot was fraudulently cast or counted," Justice David Wecht wrote in a concurring opinion.The state's attorney general, Democrat Josh Shapiro, called the court's decision "another win for Democracy."President Donald Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, meanwhile, have repeatedly and baselessly claimed that Democrats falsified mail-in ballots to steal the election from Trump. Biden beat Trump by more than 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, a state Trump had won in 2016.EMBED More News Videos...
    Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp certified the state's presidential election results Friday in favor of President-elect Joe Biden -- but called for another audit of the votes. Kemp told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution it was “completely unacceptable” that stashes of thousands of uncounted ballots were found in several counties during the manual hand recount after the initial results. After the hand recount, President Trump gained 888 votes, shrinking Biden’s lead slightly to 12,670 votes. Kemp, who has faced ire from Trump and other Republicans over the process and his decision to certify the results, said he understood Trump’s frustration. GEORGIA CERTIFIES JOE BIDEN VICTORY IN 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION  “He’s a fighter,” Kemp said. “But at the end of the day, I’ve got to follow the laws of the constitution of this state and that’s exactly what I’m doing.” The governor told the Journal-Constitution he’s legally bound by state law to certify the results given by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger following the recount. Now that the results are certified, the Trump 2020 Campaign will have until Tuesday to request another recount, he said, because the vote is...
    Two more law enforcement unions have teamed up to sue New York City over the controversial new law that criminalizes cops kneeling on someone’s back. The lawsuit is the second court challenge to the portion of NYC’s chokehold law that makes it a misdemeanor if an officer uses any sort of technique during an arrest that could restrict a person’s breathing. The latest legal move to overrule the local restriction — filed by the Police Benevolent Association of New York State Troopers and New York State Correctional Officers Wednesday in Manhattan supreme court — argues that a state chokehold ban, which is less limiting, supersedes the local law. NYSTPBA President Thomas Mungeer, who has previously called for the 200 State Police officers to be pulled from NYC, called the local law a “ill-conceived, knee-jerk reaction by lawmakers.” A coalition of 18 different law enforcement unions that represents officers in the NYPD, Port Authority, MTA, State Police, courts and city district attorneys’ offices filed a nearly identical legal challenge on Aug. 5. It was unclear why the two unions didn’t...
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