Tag: National courts

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Metro

B-PEP campaigns for Black judge on federal bench to replace Lancaster

Pictured in Courier file photo is Chief Judge Gary Lancaster who died suddenly April 24, 2013 at his home in Stanton Heights. He was 63. As part of its continuing efforts to promote diversity, the Black Political Empowerment Project has initiated a campaign to have an African-American appointed to the US District Court for Western Pennsylvania. The court has been without a Black judge since Chief Judge Gary Lancaster suffered a fatal heart attack in April. When he was appointed to the court in 2009, Lancaster was the only African-American serving on any U.S. District Court. In a letter dated Oct. 14, Tim Stevens, B-PEP president, began soliciting support from a variety of sources requesting President Obama make a new appointment, among those contacted are U.S. Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey–who will ultimately make recommendations to the president, US Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa.; Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl; Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Peduto; and both Allegheny Democratic Party Chair Nancy Mills and Republican Party Chair Jim Roddey.

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National

GOP blocks Obama nominees, Dems weigh response

In this May 1, 2013, file photo, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Federal Housing Finance Authority director Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., waves during the announcement of his nomination in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) by Alan Fram Associated Press WriterWASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked President Barack Obama’s picks for a powerful federal court and a housing regulatory agency, prompting Democrats to threaten curtailing the GOP’s ability to derail nominations. “Something has to change, and I hope we can make the changes necessary through cooperation,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said after the votes.

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National

Neighboring Pa., NJ spotlight gay marriage efforts

State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, at podium, speaks during a news conference beneath the Robert Indiana sculpture “Love,” Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, at John F. Kennedy Plaza, also known as Love Park, in Philadelphia. Democratic state Reps. Steve McCarter and Brian Sims say they are introducing a bill that would allow same-sex couples to get married legally in Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) by Peter JacksonAssociated Press Writer HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania and New Jersey are on tracks that could lead to the Northeast being the first full region in the country to legalize gay marriage — but the routes are hardly parallel and the horsepower anything but equal. A flurry of recent court decisions has gay couples in New Jersey, where same-sex marriage has long been debated, hurrying to make wedding plans for when they can legally marry starting Monday — even as a moderate Republican governor with apparent presidential aspirations awaits a decision on his appeal. Across the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, advocates are pecking away at a 1996 gay marriage ban by introducing bills in the Legislature, defiantly issuing marriage licenses in localities and taking the issue to court — with few people conceding the tactics will work anytime soon in a big state with a socially conservative spine.

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National

Neighbors: Ex-cop killed in W.Va. had cancer

An Ohio County Sherriff Department deputy secures an area in front of the Federal Buildng in Wheeling, West Virginia Wedneday, Oct. 9, 2013, following a shooting outside the courthouse. (AP Photo/Wheeling News Register & The Intelligencer, Scott McCloskey) by Vicki Smith Associated Press Writer WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — Security was tight Thursday at a West Virginia federal courthouse, a day after it was peppered with gunfire by an ex-police officer who neighbors say had recently revealed that he had cancer.

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National

Supreme Court term begins with contentious topics

Cardinal Donald Wuerl walk with U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts as they leave the church, after the Red Mass at Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is beginning a new term with controversial issues that offer the court’s conservative majority the chance to move aggressively to undo limits on campaign contributions, undermine claims of discrimination in housing and mortgage lending, and allow for more government-sanctioned prayer.

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Sports

Film tells story of Muhammad Ali’s draft fight

In this June 19, 1967 file photo, heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali has a “no comment” as he is confronted by newsmen as he leaves the Federal Building in Houston during a recess in his trial for refusing induction to the army. (AP Photo/Ed Kolenovsky, File) by Tim DahlbergAP Sports Columnist He is now so much a part of the nation’s social fabric that it’s hard to comprehend a time when Muhammad Ali was more reviled than revered. Barely past the opening credits of a new documentary about Ali, though, we get a glimpse of how many Americans felt about him during a tumultuous time in the country’s history.

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National

NC Republicans vow to fight US DOJ over voter laws

In a June 30, 1982 file photo, President Ronald Reagan signs an expansion of the 1965 Voting Rights Bill during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House. The Justice Department will sue the state of North Carolina for alleged racial discrimination over tough new voting rules, the latest effort by the Obama administration to fight back against a Supreme Court decision that struck down the most powerful part of the landmark Voting Rights Act and freed southern states from strict federal oversight of their elections. North Carolina has a new law scaling back the period for early voting and imposing stringent voter identification requirements. It is among at least five Southern states adopting stricter voter ID and other election laws. (AP Photo, File) by Michel Biesecker and Pete Yost RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s Republican governor and GOP lawmakers are vowing to fight a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department challenging the state’s tough new elections law on the grounds it disproportionately impacts minority voters.

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Business

Abercrombie & Fitch settles Calif. suits over head scarves

Hani Khan, a former stockroom worker for Abercrombie & Fitch Co. who was fired for refusing to remove her Muslim headscarf, listens to a question during a news conference in San Francisco, Monday, June 27, 2011. (AP Photo/File) by Paul EliasAssociated Press WriterSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Trendy clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has agreed to make religious accommodations and allow workers to wear head scarves as part of a settlement of discrimination lawsuits filed in California, lawyers announced Monday.

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National

30 months prison for former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., and his wife Sandra, leaves federal court in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced to two and a half years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to scheming to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on TV’s, restaurant dinners, an expensive watch and other costly personal items. His wife received a sentence of one year.