Tag: Supreme courts

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National

GOP ready to block key Obama court nominees

President Obama announces the nominations of, from left, Robert Wilkins, Cornelia Pillard, and Patricia Ann Millet, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit June 4 in the Rose Garden at the White House. (AP Photo/File). by Alan FramAssociated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans seemed ready to block another of President Barack Obama’s picks for one of the nation’s top courts on Tuesday, the latest skirmish in a nominations battle that has intensified partisan tensions in the Senate.

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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

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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National

Vote suppression alleged in close Fla. election

In this July 11, 2013 photo, former Sopchoppy City Commissioner Anginita Rosier poses for a photo in Tallahassee, Fla. State authorities are investigating her complaint that Sopchoppy city workers suppressed the black vote. (AP Photo/Brendan Farrington) by Brendan FarringtonAssociated Press Writer SOPCHOPPY, Fla. (AP) — A small Florida Panhandle town best known for its annual Worm Grunting Festival is at the center of an investigation into charges the white city clerk suppressed the Black vote in an election where the Black mayor lost by a single vote and a Black city commissioner was also ousted. Both losing candidates and three Black voters have filed complaints, now being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, that City Clerk Jackie Lawhon made it more difficult for Blacks to cast ballots by questioning their residency. The candidates also allege Lawhon abandoned her duty to remain neutral and actively campaigned for the three Whites on the ballot.