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A dozen athletic coaches, test administrators and others charged in a nationwide college admissions scam are in due in court. The group will be arraigned Monday in federal court in Boston on a charge of racketeering conspiracy.

They were among 50 people charged this month in the FBI investigation dubbed Operation Varsity Blues. The coaches are accused of accepting bribes in exchange for labeling students as recruited athletes to help them get into elite universities.

The coaches worked at schools including the University of Southern California and Georgetown. Parents charged with paying bribes are due in court on later dates. They include Hollywood Stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin (LAWK'-lin).

The admissions consultant at the center of the admissions scam has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with prosecutors.


The Supreme Court said Monday it won’t step in to referee a copyright dispute between Nike and a photographer who took a well-known image of basketball great Michael Jordan. That means lower court rulings for the athletic apparel maker will stand.

Photographer Jacobus Rentmeester sued Nike after it used an image he took of Jordan in the 1980s as inspiration for a photograph it commissioned for its own ads. The company’s photo, which was used on posters and billboards, then became the basis for the “Jumpman” logo for Nike’s Air Jordan shoes. Rentmeester sued Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike in 2015 saying both the Nike photo and logo infringed on his copyright image.

Rentmeester’s original photo of Jordan was taken for Life magazine in 1984, while Jordan was a student at the University of North Carolina. It shows Jordan holding a basketball in his left hand and leaping, ballet-like toward a basketball hoop. At the time, Jordan was preparing for the upcoming Summer Olympics, which were being held in Los Angeles. In the photo, Jordan is wearing the U.S. Olympic team uniform.

Both Rentmeester’s photo and Nike’s photo involve a basketball hoop at the right side of the image and were taken from a similar angle. Jordan’s pose is similar in both photos. But in the Nike photo, Jordan is wearing the red and black of the Chicago Bulls, which he joined in 1984, and the Chicago skyline is the background. One other difference: In Rentmeester’s photo, Jordan is wearing Converse.

Rentmeester cried foul, argued that the differences between his photo and Nike’s were “minor,” and said that nearly every original element in his photo also appeared in Nike’s. Lower courts ruled for Nike.


Laws passed by the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature during a lame-duck session in December that weakened powers of the Democratic governor and attorney general were back before a circuit judge Monday, less than a week after another judge struck them down as unconstitutional.

Republicans appealed last week's ruling, and the state appeals court could rule as soon as Monday on that request to immediately reinstate the laws and put last week's ruling on hold.

Gov. Tony Evers moved quickly after last week's order to rescind 82 of former Republican Gov. Scott Walker's appointments that the state Senate confirmed during the lame-duck session. And Attorney General Josh Kaul, at Evers' order, moved to withdraw Wisconsin from a multi-state lawsuit seeking repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act, a power taken away from him during the lame-duck session.

The judge last week ruled that the laws were illegally passed because the type of session lawmakers used to meet in December was unconstitutional. Republicans called themselves into "extraordinary session" to pass the bills, but Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess said there was no basis in state law to call such sessions.

The attorney for Republican lawmakers, Misha Tseytlin, argued that the ruling jeopardizes the validity of thousands of other laws passed during extraordinary sessions.

That case was brought by the League of Women Voters and other groups.

The lawsuit being heard Monday was filed by a coalition of five unions. They argue that the laws violate the state constitution's separation of powers doctrine because they take power from the executive branch and transfer them to the Legislature.

Republicans counter that the laws are constitutional and ensure a proper balance of power between the executive and legislative branches.

The case is being heard by Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington. The judge held oral arguments on Monday, beginning the proceedings by informing all the parties that he's already drafted a written decision but wanted clarifications. He blocked off the entire day for the hearing.


A man accused of killing the mother of his child in Milwaukee is due in court. WITI-TV reports that 34-year-old Dariaz Higgins has a preliminary hearing scheduled Monday.

Higgins is accused of fatally shooting 24-year-old Sierra Robinson and wounding another woman earlier this month. He faces several charges including first-degree intentional homicide.

The body of Higgins' 2-year-old daughter, Noelani Robinson, was found in a ditch in Minnesota four days after Higgins was arrested on March 13. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says the child died from head trauma. Her death remains under investigation.

Funeral services were held Saturday for Sierra and Noelani Robinson in Kansas City, Missouri, where Sierra's father lives.


Last year, proponents of limiting partisan politics in the creation of electoral districts needed to win over Justice Anthony Kennedy. They couldn’t.

The issue is back before the Supreme Court again, with arguments on Tuesday, and it might be harder than ever to convince the justices to rein in the practice known as partisan gerrymandering, designing districts to benefit one political party.

A new round of redistricting awaits after the 2020 census, and the court’s decision could help shape the makeup of Congress and state legislatures over the next 10 years.

With Kennedy retired, the question is whether federal courts will remain open at all to complaints about political line-drawing.

“The question of what the outcome will be in light of recent changes in the membership of the Supreme Court is anybody’s guess,” said Seth Waxman, the former lead high court lawyer in the Clinton administration and a supporter of limits on drawing districts for partisan gain. Justice Brett Kavanaugh is in Kennedy’s seat.

Chief Justice John Roberts is now the court conservative closest to the center and the focus of the arguments for reining in partisan redistricting, said Michael Kimberly, the lawyer for Republican voters who challenged a Democratic congressional district in Maryland.
“The concern now is persuading him,” Kimberly said, acknowledging Roberts’ skepticism about the court’s involvement in the issue during arguments last term.

Critics of partisan manipulation of electoral maps say that when one party controls redistricting, it can exaggerate and entrench its power, even in states that are otherwise closely divided between Republicans and Democrats.

Republicans were the big beneficiaries of the most recent round of redistricting in 2011, following the once-a-decade census, because they scored resounding victories in the 2010 elections.

The court has before it two cases, from Maryland and North Carolina, with strong evidence that elected officials charged with drawing and approving congressional districts acted for maximum partisan advantage. In North Carolina, Republicans ran the process and sought to preserve a 10-3 split in the congressional delegation in favor of the GOP, even as statewide races are usually closely divided. In Maryland, Democrats controlled redistricting and sought to flip one district that had been represented by a Republican for 20 years.

Both plans succeeded and lower courts concluded that the districts violated the Constitution.

Bolstering those court outcomes were the candid appraisals by former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, and North Carolina state Rep. David Lewis, a Republican, of the critical role politics played in redistricting.



Actress Lori Loughlin (LAWK'-lin) and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are scheduled to appear in federal court in Boston next month in a college admissions bribery case.

A judge on Thursday agreed to move their initial appearance to April 3 on charges that they paid $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters into the University of Southern California.

Their attorney had asked the judge to delay the hearing until April 15, saying the legal team had scheduling conflicts when the pair were initially scheduled to be in court on March 29.

Loughlin and Giannulli were among dozens of people arrested last week for allegedly participating in a nationwide college admissions cheating scheme .

Fellow actress Felicity Huffman is also slated to appear in court in Boston on April 3. Neither Loughlin nor Huffman have commented on the allegations.


A South Dakota man accused of killing his girlfriend and dumping her dismembered body into a river in Michigan's Upper Peninsula has made his first court appearance.

Stephen Falkenberg appeared Thursday in Yankton County court. He's charged with second-degree murder in the death of Tamara LaFramboise.

No plea was entered. His attorney, Clint Sargent, says he intends to plead not guilty.

Prosecutors say Falkenberg killed LaFramboise in Yankton, where they both lived, then drove to Menominee County, Michigan, where he grew up. Authorities say he discarded LaFramboise's dismembered body in the Little River, where two boys found it on Saturday.

LaFramboise's head, hands and feet have not been found. A probable cause affidavit says Falkenberg told his sister he argued with LaFramboise, pushed her and she hit her head and died.


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