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A federal appeals court in Washington declined Monday to order the dismissal of the Michael Flynn  prosecution, permitting a judge to scrutinize the Justice Department’s request to dismiss its case against President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser.

The decision keeps the case at least temporarily alive and rebuffs efforts by both Flynn’s lawyers and the Justice Department to force the prosecution to be dropped without further inquiry from the judge, who has for months declined to dismiss it. The ruling is the latest development in a criminal case that has taken unusual twists and turns over the last year and prompted a separation of powers tussle involving a veteran federal judge and the Trump administration.

In a separate ruling Monday, a three-judge panel of the same appeals court again threw out a lawsuit by House Democrats to compel former White House counsel Don McGahn to appear before a congressional committee.

The Flynn conflict arose in May when the Justice Department moved to dismiss the prosecution despite Flynn’s own guilty plea to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition period.

But U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who had upbraided Flynn for his behavior at a 2018 court appearance, signaled his skepticism at the government’s unusual motion. He refused to dismiss the case and instead scheduled a hearing and appointed a retired federal judge to argue against the Justice Department’s position. That former judge, John Gleeson, challenged the motives  behind the department’s dismissal request and called it a “gross abuse” of prosecutorial power.

Flynn’s lawyers sought to bypass Sullivan and obtain an appeals court order that would have required the case’s immediate dismissal. They argued that Sullivan had overstepped his bounds by scrutinizing a dismissal request that both sides, the defense and the Justice Department, were in agreement about and that the case was effectively moot once prosecutors decided to abandon it.

At issue before the court was whether Sullivan could be forced to grant the Justice Department’s dismissal request without even holding a hearing into the basis for the motion.

“We have no trouble answering that question in the negative,” the court wrote in an unsigned opinion for the eight judges in the majority.



Anyone entering a Illinois courthouse should be wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of coronavirus, according to an Illinois Supreme Court order.

The state’s highest court issued an order Thursday including face masks in its rules governing who is admitted into courthouses “in the interests of the health and safety of all court users, staff, and judicial officers during these extraordinary circumstances.”

The order also says people with flu-like symptoms, those directed to quarantine by a medical professional or people who have close contact with someone subject to a quarantine should not enter courthouses.

State health officials on Sunday reported nearly 1,992 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11 additional deaths.

Overall, the state has reported 233,355 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 8,019 relaed deaths.


Jacob Blake, the Black man shot multiple times by police in Wisconsin, is paralyzed, and it would “take a miracle” for him to walk again, his family’s attorney said Tuesday, while calling for the officer who opened fire to be arrested and others involved to lose their jobs.

The shooting of Blake on Sunday in Kenosha — apparently in the back while three of his children looked on — was captured on cellphone video and ignited new protests over racial injustice in several cities, coming just three months after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police touched off a wider reckoning on race.

Some demonstrations devolved into unrest, including for a third night in Kenosha, where multiple gunshots could be heard in social media posts from at least one neighborhood where residents and people carrying long guns and other weapons remained in the streets hours after they city’s 8 p.m. curfew. Kenosha Police were investigating after videos appeared to show at least two people with gunshot wounds, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel  reported.

Earlier Tuesday, Blake’s father spoke alongside other family members and lawyers, telling reporters that police shot his son “seven times, seven times, like he didn’t matter.”

“But my son matters. He’s a human being and he matters,” said Blake’s father, who is also named Jacob Blake.

The 29-year-old was in surgery Tuesday, said attorney Ben Crump, adding that the bullets severed Blake’s spinal cord and shattered his vertebrae. Another attorney said there was also severe damage to organs.



A federal appeals court has upheld the decision by Churchill Downs stewards that made Country House the winner of the 2019 Kentucky Derby. This year’s Derby is Sept. 5 after being rescheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati on Friday affirmed a U.S. District Court decision to dismiss a lawsuit by Gary and Mary West, who own Maximum Security. Their horse crossed the finish line first in last year’s Derby but was disqualified for interference. Runner-up Country House was declared the winner.

The Wests sued the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, its executive director, members and stewards after the race in May 2019. That November, federal Judge Karen Caldwell dismissed their suit seeking to challenge the decision to disqualify their horse.

The Wests sought to reverse the track stewards’ decision, contending it violated their rights to due process. They also wanted the $3 million Derby purse redistributed.

Maximum Security won the Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 22. The Wests switched the colt to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert after Jason Servis, who previously trained Maximum Security, was indicted in March on federal charges of doping horses.

Country House never raced again after the Derby. He was retired in March because of laminitis, a hoof inflammation that can cause severe pain and lameness.


A judge was wrong to dismiss a legislator's challenge to a rule banning firearms inside New Hampshire's 400-member House of Representatives, the state Supreme Court said in an opinion released Friday.

The court disagreed with a superior court judge's conclusion that the issue presented a political question, not a legal one. It sent the case back to the judge. Neither court has addressed whether the House rule is constitutional.

For the last decade, rules on allowing guns in Representatives Hall, including the anteroom and public gallery overlooking it, have flipped back and forth, depending on which party held the majority. After four years in the minority, Democrats regained control of the House in 2018, and one of their first actions was to restore the rule that Republicans had thrown out in 2015.

Republican Rep. John Burt, of Goffstown, said the ban was as absurd as banning women or minorities from the House. He sued the speaker of the House of Representatives, but the judge dismissed the complaint, saying that the Legislature had the authority to make its own rules.

Attorneys argued the case before the state Supreme Court in early March, shortly before New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu declared a state of emergency because of the coronavirus pandemic. Legislative leaders suspended activities. The House eventually reconvened in June at the Whittemore Center at the University of New Hampshire in Durham to finish out the session.


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis exceeded his authority by appointing a constitutionally ineligible person to the Florida Supreme Court, but the high court said in a ruling Thursday that it won't undo the appointment.

State Rep. Geraldine Thompson asked the court to invalidate the appointment of Judge Renatha Francis because the state constitution requires Supreme Court appointees to have served as a member of the Florida Bar for at least 10 years.

The Supreme Court said Thompson is right that Francis was ineligible for the appointment, but said she asked the court for a remedy that was not legally available, and that it would not undo the appointment on its own.

DeSantis appointed Francis on May 26, but said at the time she would not take office until Sept. 24 when she will have been a member of the Florida Bar for 10 years. The Supreme Court said that's not how appointments of justices work, and the governor is not able to appoint an ineligible justice and hold the position for a future date.

The governor chooses appointees from a list provided to him by the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission. Thompson asked the Supreme Court to invalidate Francis's appointment, throw out the list provided by the commission and force the governor to pick an eligible appointee from the new list.

But the court ruled that Thompson waited too long to challenge the list and that the proper remedy would be to have the governor immediately pick an appointee from the original list.

“It is not enough for the Petitioner to establish that the Governor exceeded his authority by appointing Judge Francis. To prevail in this action, the Petitioner also must have sought proper relief. This is where the Petitioner’s case fails,” the court wrote.

Thompson's office did not immediately reply to a phone message and emails seeking comment. DeSantis's office said it was preparing a written statement on the ruling.

If Francis takes her oath next month, she will be the first Caribbean-American to serve on the Florida court.

Francis has served as a circuit court judge since 2017. She operated a bar and trucking company in Jamaica before moving to the United States as an adult after graduating from the University of the West Indies in 2000. Francis graduated from Florida Coastal Law School in 2010.


Britain’s Supreme Court has dismissed two appeals by Chinese telecoms firms Huawei and ZTE over mobile data patent disputes.

The disputes center on the licensing of patented technology considered essential to mobile telecoms. The patents are meant to ensure fair competition and access to technology like 4G.

In the first case, Unwired Planet, an intellectual property company that licenses patents, had brought legal action against Huawei for infringement of five U.K. patents that Unwired acquired from Ericsson.

The second appeal concerned legal action brought by another patent licensing company, Conversant Wireless, against Huawei and ZTE for infringement of four of its U.K. patents.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld lower court rulings on the cases and dismissed appeals by Huawei and ZTE.

In a statement, Conversant said the ruling was a landmark judgment that will have “significant implications worldwide” for telecommunications patent licensing.

The ruling meant that companies like Huawei cannot insist that patent holders like Conversant prove their patents in every jurisdiction of the world, which would be “both practically and economically prohibitive,” the company added.

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