U.S. immigration courts are making a change to focus on deportation hearings for immigrants jailed by the federal government, giving less urgency to cases of children and families who were stopped on the U.S.-Mexico border and released.
Chief Immigration Judge MaryBeth Keller said in a memo Tuesday that the top priority for immigration judges will be scheduling quick hearings for anyone who is detained. That might potentially free up space in an immigrant jail system that is already well beyond capacity, immigration lawyers said.
While immigrants in jail have always been a priority, the Obama administration also had judges focus on children and families stopped on the U.S.-Mexico border in an attempt to deter more people from coming.
A Missouri man convicted of killing a woman and her two children almost 20 years ago asked the U.S. Supreme Court to spare his life on Monday, a day before his scheduled execution.
Mark Christeson, 37, is set for lethal injection Tuesday evening at the state prison in Bonne Terre. Investigators said he raped and killed Susan Brouk, and killed her 12-year-old daughter and her 9-year-old son near their rural south-central Missouri home in 1998.
The nation's highest court halted Christeson's execution in 2014, just hours before it was scheduled. Monday's appeal focuses on the same main issue that Christeson's attorneys cited then: His trial lawyers were so inept that they missed a 2005 deadline to file a federal court appeal, which is standard practice in death penalty cases.
His lawyers have also argued that Christeson has an IQ of 74 and was therefore mentally incapable of understanding his legal rights during his original trial.
President Donald Trump has nominated Neil Gorsuch, a fast-rising conservative judge with a writer's flair, to the Supreme Court, setting up a fierce fight with Democrats over a jurist who could shape America's legal landscape for decades to come.
At 49, Gorsuch is the youngest Supreme Court nominee in a quarter-century. He's known on the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals for clear, colloquial writing, advocacy for court review of government regulations, defense of religious freedom and skepticism toward law enforcement.
"Judge Gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline and has earned bipartisan support," Trump declared, announcing the nomination in his first televised prime-time address from the White House.
Gorsuch's nomination Tuesday was cheered by conservatives wary of Trump's own fluid ideology. If confirmed by the Senate, he would fill the seat left vacant by the death last year of Antonin Scalia, long the right's most powerful voice on the high court.
With Scalia's wife, Maureen, sitting in the audience, Trump took care to praise the late justice. Gorsuch followed, calling Scalia a "lion of the law."
Gorsuch thanked Trump for entrusting him with "a most solemn assignment." Outlining his legal philosophy, he said: "It is the rule of judges to apply, not alter, the work of the people's representatives. A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge."
Some Democrats, still smarting over Trump's unexpected victory in the presidential election, have vowed to mount a vigorous challenge to nearly any nominee to what they view as the court's "stolen seat." President Barack Obama nominated U.S. Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland for the vacancy after Scalia's death, but Senate Republicans refused to consider the pick, saying the seat should be filled only after the November election.
The Florida Supreme Court is declaring limits on lawyers' fees paid in so-called claims bills are unconstitutional.
The ruling issued Tuesday involves the case of a boy who was injured at birth due to negligence at Lee County's public hospital more than 19 years ago.
In 2012, the Legislature agreed to pay $15 million to Aaron Edwards, who suffers from cerebral palsy and other injuries. The amount was less than half of the original jury award, but government agencies are only liable for $200,000 in civil lawsuit unless the state approves a higher amount through a claims bill.
But the lawyers representing Edwards were only paid $100,000 due to the law setting legal fee limits, even though they spent more than $500,000 on the case. The court agreed the limits in such cases are unconstitutional.
Poland's government says it is taking Russia to the United Nations' principal court over the continuing probe into the 2010 death of Poland's president in a plane crash in Russia and Moscow's refusal to turn over the wreckage.
The twin brother of late President Lech Kaczynski leads Poland's ruling party. Jaroslaw Kaczynski blames the crash on Moscow. He has made finding those responsible and recovering the plane's pieces for Poland's own investigation part of his political agenda.
Russian prosecutors say they still need the wreckage for their ongoing probe. Aviation experts said the crash was an accident. Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said Wednesday that Poland is drafting up a complaint to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands.
The court rules on disputes between nations and gives advisory opinions on legal questions.
A Greensboro man has been convicted of killing a college student more than three years ago.
The News & Record of Greensboro reported Wednesday that a jury found 35-year-old Bertie McQueen guilty of second-degree murder and robbery charges in the death of 21-year-old Derrick Rogers.
Rogers, who was a student at Guilford Technical Community College, was found shot to death in a parking lot on July 2, 2013.
McQueen's defense had been that he and Rogers were both present at the time of the shooting because of a drug deal.
A third man, 28-year-old Damon Jerel Bell, is charged with accessory after the fact. His case is still pending.
No word yet on McQueen's sentencing.
Federal prosecutors say a woman involved in the kidnapping of the father of a North Carolina assistant district attorney has been found guilty for her role in the case.
The U.S. attorney's office said Tuesday 30-year-old Shamieka Goodall was found guilty of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and a substantive count of kidnapping.
Goodall faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Kelvin Melton, who is serving a life sentence in the case, was accused of commanding gang members to abduct the prosecutor, but his underlings botched the plan and snatched the prosecutor's father instead.
Authorities said Frank Janssen's captors were finalizing details to kill him and dispose of his body when a SWAT team stormed an Atlanta apartment and rescued him.