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Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid says he is convinced that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will nominate Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court if she is elected president.
Senate Republicans have blocked Garland's confirmation since President Barack Obama nominated him in March. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the next president will choose the person to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Reid said on a conference call Thursday that he is predicting Clinton will pick Garland "with some degree of credibility." He praised Garland and said Clinton's team would not want to "rock the boat" with a new pick.

He said Republicans who are blocking Garland's nomination are "minions" and "enablers" of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. He said Trump is unfit for office.

A Shariah high court in Nigeria's northern Kano city has sentenced a Muslim cleric and nine others to death by hanging for blasphemy.
The court of Islamic law made the ruling Tuesday against cleric Abdulaziz Dauda and nine others, saying they also incited people to perpetuate religious violence.

Those who filed the suit against Dauda say he equated the Prophet Muhammad with the late leader of another religious order during a public gathering in Kano in August.

Prosecutor Lamido Abba Sorondinki said the accused were found guilty after five witnesses, including police, testified against the cleric. The 10 have the right to seek redress at an upper appellate court.

A moderate version of Shariah is practiced alongside Western-style justice in the mainly Muslim northern states.

Pennsylvania Democrats and Republicans demonstrated Tuesday that party endorsements count as they nominated five party-backed candidates for the state Supreme Court.

Democrats nominated both of their endorsees — Philadelphia Judge Kevin Dougherty and Superior Court Judge David Wecht — and Superior Court Judge Christine Donohue, although she had not been endorsed because the party could not muster enough votes for a third endorsement.

Republicans picked Superior Court Judge Judy Olson, Adams County Judge Mike George and Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey, all backed by the GOP state committee.

Dougherty waged an aggressive TV advertising campaign with $1.4 million raised mainly from labor organizations, lawyers and businesses. His brother is the business manager of the Philadelphia local of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, a generous supporter.

Wecht, who's based in Pittsburgh, trailed Dougherty in fundraising with $900,000 in contributions. He's a former Allegheny County judge and the son of pathologist Cyril Wecht, whose inquiries into the deaths of well-known figures such as Elvis Presley gained him national fame.

A Florence attorney has pleaded guilty to defrauding his clients. U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said Friday that 48-year-old William J. Rivers pleaded guilty to mail fraud.

Authorities began investigating after some of Rivers' clients complained to the South Carolina Bar Association. Between 2006 and 2012, prosecutors say more than 100 of his firms' clients were defrauded of more than $3.3 million.

Authorities say Rivers settled personal injury cases but didn't tell his clients or medical providers about the settlement money, which he kept. Prosecutors say that action left Rivers' clients still owing money for treatments they had received.

Prosecutors say Rivers' law partner committed suicide during the investigation. Rivers faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 when he's sentenced.

Lawyers convicted of child pornography charges will automatically be disbarred and prohibited from practicing law in California, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

Deciding the fate of an Orange County lawyer whose license was suspended after he pleaded guilty to having child porn at his home, the court said that keeping sexual images of children constitutes an act of moral turpitude that makes an attorney unfit for the legal profession.

"The knowing possession of child pornography is a serious breach of the duties of respect and care that all adults owe to all children, and it shows such a flagrant disrespect for the law and for societal norms, that continuation of a convicted attorney's State Bar membership would be likely to undermine public confidence in and respect for the legal profession," Justice Carol Corrigan wrote in the opinion.

The unanimous ruling came in the case of Gary Douglass Grant, a former Army lawyer at the Los Alamitos Army Reserve Base in Orange County. Grant pleaded guilty to one count of knowingly possessing child pornography in 2009 after sheriff's deputies found videos and photographs of underage girls mixed in with a large adult pornography collection on his computers and data discs.

A Seattle lawyer who quietly amassed a fortune by investing his inherited family wealth has left a bequest of nearly $188 million to benefit Seattle Children's Hospital, the University of Washington School of Law and the Salvation Army.

Hospital officials said, in announcing Jack MacDonald's bequest Tuesday, that it was the largest charitable gift in Seattle Children's 106-year history. The Law School said it was also the largest gift in its 114-year history.

The three organizations will receive income earned by the trust each year, with 40 percent, or nearly $4 million a year, going to support pediatric research at the hospital in honor of his mother, a long-time hospital volunteer. Thirty percent of the income goes to support student scholarships and other needs at the law school, where he graduated in 1940, in appreciation of his education.

The remaining 30 percent supports the Salvation Army in honor of MacDonald's father, Frederick MacDonald, who owned MacDonald Meat Co. and wanted to help men and women in need.

Jack MacDonald died in September at age 98. He worked for three decades as an attorney for the Veterans Administration in Seattle.

A defense attorney who once had a roster of celebrity clients and boasted of having tried hundreds of cases in federal court was sentenced there on Monday to life in prison without parole after his conviction on nearly two dozen counts including murder conspiracy and racketeering.

Paul Bergrin, in custody since his 2009 arrest, wore khaki prison scrubs and showed little reaction as a judge read what amounted to several life sentences Monday afternoon in a federal courtroom in Newark.

The 57-year-old former federal prosecutor once represented an Army reservist charged in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq and celebrities such as Queen Latifah, the rapper Lil' Kim and the group Naughty By Nature. He also represented reputed gang members and alleged drug kingpins from his offices in Newark.

Bergrin, formerly of Nutley, and several associates were arrested and charged in May 2009 with running his law business as a criminal enterprise. The U.S. attorney's office charged Bergrin with more than 30 counts including racketeering, setting up the murder of a witness, money laundering and drug offenses. His first trial, in which Bergrin represented himself, ended in a hung jury two years ago.

A second trial resulted in his conviction in March on 23 counts related to operating what prosecutors said was a racketeering enterprise that engaged in drug trafficking, prostitution, bribery, plotting to murder witnesses and money laundering.

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