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White House sources think Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court's ideological fulcrum, may announce his retirement today, as the justices gather on the bench for the last time this term.

If that happens, Day 158 instantly becomes President Trump's biggest moment.

Trump's first Court appointment, of Justice Neil Gorsuch, was a one-for-one ideological swap for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Replacing Kennedy would be even more historic and consequential: a momentous chance to edge the Court right, since Kennedy is the center of the Court — the one most willing to listen to both sides.

On a controversial case, both sides pitch to him. It's been called "Kennedy's Court." No one's predicting: Court watchers say no one knows, and Kennedy has said nothing publicly. He could well wait one more year: The Court buzz is that it'll be this year or next.

Be smart: Few domestic developments could more instantly and decisively change the national conversation — blotting out almost everything else, and vastly reducing the sting for conservatives is healthcare tanks.

A Washington wise man emails: "With two court appointments and maybe one more, Trump's presidency will be consequential even if he has few legislative achievements. This week may well demonstrate both."


Donald Trump's administration is pledging a Supreme Court showdown over his travel ban. That's after a federal appeals court said Thursday in ruling against it that the ban "drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination."

Citing the president's duty to protect the country from terrorism, Attorney General Jeff Sessions says that the Justice Department will ask the high court to review the case. He's offered no timetable.

The justices almost always have the final say when a lower court strikes down a federal law or presidential action.

The presidential executive order issued by Trump seeks to temporarily cut off visas for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.




Puerto Rico's governor says he'll ask a court to restructure the debts of the U.S. territory's public pension system, which is projected to run out of money this year.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello says the government has been unable to reach a deal with creditors to whom it owes some $3 billion.

Rossello said late Sunday that retired workers will still receive their pensions. He says the government will dip into its general fund once the pension system itself runs out of money. The pension system is underfunded by some $50 billion.

The previous administration already had trimmed benefits and a federal control board overseeing the island's finances is seeking more cuts. It says the system will switch to pay-as-you-go funding.




Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel is set to learn whether he will get a new trial in the killing of a girl in 1975 when they were teenage neighbors in a wealthy Connecticut enclave.

The Connecticut Supreme Court will decide Monday on a request by Skakel's lawyers to reconsider its 4-3 ruling in December to reinstate his murder conviction in the bludgeoning of Martha Moxley in Greenwich. A lower court overturned the 2002 conviction, citing mistakes made by Skakel's trial lawyer.

Among arguments by Skakel's appellate lawyers are that trial lawyer Michael Sherman failed to argue Skakel's brother could have been the killer.

Skakel is a nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel. He was serving 20 years to life in prison when he was freed after the 2013 ruling.


President Donald Trump, still chafing over rulings blocking his travel ban early this year, says he's considered breaking up the West Coast-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Asked during a White House interview by the Washington Examiner if he'd thought about proposals to break up the court, Trump replied, "Absolutely, I have." He added that "there are many people that want to break up the 9th Circuit. It's outrageous."

The comments echoed his Twitter criticism of the court Wednesday morning.

Trump called U.S. District Judge William Orrick's preliminary injunction against his order stripping money from sanctuary cities "ridiculous" on Twitter. He said that he planned to take that case to the Supreme Court. But an administration appeal of the district court's decision would go first to the 9th Circuit.



Court documents show a central Oregon couple accused of killing their 5-year-old daughter debated whether they should take her to a doctor hours before she died.

The Bend Bulletin reports that Estevan Garcia and Sacora Horn-Garcia texted each other on the morning of Dec. 21 trying to decide whether to take Maliyha Garcia to the doctor.

Two hours later, paramedics found the girl unconscious in the Redmond home. Rigor mortis had set in by the time the girl reached the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Autopsy reports show she died of emaciation. Garcia and Horn-Garcia were charged in early April with murder, manslaughter and criminal mistreatment. Prosecutors allege the couple intentionally withheld food from the girl as a form of punishment. Attorneys for both have declined to speak about the case, citing a judge's gag order.


A unanimous Supreme Court is siding with Goodyear Rubber & Tire Co. in a dispute over $2.7 million the company and its lawyers were ordered to pay in a personal injury case.

The justices on Tuesday sent the case back to a lower court to decide whether an Arizona family injured in a 2003 motor home accident is entitled to the entire amount.

The family sued Goodyear after they were seriously injured when a tire failed on their motor home, causing it to flip off the road. After settling the case in 2010, the family discovered the company hadn't turned over key testing data.

A federal judge said nearly all of the family's attorney fees could be blamed on the misconduct. A federal appeals court agreed.

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