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The U.S. Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump's appointment of Pima County Superior Court Judge Scott Rash as a U.S. District Court judge for Arizona.

The Senate's vote Tuesday on confirmation of Rash's appointment was 74-20..

Trump nominated Rash last September to fill a vacancy created in April 2018 by Judge Cindy Jorgenson's shift to senior status.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Rash's appointment last year and formally endorsed it in January.

Then-Gov. Jan Brewer appointed Rash as a Superior Court judge in 2010. He previously worked in private practice with a Tucson law firm and before that as an Arizona assistant attorney general.

Republican Sen. Martha McSally said Rash has a strong work ethic and is fair-minded and will be an excellent federal judge.



The Supreme Court on Friday declined a request by states who cited the coronavirus pandemic in asking the justices to reverse course and temporarily halt a Trump administration policy that makes it harder for legal immigrants to become permanent residents if they use public benefits.

The justices in January voted 5-4 along ideological lines to allow the Trump administration to implement its policy while lawsuits against it continued.

But earlier this month lawyers for Connecticut, New York, Vermont and New York City asked the justices to reconsider. They said the Trump administration’s so-called public charge rule is hindering the states' ability to stop the spread of the coronavirus by “deterring immigrants from accessing healthcare and public benefits.”

The order from the Supreme Court on Friday was brief, with no justice noting disagreement. In January, the court’s five conservative justices allowed the Trump administration policy to go into effect over the objections of its four liberals. The court said its order Friday didn't prevent lawyers from going to a lower court.


A leading Democratic super PAC has promised it will tangle in court with President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign to keep airing television ads the Republican president is trying to keep off the airwaves.

Priorities USA Action chief Guy Cecil said Thursday that his group will intervene as a defendant in a lawsuit that Trump’s campaign filed in Wisconsin state court to block a local NBC affiliate from airing one of the super PAC’s ads that blasts the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Trump campaign is trying to railroad a TV station into censorship of ads critical of the president, and we will not let that stand,” Cecil said. “We stand by the facts in the ad and will defend it in court if necessary.”

The lawsuit, filed against WJFW-TV, an NBC affiliate in northern Wisconsin, sets up a notable battle between Trump’s financially flush reelection campaign and one of the biggest spending groups in Democratic politics. Priorities USA has spent much of Trump’s term researching voters’ views in key battleground states, including Wisconsin, that delivered Trump his Electoral College victory in 2016, and the PAC has committed to an extended television and digital advertising campaign to potential swing voters in those states.

The ad in question pieces together audio clips of the president downplaying the threat posed by the COVID-19 virus, while a chart that is splashed across the screen gradually begins to shoot upward as cases of the virus skyrocketed across the nation.



The Supreme Court is leaving in place a decision that a man freed after more than 40 years in prison can't sue for damages.

The high court on Monday turned away a lawsuit by Louis Taylor. Taylor was convicted of starting a 1970 fire at the Pioneer Hotel in Tucson, Arizona, that killed nearly 30 people. He was serving a life sentence when he was freed in 2013 after an expert determined the fire was not arson, a finding the government disputed.

In order to be released, Taylor entered a no contest plea to the original charges against him. Lower courts ruled that because of the no contest plea Taylor could not sue for damages.

As is usual, the Supreme Court did not comment in turning away the case. The high court announced its decision not to hear the case and many others in an order posted online. The court previously postponed arguments that had been scheduled for this week and next because of the coronavirus and closed the Supreme Court to the public.


PolyMet Mining Inc. said Thursday it will ask the Minnesota Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that canceled three permits needed for its proposed copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.

PolyMet President and CEO Jon Cherry said in a statement that Monday's decision from the Court of Appeals has far-reaching impacts for Minnesota and any future project that depends on state permits

The appeals court gave environmentalists a big victory by sending the dispute back to the Department of Natural Resources for a trial-like contested case hearing before a neutral administrative law judge on the project's environmental risks.

PolyMet pointed out that the DNR has already held a 15-year-long environmental review and permitting process that included numerous chances for the public to weigh in.

“No other company in the history of the state has been subjected to anywhere near the time and cost that was associated with this permitting process,” Cherry said. “We did everything the state and the law required, and more. And the process confirmed that our project will be protective of human health and the environment."

The company said it will file its petition with the Supreme Court within the 30-day deadline.
DNR spokesman Chris Niskanen said the agency has not decided whether to appeal.


The Nebraska Supreme Court has rejected the latest appeal of a Texas man on Nebraska’s death row for killed two Grand Island men in 2007.

Marco Torres Jr., formerly of Pasadena, Texas, had sought post-conviction relief for a third time after being sentenced to death for two counts of first-degree murder and other counts in the robbery and shooting deaths of 48-year-old Timothy Donohue and 60-year-old Edward Hall. In his latest appeal, Torres argued that his death sentence should be converted to life in prison based on the Legislature’s vote to repeal the state’s death penalty in 2015. Nebraska voters later reinstated the death penalty.

Torres argued in the appeal that the referendum process to reinstate Nebraska’s capital punishment and his death sentence amounted to violations of his constitutional due process rights and against cruel and unusual punishment.

The state’s high court on Friday rejected Torres’ arguments, saying it found no merit to his claims.


The state Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that drivers must use their signal every time they turn or change lanes on a roadway.

Thursday’s ruling reverses a Court of Appeals ruling that said a signal is required only when public safety is affected. The high court ruled that the plain language of the law requires drivers “to ensure turns and lane changes are done safely and with an appropriate turn signal."

The ruling was issued in the case of David Brown, who was arrested for driving under the influence in Kennewick in March 2015. State patrol officers pulled him over after he briefly turned on his left turn signal while approaching a light in a designated left turn lane but turned it off and did not reactivate it while at the light or making the turn. He was arrested after his breath test showed .26 breath alcohol content, more than triple the legal limit.

Brown had argued that the evidence of the breath test should be suppressed because the underlying traffic stop was without cause, and a lower court agreed and dismissed the case. The only issue before the Supreme Court was whether Brown violated traffic laws. The case now goes back to the lower courts to proceed in accordance with the high court's guidance on the initial stop.

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