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A judge held a hearing Tuesday but didn’t say how she would decide a lawsuit filed by Mississippi’s only abortion clinic, which is trying to remain open by blocking a law that would ban most abortions in the state.

The law — which state lawmakers passed before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 ruling that allowed abortions nationwide — is set to take effect Thursday.

The Jackson Women’s Health Organization sought a temporary restraining order that would allow it to remain open, at least while the lawsuit remains in court.

The closely watched lawsuit is part of a flurry of activity that has occurred nationwide since the Supreme Court ruled. Conservative states have moved to halt or limit abortions while others have sought to ensure abortion rights, all as some women try to obtain the medical procedure against the changing legal landscape.

Meanwhile a Florida judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked a new 15-week abortion ban days after it took effect in the state, an expected move following an oral ruling last week in which he said the law violated the state constitution.


An emergency stay of Ohio’s newly imposed state ban on abortions at the first detectable “fetal heartbeat” was rejected Friday by the state Supreme Court.

At issue was a request by Ohio abortion providers for the interim delay while the court reviews the question of whether the ban should be overturned. The providers argue the law violates the Ohio Constitution’s broad protections of individual liberty.

Their lawsuit followed imposition of the Ohio ban June 24, the same day the U.S. Supreme Court found the U.S. Constitution does not protect a woman’s right to an abortion. A federal judge lifted his stay on Ohio’s abortion restriction later that night.

The Ohio law prohibits abortions after what it terms a “fetal heartbeat” can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks’ gestation, or before many women know they are pregnant. It makes exceptions for the life of the mother and certain severe health risks.

The office of Attorney General Dave Yost, defending the new law, opposed the emergency stay, saying the Ohio Constitution does not recognize the right to an abortion.


The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday for an American woman who is involved in a bitter international custody dispute with her Italian husband over their young son.

The high court threw out lower court decisions ordering the return of the boy to Italy despite finding that he would be at “grave risk of psychological harm” because of the father’s physical and emotional abuse of the mother. The child, now around 6, has been living in the U.S. with his mother since 2018.

Federal courts in New York ruled that judges must try to return children to their usual country of residence by imposing conditions that would mitigate the risk, under the international Hague Convention on child abduction.

Writing for the Supreme Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said judges have ample discretion to refrain from ordering a child returned, if they find “the grave risk so unequivocal, or the potential harm so severe, that ameliorative measures would be inappropriate.”

The justices ordered a new look at the case with that discretion in mind.

It’s beyond dispute, Sotomayor wrote that the relationship between Narkis Golan, a U.S. citizen, and Isacco Saada, an Italian, “was characterized by violence from the beginning.” They met at a wedding in Milan in 2014, were married a year later and had their son a year after that.


The Indiana Supreme Court on Friday threw out a law that gave state legislators increased power to intervene during public health emergencies, agreeing with arguments from Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb that the move violated the state constitution.

The court’s unanimous decision settles a legal fight that began more than a year ago when Holcomb sued over a law that was a response to his efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new law gave legislative leaders authority to call the General Assembly into an “emergency session” if the governor declares a statewide emergency. The GOP-dominated Legislature approved it over Holcomb’s veto.

Holcomb’s lawyers contended that the state constitution allows only the governor to call the Legislature into meetings for consideration of new laws outside of its annual sessions that begin in early January and adjourn by the end of April.

Chief Justice Loretta Rush agreed, writing for the five-justice court that Holcomb’s attorneys had “satisfied the high burden required to establish that the law is unconstitutional.”

“Under our Constitution, the General Assembly simply cannot do what the challenged law permits absent a constitutional amendment,” Rush added.

Holcomb said in a statement that the battle over the law had raised “important procedural, statutory and Constitutional questions that only the courts could answer.”

“Today, the Indiana Supreme Court has provided clarity and finality on these important issues,” he said.

The high court’s ruling came after a Marion County judge sided with the Legislature in October.


A suburban Philadelphia man charged in the January 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol after he was turned in by an ex-girlfriend after reportedly insulting her intelligence for not believing the election had been stolen has pleaded guilty to a felony count.

Richard Michetti, 29, of Ridley Park pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Washington to a charge of aiding and abetting obstruction of an official proceeding. He was originally also charged with trespassing, violent entry and disorderly conduct.

FBI authorities said a former romantic partner of Michetti alerted authorities about his presence a day after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot by supporters of then-President Donald Trump. Officials said photos showed him inside the Capitol Rotunda.

The affidavit alleged that Michetti said he was there to protest the election results and told the informant in a text message several hours after the siege began “If you can’t see the election was stolen you’re a moron.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Michetti said little during Tuesday’s hearing. He is to be sentenced on Sept. 1, and although the charge carries a maximum 20-year sentence, federal sentencing guidelines call for call for a prison term of 15 to 21 months, the paper reported.


The State Bar of Texas sued Wednesday to punish state Attorney General Ken Paxton for his failed efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election based on bogus claims of fraud, raising a new legal danger for the Republican the day after he secured his party’s nomination for a third term.

The state bar asked a Dallas-area court to impose unspecified discipline on the state’s top lawyer, alleging that Paxton’s petitioning of the U.S. Supreme Court to block President Joe Biden’s victory was “dishonest.” The formal accusation of professional misconduct makes Paxton one of the highest-profile attorneys to face a potential threat to their law license for a role in former President Donald Trump’s effort to delegitimize his defeat.

The petition to a Collin County court came the day after Paxton defeated Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush in a Republican runoff election. That victory sets him up for a general election contest with Rochelle Garza, a South Texas Democrat and civil rights lawyer, as Paxton is also facing a trial over long-delayed state fraud charges and a separate FBI investigation prompted by criminal allegations from the attorney general’s own staff. One of Paxton’s lawyers, Philip Hilder, declined to comment.

The bar has been investigating complaints over Paxton’s election suit since last summer and opened a similar disciplinary proceeding against his top deputy earlier in May. Paxton forecast this month that the bar would seek to discipline him, decrying it as “a liberal activist group” and saying he stood behind his challenge to the “unconstitutional 2020 presidential election.”

A spokesman for the bar, which is a branch of the Texas Supreme Court, declined to comment. The group previously said that “partisan political considerations play no role” in its actions.

In bringing a court action against an attorney, the bar can seek punishment ranging from a written admonition to a suspension or disbarment. The disciplinary process resembles a trial and could include both sides eliciting testimony and obtaining records through discovery.

The bar complaint against Paxton alleges that he “misrepresented” facts to the Supreme Court in a suit seeking to overturn Biden’s victor. The suit was backed by Trump. The high court threw out the lawsuit that and the Justice Department under Trump found no evidence of fraud that could have changed the election’s outcome.

Before winning the nomination on Tuesday, Paxton drew an unusual number of primary challenges after eight of his top deputies told the FBI in 2020 that the attorney general had been using his office to benefit a wealthy donor. The eight, who eventually quit or were fired, accused him of bribery, abuse of office and other crimes prompting an ongoing federal investigation.

Paxton has denied wrongdoing and separately pleaded not guilty in a state securities fraud case that has languished since 2015.


An accountant who worked for the consultant at the center of the college admissions bribery case has avoided prison for his role in the sweeping scheme.

U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani on Friday sentenced Steven Masera, 72, to time already served, ordered him to pay a $20,000 fine and remain on three years’ supervised release.

Masera pleaded guilty in 2019 to a charge of racketeering conspiracy in Boston federal court. Masera, of Folsom, California, was an accountant for Rick Singer, the mastermind of the bribery scheme that involved rigged test scores and bogus athletic credentials.

Prosecutors say Masera created fake donation receipt letters and bogus invoices that allowed the wealthy parents who paid bribes to write their payments off as donations or business expenses.

Prosecutors argued that Masera is less culpable than the parents and coaches involved in the scheme, noting that he was working at Singer’s direction and “stood to gain nothing beyond his hourly compensation.”

An email seeking comment was sent Friday to lawyers for Masera. His attorneys wrote in court documents that he is “ashamed that he would agree to be involved in such conduct, but is nevertheless handling the situation with grace.”

Singer pleaded guilty to a slew of charges and has yet to be sentenced. Others convicted in the case have received sentences ranging from probation to 15 months behind bars.

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