Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Announces Retirement; President Trump Will Make His Second Supreme Court Pick

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement Wednesday. The 81-year-old Kennedy said in a statement he is stepping down after more than 30 years on the court. A Republican appointee, he has held the key vote on such high-profile issues as abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, guns, campaign finance and voting rights. Kennedy said he had informed his colleagues and President Trump of his plans, and that his retirement will take effect at the end of July. President Trump praised Kennedy as a man of “tremendous vision” and said his search for a new justice would begin “immediately.” Without Kennedy, the court will be split between four liberal justices who were appointed by Democratic presidents and four conservatives who were named by Republicans. Trump’s first high court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed in April 2017. It is likely that the President will name a nominee within weeks, setting in motion a process that could allow confirmation by the time the court reconvenes in early October. Trump already has a list of 25 candidates — 24 judges and Utah Sen. Mike Lee — and has said he would choose a nominee from that list.

Justice Kennedy to retire; Trump can cement court’s conservative majority

Via www.nbcnews.com
 

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Federal Judge Orders Separated Families To Be Reunited Within 30 Days

A judge in California ordered United States border authorities to reunite separated families within 30 days. If children are younger than 5, they must be reunified within 14 days of the order issued by US District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego. Judge Sabraw, an appointee of former President Bush, also issued a nationwide injunction on future family separations, unless the parent is deemed unfit or doesn’t want to be with the child. He also requires the government to provide phone contact between parents and their children within 10 days. More than 2,000 children have been separated from their parents in recent weeks and placed in government-contracted shelters – hundreds of miles away, in some cases – under a now-abandoned policy toward families caught illegally entering the US.

Judge orders migrant families forcibly separated at border to be reunited within 30 days

Via www.chicagotribune.com
 

Supreme Court Rules For Anti-Abortion Clinics’ First Amendment Rights

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that California cannot require “crisis pregnancy centers” to provide information about the availability of abortion services elsewhere in the state, a move that rules in favor of anti-abortion clinics that claimed state law violated their First Amendment rights. The case was brought by two “crisis pregnancy centers” and challenged a California law called the “California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act”, otherwise known as the FACT Act. The law required the clinics to notify pregnant women seeking services that California provides free or low-cost abortion services and tell the women if staff at the center are licensed healthcare professionals. The clinics argued the California law limited their right to free speech by requiring them to provide information on abortion, which they opposed.

SCOTUS rules against California anti-abortion clinic law on First Amendment grounds

Via theweek.com
 

Supreme Court Upholds President Trump’s Travel Ban, Rejects Muslim Bias Claim

A divided Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries Tuesday, the conservative majority taking his side in a major ruling supporting his presidential power. One liberal justice said the court was making a historic mistake by refusing to recognize the ban discriminates against Muslims. The 5-4 decision was a big victory for President Trump in the court’s first substantive ruling on one of his administration’s policies. The ruling came on an issue that has been central for President Trump through his presidency. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion for the five conservative justices, including President Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch. Roberts wrote that the travel ban was well within U.S. presidents’ considerable authority over immigration and responsibility for keeping the nation safe. He rejected the challengers’ claim of anti-Muslim bias.

Supreme Court upholds travel ban in big victory for Trump

Via www.nbcnews.com
 

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FDA Approves First Drug Derived From Marijuana Plant

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first prescription drug derived from the marijuana plant, as a treatment for rare forms of epilepsy that primarily afflict children. The drug, called Epidiolex, is an oral solution containing highly purified cannabidiol (CBD), which is one of scores of chemicals in the cannabis sativa plant, commonly known as marijuana. The drug contains only trace amounts of the psychoactive element THC and does not induce euphoria. Epidiolex was approved for patients age 2 and older who suffer from Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes. Both cause uncontrolled daily seizures and put patients at high risk for other physical and intellectual disabilities, injury and early death. The disorders afflict fewer than 45,000 people in the United States, but experts expect Epidiolex to be prescribed for other types of epilepsy as well. The drug is the first treatment approved for Dravet syndrome. The medication, tested in three randomized, placebo-controlled trials with more than 500 patients, was effective in reducing seizures, the FDA said.

U.S. approves first marijuana plant-derived drug for epilepsy

Via feeds.reuters.com
 

President Trump Has Harsh Words For Rep. Maxine Waters After Restaurant Controversy Involving Kirstjen Nielsen And Sarah Sanders

On Monday, President Donald Trump called Rep. Maxine Waters “an extraordinarily low IQ person” in response to a weekend speech in which the Los Angeles Democrat urged people opposed to the administration’s policies to confront cabinet members. Monday’s presidential tweet was apparently prompted by comments that Waters made Saturday, alluding to the heckling of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who was dining at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., last Tuesday when she was confronted by protesters, and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders being asked last Friday to leave a Lexington, Virginia, restaurant by its owner. Rep. Waters had said: “Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

Trump calls Waters ‘extraordinarily low IQ person’ in wake of restaurant controversy

Via abcnews.go.com
 

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U.S. Still Working On Reuniting Over 2,000 Children with Families

A total of 500 were reunited with their families and 2,053 left to go, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported this weekend. They also announced plans to partner with agencies in order to quickly return the remaining minors with their parents. The DHS assured it had a “well-coordinated” process in place to return the thousands of children separated from their guardians per the “zero tolerance” policy which until days ago was in full force along the U.S. southern border. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has implemented a tracking mechanism which they say will work to “”every minor and parent or guardian.” The DHS said  “The United States government knows the location of all children in its custody and is working to reunite them with their families.” These new details came after more than two months of confusion over how detained migrant parents, who are shuttled from facility to facility run by different government agencies, would ever reunite with their children, who are sent to shelters and foster homes scattered across the country.

U.S. says still working to reunite 2,053 children with families

Via feeds.reuters.com
 

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President Trump Calls For Immediate Deportation Of Undocumented Immigrants With ‘No Judges Or Court Cases’

President Donald Trump said on Sunday that people who enter the United States illegally should be sent back immediately to where they came from without any judicial process, likening them to invaders who are trying to “break into” the country. In a series of tweets on Sunday, Trump said: “We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came.”  He then said, “Cannot accept all of the people trying to break into our Country. Strong Borders, No Crime!” It was unclear if Trump was advocating an expansion of the provision that allows expedited removals of illegal immigrants at or near the U.S. border, a policy his administration has encouraged since he took office. The President did not differentiate between illegal immigrants and people who entered the United States to seek asylum protection.

Trump: Deport migrants ‘immediately’ without a trial

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Koko, The Gorilla Who Knew Sign Language, Dies At 46

Koko, the gorilla who mastered sign language, has died. The Gorilla Foundation said the 46-year-old western lowland gorilla died in her sleep at the foundation’s preserve in Northern California’s Santa Cruz Mountains on Tuesday.  Koko was born at the San Francisco Zoo, and Francine Patterson began teaching the gorilla sign language as part of a Stanford University project in 1974. The foundation said “Koko’s capacity for language and empathy opened the minds and hearts of millions.” Koko appeared in many documentaries and twice in National Geographic magazine. The gorilla’s 1978 cover featured a photo that the animal had taken of herself in a mirror. The foundation said it will honor Koko’s legacy with a sign language application featuring Koko for the benefit of gorillas and children, as well as other projects.

Koko, the gorilla who mastered sign language, dies

Via www.cbsnews.com
 

First Lady Melania Trump Visits Immigrant Children At Texas Detention Center

Melania Trump visited two Texas facilities yesterday, which are housing some of the more than 2,300 migrant children sent by the U.S. government after their families entered the country illegally. The first lady visited the Upbring New Hope Children’s Center in McAllen, Texas on Thursday.  This comes after President Donald Trump signed an executive order halting the practice of separating families. However, his policy of criminally prosecuting illegal border-crossers remains. 

Melania Trump Visits Detention Center at the Border in Texas, Aims to ‘Reunite Children With Their Families’

Via www.nbcconnecticut.com
 

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