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When the U.S. Supreme Court repealed in June a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, Wisconsin’s 1849 law that bans the procedure except when a mother’s life is at risk became newly relevant.

Republicans in the Legislature blocked an attempt by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to overturn the law. Yet there’s disagreement inside the GOP over how to move forward when they return to the state Capitol in January.

The state’s powerful Republican Assembly speaker, Robin Vos, supports reinforcing the exception for a mother’s life and adding protections for instances involving rape and incest. Others, including GOP state Rep. Barbara Dittrich, say the law should stay as it is, without exceptions for rape and incest.

For decades, Republicans like Vos and Dittrich appealed to conservative voters — and donors — with broad condemnation of abortion. But the Supreme Court’s decision is forcing Republicans from state legislatures to Congress to the campaign trail to articulate more specifically what that opposition means, sometimes creating division over where the party should stand.

Dittrich says consensus among her Republican colleagues on an alternative to the 1849 law would be a “tremendous challenge.” “We once heard that the Democrats were the big-tent party,” she said in an interview. “Now I would say the Republican Party is more the big-tent party on some of these issues.”

Of course, supporters of abortion rights are now a distinct minority in Republican politics. Just two GOP members of Congress — Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — publicly support passing legislation to reinstate the protections of a woman’s right to choose that the Supreme Court struck down in overruling Roe v. Wade. In Colorado, U.S. Senate candidate Joe O’Dea is the rare Republican running this year who backs codifying Roe.

But the debate over even a limited set of circumstances in which abortion could be legal spurred some division within the GOP in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

In Indiana, after a decade of stalled legislation on abortion, empowered Republicans passed the first near-total abortion ban since the Supreme Court ruling. But even that measure drew dissent within the GOP. Exemptions for rape and incest up to 10 weeks prevailed after 50 Republicans joined with all Democrats to include them.


An anti-immigration group has scored a legal victory in its federal lawsuit arguing the Biden administration violated environmental law when it halted construction of the U.S. southern border wall and sought to undo other immigration policies by former President Donald Trump.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., ruled Friday that a lawsuit brought by the Massachusetts Coalition for Immigration Reform against three federal agencies can proceed, at least in part.

Judge Trevor McFadden said the federal district court has jurisdiction to hear the case, though he dismissed two of the Boston-area group’s 11 claims.

The coalition argues the Biden administration violated federal environmental law when it halted construction of the wall, ended Trump’s controversial “Remain in Mexico” asylum process, expanded refugee programs for Afghans, Central Americans and other populations, and eased certain policies for border patrol and immigration enforcement agents, among other measures.

The Massachusetts coalition, which advocates for reducing immigration for environmental reasons, says the U.S. Department of State, Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security should have conducted environmental impact analysis before implementing the immigration changes, as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.


The lawyer for a Palestinian prisoner said Tuesday that her client will appeal his case to Israel’s Supreme Court as he continues what his family says is a 165-day hunger strike against his detention.

Also Tuesday, an Israeli military court extended the sentence for a second Palestinian prisoner by six days.

The release of both men — hunger striker Khalil Awawdeh and Bassam al-Saadi, a West Bank Islamic Jihad leader — was among the demands of the militant group for a cease-fire to last week’s intense fighting in the Gaza Strip.

Khalil Awawdeh is protesting being held without charge or trial under what Israel refers to as administrative detention. Ahlam Haddad, Awawdeh’s lawyer, said her client’s health is deteriorating and that they asked that he be released. An Israeli military court on Monday rejected an appeal.

“Justice was not done,” Haddad said. “We turn to... the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, in order maybe to get the relief requested, which is his release from administrative detention.”

Awawdeh, a 40-year-old father of four, is one of several Palestinian prisoners who have gone on prolonged hunger strikes over the years to protest administrative detention. Israel says the policy helps keep dangerous militants off the streets and allows the government to hold suspects without divulging sensitive intelligence. Critics say the policy denies prisoners due process.

Israel says Awawdeh is a militant, an allegation he has denied through his lawyer.

The Islamic Jihad militant group demanded his release as part of an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire ending three days of heavy fighting in the Gaza Strip earlier this month but did not identify him as its member. Israel arrested al-Saadi in the days leading up to the Gaza flare-up.

Haddad said her client has not eaten during the strike, except for a 10-day period in which he received vitamin injections, according to his family. Israel’s Shin Bet internal security service has not commented on his case.

Israel is currently holding some 4,400 Palestinian prisoners, including militants who have carried out deadly attacks, as well as people arrested at protests or for throwing stones. Around 670 Palestinians are currently being held in administrative detention, a number that jumped in March as Israel began near-nightly arrest raids in the occupied West Bank following a spate of deadly attacks against Israelis.


A federal judge sentenced a San Diego man to 18 years in prison Friday for piloting a small vessel overloaded with 32 migrants that smashed apart in powerful surf off San Diego’s coast last year, killing three people.

U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino called it “the most egregious case I’ve ever had in my courtroom in over 15 years in the Southern District of California” before sentencing 40-year-old Antonio Hurtado.

Prosecutors say Hurtado was high on drugs when he drove the migrants into rough, stormy seas in the dark on May 2021. As 5-to-8-foot (1.5-2.4-meter) waves pounded the vessel, he jumped overboard and swam to shore, abandoning the passengers he had told to hide in the cabin and under deck. The boat capsized and broke apart as they were hurled into the treacherous early morning waters. Hurtado’s lawyer could not be reached for comment.

More than two dozen people were injured, including a 15-year-old Mexican boy and a 15-year-old Mexican girl. The 32 migrants — all but one from Mexico — had agreed to pay between $15,000 and $18,000 to be smuggled into the United States.


Idaho’s strict abortion bans will be allowed to take effect while legal challenges over the laws play out in court, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The ruling means potential relatives of an embryo or fetus can now sue abortion providers over procedures done after six weeks of gestation — before many people know they are pregnant. Another stricter ban criminalizing all abortions takes effect later this month.

A doctor and a regional Planned Parenthood affiliate sued the state earlier this year over three anti-abortion laws, most designed to take effect should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade, which it did in June.

In a split ruling, the majority of justices on the Idaho Supreme Court said the laws could take effect but sped up the timeline for the lawsuits to be decided. Two justices agreed with expediting the cases, but said they felt the laws shouldn’t be enforced until the legal wrangling is complete.

“Tonight, the people of Idaho saw their bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom taken away,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Alexis McGill Johnson said in a news release. “The court’s decision today is horrific and cruel. But this isn’t the end of the fight, and it isn’t our last day in court. No one should see their lives used as pawns by their elected officials or judicial system.”

The U.S. Department of Justice is also suing Idaho in federal court over a near-total abortion ban, and has asked that the law be put on hold. The federal judge has not yet ruled in that case.


Facing prison time and dire personal consequences for storming the U.S. Capitol, some Jan. 6 defendants are trying to profit from their participation in the deadly riot, using it as a platform to drum up cash, promote business endeavors and boost social media profiles.

A Nevada man jailed on riot charges asked his mother to contact publishers for a book he was writing about “the Capitol incident.” A rioter from Washington state helped his father hawk clothes and other merchandise bearing slogans such as “Our House” and images of the Capitol building. A Virginia man released a rap album with riot-themed songs and a cover photograph of him sitting on a police vehicle outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Those actions are sometimes complicating matters for defendants when they face judges at sentencing as prosecutors point to the profit-chasing activities in seeking tougher punishments. The Justice Department, in some instances, is trying to claw back money that rioters have made off the insurrection.

In one case, federal authorities have seized tens of thousands of dollars from a defendant who sold his footage from Jan. 6. In another case, a Florida man’s plea deal allows the U.S. government to collect profits from any book he gets published over the next five years. And prosecutors want a Maine man who raised more than $20,000 from supporters to surrender some of the money because a taxpayer-funded public defender is representing him.

Many rioters have paid a steep personal price for their actions on Jan. 6. At sentencing, rioters often ask for leniency on the grounds that they already have experienced severe consequences for their crimes.

They lost jobs or entire careers. Marriages fell apart. Friends and relatives shunned them or even reported them to the FBI. Strangers have sent them hate mail and online threats. And they have racked up expensive legal bills to defend themselves against federal charges ranging from misdemeanors to serious felonies.

Websites and crowdfunding platforms set up to collect donations for Capitol riot defendants try to portray them as mistreated patriots or even political prisoners.

An anti-vaccine medical doctor who pleaded guilty to illegally entering the Capitol founded a nonprofit that raised more than $430,000 for her legal expenses. The fundraising appeal by Dr. Simone Gold’s group, America’s Frontline Doctors, didn’t mention her guilty plea, prosecutors noted.


R. Kelly’s federal trial in Chicago that starts Monday is in many ways a do-over of his 2008 state child pornography trial, at which jurors acquitted the singer on charges that he produced a video of himself when he was around 30 having sex with a girl no older than 14.

There’s one big difference: This time, prosecutors say, she will testify.

Kelly, 55, goes into Chicago federal court already sentenced by a New York federal judge to a 30-year prison term for a 2021 conviction on charges he parlayed his fame to sexually abuse other young fans.

Among the most serious charges the Grammy Award winner faces at his federal trial is conspiracy to obstruct justice by rigging the 2008 trial, including by paying off and threatening the girl to ensure she did not testify.

Testimony by the woman, now in her 30s and referred to in filings only as “Minor 1,” will be pivotal. The charges against Kelly also include four counts of the enticement of minors for sex — one count each for four other accusers. All are also slated to testify.

Even just one or two convictions in Chicago could add decades to Kelly’s New York sentence, which he is appealing. With the New York sentence alone, Kelly will be around 80 before qualifying for early release.

Prosecutors at the federal trial plan to play the same VHS tape that was “Exhibit No. 1″ at the 2008 trial. While it was the only video in evidence 14 years ago, at least three other videos will be entered into evidence at the federal trial.

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