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California’s attorney general on Wednesday asked the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a ruling that rejected the state’s first-in-the-nation ban on for-profit private prisons and immigration detention facilities.

The ruling last month by a three-judge appellate panel kept in place a key piece of the world’s largest detention system for immigrants — despite a 2019 state law aimed at phasing out privately-run immigration jails in California by 2028.

“They treat people like commodities, they pose an unacceptable risk to the health and welfare of Californians, they prioritize profits over rehabilitation — making us all less safe,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta, who wrote the law when he was in the state Assembly and filed the request for the review by a broader cross-section of the court.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, a fellow Democrat who signed the law, said in a statement that the use of private immigration lockups “does not reflect the values of our state and disproportionately impacts minority and low-income communities.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and The Geo Group Inc., which sued California over the law, did not not immediately respond to emails seeking comment about Bonta’s request for the new review.

The three appellate judges, in a split decision, ruled that the state law interferes with the federal government’s authority.

Two appointees of former Republican president Donald Trump rejected the law while an appointee of former Democratic president Barack Obama dissented.

The law was passed as one of numerous efforts by California Democrats to limit the state’s cooperation with the federal government on immigration enforcement under the Trump administration.

But the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden also has opposed the law on constitutional grounds.


New Mexico’s Supreme Court is considering whether state legislators should have a greater say in the spending more than $1 billion in federal pandemic aid.

Arguments in the case were scheduled for Wednesday morning at the five-seat high court. A bipartisan list of state senators is challenging Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham as she asserts authority over federal pandemic aid approved by President Joe Biden in March.

Lujan Grisham, a Democrat running for reelection in 2022, has used the relief funds to replenish the state unemployment insurance trust, underwrite millions of dollars in sweepstakes prizes for people who got vaccinated, prop up agriculture wages amid a shortage of chile pickers and provide incentives for the unemployed to return to work. Decisions still are pending on more than $1 billion in federal relief for New Mexico.

In a written court briefings, Lujan Grisham said a state Supreme Court decision nearly 50 years ago upheld the governor’s discretion over federal funding at universities and should hold true broadly regarding federal pandemic relief funds.

Republican Senate minority leader Gregory Baca of Belen and Democratic Sen. Jacob Candelaria of Albuquerque initiated efforts to challenge the governor’s spending authority.

Supportive legal briefs have been filed by state Treasurer Tim Eichenberg and four long-serving Democratic senators. Critics of the governor have said she has overstepped her constitutional authority, blocking the Legislature’s representation of diverse views on how to spend the pandemic relief money.


A federal appeals court appeared unlikely to disturb a 2018 Indiana Supreme Court ruling that held that the shoreline of Lake Michigan is, and always has been, owned by the state for the public’s use.

Judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago seemed unpersuaded during oral arguments Wednesday on behalf of three lakefront property owners in the town of Porter who are looking to limit public access to beaches, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

Attorney Chris Kieser argued that land deeds and tax records held by his clients show they own the beach in front of their homes to the water’s edge, making them entitled to keep the public from accessing that portion of the shoreline near the Indiana Dunes National Park.

That claim conflicts with an Indiana Supreme Court ruling in 2018 that Indiana owns — and has since becoming a state in 1816 — both the land under Lake Michigan and the adjacent shoreline up to the ordinary high-water mark. The U.S. Supreme Court declined in 2019 to consider overturning that decision.

A federal judge in March ruled against the property owners’ lawsuit, and Appeals Court Judge Diane Wood questioned whether the federal courts should intervene.

“The state courts have addressed precisely the issue that you’re talking about, and you just don’t like the answer they gave as far as I can tell,” Wood said.

Kieser argued that by “changing” the property line, the state Supreme Court took his clients’ property without compensation and an injunction is needed to restore their deeds.

Kieser asked for a court order barring Indiana from enforcing the state court decision on his clients, which would have the effect of restoring their private beach on Lake Michigan.

Appeals Court Judge Michael Scudder raised doubts on the case by pointing out that the state officials named in the lawsuit lack the authority to transfer title to the properties to Kieser’s clients.

Deputy Indiana Attorney General Benjamin Jones said the state court ruling established that the property owners never owned the Lake Michigan shoreline in the first place.


Judges have delayed the state and federal trials of a mother and son charged in one of Mississippi’s largest public corruption cases.

State Auditor Shad White has said Nancy New and Zachary New were responsible for misspending millions of dollars of welfare money that was intended for needy people in one of the poorest states in the U.S.

Their trials were scheduled to begin this week — Monday in Hinds County Circuit Court and Wednesday in federal court. Attorneys have made clear that both trials were unlikely to happen during the same week because of the complexity of the cases.

In late October, judges issued orders setting new trial dates of Jan. 3 in federal court and Feb. 7 in Hinds County Circuit Court.

State court records show Nancy New and Zachary New are both charged with conspiracy, embezzlement, fraud and making false statements to defraud the government, for alleged crimes from September 2018. They were indicted in early 2020.

Federal court records show the mother and son both face several charges, including wire fraud; conspiracy to commit wire fraud; aggravated identity theft; money laundering; and money laundering conspiracy.


A state attorney asked a federal judge Friday for a quick hearing and ruling about the constitutionality of Nevada’s execution procedure, saying a drug that officials want to use for condemned killer Zane Floyd’s lethal injection will expire in late February.

But U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware II did not promise to accelerate the pace of his review.

“We need to continue to expedite this case,” Chief Deputy Nevada Attorney General Randall Gilmer told the judge, who plans at least three days of hearings this month and possibly more next month amid challenges by Floyd’s attorneys of the method, the personnel and the drugs that would be used to kill him.

Floyd, a convicted mass killer, is fighting on several fronts to avoid becoming the first Nevada inmate put to death in 15 years. Other challenges by his team of federal public defenders are pending in the Nevada Supreme Court, in state court in Las Vegas and before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Friday’s hearing was largely about scheduling. Floyd’s attorney, David Anthony, noted the timeline — including requirements for a state judge to issue a death warrant — suggests that no execution could be carried out this year.

Gilmer told Boulware a window closes after the Feb. 28 expiration date for the anesthetic ketamine. Prison officials “have no reasonable belief that we’ll be able to purchase additional drugs,” the state attorney said.

Lawyers for ketamine manufacturer Hikma Pharmaceuticals have called for Nevada to return some 50 vials of the drug that it has obtained. They have threatened to sue if the state goes forward with plans to use it in an execution.

Hikma won a similar fight in 2018 over Nevada’s plan to use the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl in the execution of Scott Raymond Dozier, a twice-convicted murderer who killed himself in prison in January 2019.

Nevada’s execution procedure, or protocol, calls for using ketamine among three or four drugs, also including fentanyl, heart-stopping potassium chloride and perhaps a muscle paralytic called cisatracurium.

Gilmer acknowledged that no one involved in the current process has any experience with an execution.


A federal appeals court has upheld a judge’s ruling that Baltimore city officials cannot ban a conservative Roman Catholic media outlet from holding a rally at a city-owned pavilion during a U.S. bishops’ meeting.

St. Michael’s Media Inc. signed a contract with a city vendor Thursday for its Nov. 16 prayer rally only hours after a three-judge panel from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the group’s favor late Wednesday, according to the Michigan-based media outlet’s attorney, Marc Randazza.

“Baltimore hopefully learned a lesson in First Amendment law that its taxpayers now have to pay for,” Randazza told The Associated Press.

Cal Harris, a spokesperson for Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, said city officials are disappointed by the 4th Circuit’s decision “and remain concerned about the potential public safety threat to Baltimore City property posed by the rally.”

“Protecting Baltimore residents and their property is our top priority, however, we will abide by the direction of the courts,” Harris said in a statement.

St. Michael’s has said its rally will include speeches by former President Donald Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon and far-right agitator Milo Yiannopoulos.

The city argued that the gathering poses a threat to public safety. City attorneys noted that Yiannopoulos’ speaking engagements have attracted counterprotesters and led to violence and property damage, while Bannon “regularly calls for violence against government officials.”

The 4th Circuit panel didn’t explain its decision to uphold U.S. District Judge Ellen Hollander’s Oct. 12 ruling that St. Michael’s, also known as Church Militant, is likely to succeed on its claims that the city discriminated against it on the basis of its political views and violated its First Amendment free speech rights.

Hollander said city officials could not prohibit the pavilion’s manager from contracting with St. Michael’s, but she refused to set any court-ordered contractual terms.


Illinois State Police have released video footage showing a tense scene involving an inmate’s attack on a correctional officer at a courthouse and another officer firing his weapon at the inmate and injuring him.

Authorities said 55-year-old Fredrick Goss was at the Jefferson County Courthouse earlier this month for a trial. He was uncuffed while being transported in a wheelchair to trial where he was to be unrestrained.

Footage of the incident, released Friday on an Illinois State Police Facebook page, appeared to show Goss grabbing an officer’s gun and struggling with him before a deputy stepped in and shot Goss, who was hospitalized.

Police did not release further details about his injuries.

The correctional officer had minor injuries while the deputy wasn’t hurt, according to state police.

“To protect the life of the correctional officer and himself, the deputy confronted the armed inmate and was forced to fire his weapon,” police said in a news release. “The inmate was injured by the gunfire. Immediate assistance was requested.”

Goss was facing trial for an armed robbery and exchanging gunfire with police.

A message left Sunday for Matt Vaughn, a public defender in Jefferson County who has represented Goss, wasn’t immediately returned.

Online court records show the case is scheduled for a Nov. 30 status hearing.

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