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Attorneys for the state of Idaho say a federal judge misinterpreted the law when he blocked part of a strict new abortion ban, and they say another law blocking all abortions after about six weeks’ gestation should also remain in effect.

In court documents filed Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Brian Church asked U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill to reconsider his decision blocking the state from enforcing a strict abortion ban in medical emergencies, saying the judge misinterpreted both state and federal law and then issued an overly broad ruling.

“This case is not about denying necessary medical care to save the lives of women,” Church wrote in his motion. “This case is about preserving for the State its sovereign power to regulate abortions within its boundaries.”

Idaho’s strict abortion ban makes performing an abortion in any “clinically diagnosable pregnancy” a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, but says that physicians can defend themselves in court by showing that the procedure was necessary to avert the pregnant person’s death.

The law prompted the U.S. Department of Justice to sue Idaho last month, contending that the ban violates the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). The law requires Medicare-funded hospitals to providing stabilizing care to patients experiencing medical emergencies, and the Justice Department says that include abortions in cases where the health of the pregnant patient is in jeopardy or when continuing the pregnancy could seriously harm the pregnant patient’s organs or body parts.


The Minnesota Supreme Court will arguments on whether to permanently allow cameras in the courtroom, following trials by ex-police officers Derek Chauvin and Kim Potter that were watched by millions of people around the world.

An advisory committee made up of Minnesota judges, attorneys and court personnel is recommending the court continue its routine of keeping out cameras. Minnesota media outlets and advocacy groups say it’s time the state embrace the technology like neighboring Iowa, Wisconsin and North Dakota.

Minnesota’s top court is scheduled to hear arguments on the issue Tuesday.

Presiding Hennepin County District Court judges were initially opposed to cameras in the courtroom for the notorious trials of Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, and Potter for the killing of Daunte Wright. Both judges, Peter Cahill and Regina Chu, changed their minds in part because of immense public interest and COVID-19 limitations.

Media and government organizations, along with Cahill, sent letters to the Supreme Court in support of expanded camera access. Victims’ rights groups, public defenders, defense attorneys and prosecutors are opposed, the Star Tribune reported.

“The fact of the matter is that these are incredibly emotional times, difficult times for all the parties that are involved,” said Minnesota State Public Defender Bill Ward. “Justice should not be a spectator sport and should not be something that’s sensationalized in the news media.”

Mankato Free Press Managing Editor Joe Spear wrote to the court that the presence of a camera doesn’t change the truth.


Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that an underage girl can get an abortion without parental consent if she had been raped.

The court ruled that it was not necessary to have filed a crime report about the rape; the victim only has to swear she was raped.

The court held last year that it was unconstitutional to punish abortion. As Mexico’s highest court, its ruling bars all jurisdictions from charging a woman with a crime for terminating a pregnancy.

Statutes outlawing abortion are still on the books in most of Mexico’s 32 states, however, and nongovernmental organizations that have long pushed for decriminalization are pressing state legislatures to reform them. Abortion was already readily available in Mexico City and some states.


The Singapore Court of Appeal on Tuesday dismissed a last-minute legal challenge filed by the mother of a mentally disabled Malaysian man in an attempt to halt his execution for drug trafficking.

The dismissal of the motion clears the way for the execution of Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam, 34, to proceed Wednesday.

The motion, filed Monday by his mother, Panchalai Supermaniam, argued that Nagaenthran may not have received a fair trial because Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, who presided over his previous failed appeals, was attorney general at the time he was convicted in 2010, creating a potential conflict of interest.

Nagaenthran’s lawyers and supporters say he has an IQ of 69, and that the execution of a mentally disabled person is prohibited under international human rights law.

The court ruled Tuesday that the motion was “devoid of merit” and that no court in the world would allow the matter to be prolonged “ad infinitum.”

“There must come a time when the last word of the court is the last word,” said Justice Andrew Phang, one of the judges.

Nagaenthran was arrested in 2009 for trafficking about 43 grams (1.5 ounces) of heroin into Singapore and was sentenced to death in 2010 under the country’s strict anti-drug laws.

He previously failed in appeals to the High Court in 2011, the Court of Appeal in 2019 and a petition for clemency to the president of Singapore.

Following the court ruling Tuesday, Nagaenthran asked for permission to hold his family’s hands in the courtroom as a “final wish.”

He was allowed to do so, and was granted two hours to spend with his family in the Supreme Court building.

He and his mother appeared in court Tuesday without a lawyer, with his mother saying she was unable to find one to represent her.


A federal judge ordered the head of New York City’s jails to appear at an upcoming status conference on conditions at the troubled Rikers Island jail complex, after prosecutors said the situation had become so dire that it might be necessary to install court supervision over the beleaguered system to institute necessary reforms.

U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain directed city Department of Correction Commissioner Louis Molina to attend the session scheduled for Tuesday.

She issued the order after getting a letter earlier in the week from the office of U.S. Attorney Damian Williams.

In the letter, prosecutors said, “The jails are in a state of crisis, inmates and staff are being seriously injured, and action is desperately needed now,” and questioned whether the city and corrections department had “the ability, expertise, and will to swiftly make the changes necessary to bring true reform.”

Sixteen inmates died at Rikers last year, and three have died so far in 2022.

Prosecutors went on to suggest that more aggressive steps could be sought, including putting an independent authority in place to implement reforms.


Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson pledged Monday to decide cases “without fear or favor” if the Senate confirms her historic nomination as the first Black woman on the high court.

Jackson, 51, thanked God and professed love for “our country and the Constitution” in a 12-minute statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of her first day of confirmation hearings, nearly four hours almost entirely consumed by remarks from the panel’s 22 members.

Republicans promised pointed questions over the coming two days, with a special focus on her record on criminal matters. Democrats were full of praise for President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee.

With her family sitting behind her, her husband in socks bearing George Washington’s likeness, Jackson stressed that she has been independent, deciding cases “from a neutral posture” in her nine years as a judge, and that she is ever mindful of the importance of that role.

“I have dedicated my career to ensuring that the words engraved on the front of the Supreme Court building — equal justice under law — are a reality and not just an ideal,” she declared.

Barring a significant misstep, Democrats who control the Senate by the slimmest of margins intend to wrap up her confirmation before Easter. She would be the third Black justice, after Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, as well as the first Black woman on the high court.


Authorities say a 67-year-old man has been arrested after allegedly making threats that caused a temporary shutdown of the Linn County Courthouse last December.

Albert C. Hinds, of Pleasanton, was arrested Wednesday at a Food Fair Super Market in Mound City, Kansas, according to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

He was jailed in Bourbon County on possible charges of terrorism and criminal threat.

The charges allege that in December of 2021 Hinds threatened banking personnel and law enforcement officers, prompting officials to temporarily close the Linn County Courthouse.

This investigation is continuing and no further information was released.

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