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The judge who presided over the trial of Darrell Brooks, who was convicted of killing six people during the Waukesha Christmas parade, says she will decide whether to run for the Wisconsin Supreme Court “in the coming days.” Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow’s comments to WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee are the first public remarks she has made about a potential run for the state Supreme Court. She has been considering getting into the race for weeks, after she garnered national attention while presiding over the Brooks trial. There are three other announced candidates for the Supreme Court race, which will be decided in the April 4 election.

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Hong Kong’s leader says he will ask Beijing to rule whether to let foreign lawyers be involved in national security cases after the city’s top court allowed a prominent pro-democracy publisher to hire a British lawyer. John Lee says his government would ask for a postponement of Jimmy Lai’s high-profile trial that was due to start Thursday. But he did not offer a timetable for the interpretation that could effectively preempt the court judgment. Lai is the founder of the now-defunct Apple Daily and one of the most prominent figures in the city’s pro-democracy movement. He was arrested after Beijing imposed a tough national security law to crack down on dissent following widespread protests in 2019.

The Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments has forwarded three names to Gov. Bill Lee to consider for a vacancy on the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Tennessee Supreme Court said in a statement last week that after a public hearing and interviews, the council selected Joshua B. Dougan, Matthew Joseph Wilson and William Mark Ward.  Dougan is the assistant district attorney in the district that covers Chester, Henderson and Madison counties. Wilson is an assistant U.S. attorney. Ward is a retired criminal court judge in Shelby County. The vacancy in the court’s Western Section occurred when John Everett Williams died Sept. 2.

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The Georgia Supreme Court has reinstated the state’s ban on abortions after roughly six weeks of pregnancy. The high court on Wednesday put a lower court ruling overturning the ban on hold while it considers an appeal. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney had ruled on November 15 that the state’s abortion ban was invalid, because when it was signed into law in 2019, U.S. Supreme Court precedent under Roe. v. Wade and another ruling had allowed abortion well past six weeks. The decision immediately prohibited enforcement of the abortion ban statewide. Doctors had resumed providing abortions past six weeks.

Inflation is gift-wrapping a salary increase for Pennsylvania state lawmakers, judges and top executive branch officials in 2023. That includes boosting rank-and-file lawmakers and district judges into six-figure territory. Salaries will rise nearly 8%, a figure tied by state law to the year-over-year change in the area consumer price index. That's about 50% higher than what federal data shows for average private sector wages in Pennsylvania. The increase applies to more than 1,300 positions, including the governor, all lawmakers and state and county judges. They are already enjoying a substantial bump in pay this year. The highest paid will be state Supreme Court Chief Justice Debra Todd at about $252,000.

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An Indianapolis doctor who provided abortion drugs to a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio has defended her actions before a judge in the case that drew national attention in the weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. Dr. Caitlin Bernard testified Monday during the second day of a court hearing on attempt to block Indiana’s Republican attorney general from seeking patient medical records for an investigation of whether she properly reported child abuse and possibly violated patient privacy laws by telling a newspaper reporter about the girl’s case. The Marion County judge said she expected to issue a decision next week on whether to issue a preliminary injunction against the attorney general’s office.

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A Georgia appeals court ruling means that counties can offer early voting this coming Saturday in the U.S. Senate runoff election between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker. The state had argued that allowing voting this Saturday is illegal because it's the day after a state holiday. Warnock’s campaign, the Democratic Party of Georgia and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sued last week and a court agreed that voting was allowed. The state appealed that decision, but the Court of Appeals on Monday declined to stay the lower court ruling.

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An Indiana judge could rule Tuesday if sealed court documents with evidence that led to a man’s arrest in the 2017 slayings of two teenage girls will be publicly released. Richard Matthew Allen, a 50-year-old of Delphi, Indiana, was charged last month with two counts of murder in the killings of Liberty German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13, but the court documents were sealed at the request of the local prosecutor. State police have revealed incremental details about the case since investigations first began, but public calls for more details have accelerated since Allen's Oct. 28 arrest on two murder counts in the killings.

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A Pennsylvania judge is recommending the state’s high court impose civil contempt penalties against the Republican-majority Fulton County government that let a third party copy data from voting machines used in the 2020 election lost by former President Donald Trump. Commonwealth Court President Judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer’s 77-page report was issued late Friday. She says the secret July inspection and copying of computer data from machines rented by Fulton County was a willful violation of a court order designed to prevent evidence from being spoiled. Messages left for the county's lawyer and their GOP commissioners weren't returned.

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A judge has ruled that Georgia law allows counties to offer early voting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. That is the only possibility for Saturday voting before next month’s Senate runoff election between Democratic Sen Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker. Warnock’s campaign and Democratic groups filed a lawsuit arguing that early voting should be allowed that day. It challenged guidance by Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger that it would be illegal to hold early voting on Saturday, Nov. 26, the day after a state holiday. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thomas Cox issued an order siding with the Saturday voting proponents. The state says it plans to appeal the ruling.

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Georgia officials have asked a court to immediately block a judge’s ruling striking down the state’s abortion ban. The ruling allowed the procedure to again be performed beyond about six weeks of pregnancy. The state attorney general’s office said in court documents Friday that the decision by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney had no basis in law or common sense. It asked the high court for an order immediately putting McBurney’s decision on hold while the justices take more time to consider an appeal.

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A Pennsylvania appellate court judge, Daniel McCaffery, will run for an open seat on the state Supreme Court in next November’s election. A campaign aide said Friday that McCaffery, a Democrat from Philadelphia, will run in next fall’s election for a 10-year term on the state’s highest court. The 58-year-old McCaffrey was elected to a 10-year term on the state Superior Court in 2019. That court handles appeals from county courts in criminal and civil cases. He's a former prosecutor and judge in Philadelphia. McCaffery is the brother of former state Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery. The seven-seat high court currently has a four-to-two Democratic majority.

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Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says he'll seek a third term next year as leader of Indiana’s largest city and economic driver. The 66-year-old Democrat announced his reelection bid on Tuesday. He says, “All I can see as I stand here tonight is tomorrow.” Hogsett easily won elections in 2015 and 2019. Hogsett has overseen several major city projects as mayor, including this year’s opening of a new $590 million criminal justice complex housing the county courts and jail. But he has faced criticism over the city’s crime rate, including a record number of homicides during 2021, along with his handling of violent protests in 2020 over the police killing of George Floyd .

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A Florida judge has ruled that former national security adviser Michael Flynn must testify before a special grand jury in Atlanta that’s looking into whether then-President Donald Trump and his allies illegally tried to influence the 2020 election in Georgia. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is leading the investigation, which is seen as one of the most significant potential legal threats to the former president as he prepares to announce a third run for the presidency in 2024. Willis has sought the testimony of numerous high-profile Trump associates as witnesses in the investigation.

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The office of Georgia's attorney general says it will appeal a ruling that overturns a ban on most abortions starting around six weeks of pregnancy. The ruling Tuesday by a judge in Fulton County applies statewide. The ruling says the ban violated the U.S. Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court precedent at the time it became law in 2019. The ban had been in effect since July. The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia represented doctors and advocacy groups that had asked the judge to throw out the law. The group says it expects abortions past six weeks to resume Wednesday at some clinics.

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A judge has ordered former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to testify before a special grand jury in Atlanta that's investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and Republican allies illegally tried to influence the 2020 election in Georgia. Gingrich lives in Virginia and has argued he shouldn’t have to testify. But a judge in Virginia on Wednesday ordered Gingrich to appear before the Georgia panel. Gingrich’s lawyer says he expects to appeal the judge's ruling. If the appeal fails, Gingrich will be required to testify to the special grand jury on Nov. 29. Fulton County's Democratic district attorney opened the investigation last year.

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A Hong Kong court has upheld the decision to let a veteran British lawyer defend pro-democracy newspaper publisher Jimmy Lai at his upcoming national security trial. Lai, the founder of the now-defunct Apple Daily, was arrested after Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law to crack down on dissent following widespread protests in 2019. He faces three charges of conspiracies to collude with a foreign country and a separate sedition charge. His trial is expected to begin on Dec. 1. Timothy Owen, a London-based legal veteran who specializes in criminal and human rights law, was granted court approval last month to represent Lai despite objections from the city’s secretary of justice and the Hong Kong Bar Association.

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The city of Boston has agreed to pay more than $2.1 million to the Christian legal organization that backed a court challenge after the city refused to fly a Christian flag outside City Hall, a case that made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The settlement announced Tuesday by Liberty Counsel covers attorneys’ fees and other costs associated with the legal battle that started in 2017 when a city resident was refused a request to hoist the flag on one of three poles on City Hall Plaza. The Supreme Court ruled in the resident's favor in May and the flag flew in August.

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A judge has blocked a rural Arizona county's plan to hand-count all the ballots in this week’s election. The full hand-count was ordered by Republican officials in Cochise County who have made unfounded claims that vote-counting machines are untrustworthy. Monday's ruling from Pima County Superior Court Judge Casey F. McGinley came after a full-day hearing on Friday in which opponents spoke out against the proposal. The county’s elected Republican attorney and the election director for Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs both testified that a full hand-count of early ballots is illegal under state election law. McGinley also blocked a hand-count of all Election Day ballots. An appeal is expected.

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Residents in southeastern Oklahoma and northeastern Texas began assessing damage and working to recover Saturday after tornadoes tore through the region and killed at least two people. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt toured the town of Idabel Saturday where buildings were flattened and a 90-year-old man was killed in nearby Pickins. In Morris County Texas, County Judge Doug Reeder said one person died as a result of the storm. Oklahoma authorities say a 6-year-old girl drowned and a 43-year-old man is missing after their vehicle was swept off a bridge near Stilwell but the death has not yet been officially attributed to the storm that also produced hail from Dallas to northwestern Arkansas.

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A county judge has ruled that an Ohio law that prevents cities from implementing their own gun control measures cannot be enforced in Columbus. Ohio's capital and largest city sued the state over the provision in a 2018 law that created additional gun rights for Ohioans. Columbus officials argued it violated cities' rights to govern themselves. City Attorney Zach Klein calls Wednesday's ruling a “first step” toward helping quell gun violence in Columbus. The city argues the injunction should be permanent. The state plans to appeal the temporary injunction.

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A judge in Washington state has temporarily stopped Albertsons from paying a $4 billion dividend to investors as part of the grocery retailer’s proposed merger with rival Kroger. The Seattle Times reported Thursday that King County Superior Court Commissioner Henry Judson approved a motion by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to block the dividend until the court can fully consider whether the payment violates antitrust laws. The ruling is the latest hurdle to plans that would combine two of the nation’s largest grocery chains. Critics are concerned it could mean higher food prices and store closures. Albertsons owns Safeway, and Kroger owns QFC and Fred Meyer.

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A northern Indiana judge has recused himself from the case of two slain teenage girls. Indiana Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathryn Dolan said Thursday the Supreme Court is in the process of appointing Allen County Superior Court Judge Fran Gull as special judge in the case after Carroll Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Diener’s recusal. Diener did not give a reason for his recusal but has said court personnel involved in the case do not feel safe. Diener’s recusal came on the same day he agreed to the transfer of Richard Allen to the Indiana Department of Corrections for safety reasons. Allen is the suspect in the 2017 killings of 14-year-old Liberty German and 13-year-old Abigail Williams

A California judge is allowing a lawsuit to proceed against the Los Angeles Angels over the drug-related death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Orange County Superior Court Judge Glenn Salter on Monday rejected the team’s request to dismiss the lawsuit and set the start of trial for Oct. 2, 2023. Skaggs was found dead in 2019 in a suburban Dallas hotel room during a road trip against the Texas Rangers. A wrongful death and negligence lawsuit alleged that the Angels knew that public relations employee Eric Kay was supplying drugs to players. Kay was convicted of supplying drugs to Skaggs and sentenced last month to 22 years in federal prison.

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Pennsylvania's high court says officials aren't allowed to count votes from mail-in or absentee ballots that lack accurate, handwritten dates on their return envelopes. The state Supreme Court made the unanimous ruling Tuesday. That's one week before tabulation will begin in races for governor, the U.S. Senate and the state Legislature. The court is directing county boards of elections to “segregate and preserve” those ballots. Pennsylvania counties have reported receiving more than 850,000 completed mail-in ballots from the roughly 1.4 million that voters have requested. About 70% of requests have come from Democrats and about 20% from Republicans.

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