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Court Rulings

Oil/Gas Drilling Blocked On Federal Land In Wyoming Over Climate Change

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A federal judge has temporarily blocked oil and gas drilling on 300,000 acres of federal land in Wyoming, ruling that the Interior Department “did not sufficiently consider climate change” in its assessments of whether to lease federal land for individual projects, the Washington Post reports.


BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A judge has blocked oil and gas drilling on almost 500 square miles (1,295 sq. kilometers) in Wyoming and says the government must consider the cumulative climate change impact of leasing public lands across the U.S. for oil and gas exploration.

The order marks the latest in a string of rulings over the past decade faulting the U.S. for its inadequate consideration of greenhouse gas emissions when issuing leases for oil, gas and coal.

But U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras appeared to go a step further than previous rulings. Contreras said late Tuesday the U.S. Bureau of Land Management must consider nationwide emissions from past, present and future oil and gas leases.

The ruling was in a lawsuit challenging leases issued in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado in 2015 and 2016.

Developing story, more to come…

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CNN Settles Lawsuit With Covington Catholic Student Nick Sandmann

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COVINGTON, Ky. (FOX19) — CNN agreed Tuesday to settle a lawsuit with Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann.

The amount of the settlement was not made public during a hearing at the federal courthouse in Covington, Kentucky.

Sandmann’s lawsuit sought $800 million from CNN, the Washington Post, and NBC Universal.

Trial dates are still not set for Sandmann’s lawsuit against NBC Universal and the Washington Post.

The Washington Post suit sought $250 million. A federal judge let a portion of the suit go forward after The Post filed a motion to dismiss it.

Sandmann’s attorney, Lin Wood, said, “This case will be tried not one minute earlier or later than when it is ready.”

The lawsuits were filed following an incident in Jan. 2019 in Washington, D.C. involving Covington Catholic High School students. Videos of that incident garnered national attention.

The initial video showed the self-identified Sandmann, now a senior at CovCath, and Nathan Phillips, an indigenous man who was participating in the Indigenous Peoples March. Sandmann and his classmates were in D.C. for the March For Life.

Wood said the damages were sought due to “emotional distress Nicholas and his family suffered.” He also said the family had to move from their home temporarily and that Nicholas was not permitted to attend school directly after the trip to Washington.

A lawsuit is expected to be filed against Phillips, Wood said. He indicated that lawsuit would seek $5 million, but the judge said that Phillips does not have as much money as the other defendants.

They also plan to sue Gannett, owners of The Enquirer, according to Wood.

He said he will bring that to the judge in the next 60 days.

Attorneys say the money they’re seeking is not designed to compensate Nick, but to “deter the defendants” from doing the same thing (that they’re accused of) in the future.

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Court Rulings

Fired Florida Police Officer Guilty of Manslaughter, Attempted Murder In Shooting of Black Motorist

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A fired Florida police officer has been found guilty as charged of manslaughter and attempted murder in the fatal shooting of a stranded black motorist. Nouman Raja is the first officer in the state to be convicted of an on-duty shooting in 30 years.

A Palm Beach County jury found Raja guilty on Thursday of the October 2015 shooting of 31-year-old Corey Jones. Raja now faces up to life in prison when he’s sentenced.

Raja was in plain clothes and driving an unmarked white van when he drove the wrong way up a darkened off ramp to Jones’ stalled SUV. Prosecutors said an audio recording showed Raja never identified himself and approached Jones aggressively, making him believe he was being robbed. They say that caused Jones to pull his legally possessed handgun. Raja then shot him repeatedly.

Raja’s attorneys had said he identified himself and justifiably shot Jones because he feared for his life. Raja is of South Asian descent.

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First-Ever Lawsuit To Recognize Aborted Fetus As A Person Is Recognized In Alabama

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An Alabama man has become the first person in American history to be allowed to legally represent an aborted fetus' estate in court. (WAAY31)

The Madison County Probate Court has become America’s first court to have ever recognized an aborted fetus as a person with legal rights.

The decision allows Baby Roe’s would-be-father and Baby Roe to sue the abortion clinic and others involved in terminating the pregnancy.

The would-be father, Ryan Magers, and Baby Roe are both suing the Alabama Women’s Center and others involved in terminating the pregnancy.

Alabama state law could feasibly allow for the case to come before the State Supreme Court. Moving forward, this case will make history at every legal twist and turn. “We are confident, and this is a step in the right direction,” Helms said.

On April 1st, the Alabama Women’s Center will have to respond in filings to the personhood lawsuit.

Read the first-ever lawsuit of its kind in American history below:

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