Nightly Brief

Top CNS stories for today including Charleston church gunman Dylann Roof telling a federal jury “There’s nothing wrong with me psychologically”; The Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act kicks off on Capitol Hill; a judicial appointment battle erupts in Vermont, and more.

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1.) Roof Tells Jury ‘There’s Nothing Wrong With Me Psychologically’

Convicted Charleston Church gunman Dylann Roof told jurors “there’s nothing wrong with me psychologically,” as the sentencing phase of his federal trial began Wednesday morning.

2.) Obamacare-Repeal Efforts Kick Off on Capitol Hill

President Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Mike Pence gathered their respective parties on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning to plot strategy in the looming congressional fight over the federal health care law.

3.) FCC Limits on Media Ownership Draw Fire

Two media conglomerates are pushing the D.C. Circuit to chuck dated federal regulations that bar them from owning newspapers, radio stations or other outlets in the same market.

4.) Feds Back Challenge to Solitary for NY Juveniles

Three months after their lawsuit rattled a New York metropolis, dozens of juvenile offenders fighting solitary confinement and sexual harassment received help Wednesday from the U.S. government.

5.) Judicial-Appointment Battle at VT High Court

In a photographic negative of the U.S. Supreme Court shenanigans in Congress, the Vermont Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on whether its Democratic governor can appoint the replacement of a sitting justice set to retire in March.

6.)  Texas Judge Chary About Fetal Funeral Law

A federal judge Tuesday said Texas rules requiring fetal remains to be given a funeral after a miscarriage, abortion or ectopic pregnancy may violate a state law that permits cremated ashes to be scattered on any public or private property.

7.) 8th Circuit OKs Minnesota Sex-Offender Program

Reversing a federal judge, the Eighth Circuit ruled Tuesday that Minnesota’s sex-offender program is constitutional because it serves the state’s interest in protecting citizens from sexually dangerous people.

8.) No Billion-Dollar Payday for Airline Bombing

The family of a man who died in the Libyan-backed bombing of a commercial airliner in 1989 will get no more than the $10 million they’ve received because despite a $1.3 billion judgment in Federal Court, they had no “realistic expectation” of collecting that much, the Court of Federal Claims ruled.

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