Nightly Brief

Top CNS stories for today including Neil Gorsuch being confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court; California Gov. Jerry Brown declares an end to the state’s three-year old drought emergency; U.S. airstrikes against Syria in the wake of a deadly chemical attack inspires praise and consternation; the Seventh Circuit hears oral arguments over whether Chicago police officers’ tattoos are protected by the First Amendment, and more.

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1.) Gorsuch Confirmed to U.S. Supreme Court

Two decades of increasing polarization over judicial nominations reached its apex Friday when the Senate voted by a simple majority mostly along party lines to confirm Neil Gorsuch as the Supreme Court’s next associate justice.

 2.) Wet Winter Ends California’s Drought Emergency

More than three years after declaring a statewide drought emergency, California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday lifted many conservation orders after a wild winter brought heaps of snow and rain to the parched Golden State.

 3.) U.S. Allies Stress Support On Day After Air Strikes

With some exceptions, international leaders expressed their support on Friday for the U.S. air strikes on Syria last night, while Congressional Democrats called for House Speaker Paul Ryan to hold a special session to discuss the next steps in dealing with the Syrian crisis.

 4.) Russia, Syria Lambaste U.S. In Security Council Session

Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Vladimir Sofronkov, condemned President Donald Trump and his decision to launch a missile strike on Syria before the U.N. Security Council on Friday, then proceeded to rebuke U.S. allies Great Britain and France for their support of the action.

 5.) California Ordered to Give Raises & Back Pay to Judges

A state appeals court on Wednesday ordered California to compensate its judges for constitutionally mandated pay raises that were wrongly withheld for six years.

 6.) California Cap-&-Trade Emissions Scheme Upheld

In a major victory for California Gov. Jerry Brown’s crusade to reduce carbon emissions in the state, an appellate panel ruled Thursday the cap-and-trade auction scheme run by the state’s air-pollution regulator is legal.

 7.) Winter Rains Bring ‘Super Bloom’ to California Deserts

Winter storms that drenched the Golden State have brought a blanket of wildflowers which cloaked the Anza-Borrego Desert in a “super bloom” not seen for decades.

 8.) Appeals Court Hears First Amendment Tattoo Case

The Seventh Circuit heard oral arguments Friday over whether Chicago police officers’ tattoos are protected by the First Amendment or whether they can be required to cover them.

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