Nightly Brief

Top CNS stories for today including the White House rolling out its tax code overhaul plan; the Supreme Court resounding with the sound of laughter as justices described scenarios in which white lies could mean big trouble for immigrants;  a House committee hears talks of exoplanets and extraterrestrial life; a journalist known for his frequent use of the FOIA says he’s seen a big uptick in government secrecy under Trump, and more.

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1.) White House Rolls Out Its Tax Code Overhaul Plan

The Trump administration on Wednesday announced the loose outline of a tax reform package that includes a deep cut to the corporate income tax and a reduction of the number of tax brackets for individuals.

 2.) Speedsters Who Lie About Their Weight Trip Up Feds at High Court

In an uproarious oral argument Wednesday, laughter erupted repeatedly at the Supreme Court as the justices described scenarios where white lies could cost immigrants their citizenship.

 3.) Tabling Politics, Space Committee Digs Into Search for Life

Extraterrestrial life and exoplanets, time travel and even a moment of metaphysical introspection on “the search for life” in other galaxies dominated a hearing Wednesday of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

 4.) Trump Said Close to Withdrawing From NAFTA

The White House is reportedly drawing up an executive order that will formally withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

 5.) FOIA Journalist Sees Uptick In Government Secrecy

Jason Leopold knows a thing or two about the Freedom of Information Act. Buzzfeed’s senior investigative journalist currently has about 2,000 outstanding FOIA requests with federal agencies — 150 of them submitted this year alone. He says that while he found the penchant for government secrecy to be “really bad” under the Obama administration, things have gotten worse since President Donald Trump took office.

 6.) 10th Circuit Rules for United States to Release Wolves

Ending a long dispute with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the 10th Circuit ruled Tuesday that New Mexico failed to prove that releasing two Mexican gray wolf pups into the wild would irreparably harm its wildlife management.

 7.) Breyer’s Cell Interrupts Plavix Case at High Court

An attorney for drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb did not miss a beat in his Supreme Court oral argument Tuesday as a ringing cellphone from the bench interrupted the formal setting.

 8.) Texas AG Demands New Judge in Criminal Trial

 Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked a district clerk this week to assign a new judge to his criminal case to replace the presiding judge who declined to recuse himself, arguing a replacement is required by law.

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