Nightly Brief

Your Wednesday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including Alabama voters giving Democrat Doug Jones a long-shot victory Tuesday, electing him to the U.S. Senate by a 1.5 percentage point edge over former judge Roy Moore; the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee deciding two of President Donald Trump’s most controversial judicial nominees will not go forward in the Senate; the Navajo Nation filing a 17-count federal lawsuit against Wells Fargo accusing the nation’s third-largest bank of targeting its members with high-pressure tactics to open unnecessary accounts; a new poll finds that less than a week after President Donald Trump declared the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the embassy from Tel Aviv, more Palestinians favor taking up arms, and more.

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Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Doug Jones greets supporters and voters outside Bethal Baptist Church Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

1.) In National news, Alabama voters gave Democrat Doug Jones a longshot victory Tuesday, electing him to the U.S. Senate by a 1.5 percentage point edge over former judge Roy Moore, reducing Republicans’ margin of control of the Senate to one seat.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Associated Press)

2.) The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday said two of President Donald Trump’s most controversial judicial nominees will not go forward in the Senate.

Judge Elizabeth Branch of the Georgia Court of Appeals.

3.) President Donald Trump’s nominee to serve on the 11th Circuit promised she would faithfully follow precedent, rebuffing concerns Democrats raised about her opinions on substantive due process.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein arrives to testify before a House Committee on the Judiciary oversight hearing on Capitol Hill on Dec. 13, 2017 in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

4.) Facing outrage over an FBI agent’s disparaging text messages about the president, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein assured members of Congress on Wednesday that personal politics do not sway investigations.

A one-month dosage of hormonal birth control pills. New Trump administration rules allow more employers to opt out of covering contraceptives as a preventive benefit for women under the Affordable Care Act. (Rich Pedroncelli/Associated press)

5.) A federal judge signaled Tuesday he would block new rules by the Trump administration that allow any employer or insurer to opt out of including contraception coverage in their health care plans on religious and moral grounds.

6.) In Regional news, an engineer Tuesday assured California that the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge won’t fail in a major earthquake, despite weak spots in welded steel that holds together the eastern span’s only support tower.

Minnesota Democratic Lt. Gov. Tina Smith speaks to attendees at the North Star Ball in St. Paul, Minn. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP, File)

7.) Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday morning appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to fill outgoing U.S. Sen. Al Franken’s seat, which is up for grabs next year, amid pressure from Democrats to choose someone who will run in the special election.

A Wells Fargo sign is displayed at a branch in New York. (AP Photo/CX Matiash, File)

8.) The Navajo Nation on Tuesday made Wells Fargo Bank’s disastrous legal year a little bit worse, filing a 17-count federal lawsuit accusing the nation’s third-largest bank of targeting Navajos, especially minors, the elderly, and those who spoke limited English, with high-pressure tactics to open unnecessary accounts.

Palestinians burn posters of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump, during a protest against the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in Gaza City Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

9.) In International news, less than a week after President Donald Trump declared the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the embassy from Tel Aviv, a new poll released Tuesday finds more Palestinians favor taking up arms in response.

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