Nightly Brief

Your Thursday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including a new report from Earthjustice claiming that since Inauguration Day 2017, the Trump administration and Congress have taken deliberate steps to limit or eliminate access to the nation’s courts; the president says he’s willing to rejoin the Trans Pacific Partnership; Missouri Governor Eric Greitens desperately tries to play damage control after a special investigative committee releases a report on his alleged blackmail of a former mistress; researchers say the most “charismatic” species have an elevated status in conservation biology and receive extra attention – often at the expense of other creatures; a magistrate with the European Court of Justice advises that EU grandparents should be able to seek court relief when it comes to child access, and more.

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National

1.) A new report from Earthjustice, the nonprofit environmental law organization, claims that since Inauguration Day 2017,  the Trump administration and Congress have taken deliberate steps to limit or eliminate access to the nation’s courts.

Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, right, speaks with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, before the start of a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. (Bill Clark/Associated Press)

2.) It will likely be two weeks before the Senate Judiciary Committee takes up a bipartisan bill to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired without good cause, as committee members need time to review the legislation and any potential additions.

Gov. Pete Ricketts, R-Neb., left, listens as President Donald Trump speaks to Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, during a meeting with governors and lawmakers in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
3.) President Donald Trump told Republican lawmakers during a meeting at the White House on Thursday he is willing to rejoin the Trans Pacific Partnership, the international trade agreement he sharply criticized during his campaign for president.
Island marble butterfly. Susan Vernon photo via Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.

4.) The Kirtland’s warbler songbird has recovered sufficiently to be removed from the endangered species list, but the island marble butterfly, which lives only on an island in northwest Washington, should be protected, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Wednesday.

Regional

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks at a news conference about allegations related to his extramarital affair with his hairdresser, in Jefferson City, Mo., Wednesday, April 11, 2018. (Julie Smith/The Jefferson City News-Tribune via AP)

5.) Fighting for his political life, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens desperately tried to play damage control Wednesday after a special investigative committee released a report on his alleged blackmail of a former mistress that has lawmakers on both sides of the aisle calling for his immediate resignation or impeachment.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin speaks to a joint session of the General Assembly at the Capitol, in Frankfort, Ky. Gov. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

6.) Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear sued Governor Matt Bevin in an attempt to nullify a pension reform bill that stands to cut benefits for teachers and other public employees, a day after Bevin signed the bill into law.

7.) Kern County at the southern end of California’s great Central Valley will implement new voting districts and pay plaintiff $3 million in legal fees after disenfranchising Latino voters for nearly a decade.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Photo by Keith Allison via Wikipedia Commons)
8.) A longtime provider of roasted peanuts to Oriole Park claims in court that lax quality controls by its farm suppliers led to a roasted mouse being sold to a spectator and the ensuing cancellation of the vendor’s contract.

Science

9.) The most “charismatic” species have an elevated status in conservation biology and receive extra attention – often at the expense of other creatures, some say. But the animals’ popularity may actually be their downfall because we become complacent about their survival, researchers say.

10.) Bees and other critical pollinators in the food chain face new threats as plants produce fewer flowers during droughts made more frequent and intense by climate change, new research shows.

International

11.) EU grandparents should be able to seek court relief when it comes to child access, a magistrate with the European Court of Justice advised Thursday.

Bratislava, capital and largest city of Slovakia. (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

12.) The European Union’s top court cracked down Thursday on Slovakia for levying an 80 percent tax on free greenhouse emission allowances that were supposed to spur emissions-reducing investments.

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