Nightly Brief

Your Wednesday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including Justice Anthony Kennedy announcing his retirement as the Supreme Court adjourned for the summer; on its law day, the high court deals a huge blow to organized labor, ruling government-employee unions cannot force nonmember workers to pay bargaining fees; the House of Representatives fails to pass an immigration overhaul backed by Republican leadership, the second time in less than a week lawmakers have rejected a GOP immigration proposal; federal regulators say a recently discovered frog species in Nevada and an unusual singing sparrow are being considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act; ending months of discussions with lawmakers itching to spend California’s swelling surplus, Gov. Jerry Brown signs a $138 billion state budget that fills the state’s rainy-day fund and boosts funding for education and homelessness programs; a magistrate opines EU courts alone should preside over cases that implicate the European Central Bank while looking at challenge by former Italy prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to opposition he faced because of his tax crimes and other offenses, and more.

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National

Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy testifies before a House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington in March 2015. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

1.) Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his formal resignation Wednesday afternoon as the Supreme Court adjourned for the summer.

In this Monday, June 25, 2018 photo, people gather at the Supreme Court awaiting a decision in an Illinois union dues case, Janus vs. AFSCME, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

2.) In a huge blow to organized labor, a divided Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that government-employee unions cannot force nonmember workers to pay bargaining fees.

Chattahoochee River at Jones Bridge Park in Peachtree Corners, Georgia. (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

3.) The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday revived Florida’s request to have a special master decide how much water Georgia can take from Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, signaling the end is potentially near in a decades-long dispute between the two states.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., confers with his press secretary AshLee Strong, right, as a member of his protection detail escorts at left, following a closed-door GOP strategy session at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

4.) The House of Representatives failed to pass an immigration overhaul backed by Republican leadership on Wednesday, the second time in less than a week lawmakers have rejected a GOP immigration proposal.

The Dixie Valley toad. (Photo by Patrick Donnelly, Center for Biological Diversity.)

5.) A recently discovered frog species in Nevada and an unusual singing sparrow are being considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act, federal regulators say.

Regional

Following his victory in the primary runoff election, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster leaves his suite at Spirit Communications Park and heads to the podium speak at his victory party, Tuesday, June 26, 2018, in Columbia, S.C. (Jeff Blake/The State via AP)

6.) Millions of Americans nationwide voted in primary elections Tuesday, gearing up for one of the most closely watched midterm campaign seasons in decades.

In this May 11, 2018, photo, Gov. Jerry Brown gestures toward a chart showing the increase in K-14 school funding, while discussing his revised 2018-19 state budget at a Capitol news conference in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

7.) Ending months of discussions with lawmakers itching to spend California’s swelling surplus, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a $138 billion state budget that fills the state’s rainy-day fund and boosts funding for education and homelessness programs.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Texas is warning locals to remain on high alert after fentanyl-laced flyers were placed on department vehicles parked outside their facility in Houston. (Harris County Sheriff’s Office)

8.) A Texas sheriff warned the public Tuesday about the dangers of fentanyl after a deputy removed a flyer from her car’s windshield, began to feel lightheaded and was hospitalized, and the opioid was found on another flyer in the area.

View of the Rio Grande from Overlook Park, White Rock, New Mexico (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

9.) With 98 percent of New Mexico suffering from drought this summer, a fight over water rights is gearing up in the state capital, where the commissioner of public lands sued the state engineer for allowing millions of gallons of groundwater to be used for fracking.

10.) Reversing the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and dramatically slashing a $15 million jury award, the state’s highest court ruled Wednesday that a statutory $750,000 cap on noneconomic medical malpractice damages is constitutional.
Taxis wait in a holding area at Miami International Airport. (Lynne Sladk/Associated Press)
11.) Taxi companies are striving in Miami to accomplish what their peers failed to accomplish in a sister court: convince a federal appellate panel that local governments’ disparate treatment of cabs and ride-sharing services like Uber is unconstitutional.

International

Berlusconi addressing a joint session of the U.S. Congress in 2006. (Photo courtesy the White House)

12.) EU courts alone should preside over cases that implicate the European Central Bank, a magistrate opined Wednesday, looking at challenge by former Italy prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to opposition he faced because of his tax crimes and other offenses.

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