Nightly Brief

Your Monday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including Justice Sonia Sotomayor explaining why the Supreme Court had no choice but to turn away the appeal in a capital-murder case where two transcripts are at odds on whether the trial was constitutional; voters in Utah navigating candidates’ war of words in a hotly contested congressional race; with the midterm elections just eight days away, and with seven vacant seats in the GOP-dominated House up for grabs, California’s 22nd District is one of many trying to ride a blue wave all the way to Washington; thousands prepare to converge on the small town of Beaufort, South Carolina to reflect upon the legacy of “Prince of Tides” author Pat Conroy; Virginia’s 10th Congressional District is home to one of the most closely watched races ahead of the upcoming midterm elections; a new study from the Pew Research Center finds a majority of Americans worry voting systems are not secure from hacking and foreign influences, and more.

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National

The Supreme Court building in Washington. (AP Photo/Jessica Gresko)

1.) In a capital-murder case where two transcripts are at odds on whether the trial was constitutional, Justice Sonia Sotomayor explained Monday that the Supreme Court had no choice but to turn away the appeal.

2.) Voters in Utah are navigating candidates’ war of words in a hotly contested congressional race, embracing the return of a former presidential candidate and grappling with an ever-changing medical marijuana bill.

In this June 20, 2018, photo, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., asks a question during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

3.) Admitting his candidate isn’t perfect, a union worker in deep-red Missouri says Democrat Claire McCaskill cares about working families and deserves to hold on to her Senate seat in her neck-and-neck battle with the state’s Republican attorney general.

Andrew Janz, Democratic candidate running for the 22nd Congressional District in California. (Andrew Janz for Congress)

4.) With the midterm elections just eight days away, and with seven vacant seats in the GOP-dominated House up for grabs, California’s 22nd District is one of many trying to ride a blue wave all the way to Washington.

In this courtroom sketch, Cesar Sayoc, left, appears in federal court, Monday, Oct. 29, 2018, in Miami. (Daniel Pontet via AP)

Regional

Democratic House of Representatives candidate Katie Hill and Republican Steve Knight debated immigration, health care and gun control in Simi Valley, California on Oct. 25, before a packed audience. (Nathan Solis/ CNS)

6.) A steady stream of tourists and locals strolled the Huntington Beach Pier one overcast October morning, some unaware they traversed a key battleground district for control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The author Pat Conroy as he appears on the cover of the new “Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy.” (University of Georgia Press)

7.) This week, thousands will converge on the small town of Beaufort, South Carolina to reflect upon the legacy of “Prince of Tides” author Pat Conroy, a man who never met an aspiring writer he didn’t want to mentor.

8.) Virginia’s 10th Congressional District is home to one of the most closely watched races ahead of the upcoming midterm elections, where the incumbent Republican faces a stiff challenge from a former Democratic state senator.

A Memphis Police Department vehicle. (Photo by Thomas Machnitzki via Wikipedia Commons)

9.)  A federal judge in Memphis ruled Friday that the city’s failure to properly train members of its police department caused it to violate a 1978 agreement not to collect political intelligence on activists exercising their First Amendment rights.

Immigration activist Ravi Ragbir leaves a rally following his appeal before the Second Circuit on Aug. 14, 2018. (JOSH RUSSELL, Courthouse News Service)

10.) An attorney for a prominent immigration activist at risk of deportation urged the Second Circuit on Monday not to miss the chance to prevent a “First Amendment black hole.”

Research & Polls

People walk into the George L. Allen, Sr. Courts Building in Dallas on Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. Early voting starts Oct. 22 and ends Nov. 2. (Irwin Thompson/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

11.) Just eight days before the closely watched midterm election, the Pew Research Center reported Monday that a majority of Americans worry voting systems are not secure from hacking and foreign influences, despite an overall positive outlook on the election process.

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