Nightly Brief

Your Wednesday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including the Senate narrowly advancing the nomination of a lawyer up for a spot on a North Carolina federal court who helped defend a state voter identification law found to unfairly target African American voters; Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith becomes Mississippi’s first woman elected to Congress; the Supreme Court appears eager to make states comply with the constitutional bar against excessive fines; a portion of the Art Deco former headquarters of the Los Angeles Times inches closer to receiving cultural-historic landmark status; 21 inmates sue to block construction of a new, $444 million federal prison in a sensitive region of Appalachia; border agents in Greece, Hungary and Latvia experiment with artificial intelligence system designed to detect if a person is lying, and more.

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National

In this Sept. 20, 2017, photo, Thomas Farr is sworn in during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to be a District Judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

1.) The Senate on Wednesday narrowly advanced the nomination of a lawyer up for a spot on a North Carolina federal court who helped defend a state voter identification law a federal appeals court  found unfairly targeted African American voters.

Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith speaks to her supporters as she celebrates her runoff win over Democrat Mike Espy in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

2.) Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith became Mississippi’s first woman elected to Congress Tuesday night, defeating former congressman and secretary of agriculture Mike Espy in an election marred by race following a remark she made about her willingness to attend a public hanging.

Alaska State Capitol. (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

3.) Upholding the bulk of an Alaska law limiting state-level campaign contributions, a split Ninth Circuit panel on Tuesday nonetheless struck down caps on state-level campaign contributions from nonresidents as unconstitutional.

In this Aug. 13, 2018, file photo, Tyson Timbs poses for a portrait at his aunt’s home in Marion, Ind. Five years ago, Timbs had his $42,000 Land Rover taken by the government in a process known as “civil asset forfeiture,” after he pled guilty to selling $260 of heroin. (Jenna Watson/The Indianapolis Star via AP)

4.) The Supreme Court appeared eager Wednesday to make states comply with the constitutional bar against excessive fines, with some justices casting the decision as all but inevitable.

Regional

The former headquarters of the Los Angeles Times, recommended for designation as a cultural and historic landmark. (Nathan Solis/CNS)

5.) A portion of the Art Deco former headquarters of the Los Angeles Times inched closer to receiving cultural-historic landmark status, but city officials decided Tuesday that designation would not extend to an addition built in the 1970s.

A federal complaint filed on Nov. 26, 2018, against the U.S. Bureau of Prisons includes this photograph of the proposed site for USP Letcher.

6.) A $444 million plan to build a new federal prison in a sensitive region of Appalachia ravaged by coal-mining operations drew a lawsuit Monday from 21 inmates.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

7.) A federal judge didn’t cut any slack for the Justice Department, which filed a stay Tuesday on a Nov. 19 order to lift the ban on the Trump administration’s asylum policy pending an appeal to the Ninth Circuit.

Migrants run from tear gas launched by U.S. agents, amid photojournalists covering the Mexico-U.S. border, after a group of migrants got past Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

8.) A five-hour long closure of the U.S.-Mexico border in both directions Sunday due to mounting tensions over migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. resulted not only in the tear gassing of men, women and children in Mexico by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, but also led to millions in economic losses for a binational region with business ties that don’t stop at a border wall.

International

Historic Centre of Riga was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997. (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

9.) Border agents in Greece, Hungary and Latvia are experimenting with a new, and controversial, tool at border crossings into Europe: An artificial intelligence system designed to detect if a person is lying.

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