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Top eight today

Top eight stories for today including the Supreme Court kicked off its 2021 term with oral arguments and orders; A Texas man became the first Capitol rioter to get a sentence more severe than what the government requested; Appellate hearings began in the case of two men charged with killing a former Lebanese prime minister, and more.


Southern water wars open a new Supreme Court vein

The Supreme Court began its 2021 term on Monday, and its first in-person arguments in over a year and a half, looking at what hydrologists call a "cone of depression" caused by a city utility's use of an interstate aquifer.

This visual representation of the Middle Claiborne Aquifer appears in a November 2020 report from a court-appointed special master. The aquifer is overlaid on a map that contains state boundaries to demonstrate its interstate nature. The shading is based on the altitude of the top of the aquifer. (Image via Courthouse News)

Supreme Court turns away closely watched criminal justice disputes

Liberal members of the U.S. Supreme Court used the opening of the 2021 session Monday to push back on the denial of appeals involving the death penalty, qualified immunity and sentencing enhancements.

The U.S. Supreme Court. (Jack Rodgers/Courthouse News)

Capitol rioter recommended for home confinement given prison stretch instead

In the first instance of a Jan. 6 defendant facing a sentence in excess of the government's recommended punishment, a federal judge sentenced a Texas-based rioter to 45 days in prison on Monday.

Prosecutors included these screenshots from Matthew Mazzocco’s Facebook page as part of the federal case against him for his participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. (Image via Courthouse News)

Trump deposition imminent in ‘Apprentice’ accuser’s suit

Having successfully railroaded civil proceedings for over four years due to the purported demands and privileges of the Oval Office, now-private citizen Donald Trump must submit to deposition by attorneys for a former "Apprentice" contestant who says Trump sexually assaulted her.

Summer Zervos, left, leaves New York state appellate court with her attorney Mariann Wang on Oct. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Estate of Henrietta Lacks sues biotech company over use of famous cells

Likening his grandmother's famous cancer cells to the woman herself, and their sale as akin to slavery, the executor of the estate of Henrietta Lacks filed a federal lawsuit Monday against Thermo Fisher Scientific seeking all of the biotechnology company’s profits from her cells.

Attorney Ben Crump, center, holds the great-grandson of Henrietta Lacks, whose cells have been used in medical research without her permission, outside the federal courthouse in Baltimore in Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. (Steve Ruark/AP)


Wisconsin justices probe case of sleeping arbitrator in home construction fight

The Wisconsin Supreme Court attempted Monday to put to rest the question of whether two homeowners have recourse to vacate an award issued by an arbitrator they claim fell asleep during key parts of an arbitration hearing and therefore issued a faulty decision against them.

Wisconsin Supreme Court justices and attorneys prepare for arguments in the high court's hearing room at the state Capitol in Madison on Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. (Image via Courthouse News)

Accused drunken driver seeks to expand double-jeopardy shields in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court appeared unlikely Monday to expand double-jeopardy protections for criminal defendants in the state after the prosecution of an accused drunken driver ended in a retrial order.

Seven seats on bench of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court stand empty before oral arguments begin in October 2021. (Image via Courthouse News)


Tribunal urged to overturn acquittal of men accused of killing Lebanese prime minister

Prosecutors argued Monday that the acquittal last year of two men charged with the assassination of the former prime minister of Lebanon was based on an incorrect interpretation of the evidence. 

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, center, speaks to people outside the Lebanese Parliament minutes before an explosion killed him and 22 others in Beirut in 2005. (AP Photo, File)
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