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Top eight today

Top eight stories for today including the EU’s top court upheld a budget mechanism that ties member states’ funding to rule-of-law norms; Supreme Court justices are catching blowback for saying one thing and then doing another; A federal judge in Oregon rejected a motion to dismiss a First Amendment action by Courthouse News, and more.

National

Judiciary Committee pivots after GOP senator opposes home-state nominee

The blue slip took center stage yet again Wednesday as Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson's refusal to approve a nominee for his state's Eastern District federal court forced the Senate Judiciary Committee to nix the judge from their hearing lineup.

Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, talks during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting Feb. 16, 2022. Johnson threw the Senate Judiciary Committee for a loop after refusing to return the blue slip for a district court nominee from Wisconsin. (Screenshot via Courthouse News)

At Supreme Court, it’s do as I say not as I do

The mask of collegiality slipped once again as Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Brett Kavanaugh sparred last week over the court’s use of its emergency docket. The incident marks not just another example of cracks forming within the court but also how the justice's words are often at odds with their actions

Seated, from left: Justices Samuel A. Alito, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor . Standing, from left: Justices Brett M. Kavanaugh, Elena Kagan, Neil M. Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett. (Fred Schilling/Supreme Court via Courthouse News)

Regional

Judge rejects Oregon’s effort to dismiss First Amendment action by Courthouse News

A federal judge in Oregon rejected a motion to dismiss a First Amendment action by Courthouse News. Critically, the judge found that the right of access attaches to new court filings when they are received.

Courtroom at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, Portland, Oregon.

Chemical giants ask appeals court to lower $75 million herbicide award

Lawyers for Monsanto and BASF argued before the Eighth Circuit on Wednesday that a $75 million award to Missouri’s largest peach farm for damages related to their dicamba herbicide was unwarranted.

(flockine/Pixabay via Courthouse News)

Louisiana climate plan aims to lower emissions, boost renewable energy   

A Louisiana climate plan with the ambitious aim of slashing greenhouse gas emissions statewide to net zero by 2050 was presented Wednesday at the monthly Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority meeting in Baton Rouge.

A brown pelican flies over Queen Bess Island in Louisiana in 2018. The island is being restored to nearly its former size after decades of coastal erosion and damage caused by an offshore oil spill. (Gabe Giffin/Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, File)

International

EU can cut purse strings over rule-of-law breaches, top court rules

In a highly anticipated decision, the European Union’s top court has rejected an attempt by Hungary and Poland to block a rule tying financing to democratic principles.

The European Court of Justice, based in Luxembourg, is the European Union’s supreme court in matters concerning EU law. (Molly Quell/Courthouse News)

Ukraine invasion fears ebb as Russia signals desire to de-escalate

The feared invasion of Ukraine on Wednesday – labeled as Western “hysteria” and warmongering by the Kremlin – failed to take place and Moscow said it was sending home troops engaged in war drills near Ukraine's borders and sent other signs showing it may feel it's time to de-escalate tensions.

Ukraine's national flag waves in Kyiv on Feb. 13, 2022, with the Motherland Monument behind it on the right. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Afghan war crimes suspect goes on trial in the Netherlands

The trial of an Afghan man accused of abusing prisoners in the 1980s kicked off in the Netherlands on Wednesday. 

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