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New York's attorney general has appealed a federal judge's ruling that halted key provisions of the state's new rules on guns. The judge ordered a temporary hold earlier Thursday over restrictions on where people can carry weapons and a requirement for permit applicants to hand over social media information. The rules were part of a sweeping gun law that went into effect Sept. 1 and was designed to protect public safety while adhering to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that invalidated New York’s old system.

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At least 66 clinics have stopped providing abortions in 15 states since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade. That's according to a Guttmacher Institute analysis released Thursday. The institute is a research group that supports abortion rights.  The analysis examines the impact of state laws on access to abortion in the 100 days since that landmark decision on June 24.  As of October 2, there were no providers offering abortions in 14 of these 15 states. The number of clinics providing abortions in the 15 states dropped from 79 to 13.

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A program that incentivizes West Virginia families to pull their children out of K-12 public schools by offering them state-funded scholarships can resume. The state Supreme Court issued an order on Thursday reversing a lower court’s ruling. The Hope Scholarship Program was scheduled to commence this school year and is one of the most far-reaching school choice programs in the country. It was blocked by a Charleston-area judge in July after she ruled that the program violates the state’s constitutional mandate to provide “a thorough and efficient system of free schools.” The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals justices did not provide their reasoning for their decision but said a more detailed opinion would follow.

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Idaho's top wildlife official says the state's wolf population appears to be holding steady despite recent changes by lawmakers that allow expanded methods and seasons for killing wolves. Idaho Department of Fish and Game Director Ed Schriever told lawmakers on the Natural Resources Interim Committee on Thursday that human-caused and natural wolf mortality looks similar to three previous years. The agency says the population fluctuates from more than 1,600 in the spring when pups are born to about 800 in late winter. He says the midpoint is about 1,250 wolves. The agency won't have a solid estimate until January when it finishes analyzing millions of photos taken by remote cameras.

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Kevin Spacey is facing a jury in a New York City courtroom during a civil trial accusing him of sexually abusing a 14-year-old actor in the 1980s when he was 26. His lawyer disputed accusations during opening statements Thursday, the first day of the trial. Anthony Rapp brought the lawsuit against Spacey. Rapp was the first in a string of people to publicly accuse the “House of Cards” star of sexual misconduct. Jury selection began Thursday in a trial expected to last about two weeks. A lawyer for Rapp says Spacey tried to seduce him in a bedroom at his Manhattan apartment in 1986. Spacey's lawyer said it didn't happen.

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Kentucky’s sweeping abortion ban is being challenged by three Jewish women who say it violates their religious rights under the state constitution. The legal challenge was filed Thursday in state court in Louisville. The lawsuit says the state’s Republican-dominated legislature “imposed sectarian theology” by prohibiting nearly all abortions. It says that “under Jewish law, a fetus does not become a human being or child until birth.” The suit bears similarities to legal challenges to abortion bans in at least two other states. Kentucky’s Republican attorney general, Daniel Cameron, is signaling he will fight the lawsuit.

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Rochester officials have agreed to pay $12 million to the children of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died after police held him down until he stopped breathing on a snowy street in the upstate New York city. A federal judge approved the settlement in a court document filed Thursday. Rochester Mayor Malik D. Evans said in a statement that the agreement was “the best decision” for the city. Attorneys said the settlement money, minus lawyers’ fees and costs, will go to Prude’s five children.

Planned Parenthood’s political arm has announced a $5 million investment in North Carolina’s battleground races. Democrats are fighting to preserve the governor’s veto power in one of the last abortion access points for the Southeast. Planned Parenthood Votes and Planned Parenthood Action PAC North Carolina are targeting 14 legislative swing districts with ads, mailings, phone banks and canvassing. The investment announced Thursday is part of an existing $50 million national campaign to protect reproductive rights in nine target states. GOP State Senate leader Phil Berger said Democrats’ accusations that Republicans would fully ban abortion in North Carolina if they obtain veto-proof majorities are misguided.

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A Wisconsin judge is prohibiting voters from canceling their original absentee ballot and casting a new one, siding with a conservative group that said the practice known as ballot spoiling is illegal. The ruling Wednesday from a Waukesha County judge who was a former Republican attorney general comes as voters in the battleground state are submitting their absentee ballots for the Nov. 8 election. Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections filed the lawsuit last month. It challenged the guidance issued on Aug. 1 to more than 1,800 local election clerks by the state elections commission detailing how they can spoil an absentee ballot at the request of a voter.

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The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has scheduled its next hearing for Oct. 13. That will be the committee’s first public session since a series of blockbuster hearings in late July that touched on nearly every aspect of the Capitol insurrection. Lawmakers have said little about what the next hearing will cover, but it is expected to include new interview footage. That could include Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who was interviewed last week behind closed doors. The Jan. 6 committee  plans to issue a final report on its investigation by the year's end.

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The Mississippi solicitor general has argued to a federal appeals court that the U.S. Justice Department overreached in suing the state over its mental health system. A Justice Department attorney countered that there’s ample precedent to show the department has the power to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act. A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Wednesday in New Orleans. A ruling against the Justice Department could ultimately push the issue to the Supreme Court. The department sued Mississippi several years ago, saying the state violated federal law by confining people with mental illness in state hospitals instead of providing community-based services.

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The family of the victim in the murder case chronicled in the first season of the “Serial” podcast has asked Maryland’s intermediate appellate court to halt Adnan Syed’s court case pending the family’s appeal of a judge’s overturning of Syed’s murder conviction. Young Lee, the brother of victim Hae Min Lee, asked the Maryland Court of Special Appeals in a six-page motion filed late last month to suspend further proceedings, including an Oct. 18 deadline by which prosecutors must decide whether to drop the charges against Syed or retry him for the killing. He contends that the family was not given enough notice about a court hearing last month.

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Country queen Loretta Lynn spoke honestly about teenage pregnancy, birth control and abortion. Her hit songs like 1975's “The Pill” reflected the lives of many rural women and mothers. In her home state of Kentucky, Lynn's songs and ideas about inequities tied to childbirth are proving as relevant as ever. Kate Collins grew up on Lynn's music, only realizing later in life the context of her songs. Collins volunteers as a case manager for the Kentucky Health Justice Network's abortion resources hotline. She said that Lynn's music still resonates today after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

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A federal appeals court has ordered a lower court to review an Obama-era program preventing the deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought into the United States as children. A Texas-based federal judge last year declared that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was illegal. But he left the program temporarily intact for those already benefiting from it, pending the appeal. Wednesday's appellate ruling in New Orleans upholds the judge's initial finding. But it sends the case back to him for a look at a new version of the rule issued by the Biden administration in late August.

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The Colorado baker who won a partial Supreme Court victory after refusing on religious grounds to make a wedding cake for a gay couple a decade ago is challenging a separate ruling that he violated the state’s anti-discrimination law — this time over complaints he refused to make a birthday cake celebrating a gender transition. A lawyer for Jack Phillips on Wednesday urged Colorado’s appeals court to overturn last year’s ruling in a lawsuit brought by Autumn Scardina, a transgender woman. Phillips rejected her request in 2017 to make a birthday cake that had blue frosting on the outside and was pink inside to celebrate her gender transition.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys for two former Minneapolis police officers charged in the killing of George Floyd have filed more than 100 motions to limit testimony or evidence that will be allowed at trial. Many of the requests rely heavily on what happened at the previous two trials in Floyd’s death. J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. With jury selection to begin Oct. 24, both sides are using what they learned in the prior trials to try to shape the proceeding in their favor. Hearings on the requests are scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

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A dramatic family fight has clouded the GOP’s hopes in Georgia’s high-stakes Senate contest. Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker is drawing criticism from his own son as Walker denies a report that he paid for a girlfriend’s abortion. But as the midterm campaign speeds into its final full month, leading Republicans believe the Senate majority remains firmly within their reach. Democratic strategists privately concede that their party's own shortcomings may not be outweighed by the GOP’s mounting challenges. Democrats have no margin for error as they confront the weight of history, widespread economic concerns and President Joe Biden’s weak standing.

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Former Gov. Paul LePage says he’d veto a bill banning abortions at 15 weeks — news that's disappointing to anti-abortion groups. The Republican who's seeking his old job back provided the answer during a labored exchange Tuesday evening in the first debate with Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and independent Sam Hunkler. Karen Vachon, executive director of Maine Right to Life, said it's disturbing that the governor doesn't support a 15-week limit on abortions. LePage said he supports current state law that bans abortions after a fetus becomes viable outside the womb, at roughly 24 weeks.

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A former government staffer has testified about being raped by a colleague in the Australian Parliament House and described her fears of not being believed because of the disparity in their workplace statuses. On Wednesday, Brittany Higgins became the first witness to testify against Bruce Lehrmann. He has pleaded not guilty in the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court to a charge of sexual intercourse without consent in a minister’s office in March 2019. Lehrmann faces a potential 12-year prison sentence if convicted. Higgins said she was a 24-year-old staffer in an administrative role in then-Defense Industry Minister Linda Reynolds’ office while Lehrmann had a more senior role as a ministerial adviser.

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A former Seattle tech worker convicted of several charges related to a massive hack of Capital One bank and other companies in 2019 has been sentenced to time served and five years of probation. U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said Tuesday that sentencing former Amazon software engineer Paige Thompson to time in prison would have been particularly difficult on her “because of her mental health and transgender status." U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said in a statement that his office was “very disappointed” with the sentencing decision. In June, a Seattle jury found Thompson guilty of wire fraud, unauthorized access to a protected computer and damaging a protected computer.

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Supporters of abortion rights are suing to keep an old Arizona law that criminalizes nearly all abortions from being enforced. They argue in the lawsuit filed Tuesday that laws passed by the state Legislature after 1973′s Roe v. Wade decision should take precedence and abortions should be allowed until 15 weeks into a pregnancy. The 15-week law was passed this year and took effect a day after a Tucson judge said a pre-statehood law banning all abortions can be enforced. The lawsuit filed by a Phoenix abortion doctor and the Arizona Medical Association repeats many of the arguments made by abortion rights groups in their failed effort to get a judge to continue a 50-year-old injunction against enforcing the pre-statehood law.

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Lawyers for former President Donald Trump have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step into the legal fight over the classified documents seized during an FBI search of his Florida estate. The Trump team asked the court Tuesday to overturn a lower court ruling and permit an independent arbiter, or special master, to review the roughly 100 documents with classified markings that were taken in the Aug. 8 search. A three-judge panel last month limited the review to the much larger tranche of non-classified documents. A veteran Brooklyn judge, Raymond Dearie, is serving as special master.

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In Georgia’s pivotal U.S. Senate race, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger, Herschel Walker, have each sought to cast the other as an abortion extremist. At the same time, they deflect questions about the details of their own positions on the issue. The sidestepping reflects the sensitivity of abortion politics in a post-Roe v. Wade America, where the procedure is open to regulation by state governments and, potentially, by Congress. But Walker’s strategy may not work much longer after The Daily Beast reported Monday that he paid for a girlfriend’s 2009 abortion — a blatant contradiction of his claims that there’s “no excuse” for a procedure he characterizes as “killing.” Walker called the report a lie.

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