It's all but official: Al Franken will become the 60th Democratic senator. The Minnesota Supreme Court just released its opinion in the long-contested election for Minnesota's seat in the US Senate, and unanimously found that there had been no constitutional or trial error in the case and Franken had won the election by a total of 312 votes.
The court did not, however, order the governor, Tim Pawlenty, to certify the election for Franken, even though the governor had indicated that he would abide by whatever order the court issued. Instead, the court left the issue open until the ten day deadline for filing a petition for rehearing had passed, which would have given Coleman the opportunity to request another look at his case.
Instead, Coleman chose to end his challenge and conceded victory to Franken. This means that Franken will almost certainly go on to be the 60th Democrat in the Senate, which would give the party a filibuster-proof number of seats if it is able to stay unified.
Everyone knows Michael Jackson. His face is universally recognized around the world. People in every country are currently mourning his death, playing and replaying the music that made him an international superstar.
But he was almost as famous for his wildly eccentric lifestyle: a compound named after Peter Pan's fictional home, his friend Bubbles the chimp, his plastic surgeries, rumored drug dependencies, and the alleged purchase of the Elephant Man's bones all added to his mystery and led the tabloids to dub him Wacko Jacko.
And, of course, there were the hints and rumors of inappropriate contact with children. Several people accused Jackson of molesting them, and some even went to court. Jackson settled one of those civil lawsuits for a reported $20 million.
The movie "Bananas!" purports to be an intense look at the struggles of Nicaraguan farmers to obtain compensation for sterility resulting of the use of pesticides on banana plantation.
If the Dole Food Co. and a California Supreme Court Judge are right, however, the movie might have to change its ending.
Despite pledging to usher in a new era of government transparency, the Obama administration is continuing many of the most secretive policies of the Bush administration, including the invocation of the state secrets doctrine in terrorism and wiretapping cases.
The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a lawsuit Tuesday over another of the Obama administration's leftover Bush policies, the refusal to turn over the logs that record visitors to the White House.
CREW wants the Secret Service to release logs related to visits by coal companies, which the Secret Service has refused to do.
When President Obama released the so-called torture memos from the Bush administration, there was an immediate call to indict the lawyers responsible for the memos. It doesn't look like that will happen, but the authors of the memos might end up in court anyway as defendants in civil lawsuits rather than criminal trials.
District Court Judge Jeffrey White of the Northern District of California allowed most of Jose Padilla's suit against John Yoo, one of the authors of the memos, to go forward on Friday, despite Yoo's motion to dismiss the case. Padilla, who is serving a 17 year sentence for a dirty bomb plot, alleges that Yoo, by drafting memos meant to act as a legal shield for constitutional violations, became personally responsible for those violations.
Judge White's decision represents the first judicial opinion holding that goverment lawyers are potentially responsible for detainee abuse.
Judge Samuel Kent received some good news and some bad news yesterday. Well, it was really a case of bad news and it-could've-been-worse news.
Kent, you may remember, is the federal district court judge from Galveston, Texas who pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice related to the investigation into allegations (which he later admitted were true) that he had non-consensual sexual contact with courthouse employees.