Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh said they would have granted a stay blocking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision. On the other side were Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and the court’s three-member liberal wing: Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who joined the court on Oct. 27, did not take part in the decision not to fast-track the case. A court spokeswoman said Justice Barrett had not participated “because of the need for a prompt resolution” and “because she has not had time to fully review the parties’ filings.” Pennsylvania officials have instructed county election officials to segregate ballots arriving after 8 p.m. on Election Day through 5 p.m. three days later. That would as a practical matter allow a ruling from the Supreme Court to determine whether they were ultimately counted.Justice Alito’s statement in the Pennsylvania case echoed an earlier concurring opinion by Justice Kavanaugh in a voting case from Wisconsin. Justice Kavanaugh also said that state legislatures, rather than state courts, have the last word in setting state election procedures.Taken together, the Oct. 17 deadlock and statements from four justices suggest that Justice Barrett could cast the decisive vote if the Pennsylvania dispute holds the key to the election. Updated Nov. 4, 2020, 12:06 p.m. ET Late last month, the justices refused a plea from Republicans in the state to fast-track a decision on whether the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had acted lawfully.- Advertisement – The U.S. Supreme Court has not hesitated to block orders from federal judges that sought to alter state rules for conducting elections. Rulings from state courts present more difficult questions because the Supreme Court generally defers to them in cases concerning interpretations of state law, while the Constitution empowers state legislatures to set the times, places and manner of congressional elections.In a statement issued when the court refused to speed the Pennsylvania case, Justice Alito, joined by Justices Thomas and Gorsuch, criticized his court’s treatment of the matter, which he said had “needlessly created conditions that could lead to serious postelection problems.”“The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has issued a decree that squarely alters an important statutory provision enacted by the Pennsylvania legislature pursuant to its authority under the Constitution of the United States to make rules governing the conduct of elections for federal office,” he wrote, adding that he regretted that the election would be “conducted under a cloud.”“It would be highly desirable to issue a ruling on the constitutionality of the State Supreme Court’s decision before the election,” Justice Alito wrote. “That question has national importance, and there is a strong likelihood that the State Supreme Court decision violates the federal Constitution.”But there was not enough time, he wrote. Still, Justice Alito left little doubt about where he stood on the question in the case. The court’s refusal to move more quickly came a little more than a week after it deadlocked, 4 to 4, on an emergency application in the case on Oct. 19. – Advertisement – Should the vote in Pennsylvania have the potential to determine the outcome in the Electoral College and should those late-arriving ballots have the potential to swing the state — two big ifs — the U.S. Supreme Court might well intercede.The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ordered a three-day extension for ballots clearly mailed on or before Election Day and for those with missing or illegible postmarks “unless a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that it was mailed after Election Day.” WASHINGTON — President Trump promised early Wednesday morning to ask the Supreme Court to intervene in the election. “We’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court,” he said. “We want all voting to stop.”The first statement was premature. The second did not make sense.- Advertisement – The Supreme Court decides actual disputes, not abstract propositions, and then only after lower courts have made their own rulings. While there have been countless election cases filed around the nation, it is not clear which of them might reach the court in the coming days.But one candidate is already on the court’s docket. Last month, the court refused to put a case from Pennsylvania on a fast track, but three justices indicated that the court might return to it later if need be.As far as voting is concerned, it stopped on Election Day. But some states allow votes cast by mail on or before Election Day to be counted if they are received up to several days afterward. In Pennsylvania, for instance, the state Supreme Court extended the deadline for receiving ballots from Election Day to three days later. “The provisions of the federal Constitution conferring on state legislatures, not state courts, the authority to make rules governing federal elections would be meaningless,” he wrote, “if a state court could override the rules adopted by the legislature simply by claiming that a state constitutional provision gave the courts the authority to make whatever rules it thought appropriate for the conduct of a fair election.” – Advertisement –
“[Health officials] didn’t know before Friday night that there were 31 deaths,” Legault told reporters on Monday. “We knew that there were a few deaths, but surely not 31.”Only five deaths are confirmed to have been caused by COVID-19, with the rest under investigation.Legault blamed the situation on “major negligence” over the weekend and said the facility’s management had not cooperated when authorities first tried to probe reports of problems.”I think that what happened in the month of March was that suddenly many of their residents got the COVID-19, many of the employees decided to leave,” he said. The Quebec government on Monday said it was putting the safety and general conditions of the province’s 2,600 long-term care and nursing home facilities under the microscope following the deaths of 31 people in a single home for the elderly since March 13.Police and the coroner’s office are investigating the deaths at the Residence Herron, a 139-unit home in Montreal, which has been put under provincial control.Quebec Premier François Legault said health officials had only been informed that the nursing home had a shortage of staff, but not that dozens of residents had died. Topics : The residence is located on Montreal’s West Island and is owned and operated by Katasa Group, which owns six other retirement homes. The home charges up to C$10,000 a month for each resident, according to the Montreal Gazette.The private nursing home touts itself as having “an enviable reputation in the field of residences for retirees in need of special care,” according to its website. The Katasa Group was not immediately available for comment.Legault said three investigations are underway into the home, with issues previously raised in government reports in 2019 and 2017.He said staff shortages in Quebec’s long-term care facilities had been a problem before the coronavirus crisis, adding that the government planned to deploy more medical staff to help out with long-term care facilities in the province.Quebec has offered temporary bonuses, including 8% raises for workers who are in direct contact with patients, and an increase in hourly wages for private home orderlies.More than half the total deaths from coronavirus in Canada have occurred in Quebec, the second most populous of 10 provinces.About 60% of Quebec deaths have been in either seniors’ homes or long-term care facilities and a quarter of the province’s nursing homes have at least one confirmed case, according to provincial data.
A panel of judges at the Medan District Court in North Sumatra has handed down a three-year imprisonment for a 44-year-old man after finding him guilty of blasphemy for having desecrated the Quran at a mosque earlier this year.”[We] sentence defendant Doni Irawan Malay to three years in prison,” presiding judge Tengku Oyong said while reading out the verdict on Tuesday.The punishment was one year lighter than the prosecutor’s demand, as the court said the defendant had behaved politely during the trial. Doni was charged under Article 156 of the Criminal Code on religious defamation.Both the defendant and prosecutor Nur Ainun accepted the verdict.In the previous hearings, prosecutors said Doni had committed a blasphemous act by tearing out pages from the Quran he took from Al-Mashum Mosque in Medan Kota district on Feb. 13.”The defendant removed the cover from the Quran, threw it into a garbage bin inside the ablution room and then proceeded to tear out pages from the Quran with both of his hands.”They said Doni then exited the mosque and threw the ripped Quran pages onto the streets before running away. He was later caught by locals and reported to Medan Kota Police.In 2018, the Medan District Court had also sentenced police officer Brig. Tommy Daniel Patar Hutabarat to 16 months in prison for shredding and dumping copies of the Quran into the gutter. He, too, was found guilty of blasphemy and charged under Article 156 of the Criminal Code. (vny)Topics :
Skipper Fabricio Coloccini has moved to end speculation over his future by insisting he will remain a Newcastle player next season. The 32-year-old central defender looked to be heading away from Tyneside when he asked to leave because of personal problems in January last year. However, the Argentina international was held to the four-year contract extension he had signed in March 2012 by the Magpies and, despite suggestions that he would look to end his stay in England this summer, he has signalled his intention to stay. Coloccini told the Shields Gazette: “For sure. I’m going to be here.” The news represents a boost for beleaguered managed Alan Pardew, who is already facing a significant rebuilding job after a difficult season. He told Press Association Sport: “He is a Newcastle player and he will be next year.” Coloccini played in Saturday’s 3-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Cardiff as Newcastle ended a run of six successive defeats, with unhappy fans making their feelings abundantly clear. He turned in one of his better performances in recent weeks to remind supporters of the form which made him a favourite, prompting such concern when he expressed a desire to be allowed to return to South America. Argentinian club San Lorenzo waged a very public campaign to lure Coloccini home, but could not come up with the kind of finance they needed to persuade the Magpies to do business and it was left to Pardew to delicately re-integrate the player and help him through the issues behind his request. Coloccini said: “I had personal problems. Sometimes it’s tough. You have to decide between the problems and the work. “Sometimes it’s too difficult. Now it’s finished and next season, I will be here. I’m looking forward to improving. “We want the best for Newcastle United. This season, we finished top 10, and maybe we will bring some players [in the summer]. “We will try to do well and finish in the top eight or something like that. We will always try to improve.” Crystal Palace’s remarkable fightback against Liverpool on Monday night was not enough to maintain their faint hopes of forcing their way ahead of Newcastle in the league table as the final round of fixtures approaches and that means Pardew’s men will finish in the top 10, the point at which staff bonuses will be paid. They are currently in ninth place, but could yet be overtaken by Stoke on the final day, when they head for Anfield. Press Association
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa legislators must create rules to regulate hemp production in the state now that Congress has legalized the crop and farmers are eager to start planting.Hemp comes from the same plant as marijuana but doesn’t contain THC, the compound that causes a high. Hemp is used in clothing, textiles, building materials, paper and food.Congress approved hemp production in the 2018 farm bill. The Iowa attorney general and state agriculture officials will meet this month to discuss state regulations for hemp.One issue lawmakers may consider is if hemp should be allowed to make cannabidiol. Advocates say CBD can treat anxiety, epilepsy and depression.While hemp-derived CBD is allowed federally, Iowa’s medical marijuana law doesn’t allow CBD to be processed from industrial hemp.