Crimes & Courts

A decade-long fight ended at the Supreme Court this week, when justices refused to hear an appeal by veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who say that toxic smoke from burn pits made them sick.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has no remaining signs of cancer after her surgery last month, requires no additional treatment, but will miss oral arguments at the court next week to rest, the Supreme Court said Friday.

While odds for a recovery from the surgery she had are good, they go way up if the subsequent pathology report shows no cancer in the lymph nodes. On Friday, the court released a written statement saying there is no additional evidence of cancer.

With Democrats now in control of the U.S. House of Representatives, it might appear that the fight over abortion rights has become a standoff.

After all, abortion-rights supporters within the Democratic caucus will be in a position to block the kind of curbs that Republicans advanced over the past two years when they had control of Congress.

But those on both sides of the debate insist that won't be the case.

With a newly configured U.S. Supreme Court, the stakes are high for abortion-rights battles at the state level. Abortion-rights advocates and opponents are preparing for a busy year — from a tug-of-war over Roe v. Wade to smaller efforts that could expand or restrict access to abortion.

Updated at 2:42 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case brought by Republican-led states that were seeking to defund Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide women's reproductive health services.

Kiichiro Sato / Associated Press

The U.S. Supreme Court says it won’t hear a challenge to Ohio’s death penalty law in a case involving a convicted murderer and rapist from Marion.

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET Wednesday

Chief Justice John Roberts, in his first remarks about the contentious appointment of new Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, sought to convince a law school audience that the court "does not serve one party or one interest; we serve one nation."

Speaking at the University of Minnesota Law School Tuesday, Roberts opened his remarks by saying that he wanted to discuss "events in Washington in recent weeks."

So who, besides Brett Kavanaugh and Donald Trump, won this nasty, bitter, ugly mud-wrestling match that was Kavanaugh's narrow confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court?

The end of the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination sets up a new battleground over abortion rights, and activists on both sides of the issue are gearing up for what's likely to be a series of contentious battles from the high court to state legislatures.

Updated at 9:20 a.m. ET

The Supreme Court welcomes its newest justice Tuesday as Brett Kavanaugh takes the bench for his first arguments since a contentious Senate voted narrowly to confirm him, cementing a decades-long campaign by conservatives to reshape the nation's highest court.

Brett Kavanaugh is a Supreme Court justice. That much is certain after senators narrowly approved his controversial nomination Saturday, putting an end to his bitter confirmation battle with a slim vote in his favor.

But even as one phase of Kavanaugh's story ends, another is beginning: His lifetime tenure on the highest court in the U.S. And this story promises to last much longer.

Updated at 11:31 p.m. ET

A sharply divided Senate — reflecting a deeply divided nation — voted almost entirely along party lines Saturday afternoon to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A little more than two hours later, Kavanaugh was sworn in during a private ceremony as protesters stood on the court's steps.

Updated at 10:12 p.m. ET

Judge Brett Kavanaugh issued a mea culpa of sorts on the eve of a key Senate vote that could determine whether or not he reaches the Supreme Court, admitting in an op-ed that his testimony last week forcefully defending himself from sexual assault allegations "might have been too emotional at times."

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said Wednesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is rushing the Supreme Court confirmation process because he fears more negative publicity will surface about the nominee.

Updated at 9:49 p.m. ET

President Trump continued his defense Tuesday of his Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, mocking one of Kavanaugh's accusers at a Mississippi campaign rally.

The latest move by Trump came just hours after he had highlighted the possibility of false accusations against young men in the midst of a cultural moment brought on in the past year by the #MeToo movement.

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