Crimes & Courts | WOSU Radio

Crimes & Courts

New Jersey is a decisively Democratic state, but last year Democratic lawmakers there decided to try to cement their power even further.

Hillary Clinton won by 14 percentage points in 2016. Barack Obama won by 17 percentage points before that, and a Republican hasn't won a Senate race there since 1972.

Even so, the state Legislature introduced a plan that would overhaul the map-making process in a way that would guarantee Republicans became a "permanent minority."

Outside the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, Ohio.
Gabe Rosenberg / WOsu

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners renewed funding Tuesday for prison and jail diversion programs.

Franklin County Courthouse
Adora Namigadde / WOSU

Although Ohio legislators failed to hammer out budget differences by Sunday's deadline, resorting instead to a stopgap funding measure, at least one group is certain to be happy with the eventual two-year budget: public defenders.

U.S. Supreme Court
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up an appeal of an Alabama law that bans dilation and evacuation abortions, the method most commonly used in the second trimester. That means a lower court ruling, which said the ban was unconstitutional, will stand.

Hours after the Supreme Court ruled to keep a citizenship question off 2020 census forms for now, President Trump threatened to delay next year's national head count.

Asked by a reporter for how long he would delay the census until a citizenship question is allowed, Trump did not give an answer.

Democratic presidential candidates former vice president Joe Biden, left, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., right, stand on stage for a photo op before the start of the the Democratic primary debate on June 27, 2019.
Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the future of Ohio's congressional map and two nights of Democratic presidential debates. Ann Fisher, host of 89.7 NPR's All Sides with Ann Fisher, joins the show.

The fates of almost 1 million people brought to the country illegally as children, known as DREAMers, are now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court granted an appeal to the Trump administration's decision to end the DACA program, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The Obama-era program to protect DREAMers will get a one-hour hearing before the high court next term. The court said it would consolidate three appeals into one argument.

The Supreme Court ruling that blocked the citizenship question for the 2020 census won’t have much impact on local preparations for next year’s count, local officials say.

But they’re hoping it convinces people to participate in the tally.

“We know the Census Bureau has to get the questionnaire complete,” said Simeon Best, who is heading the Complete Count Committee for Cuyahoga County. “But for our efforts, we’re still pushing forward to reach out to everyone, because we want everyone counted.” 

Updated at 7:54 p.m. ET

President Trump says he is looking into delaying the 2020 census, hours after the Supreme Court decided to keep a question about citizenship off the form to be used for the head count.

Trump tweeted that he has asked lawyers whether they can "delay the Census, no matter how long, until the United States Supreme Court is given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision on this very critical matter."

David Niven, a professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati holds a map demonstrating a gerrymandered Ohio district, Thursday, April 11, 2019, in Cincinnati.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected challenges against two congressional maps in Maryland and North Carolina on Thursday, deciding that questions of partisan gerrymandering are outside the scope of courts.

Their decision likely spells the end for a similar challenge out of Ohio, whose congressional maps were ruled an "unconstitutional partisan gerrymander" by a lower court.

Updated 7:45 p.m. ET

In a 5-4 decision along traditional conservative-liberal ideological lines, the Supreme Court ruled that partisan redistricting is a political question — not reviewable by federal courts — and that those courts can't judge if extreme gerrymandering violates the Constitution.

The ruling puts the onus on the legislative branch, and on individual states, to police redistricting efforts.

Updated at 8:19 p.m. ET

In a win for advocates of free speech, the Supreme Court has struck down a ban on trademarking words and symbols that are "immoral" or "scandalous." The 6-3 decision is also a victory for those seeking trademark protection for profane and even racist brand names.

The case was brought by clothing designer Erik Brunetti, who sought to trademark the phrase FUCT. The decision paves the way for him to get his brand trademarked.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court has struck down the conviction of an African American death row inmate who was prosecuted six times for the same crime and by the same prosecutor, a man with a history of racial bias in jury selection.

Updated at 9:04 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a 40-foot World War I memorial cross can stay on public land at a Maryland intersection.

Sometimes, when there is a hot-button issue before the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, I am asked what I think the black-robed sages will do.

My answer is always the same.

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