National Roundup

Trump appeals court nominee in jeopardy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s nominee for a federal appeals court is in jeopardy following a conservative revolt from two Republican senators who have said publicly they won’t support him.

Trump nominated federal judge Halil “Sul” Ozerden of Mississippi to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in June. The New Orleans-based court handles cases from Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

The Senate Judiciary Committee says it removed Ozerden from a planned vote Thursday at the request of the White House. A White House spokesman declined to comment.

Ozerden, a close ally of White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, faces opposition from Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri. They have questioned Ozerden’s dismissal of a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s health care law and other rulings they say show he is not a true conservative.

Senators also questioned whether Ozerden’s rulings as a judge have been overturned more frequently than other nominees.

Ozerden said at his nomination hearing that he dismissed a 2012 challenge to the health care law’s contraceptive mandate on procedural grounds, adding that he followed legal precedent in the case.

“The notion I am somehow hostile to religious liberty is simply not accurate,” Ozerden told senators.

Cruz said Ozerden denied the Catholic Church a hearing and issued a “cursory opinion” that didn’t include a detailed discussion about all of the church’s arguments.

The Judiciary Committee has delayed a vote on Ozerden’s nomination at least four times, indicating the White House is having trouble finding support on the closely divided committee, which includes 12 Republicans and 10 Democrats. Cruz and Hawley serve on the Judiciary panel and without their support, the nominee would need Democratic votes to go forward.

Withdrawal of Ozerden’s nomination would be an unusual setback for Trump, who has celebrated his administration’s success in getting more than 150 federal judicial nominees confirmed by the Senate, including 45 appeals court judges.

About one-quarter of federal appeals court judges were nominated by Trump, an accomplishment the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell boasted about last week.

“Nobody’s done more to change the court system in the history of our country than Donald Trump,” McConnell said at a rally in his home state of Kentucky. “And Mr. President, we’re going to keep on doing it. My motto is ‘Leave no vacancy behind.’”

Man pleads guilty to threatening to kill Trump with homemade bombs

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man has pleaded guilty to threatening to kill President Donald Trumps with homemade bombs.

The Gazette reports that 25-year-old Christian Delatorre, of Dubuque, entered the plea Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids. The charge: willfully threatening to take the life of and inflict serious harm upon the president. His sentencing date hasn’t been set yet.

A proposed plea agreement says a Secret Service agent interviewed Delatorre on April 29 at a Dubuque hospital where he was being treated for psychiatric problems. A psychiatric nurse practitioner at Mercy Hospital reported that Delatorre had been making threats about assassinating Trump.

The agent reports in the document that Delatorre said he was angered when Trump mocked people and talked about sending immigrants back to their home countries.

The document says Delatorre’s plans included attaching bombs to drones he’d fly over and detonate at the White House. The document also says Delatorre intended to undertake a suicide mission if his other plans didn’t work.

Military families sue over unsafe living conditions

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — Ten military families have filed a class-action lawsuit accusing private companies that manage base housing of failing to remedy unsafe living conditions.

News outlets report the lawsuit filed Tuesday says mold infestations and other problems have caused members of military families to suffer at Fort Meade in Maryland.

The families allege Corvias and Meade Communities LLC knew about the mold but didn’t do enough to fix the problem.

Corvias spokeswoman Kelly Douglas says the lawsuit doesn’t reflect the resources, attention and rigor that has been brought to assure quality housing.

The lawsuit also says the property manager’s agreement with the government makes it financially difficult for the plaintiffs to move out. The private companies receive the full amount of service members’ housing allowances.

New Hampshire
Police: Woman assaulted, left without use of prosthetic legs

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire man has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman who was left in a bathroom without her two prosthetic legs.

Police in Manchester arrested 24-year-old Roberto Carlos Raymundo on charges of aggravated felonious sexual assault and resisting arrest on Tuesday. They said they were called to a home where a 21-year-old woman reported the assault. She said she wasn’t sure of her exact location and couldn’t leave the bathroom because her prosthetic legs were in another room.

Police said she and Raymundo knew each other.

Raymundo was released on $10,000 personal recognizance bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 21. It wasn’t immediately known if he had a lawyer and a phone number could not be found for him.

Principal who tried to ban books charged with child porn

WINCHESTER, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky principal who once made headlines for trying to ban books with what he deemed inappropriate content has been indicted on child pornography charges.

News outlets reported Tuesday that a grand jury charged 54-year-old Phillip Todd Wilson, principal of the Clark County Area Technology Center, with 17 child pornography possession and distribution charges.
Kentucky State police filed 15 counts each of the charges against Wilson in August.

Clark County Schools officials told news outlets they were “shocked and dismayed” at the accusations. WKYT-TV reports the education department no longer employs Wilson.

The Lexington Herald-Leader says that when Wilson was the principal of Montgomery County High School in 2009, he fought to ban books with what he labelled “homosexual” or otherwise inappropriate material, including sex, abuse and drugs.