09-19-2020  2:37 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
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NORTHWEST NEWS

US Judge Blocks Postal Service Changes That Slowed Mail

The Yakima, Washington judge called the changes “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.

Black and Jewish Community Join to Revive Historic Partnership

United in Spirit Oregon brings together members of the NAACP, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, others to serve as peacemakers 

Feds Explored Possibly Charging Portland Officials in Unrest

Federal officials were told that Portland police officers were explicitly told not to respond to the federal courthouse

Latest: Report: Downed Power Lines Sparked 13 Oregon Fires

As wildfires continue to burn in Oregon and the west, here are today's updates.

NEWS BRIEFS

Free Masks and Gloves Now Available for Small Businesses

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. ...

Forest Service Explains 'Containment'

US Forest Service, Riverside Fire provides a special update to explain how they achieve wildfire containment. ...

Oregon Receives Approval of Federal Disaster Declaration for Wildfires

Decision will enable federal aid to begin flowing, as unprecedented wildfires ravage state and force evacuation of thousands ...

National Black Farmers' Association President Calls for Boycott of John Deere

Year after year, John Deere has declined NBFA's invitation to display its equipment at the 116,000-member organization's annual...

City of Vancouver Welcomes New Fire Chief

Brennan Blue is replacing Vancouver Fire Chief Joe Molina, who is retiring after 28 years. ...

Cities creating racial 'healing' committees to confront past

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A growing number of cities across the U.S. are creating committees and task force panels aimed at discussing racial tensions and confronting the past. From Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Clemson, South Carolina, towns and municipalities recently have formed committees...

Underwater and on fire: US climate change magnifies extremes

America's worsening climate change problem is as polarized as its politics. Some parts of the country have been burning this month while others were underwater in extreme weather disasters. The already parched West is getting drier and suffering deadly wildfires because of it, while the much wetter...

AP Top 25 Reality Check: When streaks end, but not really

For the first time since the end of the 2011 season, Ohio State is not ranked in the AP Top 25.The Buckeyes' streak of 132 straight poll appearances is the second-longest active streak in the country, behind Alabama's 198.Of course, in this strange season of COVID-19, Ohio State's streak was...

Potential impact transfers this season aren't limited to QBs

While most of the offseason chatter surrounding college football transfers inevitably focuses on quarterbacks, plenty of notable players at other positions also switched teams and could make major impacts for their new schools this fall.Miami may offer the clearest example of this.Quarterback...

OPINION

The Extraordinary BIPOC Coalition Support Measure 110

Coming together to change the systemic racism of the failed approach to drugs and addiction ...

One Huge Lie Crystallized

The Democrats have cast the President as a failed leader, but Trump’s supporters painted him as a success and the last line of defense against radical socialism. ...

“Losers”???!!!

I am hoping that millions of us will teach Trump what it means to be a loser on November 3rd. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Crowd protests charges against Denver anti-racism leaders

DENVER (AP) — People gathered at the Colorado state Capitol in Denver on Saturday to protest the filing of felony charges against several leaders of racial justice demonstrations.Six protesters, including organizers of demonstrations over the killing of Black 23-year-old Elijah McClain in...

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a towering women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87.Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.Her...

Tax protester in 2007 standoff requests time served sentence

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A man up for resentencing this month over a monthslong armed standoff with U.S. marshals in 2007 to protest a tax evasion conviction says he should be sentenced to the 13 years he has already served. Edward Brown, 78, was sentenced to 37 years in prison after the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Emmys, live and virtual: 'What could possibly go wrong?'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Emmy host Jimmy Kimmel and an alpaca sharing the spotlight. Winners accepting at home in designer pajamas or maybe yoga pants. More than 100 chances for a balky internet connection to bring Sunday’s ceremony to a crashing halt.Come for the awards, stay for the...

DJ Jazzy Jeff talks 'Fresh Prince' reunion, mansion rental

LOS ANGELES (AP) — DJ Jazzy Jeff knew “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” made a mark in television history after filming six seasons during the mid-'90s, but he thought the show’s popularity would eventually fizzle out at some point.So far, that hasn’t happened. The...

Jude Law, Carrie Coon on the moody marital drama ‘The Nest’

Carrie Coon so badly wanted the slow-burn familial drama “The Nest” to be made, she told its director that she’d step aside so that he could cast “someone more famous” in her role. “The Nest,” which is now playing in select theaters nationwide, is...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Rights group: More than 300 detained at Minsk women's march

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Police in the capital of Belarus cracked down sharply Saturday on a women’s...

Carpenters wow public with medieval techniques at Notre Dame

PARIS (AP) — With precision and boundless energy, a team of carpenters used medieval techniques to raise up...

Pandemic retools diplomacy as world leaders gather virtually

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — With COVID-19 still careening across the planet, the annual gathering of its leaders...

AP PHOTOS: Italian grape harvest plows on through pandemic

LATINA, Italy (AP) — Change can come slowly to Italy’s centuries-old wine industry, but the...

Ethiopia charges prominent opposition figure with terrorism

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopia has charged its most prominent opposition figure, Jawar Mohammed, and...

Russia's Navalny says he's now more than 'technically alive'

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said he is recovering his verbal and physical...

Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
McMenamins
By The Skanner News

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul hit its first major legal roadblock Monday, thrown into doubt by a federal judge's declaration that the heart of the sweeping legislation is unconstitutional. The decision handed Republican foes ammunition for their repeal effort next year as the law heads for almost certain eventual judgment by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Skanner News Video here

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, a Republican appointee in Richmond, Va., marked the first successful court challenge to any portion of the new law, following two earlier rulings in its favor by Democratic-appointed judges.

The law's central requirement for nearly all Americans to carry insurance is unconstitutional, well beyond Congress' power to mandate, Hudson ruled, agreeing with the argument of Virginia's Republican attorney general — and many of the GOP lawmakers who will take control of the U.S. House in January. Hudson denied Virginia's request to strike down the law in its entirety or block it from being implemented while his ruling is appealed by the Obama administration.

"An individual's personal decision to purchase — or decline to purchase — health insurance from a private provider is beyond the historical reach of the Commerce Clause," said Hudson, a 2002 appointee of President George W. Bush.

Nevertheless, the White House predicted it would prevail in the Supreme Court, although it may be a year or two before the health care law gets there. The next step for the Virginia lawsuit is the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, where Democratic-appointed judges hold a majority.

In an interview with television station WFLA in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, Obama emphasized that other judges had either found the law constitutional or dismissed lawsuits against it.

"Keep in mind this is one ruling by one federal district court. We've already had two federal district courts that have ruled that this is definitely constitutional," Obama said. "You've got one judge who disagreed. That's the nature of these things."

But in the short term, the latest court ruling hands potent ammunition to GOP opponents as they prepare to assert control in the new Congress with promises to repeal the law. Obama in turn has promised to veto any repeal legislation and appears likely to be able to prevail since Democrats retain control of the Senate. Republicans also have discussed trying to starve the law of funding.

Whatever the eventual outcome, Monday's ruling could create uncertainty around the administration's efforts to gradually put into effect the landmark legislation extending health coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans. And it can only increase the public's skepticism, which has not significantly receded in the months since the law's enactment, defying Obama's prediction that it would become more popular as the public got to know it.

Obama aides said implementation would not be affected, noting that the individual insurance requirement and other major portions of the legislation don't take effect until 2014.

Underscoring the potential for Hudson's ruling to become a political cudgel for the new Republican House majority, incoming House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, quickly cautioned states against "investing time and resources in Obamacare's implementation now that its central mandate has been ruled unconstitutional."

"Republicans have made a pledge to America to repeal this job-killing health care law, and that's what we're going to do," said Boehner. Calls to repeal the law were a staple of tea party campaign rallies this year.

Other lawsuits are going forward, including one by 20 states that gets under way Thursday in Florida. That suit also challenges whether the federal government can require states to expand their Medicaid programs.

The suit that was decided on Monday had gained a high profile because it was pursued by Virginia's outspoken attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli. The two earlier cases decided in favor of the administration were brought by little-known legal entities.

In his ruling, Hudson largely agreed with Cuccinelli's argument that Congress exceeded its authority, and he dismissed the Justice Department's argument that the insurance-buying requirement would come under the definition of regulating interstate commerce, a power given to Congress by the Constitution.

The mandate for people to buy insurance "is neither within the letter nor the spirit of the Constitution," the judge said.

Hudson limited his ruling to striking down the so-called individual mandate, leaving intact other portions of the law — something supporters cast as a victory. But administration officials and outside analysts agree that important provisions of the legislation could not go forward without the requirement for everyone to be insured. That's because insurers need to have large pools of healthy people, who are cheap to insure, or it is not financially tenable for them to extend coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition or guarantee certain policies to nearly all comers.

Some provisions of the law took effect in September, six months after its passage, including free preventive care, an elimination of lifetime limits on coverage and a requirement for insurers to allow adult children to stay on their parents' health plans until age 26.

Hudson recognized that his would not be the last word on the subject.

"The final word will undoubtedly reside with a higher court," he wrote.

White House health reform director Nancy-Ann DeParle said the administration is encouraged by the two other judges — in Virginia and Michigan — who have upheld the law. She said the Justice Department is reviewing Hudson's ruling.

In contrast to Hudson's ruling, the judges in Michigan and Virginia, both appointed by President Bill Clinton, said the purchase requirement was allowable under the Constitution.

Associated Press writer Larry O'Dell contributed to this report from Richmond, Va.

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