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Appeals court upholds Tennessee waiting period for abortions

Joseph Jimenez, 20, left, appears in a Riverside, Calif., courtroom with his attorney, Charles Kenyon.  Jimenez is accused of fatally shooting Rylee Goodrich, 18, and Anthony Barajas, 19, in a Corona, Calif., movie theater on July 26. His arraignment was postponed to Sept. 27. He is facing two counts of first-degree murder. If convicted as charged, he is eligible for the death penalty.
Joseph Jimenez, 20, left, appears in a Riverside, Calif., courtroom with his attorney, Charles Kenyon. Jimenez is accused of fatally shooting Rylee Goodrich, 18, and Anthony Barajas, 19, in a Corona, Calif., movie theater on July 26. His arraignment was postponed to Sept. 27. He is facing two counts of first-degree murder. If convicted as charged, he is eligible for the death penalty. (Watchara Phomicinda/Orange County Register/AP)
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Appeals court upholds abortion-wait period

A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld Tennessee’s 48-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions, arguing that opponents had failed to identify instances where a woman had been significantly burdened by the requirement.

The decision comes after a lower federal court last year struck down the 2015 law that requires those seeking an abortion to make two trips to a clinic — first for mandatory counseling and then for the abortion at least 48 hours later.

At the time, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said the two-visit requirement posed logistical challenges for patients and clinics that could cause abortions to be delayed.

However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit disagreed and instead sided with the state’s attorneys, who argued that the law could be struck down only if it prevented a large percentage of women from obtaining abortions altogether.

The justices also pointed out that the law had been in effect for five years and the number of abortions had not dropped as some had warned.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, which had filed the lawsuit on behalf of several abortion providers, criticized the court’s ruling.

— Associated Press

Numbers on ethnicity, race expected Aug. 12

The government will release the next round of 2020 Census data on Aug. 12, Census Bureau officials said Thursday.

The files will show how the ethnic, racial and voting-age makeup of neighborhoods have shifted over the past decade. It is the data most state legislatures use to redraw political districts for the next 10 years.

The data will be released in a raw, “legacy” format to allow states to start using it immediately for redistricting. A more user-friendly version is planned to go public Sept. 30.

The release, originally scheduled for April, was delayed after the pandemic forced the bureau to postpone data collection and processing. After Alabama sued over the delay, the bureau promised to provide redistricting data by Aug. 16.

The release comes amid concerns over the survey’s quality due to pandemic-related delays and the Trump administration’s attempts to add a citizenship question and block undocumented immigrants from being counted for apportionment of House seats.

An outside task force from the American Statistical Association has been working inside the bureau to observe and assess its processes. The ASA said Thursday that it will release a report on state-level apportionment numbers a few weeks after the release of the redistricting files. Apportionment data, released in April, determines the number of House representatives each state receives in the coming decade.

— Tara Bahrampour

10 dead as van carrying migrants crashes in Texas: A speeding van carrying 30 immigrants crashed into a pole in South Texas, killing nine passengers and the driver, authorities said. The white Ford van was driving northbound on U.S. Route 281 with double the number of passengers the vehicle is designed for when the top-heavy van veered off the road as it tried to make a turn, striking a metal utility pole and a stop sign, said Sgt. Nathan Brandley, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety. The crash occurred near Encino, Tex., several miles south from the U.S. Border Patrol check in Falfurrias, a Brooks County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said.

— María Luisa Paúl

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