The Arkansas House of Representatives approved a plan Tuesday to reinstate a voter ID law that was struck down more than two years ago, with Republicans counting on a new state Supreme Court roster to uphold the measure this time.
The proposa, approved by a voter if 74 to 21, is nearly identical to a law the Republican-majority legislature enacted in 2013 requiring voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot. The state Supreme Court unanimously struck down the measure in 2014, with the majority ruling it unconstitutional because it added a new qualification for voting.
The latest proposal aims to address a concern raised by three of the court’s seven justices, that the prohibition didn’t pass with enough votes in the legislature when it was enacted in 2013. The proposal will need two-thirds support in both chambers, a threshold it easily cleared in the House. It now heads to the state Senate.
Four of the justices who struck down the 2013 law are no longer on the court, and one of the new justices is a former Republican state legislator. The three justices who said the 2013 law did not get the two-thirds vote needed remain on the court.
— Associated Press
Several Jewish community centers around the United States closed Tuesday after receiving bomb threats, the third wave of threatened attacks targeting them this month.
Police in Albany, N.Y., said they responded to a threat at a Jewish community center there and determined that there was no bomb. The building later reopened, according to the center’s Facebook page.
Jewish community centers in California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Mexico, Utah and Wisconsin also received threats, according to social media posts and reports by local media. No attacks or injuries were reported.
A series of telephoned threats on Jan. 9 threatened 16 Jewish community centers in nine states, and a second wave on Jan. 18 targeted 27 centers in 17 states.
Some of the calls were made using an automated “robo-call” system, while others were made by live individuals, security officials have said.
After the second round of threats, the FBI said in a statement that the bureau and the Justice Department were investigating possible civil rights violations in connection with threats. No arrests have been made.
A South Texas jury has acquitted a Border Patrol agent of murder but convicted him of aiding organized crime in a drug-related case that left a man decapitated.
Joel Luna was acquitted Tuesday in Brownsville of the most serious charges in the 2015 death. Prosecutors contend Luna used his position to help a Mexican cartel move illegal weapons and ammunition south of the border and drugs to the north.
A Cameron County jury found Luna, 31, guilty of two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity.
His brother, Eduardo Luna, 26, was convicted of capital murder for retaliation, murder and two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity and sentenced to mandatory life in prison without parole.
Joel Luna faces up to 99-year prison terms.
— Associated Press
Missing Dartmouth student’s body found: Police have recovered the body of a missing Dartmouth College student in a river near campus. Police in Hanover, N.H., said Adam Wright, 21, was found near the shoreline of the Connecticut River about 500 yards from campus Tuesday morning. Wright was last seen on campus shortly after midnight Monday. A Dartmouth employee found a backpack along the riverbank later that day, and his body was discovered a half-hour later. Police said a preliminary investigation shows no foul play. Dartmouth President Philip J. Hanlon said Wright was a senior studying government and was president of a student-run International Business Council.
— Associated Press