New Hampshire

Judge denies request to block voting law

A federal judge in New Hampshire denied a request Wednesday that would have blocked a new state law requiring voters to be full-fledged residents from being enforced for the first-in-the-nation presidential primary in February.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire sued the secretary of state and attorney general over the law on behalf of two Dartmouth College students. The law, which took effect in July, ended the state’s distinction between “residency” and “domicile.”

Before the law took effect, New Hampshire was the only state that didn’t require residency to vote. Though it doesn’t change the process of registering to vote, it effectively makes out-of-state college students who vote in New Hampshire subject to residency requirements, such as obtaining driver’s licenses and registering cars.

Democrats, including many of the presidential candidates campaigning in New Hampshire, said the new law amounts to voter suppression by essentially imposing a “poll tax” in the form of license and vehicle registration fees.

But Republicans and other supporters of the law said it was in line with residency requirements in other states, including many of the critics’ home states.

— Associated Press

Michigan, Illinois to usher in recreational pot sales: Legal marijuana sales to adults are set to open in two Midwestern states. But regulators and industry leaders alike warn that consumers are likely to see long lines, high prices and shortages in the early months. Michigan sales begin Sunday and Illinois follows a month later, bringing the total of states that broadly allow people over 21 to use marijuana to 11. Six retailers have been licensed to sell in Michigan initially. In Illinois, regulators have approved licenses letting nearly 30 existing medical marijuana dispensaries add recreational sales. In the meantime, companies are rushing to complete renovations at dispensaries, expand growing facilities and hire employees. But it takes months to grow marijuana that can be sold or used in other products.

Judge rules for Indianapolis police in black teen's killing: A judge has ruled in favor of Indianapolis police in a lawsuit that accused officers of excessive force in a black teenager's fatal shooting. Andre Green's family sued the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department in August 2017, claiming officers violated the 15-year-old's constitutional rights when they shot him in August 2015 following a suspected armed carjacking. Green was shot after police said he drove a stolen car into two patrol cars. The city's attorneys argued the officers were shielded under a legal doctrine that typically protects officers acting in their official capacities from such lawsuits. The Indianapolis Star reported a federal judge in Indianapolis recently ruled in favor of the city and the officers, ending the lawsuit before the trial.

— From news services