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South Dakota House impeaches attorney general, a first for state

House impeaches attorney general

The South Dakota House on Tuesday impeached Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg over a 2020 car crash in which he killed a pedestrian but initially said he might have struck a deer or another large animal.

Ravnsborg (R) is the first official to be impeached in South Dakota history. He will be temporarily removed from office pending a Senate trial, where it takes a two-thirds majority to convict. The Senate must wait at least 20 days to hold its trial but has not yet set a date.

Ravnsborg pleaded no contest last year to a pair of traffic misdemeanors in the crash, including making an illegal lane change. He has cast Joseph Boever’s death as a tragic accident.

In narrowly voting to impeach Ravnsborg, 36 to 31, the Republican-controlled House charged him with committing crimes that caused someone’s death, making “numerous misrepresentations” to law enforcement officers after the crash and using his office to navigate the criminal investigation. A Senate conviction would mean Ravnsborg would be barred from holding state office in the future.

“When we’re dealing with the life of one of your citizens, I think that weighed heavily on everyone,” said Rep. Will Mortenson (R), who introduced the articles of impeachment.

Tim Bormann, his chief of staff, said his staff would “professionally dedicate ourselves” to their work while Ravnsborg is on leave.

— Associated Press

Governor signs permitless carry bill

After proposing on the campaign trail in 2018 to do away with the requirement that Georgians obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Tuesday signed Senate Bill 319. It immediately allows permitless carry, making Georgia the 25th state with such a law, and the 10th added in the past two years.

Republicans argue that requiring a carry permit, which costs about $75, infringes on Second Amendment rights. They also cite permitting delays in some counties during the pandemic. At an event before the signing, several Democratic lawmakers said the bill would remove one of Georgia’s few deterrents blocking people who aren’t supposed to carry a gun.

— Associated Press

Judge: Women must wait a day on abortion

Women will have to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion under a ruling by a Florida judge in a nearly seven-year battle over the waiting period.

Circuit Court Judge Angela Dempsey in Tallahassee tossed out a lawsuit filed on behalf of a Gainesville women’s clinic, saying other medical procedures have similar waiting periods and other important decisions like getting married, getting divorced and buying a gun have longer waiting periods.

The waiting period goes into effect once Dempsey signs one additional piece of paperwork.

Dempsey also added that exceptions for the life of a mother, documented cases of rape and incest, and victims of domestic violence and human traffic support the constitutionality of the law.

The ruling comes a month after the Florida Legislature sent Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) a bill banning abortion after 15 weeks. DeSantis is expected to sign it.

— Associated Press

Men sentenced in 2017 Minn. mosque bombing: Two Illinois men who helped bomb a Minnesota mosque in 2017 were sentenced Tuesday to about 16 years and roughly 14 years in prison — far below the 35-year mandatory minimum each man faced — after victims and prosecutors asked for leniency because the men testified against the mastermind of the attack. Michael McWhorter, 33, was sentenced to just under 16 years in prison and Joe Morris, 26, was sentenced to about 14 years in prison. Both testified in the 2020 trial against Emily Claire Hari, the leader of a small Illinois armed group called the "White Rabbits." Hari was convicted in 2020 and sentenced last year to 53 years in prison for the attack on Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center, in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington. No one was hurt in the 2017 explosion.

Man charged in Iowa nightclub shooting: A man arrested in a fatal shooting inside a crowded Iowa nightclub was seen on the club's surveillance video shooting "intentionally and indiscriminately" into the crowd, police said in court filings. Timothy Ladell Rush, 32, appeared in court Tuesday on charges of second-degree murder, willful injury and three weapons-related felonies stemming from the early Sunday attack in which two people were killed and 10 were wounded. He was ordered held on $1.5 million bail. The public defender's office hasn't yet named an attorney.

— From news services

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