1/ Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans won’t allow Democrats to temporarily replace Dianne Feinstein on the Judiciary Committee, who was hospitalized for shingles in March and has been recovering at home. Feinstein’s absence has stalled confirmations of some of the Biden administration’s judicial nominees. She has not provided a return date. Chuck Schumer said he planned to ask for unanimous consent from the Senate to appoint a temporary substitute, but McConnell called the effort to substitute Feinstein on the panel “an extremely unusual” request with no known precedent. “Let’s be clear,” McConnell said. “Senate Republicans will not take part in sidelining a temporarily absent colleague off a committee just so Democrats can force through their very worst nominees.” It would take the support of at least 10 Republicans to allow Democrats to make the temporary change on the committee. Some progressive House Democrats have called on the 89-year-old Senator to resign. (Washington Post / USA Today / Associated Press / Bloomberg / NPR / Politico / ABC News)
- How Feinstein’s absence has stopped Biden’s judicial nominees. “Democratic Senate absences and a Senate rule that gives Republicans the ability to veto district court nominees for courts in their home states.” (CNN)
2/ An anti-abortion coalition urged the Supreme Court to reinstate a lower court decision that suspended the FDA’s approval of the abortion pill mifepristone. The Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine claimed that the FDA’s approval of mifepristone more than 20 years ago had “stripped away every meaningful and necessary safeguard on chemical abortion.” The government, pharmaceutical companies, leading medical organizations, former FDA officials, 250 Democratic members of Congress, Democratic-led cities and states, and abortion-rights groups, meanwhile, urged the court not to second-guess the expertise of the FDA. On April 7, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of Texas suspended approval of mifepristone. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, however, modified the ruling so that the drug would remain available while the case continues, but rolled back the drug’s accessibility and limited its use through the seventh week of pregnancy. The Supreme Court is set to act by midnight on Wednesday. (Washington Post / Associated Press / NBC News)
3/ A federal judge in New York denied Trump’s request to delay the civil rape and defamation trial against him, which was brought by E. Jean Carroll. Trump’s lawyers wanted to postpone the trial for four weeks, arguing a “cooling off” period was necessary following his recent criminal indictment in Manhattan. Carroll’s lawsuit alleges that Trump raped her at a Manhattan department store in the mid-1990s, and Trump has repeatedly called Carroll a liar. The trial is scheduled to start April 25. (NBC News / New York Times / ABC News)
4/ Fox News reached a last-minute settlement with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million. Dominion, which accused the network of defamation for promoting false claims that its voting machines in the 2020 election were rigged against Trump, had been seeking $1.6 billion in damages before the settlement. In a statement, Fox said “we acknowledge the court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false,” adding “this settlement reflects Fox’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards.” The settlement came after the jury had been sat, but before opening statements began. (NBC News / New York Times / Bloomberg / CNBC / Wall Street Journal / CNN / Washington Post / Axios)
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