Oaths and pledges have been routine for political officials. That’s changing in a polarized America

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The resignation letter was short and direct. “I can no longer be under an oath to uphold the New Constitution of Ohio,” wrote Sabrina Warner in her letter announcing she was stepping down from the state’s Republican central committee. It was just days after Ohio voters resoundingly approved an amendment last November … Read more

Alabama IVF ruling puts spotlight on state plans for tax breaks and child support for fetuses

TOPEKA, Kan. — The recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos are legally protected children is highlighting how support for the idea that a fetus should have the same rights as a person underpins far less dramatic laws and proposals from abortion foes across the U.S. Lawmakers in at least six states have proposed … Read more

NCAA president says Congress must act to preserve sports at colleges that can’t pay athletes

WASHINGTON — NCAA President Charlie Baker said Friday that action by Congress was needed to protect what he described as the “95 percent” of athletes whose ability to play college sports would be endangered by a court ruling or regulatory decision declaring them as employees of their schools. Speaking to a small group of reporters … Read more

Trump’s lawyers seek to suspend $83M defamation verdict, citing ‘strong probability’ it won’t stand

NEW YORK — Donald Trump’s lawyers asked a New York judge Friday to suspend an $83.3 million defamation verdict against the former president, saying there was a “strong probability” that it would be reduced on appeal, if not eliminated. The lawyers made the request in Manhattan federal court, where a civil jury in late January … Read more

US appeals court declines to delay execution of one of nation’s longest-serving death-row inmates

BOISE, Idaho — A U.S. appeals court on Friday declined to delay Idaho’s scheduled execution next week of one of the nation’s longest-serving death row inmates. Thomas Creech was sentenced to death in 1983 for killing a fellow prison inmate, David Jensen, with a battery-filled sock. Creech, 73, had previously been convicted of four murders … Read more

Facing backlash over IVF ruling, Alabama lawmakers look for a fix

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Lawmakers began scrambling for ways to protect Alabama in vitro fertilization services after multiple providers paused services in the wake of a state Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos could be considered children under a state law. Facing a wave of shock and anger from the decision, legislators prepared separate proposals in … Read more

Backstory of disputed ‘Hotel California’ lyrics pages ‘just felt thin,’ ex-auction exec tells court

NEW YORK — The explanation given for the source of 13 pages of drafts of lyrics to the Eagles’ “Hotel California” raised red flags to a prominent auction house, a former executive testified Friday at a criminal trial surrounding the handwritten pages. Former Christie’s manuscripts chief Tom Lecky was initially excited by the 2015 opportunity … Read more

Cellphone data cited in court filing raises questions about testimony on Fani Willis relationship

ATLANTA — Cellphone location data cited in a court filing Friday raises questions about the testimony given by a special prosecutor in the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump who had a romantic relationship with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. The cellphone location data — disclosed in a court filing by … Read more

Pennsylvania seeks legal costs from county that let outsiders access voting machines to help Trump

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A rural Pennsylvania county and its elected officials may have to pay the state elections agency hundreds of thousands of dollars to reimburse it for legal fees and litigation costs in a three-year battle over allowing outsiders to examine voting machines to help former President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud. Last … Read more