ACLU asks federal court to allow its challenge to Trump’s latest travel ban
NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union, which launched all-out legal assaults against the first two versions of President Donald Trump’s travel ban against several Muslim-majority countries, told a federal judge the group will seek to block the administration’s third edition.
The revised restrictions limit travel to varying degrees from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, all of which were on the original list. The U.S. will also restrict or ban travel from Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. Sudan is no longer on the list.
The group submitted a letter on Friday to U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang in Greenbelt, Md., seeking permission to amend their existing lawsuit over an earlier version of the ban.
— Bloomberg News
Austin church: We won’t hold weddings until we can marry same-sex couples
AUSTIN, Texas — An Austin church is making much ado about “I do” as a statement in support of marriage equality.
First United Methodist Church says it will no longer hold weddings in its sanctuary or chapel until denominational leadership lifts its ban on marrying same-sex couples, according to a statement from the church. The downtown Austin church’s congregation OK’d the resolution with 93 percent approval.
The United Methodist Church, the Christian denomination’s national body, does not permit same-sex couples to be married on church property. United Methodist clergy are also not allowed to perform weddings for same-sex couples.
Weddings already scheduled at the Austin church will still take place, and pastors at the church will “continue to offer blessings, prayers or homilies for couples who marry off-site, regardless of sexual orientation,” according to the church’s statement.
“Our congregation voted overwhelmingly to stand not for issues or principles, but for people,” First United Methodist Church senior pastor Taylor Fuerst said in a statement.
Founded in 1840, First United Methodist Church became a “reconciling” congregation in 2013, joining a national group trying to change the denomination’s position that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.
— Austin American-Statesman
LA police officer suspected of driving drunk in crash that killed 3 is released from jail
LOS ANGELES —A Los Angeles police officer who was arrested for allegedly driving drunk and causing a crash that killed three people has been released from custody without charges pending further investigation, the California Highway Patrol said Friday.
Edgar Verduzco, 26, had been in custody on $100,000 bail since Tuesday night, when authorities said he steered his speeding Chevy Camaro into the rear of a Nissan on the 605 Freeway in Whittier. The occupants of the Nissan died after their car erupted in flames.
The CHP said Verduzco did not take a breathalyzer that would show his blood alcohol content, but did show symptoms of intoxication. He was arrested at the scene on suspicion of a felony DUI.
But on Thursday night, jail records show, Verduzco was released from custody without having to pay bail.
“Basically, we have 48 hours to submit a completed investigation to the DA’s office,” said CHP Officer Al Perez. “However, for us to finish this type of investigation in 48 hours is not feasible.”
Verduzco was given a blood test after his arrest and the results will help determine what charges, if any, authorities recommend be brought against the officer, Perez said.
The officer will continue to be paid pending further disciplinary action by the department.
— Los Angeles Times