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COURT BATTLE OVER FED WATER RULES

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – More than a dozen states are challenging a new rule that gives federal authorities jurisdiction over some state waters.North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem (STEHN’-juhm) says the “Waters of the U.S.” rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers is “unnecessary” and “unlawful.” He says it does nothing to increase water quality in North Dakota and other states.
Federal officials say the new rule aims to clarify which wetlands, streams and other waterways are protected under the Clean Water Act.Stenehjem says a lawsuit seeking to have the rule thrown out was filed Monday in federal court in North Dakota.The other states joining the lawsuit are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, South Dakota and Wyoming.

HOLMES TRIAL

CENTENNIAL (AP) – Aurora theater shooter James Holmes told a psychiatrist months after the shooting that he was in jail because he “took the blood that wasn’t mine to take.” Dr. Rachel Davis testified Monday that Holmes’ comment seemed disorganized and she didn’t read too much into it. She saw Holmes at a hospital where he was sent in November 2012, about four months after he killed 12 people and wounded 70 during a midnight movie premiere.  Holmes was hospitalized after he fell backward off his jail bunk and ran head first into walls. Davis says he was psychotic. Prosecutors suggested his statement was a sign he knew right from wrong. Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Davis was among the first witnesses called by his defense team.

STATE’S HIGH COURT REJECTS SCHOOL VOUCHERS

DENVER (AP) – The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that a school voucher program in suburban Denver violates the state constitution because it provides funding for students to attend religious schools.  The ruling Monday reverses a Colorado Court of Appeals decision upholding the program. Justices directed the case back to Denver District Court so that an order permanently blocking the program can be reinstated.  There was no word of an appeal. Supporters of the voucher program planned to speak later Monday.  Opponents of the program in Douglas County argue the vouchers violate state constitutional provisions barring the use of taxpayer money to fund religious schools. Supporters contend that the vouchers simply provide parents a choice of where to send their children to school. The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado challenged the program.

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