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Afternoon Briefs: 8th Circuit OKs surgical abortion ban; holdout juror's ouster leads to new trial

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8th Circuit allows Arkansas to ban most surgical abortions during pandemic

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at St. Louis has allowed Arkansas to enforce its ban on surgical abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Arkansas still allows surgical abortions needed to protect the life or health of the patient, as well as medication abortions. (The Associated Press, the Arkansas Times, the April 22 decision via How Appealing)

Judge’s ouster of holdout juror leads to new murder trial

The Georgia Supreme Court overturned a murder conviction Monday because a judge dismissed a holdout juror who refused to convict. The judge had acted after the jury said said the holdout didn’t believe any of the prosecution evidence, and the only thing that would persuade her about the guilt of defendant Roger Mills would be a “clear resolution video” of the crime. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Georgia Supreme Court opinion)

Pandemic won’t stop judicial confirmations, McConnell says

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday the U.S. Senate will start confirming judges when it returns to work May 4. McConnell told radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt that the COVID-19 pandemic won’t prevent him from achieving his goal of “leave no vacancy behind.” (Law360, Fox News)

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