News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Lawyers knock 'Trump Derangement Syndrome;' attorney flashes medical pot card

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impeachment over Constitution

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Trump lawyers seek dismissal of impeachment case

Lawyers for former President Donald Trump on Monday asked the Senate to dismiss the impeachment case against him. Their brief argues that the Senate has no jurisdiction under the Constitution to conduct an impeachment trial of a former president, and Trump’s comments before the U.S. Capitol riot in January were protected by the First Amendment. “One might have been excused for thinking that the Democrats’ fevered hatred for Citizen Trump and their ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’ would have broken by now, seeing as he is no longer the president,” the brief said. House managers responded that the free speech argument is “utterly baseless,” and there is no “January exception” to the Constitution that allows presidents to abuse their power in the final days of office without accountability. (The Washington Post, Politico, the Trump brief, the impeachment manager response)

Oops! Lawyer flashes medical marijuana card in viral video

In a viral video, Orlando, Florida, lawyer John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan denies rumors that he can’t drive and flashes what he thinks is his driver’s license to prove it. He shows the card to the camera, looks at it, then says, “No, wait a minute, that’s my medical marijuana card.” The TikTok video had more than 230,000 views in one day. Morgan has backed the legalization of recreational marijuana in Florida. (Fox 35)

Virginia lawmakers vote to abolish death penalty

Virginia is expected to become the first Southern state to abolish capital punishment following a vote by the state House of Delegates on Friday. The state Senate and House have now passed legislation to end the death penalty, but differences in the two bills still have to be reconciled. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has expressed support for the legislation. (The Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Washington Post via How Appealing, Reason)

DOJ drops challenge to state net neutrality law

The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday sought to dismiss its lawsuit challenging California’s net neutrality law, which requires internet service providers to treat web traffic equally. Equal treatment prevents ISPs from slowing down the speed for accessing a website or creating fast lanes for website access. California passed its law after the Federal Communications Commission repealed its own net neutrality rules in 2017. A separate industry challenge to the California law is pending. (Law360, Bloomberg Law)

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