Democrats and Republicans clash in election lawsuits ahead of US midterms:
Voting booths are pictured inside the Dona Ana County Government Center during early voting for the upcoming midterm elections in Las Cruces, New Mexico, U.S., October 24, 2022. REUTERS/Paul Ratje/File Photo
In the leadup to US Midterm elections lawyers for Democrats and Republicans are already squaring off in a wave of lawsuits challenging state rules on how to vote and the counting of ballots. The Republican National Committee has sued to have several states release partisan affiliation of poll watchers and to roll back new restrictions on partisan poll watchers. Meanwhile, voting rights groups have sued over dropbox watchers intimidating voters in a pending Arizona case. Also this month, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to take up a RNC lawsuit seeking to throw out undated mail-in ballots on a fast-tracked schedule. The Biden Administration has also gotten involved by challenging new Republican-backed state laws it sees as limiting voter registration and outreach.
Judge says NYC must rehire workers who rejected COVID vax mandate, slams Mayor Adams for double standard:
Thousands of anti-vaxxers City employees donning Sanitation, EPA, NYPD and FDNY gear march over the Brooklyn Bridge roadway to protest Mayor de Blasio's coronavirus vaccination mandate for all municipal workers in the city. (Luiz C. Ribeiro/for New York Daily News)
A New York State judge ruled that NYC sanitation workers who were fired for failing to comply with the city’s COVID vaccine mandate must be rehired. In a state Supreme Court ruling on Monday, Judge Ralph Porzio blasted the city order requiring municipal employees to get the jab as “arbitrary and capricious.” The lawsuit was brought by 16 sanitation workers who were fired in February after refusing the October 2021 mandate imposed by the de Blasio administration. Porzio ruled they could return to work starting at 6:00 AM on Tuesday. Porzio disputed whether the order was about public health at all by writing “If it was about safety and public health, unvaccinated workers would have been placed on leave the moment the order was issued.” A mayoral spokesman referred a request for comment to the city Law Department, which said the city filed an appeal and insisted the mandate is still in effect for all city workers but the employees listed in the lawsuit.
US warns western states it may impose Colorado River water cuts:
An aerial view of Lake Powell is seen, Arizona, U.S., April 20, 2022. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs/
On Friday, the Interior Department announced that it will consider revising a set of guidelines for operating two major dams on the Colorado River. The US Bureau of Reclamation unveiled three possible action plans: one to impose cutbacks, another to allow western states to work out a reduction plan on their own, or a third and least likely option of taking no action. The boldest of the options proposed is to allow the Interior Department’s US Bureau of Reclamation to take unilateral action, as it threatened this summer when asking states to make a plan to significantly reduce their use beyond current cuts. The Federal Government taking would mean imposing water supply cuts on California, Arizona, and Nevada to protect the Colorado River and its two main reservoirs from overuse, drought, and climate change. According to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland “The Interior Department continues to pursue a collaborative and consensus-based approach to addressing the drought crisis afflicting the West.” Besides protecting drinking water supplies, the proposed federal action might also preserve hydroelectric production at the country's two largest reservoirs.