Officers opened fire on a woman on U.S. Capitol grounds Wednesday morning after she nearly ran over multiple U.S. Capitol Police officers while fleeing from a traffic stop, authorities said. >> Read more trending stories No injuries were reported. Officers spotted a woman driving erratically around 9 a.m. on Independence Avenue and attempted to stop her car, Capitol police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said. The unidentified woman made a U-turn and fled. She stopped the sedan near the intersection of Washington and Independence avenues, where authorities apparently fired shots at the woman. Malecki declined to say where the bullets landed or how many shots were fired. The incident did not appear to be related to terrorism. “This appears to be criminal in nature with no nexus to terrorism,” Malecki said.
Special prosecutors appointed to put Texas' attorney general on trial are threatening to quit if they don't get paid. Republican Ken Paxton was back in a suburban Dallas courtroom Wednesday. He's charged with felony securities fraud over allegations of duping wealthy investors in a tech startup before becoming Texas' top prosecutor. He has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, Paxton faces 5 to 99 years in prison. The trial is set to begin in May. But two appointed special prosecutors say they're owed more than $200,000 and shouldn't have to work for free. A judge has tied up their invoices after a Paxton supporter filed a lawsuit claiming the case is costing taxpayers too much money. Legal experts say they've never seen a case jeopardized like this.
Apparently President Donald Trump won’t be singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at Nationals Park on opening day. Trump has declined to perform the tradition when the Washington Nationals host the Miami Marlins Monday, ESPN reported. >> Read more trending news It is due to a scheduling conflict, The Washington Post reported. The tradition of the president throwing out the first pitch at Washington’s opening-day game started more than 100 years ago , when President William Howard Taft threw out the first pitch for the then-Washington Senators in 1910, ESPN reported. In recent history, George W. Bush and Barack Obama threw out ceremonial first pitches on opening day. Overall, 13 presidents been part of the ceremony either for the Senators or the Nationals. There is no word on who will have the honor of throwing out the first pitch. Nats all-star pitcher Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to start for Washington. Edinson Volquez is the starter listed for the Marlins. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET on Monday.
Olympic medalist figure skater Michelle Kwan and Rhode Island attorney and political activist Clay Pell are getting divorced. Pell said in a statement Wednesday that it's with 'deep regret' that the couple's 4-year marriage is coming to an end. They married in Providence in 2013. Pell says it's 'a sad and difficult turn of events.' He says he loves Kwan and wishes her the best as her life takes her in a new direction. He is asking for privacy. Pell is the grandson of Rhode Island's late Democratic U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell. He ran unsuccessfully for Rhode Island governor in 2014. Kwan won Olympic medals in 1998 and 2002. Both were active supporters of Democrat Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign last year, and Pell was a member of the Electoral College. __ This story has been corrected to show that Kwan was an Olympic medalist, not an Olympic gold medalist.
For the first time since 1864, the U.S. Supreme Court starts its new term with an unfilled spot on the bench, over seven months after the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia, as that vacancy continues for some to hang over the work of the Court like a dark cloud.
“Things operate much better when the Court has its full complement of Justices,” said Thomas Goldstein, who says it’s clear why an even number of eight on the bench does not work.
“We did have six Justices a couple hundred years ago, and then we decided that was a really stupid thing,” added Goldstein, the creator of the scotusblog.com website that chronicles the work of the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The Court is a diminished institution,” because of the vacancy, argues Caroline Frederickson, the head of the American Constitution Society.
“As we saw at the end of the last term, the Court was unable to resolve a number of critical cases,” Frederickson noted at a recent preview of the new term, as she singled out the 4-4 split on President Obama’s executive actions on immigration as one prime example.
But not everyone is worried.
“Of course I’d like to see a ninth justice confirmed in due time,” said Professor Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz of Georgetown University’s law school.
“I think the Court will survive this moment,” Rosenkranz said at a recent preview of the new term held by the Federalist Society in Washington, D.C.
“The conventional wisdom is that the Court is attempting to take cases that aren’t hitting as many of the hot button issues, certainly unlike the last couple of terms,” said Carrie Severino, a conservative legal expert.
Severino says she expects more efforts by the Court to find common ground as long as there are only eight justices – something she hopes can be remedied soon.
“It’s been such a depressing year in general at the Court,” Severino said at the same Federalist Society preview.
As for big cases, the Justices will again look at the death penalty, electoral redistricting and more – when a ninth Justice will arrive, that’s still anyone’s guess.
“My personal guess is that you will see in the end, if Hillary Clinton wins the election, a pivot,” by the Republicans, said Goldstein, who thinks a Donald Trump loss would probably result in swift approval of Merrick Garland, the judge nominated by President Obama to replace Scalia.
But for now, the Supreme Court starts this term with eight justices, and one empty chair at the bench, on this first Monday in October.
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog.
A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.