- - Sunday, October 17, 2010

SUPREME COURT

Alito likely to skip next State of Union

Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. plans to boycott the next State of the Union address.

He doesn’t use that word, but says it in so many words. Justice Alito was among the justices who followed tradition and came to hear President Obama’s first such speech earlier this year.

At one point Mr. Obama pointedly criticized a Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance, saying it could lead to foreign money affecting U.S. elections. Justice Alito shook his head in disagreement and mouthed the words “not true.” The so-called Citizens United ruling was based on Americans’ First Amendment rights, and the part of campaign-finance law that bars foreign contributions did not come up at any point in the litigation.

DELAWARE

O’Donnell says GOP not helping her

Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell of Delaware is calling out the Republican establishment in Washington for not helping her underdog campaign.

In an interview on ABC’s “This Week” that aired Sunday, the “tea party” favorite said she has asked the National Republican Senatorial Committee for help but that the group is standing on the sidelines even though her Democratic rival, Chris Coons, is getting a boost from his party.

A spokesman for the Republican committee, Brian Walsh, has noted that the group gave Ms. O’Donnell the maximum direct contribution of $42,000 and is working with her campaign.

JUSTICE

Abramoff associate faces second trial

Prosecutors are retrying an associate of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, although an earlier jury couldn’t agree he broke the law, a key witness won’t be back and a recent Supreme Court decision could make such corruption cases harder to prove.

The retrial of Kevin Ring is the last unresolved case that prosecutors have against members of the team assembled by Abramoff, who was convicted of corruption charges along with a congressman and a dozen other government officials his group tried to influence.

Mr. Ring, the only Abramoff team member to try to beat the charges in court, has told friends the fight has cost him more than $2.5 million in legal bills as he prepares for a second trial, scheduled to begin Monday.

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