Political Scene

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Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

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Taxpayers will have until midnight Monday, April 18, to file their 2010 returns.

Emancipation Day marks the occasion when President Lincoln signed into law a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia. Lincoln signed the bill on April 16, 1862, more than eight months before he signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which eventually led to all slaves being freed.

GAY MARRIAGE

Federal court asks for aid on standing

SAN FRANCISCO | A federal appeals court says it can’t decide whether California’s definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman is constitutional until the state’s highest court weighs in on whether Proposition 8’s sponsors have the authority to defend the ban.

In a brief order filed Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asked the California Supreme Court to decide whether the backers of ballot propositions can step in to defend voter-approved measures in court when state officials refused to do so.

The question is central to the future of Proposition 8 because former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and then-Attorney General Jerry Brown refused to appeal a San Francisco federal trial judge’s August decision striking down the ban as a violation of gay Californians’ civil rights.

FOOTBALL

Lawmaker seeks probe of helmet makers

A senator is asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate “misleading safety claims and deceptive practices” in the selling of new football helmets and reconditioning of used ones.

Sen. Tom Udall, New Mexico Democrat, said in a letter to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz that helmet companies “appear to be using misleading advertising claims” and that “some helmet-reconditioning companies may be falsely selling used helmets as meeting an industry safety standard.”

Mr. Udall said he was “troubled by misleading marketing claims by Riddell, a leading helmet maker that supplies the official helmet to the National Football League.”

Riddell CEO Dan Arment, in a letter e-mailed to the Associated Press, called the lawmaker’s charges ” unfounded and unfair.”

WASHINGTON STATE

Lawmakers balk at health care cuts

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