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Lawmakers confirm judge to appeals court

The Senate has confirmed the first Cuban-born judge to serve on the Atlanta-based U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jose Jordan was confirmed Wednesday by a 94-5 vote after several days of procedural delays.

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul held up the confirmation because he wanted a vote on his unrelated bill to block U.S. financial aid to Egypt. He has not been granted a vote.

It has been four months since Judge Jordan’s nomination received unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate had voted Monday to end Mr. Paul’s filibuster, but had to delay a confirmation vote until Wednesday under its rules.

Judge Jordan had clerked for now-retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.


Gingrich won’t release ethics documents

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich on Wednesday declined to ask the Justice Department to release thousands of records from the House ethics panel’s investigation into his conduct as speaker in the 1990s.

Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond likened the request from the open-government group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington to “wild goose chases.”

The organization asked the Justice Department to release documents forwarded from the House in 1997 after it investigated Mr. Gingrich’s use of tax-exempt organizations for political gain.

Mr. Gingrich spent much of his time in office dogged by ethics complaints. Almost all, brought by Democrats, were dismissed.

But the Republican-led House reprimanded him in 1997 after he admitted misleading congressional investigators probing allegations that he misused tax-exempt dollars for a college class. Mr. Gingrich agreed to pay a $300,000 penalty — unprecedented at the time — to reimburse taxpayers for the cost of probe.

The House panel never concluded whether tax laws were violated, and the Internal Revenue Service later cleared the organization involved.

“We point CREW back to the IRS final ruling — exonerating every politically motivated charge,” Mr. Hammond said.

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