courts

Remember the cryptex, the little handheld safe from The Da Vinci Code where entering the correct combination will reveal the secret message and entering the wrong one will destroy it?

Now replace the little safe with an iPhone, and instead of a secret message, it's holding evidence in a terrorism case. The critical combination? It's a passcode — one the FBI doesn't know, and one that Apple is reluctant to help the agency figure out.

Steve Petteway / Creative Commons

The political ramifications of Antonin Scalia's death became immediately apparent on Saturday. President Barack Obama said he will make his Supreme Court appointment and Senate Republicans said they will block confirmation. Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse considers this political puzzle in Washington. Meanwhile, lawmakers in Hartford are working on what has become their annual puzzle: the state budget.

President Obama said Tuesday that despite Republican vows to block him, he will nominate a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly on Saturday.

Obama spoke during a news conference after a summit with leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Rancho Mirage, Calif., but the first questions from reporters were about filling the empty Supreme Court seat.

Antonin Scalia's body wasn't cold before his seat on the U.S. Supreme Court became tangled up in partisan politics. Here are five ways Scalia's death is complicating the 2016 election.

Stephen Masker / Creative Commons

The 2016 presidential election took a dramatic turn this weekend with the sudden death of Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court's most divisive, yet colorful justice. Revered for his brilliance, quick wit, and lively writing, he was equally reviled for a mean streak and his refusal to recognize the subjectivity in his objectivity in adhering to the original intent of the constitution. 

The late Justice Antonin Scalia will lie in repose at the Supreme Court on Friday. The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., according to sources close to the Scalia family.

In a tradition that dates back to 1873, Scalia's Supreme Court chair and bench were draped with black wool crepe today. The court has also placed a black drapery over the courtroom doors.

The last high court justice to lie in repose at the Supreme Court was Chief Justice William Rehnquist in 2005.

Within hours of Justice Antonin Scalia's death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell aimed to squash any expectation that President Obama will get to name his successor.

"The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice," he said in a statement. "Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president."

President Obama says he plans to pick a Supreme Court nominee following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, setting up a confrontation with Republicans who control the Senate.

South Carolina is known for its rough and tumble politics, and Saturday night's CBS News debate in Greenville, S.C., certainly held true to that characterization.

It was the most vicious and unruly debate yet this cycle, prompting moderator John Dickerson to even interject at one point that he was "going to turn this car around!"

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, perhaps the leading voice of uncompromising conservatism on the nation's highest court, was found dead Saturday, Chief Justice John Roberts has confirmed. Scalia, who had been staying at a luxury ranch in West Texas, was 79 years old.

Dave Zajac / Record-Journal

A Connecticut man has pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime for firing a rifle at a mosque next to his home shortly after the deadly attacks in Paris.

The heart of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan is now on hold, after the Supreme Court granted a stay request that blocks the EPA from moving ahead with rules that would lower carbon emissions from the nation's power plants.

The case is scheduled to be argued in June, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. But a decision could be long in coming, particularly if the case winds up in the Supreme Court — meaning that the rules' fate might not be determined before a new presidential administration comes into power in 2017.

Previously, on Serial ...

"All this time I thought the courts proved it was Adnan that killed her. I thought he was where he deserved to be. Now I'm not so sure."

That's an email from Asia McLean to host Sarah Koenig, as read on the very first episode of Serial, the podcast sensation produced by the creators of This American Life.

A Texas grand jury investigating Planned Parenthood took no action against the abortion provider, but it indicted two anti-abortion activists involved in making covert videos of the organization.

Yoichi R. Okamoto / Creative Commons

Back in the 1940s, the NAACP sent a young black lawyer named Thurgood Marshall to Bridgeport, Connecticut to defend a black chauffeur against his wealthy employer in a sensational sexual assault trial that grabbed newspaper headlines.

That story is the basis of a new film called "Marshall," which is just beginning production in Hollywood.

Photo Phiend via Flickr.com / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld a robbery conviction against a man who called for a mistrial because his mother told a juror outside court that a police officer had lied on the stand.

Jack via Flickr.com / Creative Commons

Four men who were wrongfully convicted in a New Haven shooting have been awarded a multimillion-dollar settlement under the state’s compensation statute.

The Supreme Court of the United States has decided to review a challenge to President Obama's executive actions on immigration.

As we've reported, back in November 2014, Obama announced plans to shield from deportation up to 5 million immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally. Even before his plans got off the ground, lower courts put them on hold.

Glenn Sapaden / Creative Commons

A former federal prosecutor in Connecticut has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $600,000 from the owner of a trash hauling company he once represented.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Which constitutional rights are more important than others?

That’s the question Judge Thomas Moukawsher is essentially asking lawyers to answer, as he hears arguments from the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding. The coalition claims the state has failed to provide an adequate education to all students.  

Mark Fischer / Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in a landmark case that could potentially limit teachers’ unions from collecting fees from non-members. New Haven has joined an amicus brief filed in the case.

It's the showdown at the Supreme Court Corral on Monday for public employee unions and their opponents.

Union opponents are seeking to reverse a 1977 Supreme Court decision that allows public employee unions to collect so-called "fair share fees."

Twenty-three states authorize collecting these fees from those who don't join the union but benefit from a contract that covers them.

Ben W / Creative Commons

The Libertarian Party is suing the state of Connecticut in federal court, challenging laws regarding the rules for petitioning candidates to appear on the election ballot. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

On the surface of things, there would seem to be little connection among the following: two small daily newspapers in central Connecticut, the wealthy owner of a multinational casino and resort chain, the Chinese crime gangs known as triads, and the sale of the largest newspaper in Nevada to an undisclosed owner. But they do all fit together somehow

Howard County Library System / Creative Commons

An upcoming lawsuit is set to determine whether Connecticut should provide all students with access to preschool. 

One day after he was arrested on fraud charges, controversial drug executive Martin Shkreli has resigned his post as the leader of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Shkreli is currently free on bail.

Turing announced the change Friday, naming Ron Tilles, its current board chairman, as the interim chief executive officer.

"We wish to thank Martin for helping us build Turing Pharmaceuticals into the dynamic research focused company it is today, and wish him the best in his future endeavors," Tilles said in a statement about the move.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The off-the-air Back9Network allegedly didn't pay rent for things like video equipment and a robotic camera, according to a new lawsuit filed in state court. 

One day after jurors in the trial of Baltimore Police Officer William Porter announced they were deadlocked, the judge in the case has declared a mistrial. The jury couldn't reach a verdict on involuntary manslaughter and three other charges Porter faced over the death of Freddie Gray last April.

On the second day of deliberations in the trial of a Baltimore police officer who's accused of involuntary manslaughter and other charges in the death of Freddie Gray, the jury sent a note to the judge saying they're deadlocked.

Judge Barry G. Williams instructed the jurors to keep working toward a verdict after receiving that note Tuesday afternoon, reports NPR's Jennifer Ludden. The panel began its deliberations in the trial of Officer William Porter on Monday afternoon. They have adjourned their second session and will return to the jury room Wednesday morning.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A federal jury has convicted insurance executive Earl O’Garro on three counts of fraud after barely 90 minutes of deliberations, the U.S. Attorney’s office said Monday.

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