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Executions Halted in Arkansas:  A divided ruling by the Arkansas Supreme Court announced today that the state's constitution requires that the Legislature proscribe the lethal injection protocol for condemned murderers, invalidating a 2009 law that had given the Department of Corrections the discretion to determine which drugs to use for executions.  The law had been adopted to provide the Department of Corrections with the flexibility to choose a different drug for use in executions to avoid delays caused by legal challenges to an existing drug in the protocol. AP writer Jeannie Nuss reports that the case involved a lawsuit by ten death row inmates claiming that the legislature was required to specify the drugs.  See also Bill Otis's post on this story.

Pelosi: Holder Contempt about "Voter Suppression":   Jake Sherman of Politico reports that In a press conference yesterday, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the vote by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee to hold AG Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, was an effort by Republicans "...going after Eric Holder because he is supporting measures to overturn these voter suppression initiatives in the states."   Congresswoman Pelosi was referring to the Attorney General's suits to block state voter identification laws and to prevent Florida from removing illegal aliens from voter rolls.  The contempt vote was taken after the Attorney General repeatedly refused to turn over documents related to an 18 month investigation of Fast and Furious, an operation authorized by the Justice Department which allowed known gun runners to purchase firearms in the U.S. for Mexican drug cartels.  In 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot and killed by drug smugglers using some of those firearms.   A story from Fox News quotes South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy,  who called the claim "mind-numbingly stupid." 

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