News in Brief: Illinois Supreme Court Issues Stay in Emanuel Case, and More

Illinois Supreme Court Issues Stay in Emanuel Case

“Less than 24 hours after an Illinois appeals court bumped Rahm Emanuel off the ballot for Chicago’s election for mayor,” the Illinois Supreme Court has asked for a stay in the court’s ruling, “a strong indication that the court will accept the case and, perhaps, of which way the justices are leaning,” reports MSNBC.

“The Board of Elections is directed that if any ballots are printed while this Court is considering this case, the ballots should include the name of petitioner Rahm Emanuel as a candidate for Mayor of the City of Chicago,” the Supreme Court stated in an order.

Military Officials Fail to Find Bradley Manning, Julian Assange Connection

Military investigators have failed to find any connection between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and jailed Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, NBC News reports. Manning was suspected by military officials of leaking hundreds of thousands of State Department documents to the whistleblower web site WikiLeaks. Investigators, however, concluded, “Manning had allegedly unlawfully downloaded tens of thousands of documents onto his own computer and passed them to an unauthorized person.”

Jared Loughner Pleads Not Guilty in Court

Suspected Tucson shooter “Jared Loughner pleaded not guilty in federal court Monday to charges of attempted assassination and attempted murder of federal employees,” The Wall Street Journal reports. Loughner is suspected of leading a shooting rampage that left six dead and 13 wounded, including House Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona). Observers of the case believe a case could be made for Loughner’s mental instability, serving as “a potential line of defense for Mr. Loughner would be the argument that he was so mentally troubled at the time of the shootings that he couldn’t be found guilty of a crime.”

Najib Mikati Appointed Lebanese Prime Minister

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman appointed “Najib Mikati, who is backed by the Shia Islamist group Hezbollah and its allies, as prime minister-designate,” the BBC reports. Mikati’s appointment came despite a designated nationwide “day of rage” by protesters who support “outgoing Prime Minister Saad Hariri.” Protesters “are alarmed by Hezbollah’s growing political power” in the region and accuse the Iranian group of staging a coup to oust the Western-backed government. Still, it is clear to many that “Hezbollah gained enough support from parliamentary deputies to allow Mr Mikati, a billionaire Sunni businessman, to form the next government.” Lebanon’s national unity collapsed on January 12.

Scalia Appears Before House’s Tea Party Caucus

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia lectured the House’s Tea Party Caucus about the Constitution on Monday, provoking calls “that conservative justices are shedding the appearance of impartiality,” The Los Angeles Times reports. “Lawmakers said Scalia advised them to read the Federalist Papers and to follow the Constitution as it was written,” the Times adds.