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National

Flashing lights protected speech, federal court rules

In a decision that may break new First Amendment ground, a federal court ruled in favor of a driver who claimed that flashing his headlights to warn oncoming traffic of a speed trap was a constitutionally protected form of free speech.

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Commentary: Climate-change skeptics have free-speech rights

Close cases should go to the critic, no matter how nasty or uninformed. The preservation of robust dissent allows no other result, and robust dissent is at the heart of what it means to be America.

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Commentary: Sentencing for child pornography in federal court

In imposing sentence in federal court, a judge must consider four factors: to reflect the seriousness of the offense, promote respect for the law and provide just punishment for the offense; deterrence; to protect the public from further crimes by the defendant; and to provide the defendant with needed education or training or other correctional treatment.

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Detroit may file $18 billion bankruptcy plan in two weeks

Detroit’s emergency financial manager may file a proposed debt-adjustment plan in federal court in about two weeks, an action that would start the final phase in the city’s record $18 billion municipal bankruptcy.

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Farm bill passes House with cuts

The plan, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will cut spending by $16.6 billion over 10 years from current levels, reflects the clout of rural and urban allies who kept farm subsidies and nutrition programs together over Republican objections.

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