Nation in brief: Judge releases militia members
DETROIT – Nine members of a Michigan militia will be released from jail pending trial after a federal judge on Monday harshly criticized the government’s claim they had conspired to overthrow the U.S. government.
The decision is a significant defeat for federal authorities, who spoke in tough and triumphant terms after arresting members of a southern Michigan group called the Hutaree in March and charging them with conspiracy to commit sedition and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction.
The government “need not wait until people are killed before it arrests conspirators,” U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts said. “But the defendants are also correct: Their right to engage in hate-filled, venomous speech is a right that deserves First Amendment protection.”
Supreme Court moves entrance
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court is shutting its front entrance to the public, and revealing new divisions among the justices themselves.
In a move to tighten security, court officials announced Monday the public will no longer be permitted to enter through the building’s majestic front entrance. Instead, starting today, visitors will be shunted around to the sides.
Court officials explained the move as prudent and necessary, in keeping with security recommendations first made in 2001 and reiterated last year. The security reports, which themselves remain secret, urged setting up new public screening areas.
Visitors can leave the court through the front doors.