Senate Judiciary Committee

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Blumenthal aims to help families who lost art to Nazis

The Woman in Gold, a 1907 gold leaf painting by artist Gustav Klimt. One woman's struggle to have the stolen work returned was the subject of the movie "Woman in Gold."

WASHINGTON — Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Sen. Ted Cruz rarely see eye to eye on issues, but they are partners in an effort to change federal law to help victims of the greatt art theft – the massive Nazi confiscations during World War II. “The time is long past to return the ill-gotten gains of that unspeakable horror,” Blumenthal said. Continue Reading →

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Murphy, Blumenthal say Supreme Court diminished by vacancy

WASHINGTON – Pressing for a vote on President Obama’s stalled nomination of Merrick Garland for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, Sen. Chris Murphy said the nation may be heading for an “era” when there will be fewer than nine justices to interpret the nation’s laws. Continue Reading →

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Next up, Blumenthal’s turn to meet with Garland

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland

WASHINGTON — Merrick Garland has become a familiar face on the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol since he was picked last month by President Obama to fill a seat on the Supreme Court, making a round of courtesy visits to Senate offices. On Thursday, it’s Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s turn. Continue Reading →

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Blumenthal wants quick action to replace Scalia; GOP leader says no

Justice Antonin Scalia, right, and Justice Stephen Breyer testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2011.

WASHINGTON – Like other Democrats, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he hopes the Senate will act quickly on a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia, whose death was announced Saturday. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said not so fast.
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Congress takes aim at epidemic of opioid abuse

drug bottles 2

WASHINGTON — After states have spent years grappling with the problem, Congress may finally address the epidemic of heroin use and abuse of prescription pain killers which has affected Connecticut and the rest of New England more than much of the country. Continue Reading →

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Blumenthal, others grill Aetna, Anthem chiefs about mergers

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini in hearing televised by C-Span.

WASHINGTON – Skeptical members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday questioned Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini and Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish about their plans to merge with other large insurers, citing concerns about the consolidation’s impact on consumers. Continue Reading →

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Republicans in Congress target state, local immigration policies

WASHINGTON – Local and state immigration policies, including Connecticut’s, are under scrutiny by congressional Republicans as a reaction to the July 1 killing of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco by an undocumented immigrant with an extensive criminal record. Continue Reading →

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Tremors from Puerto Rican debt crisis likely to be felt in CT

South view of the Puerto Rico Capitol in San Juan

WASHINGTON – Connecticut will feel fallout from Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, analysts say, rippling through the state’s financial sector and opening the door to new migration if Puerto Ricans flee the island’s deteriorating economy and austerity measures. Continue Reading →

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Police violence cases spurring CT proposals for body cameras

Police wearing body cameras in the United Kingdom.

WASHINGTON — A rash of cases involving police violence against young black men — most recently including the death of a Baltimore man in police custody — has bolstered the case for body-worn police video cameras both in Connecticut and Washington. Several Connecticut departments are exploring the idea, and the U.S. Senate will hold a hearing on the issue this week. Continue Reading →

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Despite GOP opposition, Senate confirms Bolden to federal bench

Victor Bolden

WASHINGTON – New Haven Corporation Counsel Victor Allen Bolden was confirmed by the U.S. Senate Thursday to a federal judgeship in Connecticut on a narrow 49-46 vote. All Senate Republicans opposed the nomination of Bolden, 49, who has served as an attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and as a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union.
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Bolden nomination to U.S. court advances despite GOP opposition

U.S. District Court nominee Victor A. Bolden

Saying he is an “activist” who would not interpret the law without bias, a key Republican lawmaker led GOP opposition Thursday to the nomination of New Haven Corporation Counsel Victor Allen Bolden as a U.S. District court judge for Connecticut. Nonetheless, Bolden’s nomination was reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line 10-8 vote. Continue Reading →

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Washington Watch — Week of July 27

Washington Watch bug

In the last week of work before Congress’s August recess, there will be a lot of finger-pointing concerning who is responsible for failing to get must-pass legislation approved, including a final highway bill, and legislation that would deal with the surge of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Continue Reading →

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