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States brief ~ Federal judge to hear MO base closure case

[JURIST] Leading Friday's states brief, a federal judge will hear arguments next week in Missouri's attempt to prevent the closing [Missouri AG press release] of the Air National Guard in St. Louis, with the state arguing that the Pentagon must first consult with state governors before closing bases. Attorney General Jay Nixon [official website] has filed for a preliminary injunction to stop the closure of the 131st Air National Guard F-15 Fighter Wing at Lambert Field. Illinois has also filed suit against the Pentagon for recommending Air National Guard bases in the state be closed and yesterday state officials requested a temporary restraining order to block the BRAC Commission [official website] from sending President Bush its recommendation for the 183rd Fighter Wing in Springfield. A court hearing was scheduled for today. Last week, a federal judge ruled in favor of Pennsylvania's Governor in his suit filed against the Pentagon [JURIST report] by finding that the loss of a Air Guard division there would eliminate a unit vital to the state's homeland security. AP has more.

In other legal news ...

  • Wisconsin Attorney General Peggy Lautenschlager has announced [AG press release] that she and attorneys general from Illinois and Iowa will conduct a joint investigation into whether anyone is tampering with the gas market in their states. The three attorneys general will consolidate their resources to look into gas prices, but none of the states have laws barring price gouging. Lautenschlager is drafting legislation with Sen. Dave Hanson and Rep. Josh Zepnick to remedy the state's lack of a price gouging law. Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle has asked [Governor's press release] the Environmental Protection Agency to temporarily lift a requirement to sell only cleaner-burning reformulated gas. Maine Attorney General Steven Rowe also announced [AG's press release] yesterday that his office will begin to monitor wholesale and retail gasoline prices. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has local coverage. In related news, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue signed [Governor's press release] an Executive Order today calling for a temporary moratorium on state collection of all motor fuel taxes. The Walker County Messenger has local coverage.

  • Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist [official website] has asked the state Supreme Court to review a citizen initiative that would amend the Florida Constitution to ban same-sex marriages [JURIST report]. The review is mandatory to determine whether the proposed amendment is constitutional and takes place after 10% of the signatures needed to place the proposal on the ballot are collected. Florida4Marriage.org [advocacy website] hopes to have the amendment on the November 2006 ballot. The court was also asked to review a proposed amendment that would lift some sales tax exemptions. Floridians Against Inequities in Rates [advocacy website] wants exemptions that are unjustified to be repealed. AP has more.

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