A Mississippi judge has thrown out murder charges against a young woman in the 2006 death of her stillborn child, a significant setback for prosecutors in a controversial case that has been closely followed both by women’s rights groups and those interested in establishing rights for the unborn. Rennie Gibbs, who was 16 when she gave birth to her stillborn daughter Samiya, had been indicted for “depraved heart murder” after traces of a cocaine byproduct were found in the baby’s blood. The charge — defined under Mississippi law as an act “eminently dangerous to others…regardless of human life” — carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Maria Saporta reports:

Ted Turner, the former owner of the Atlanta Braves, finally let the world know Wednesday that he would not have moved the baseball team to Cobb County. …

Asked why he was against the move, Turner said: “It’s tradition. I never would have done it. They tried to get me to move the Hawks and I didn’t do it.”

The bill was opposed not only by gun-control groups, but also by the state’s police chiefs association and restaurant association, Episcopal and Catholic churches, and the federal Transportation Security Administration. A majority of Georgians also opposed it, according to several polls.

[Gov. Nathan] Deal, a Republican, who is expected to sign the bill, is up for re-election this year, but there is no sign of a political backlash against him or anyone who voted for the legislation. The governor’s Democratic opponent, State Senator Jason Carter, President Jimmy Carter’s grandson, also voted for the bill.

Y:ou just have to read this article to believe it. Even then, you might not believe it, but it’s true: Georgia is ruled by absolutely total, utter idiots.

If the Braves move to Cobb County as planned, then Major League Baseball should put an American League team in Turner Field. At least that’s the vision and the crusade — some might say the wild pitch — of Mike McDonald, a long-time Atlanta advertising executive and baseball fan.
Tim Tucker, reporting in The Journal-Constitution: Ad man pitches AL team for Turner Field |

Calling laws against same-sex marriage the last vestige of widespread discrimination in America, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway told TIME Tuesday he refused to continue defending his state’s ban on gay marriage because he feared he’d regret it for the rest of his life. “I know where history is going on this,” he said. “I know what was in my heart.”

“From a legal standpoint I draw the line at discrimination,” Conway said in an extensive interview shortly after he announced that he would not appeal a judge’s order that Kentucky recognize same-sex marriages. “If you think about it, in the long arc of history of this country, at one time we discriminated against women, at one time we discriminated against African-Americans and people of color, we discriminated against those with disabilities.

“Where we are as a country now, this really seems to be the only minority group that a significant portion of our society thinks it’s still okay to discriminate against.”

Sue Sturgis of Facing South reports:

At the same time Duke Energy is facing scrutiny for a coal ash spill from one of its North Carolina power plants that’s polluted the Dan River and Kerr Lake, the company is getting attention for avoiding federal taxes.

This week Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) released “The Sorry State of Corporate Taxes,” a comprehensive five-year study of 288 consistently profitable Fortunate 50 companies that found 26 of them — including North Carolina-based Duke Energy — paid no federal corporate income taxes during that time.

In fact, Duke — the nation’s largest electric utility — had a negative effective tax rate of -3.3 percent during the five-year period. The investor-owned company earned over $9 billion in profits during those years but received tax rebates totaling $299 million.

Carl Hulse reports:

When Democrats changed Senate rules last year to limit the filibuster against White House nominees, it raised hopes among some liberals that President Obama would use his new power to reshape the federal judiciary. Now, just over three months later, some Democrats and progressive groups are instead trying to stop two of the president’s latest nominees to the federal bench on the grounds that they are too conservative.

Black lawmakers, civil rights advocates and abortion rights groups are challenging two Georgia nominees put forward by the White House under an agreement with the state’s two Republican senators. The two Republicans were given a say in picking candidates for district court in exchange for allowing a stalled nominee to a federal appeals court to advance.

It seems unions are having a little too much success in Tennessee for the comfort of Republicans there, so the state legislature is planning to do something about it. Spurred by the fact that Tennessee added 31,000 union members last year, state Rep. Jeremy Durham has introduced a bill that would create a new “mass picketing” misdemeanor specifically aimed at labor activists: “I feel like if that’s such a growing part of our economy, we need to take preemptive measures to make sure our businesses have the rights and protections they should be entitled to.”

Thom Tillis, the speaker of the North Carolina state House and a Republican challenger to U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, isn’t quite saying he wants to abolish the minimum wage outright. But only because “you can’t unring that bell.” As for raising the minimum wage, Tillis is obviously opposed. But this is the best part:

Asked what he considered a living wage, Tillis dodged. He pivoted to say private industry ought to answer the question. “I think for the most part the market needs to define that,” he answered.