5 Things To Know Today

Marijuana Legalization Passes In Colorado, Washington

Voters in Washington and Colorado passed ballot initiatives Tuesday to legalize marijuana for recreational use, the biggest victory ever for the legalization movement. But in many ways, it’s just the beginning of the battle. Marijuana is still illegal in the eyes of the federal government, which overrules states’ rights. The voter approval of legal weed in Colorado and Washington could lead to a Supreme Court battle with the federal government, according to Jeffrey Miron, senior lecturer of economics at Harvard University and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, where he has conducted economic studies on nationwide drug legalization.

Elizabeth Warren Makes History As First Female In Mass Senate

Democrat  and former Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren toppled Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown from his seat Tuesday, making history as the first female sent by Massachusetts voters to the Senate. Women will occupy a record number of U.S. Senate seats — roughly one in five — in January, following historic victories in yesterday’s balloting. As many as six women could win election to the Senate once all ballots are counted, with victors already declared in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Hawaii and Nebraska, and races too close to call in North Dakota and Nevada. Currently, 17 women — the most yet — serve in the chamber, and two of them, Republicans Olympia Snowe of Maine and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, are retiring.

Texas Supreme Court Lifts Suspension Of Judge For Beating His Daughter

The Texas Supreme Court on Tuesday lifted its suspension of a South Texas judge shown in a video beating his teenage daughter. Justices had suspended Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams with pay in November 2011 while the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct investigated the 2004 incident. The commission issued a public warning to Adams on Sept. 6. In its one-page order Tuesday, the justices approved an agreement between Adams and the commission asking that the suspension be lifted. As part of the agreement, Adams had waived his right to appeal the public warning, which is essentially a public reprimand with no other consequences. The action allows Adams to return to his judicial duties in the Gulf Coast town of Rockport, Texas, immediately.

Californians Back $6 Billion Tax Rise To Avoid Education Cuts

California voters decisively approved a ballot measure on Tuesday that will raise taxes by $6 billion annually over seven years, heeding the pleas of Gov. Jerry Brown, who said the new revenues were necessary to save the state’s public schools and balance the budget. The vote — 54 percent to 46 percent, with 95 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday morning — brought an end to an acrimonious, $123 million battle between the governor and conservative opponents in and outside the state. It was a victory for Mr. Brown, who had staked his personal prestige on the initiative’s success and campaigned intensely for it. Across the country, voters in 38 states considered more than 170 ballot measures on fiscal, political and social issues that, in many cases, resonated nationally.

AMBER Alerts Now On Google Search And Maps

Google has launched AMBER Alerts coordinated by National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the Google Public Alerts platform.Public Alerts are designed to bring you emergency alerts when and where they’re relevant to you, and AMBER Alerts aim to help bring abducted children home safely. The US Department of Justice’s AMBER alert is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies and others to engage the entire community in the most serious child-abduction cases. We are working with NCMEC, who will provide the AMBER Alert data to Google and make it possible to display information in Public Alerts.