National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre and Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who survived a shot to the head two years ago during an assassination attempt that left six people dead, are among those slated to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. One congressional source tells CBS News that Giffords herself is expected to attend the hearing; she is expected to accompany her husband and there are reports she will address the committee, although she’s not officially scheduled to testify today. Wednesday’s hearing is a response to the Dec. 14 shooting rampage that killed 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and transformed gun control into a top-tier issue in the capital. Despite the horrific Newtown slayings, it remains unclear whether those advocating limits on gun availability will be able to overcome resistance by the NRA and lawmakers from states where gun ownership abounds.
President Obama challenged Congress on Tuesday to act swiftly to put 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States on a clear path to citizenship. But his push for speedy action and his silence on proposals to defer the opportunity for legal residency until the country’s borders are deemed secure provoked criticism from a Republican leader on the issue. The response suggests that reaching consensus on immigration law changes remained difficult despite a new bipartisan push since the November elections. His speech, on the heels of the bipartisan Senate proposal, sets the terms for one of the year’s landmark legislative debates. These are only the opening steps in a complicated dance, and both the politics and the policy can be treacherous ground, as shown by the failed effort to overhaul immigration laws in the George W. Bush administration.
A federal judge has rejected Apple’s demand to increase the $1.05 billion in damages a jury ordered Samsung to pay its fiercest rival in the smartphone market. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh late Tuesday also rejected demands from both companies to conduct another trial. Koh ruled that the San Jose jury got it right in August when it found Samsung Electronics Inc. ripped off technology Apple used to make the iPads and iPhones when it created 26 models of smartphones and computer tablets. CBS News reports the jury also found several other Samsung products didn’t infringe any of Apple Inc.’s patents. The jury found that South Korean-based Samsung infringed six patents and awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages. The series of orders issued late Tuesday didn’t address Samsung’s request to reduce the award.
With sales set to begin later this year, Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee hopes to be a good neighbor and keep vanloads of legal bud from cruising into surrounding states like Idaho, Oregon and other states that don’t want people getting stoned for fun. Keeping a lid on the weed is just one of the numerous challenges Washington state authorities and their counterparts in Colorado — where voters also legalized pot use — will face in the coming months. The potential of regulatory schemes to keep pot from being diverted isn’t clear. Colorado already has intensive rules aimed at keeping its medical marijuana market in line, including the digital tracking of cannabis, bar codes on every plant, surveillance video and manifests of all legal pot shipments. But law enforcement officials say marijuana from Colorado’s dispensaries often makes its way to the black market, and even the head of the Colorado agency charged with tracking the medical pot industry suggests no one should copy its measures.
Nudists in famously tolerant San Francisco lost a bid on Tuesday to block a city ban on nakedness in public places, when a federal judge threw out a legal challenge that argued public nudity was akin to political expression, Reuters reports. San Francisco city leaders last month approved the ban on baring it all in streets, public plazas and the transit system to curtail public nudity, which some residents and business owners complained had gotten out of control. The efforts to clamp down have caused a flap in the city, where men in particular are known to parade naked through the streets of the predominantly gay Castro District. Some residents say nudists, and specifically a group known as the Naked Guys, have gone too far with their constant presence at a square in the Castro District. But nudists claim they have a right go naked in public and say politicians in San Francisco, which has often celebrated the bizarre and unconventional, should leave them alone. Four nudist activists sued in November, even before the measure barring public nudity was passed by a slim majority of the Board of Supervisors, saying it would violate their constitutional right to free expression.