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Jurors acquit Michigan dad in connection with Facebook rants about judge

Jurors in Michigan deliberated for 26 minutes before acquitting a dad charged for his angry Facebook posts about a judge he blamed for his son’s death. Jonathan Vanderhagen, 35, was acquitted on a misdemeanor charge of malicious use of a telecommunication device. His 21-month-old son had died in 2017 while Vanderhagen was seeking custody; Vanderhagen had contended the boy’s mother was failing to take the child to doctor’s appointments for hydrocephalus. Vanderhagen had reposted photos of the judge’s family members and complained about possible corruption. In one post, he pictured himself holding a shovel with the judge’s initials photoshopped on the handle. “You best believe im gonna dig up all the skeletons in this court’s closet,” Vanderhagen wrote. (The Washington Post, the Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press)

Judge refuses to grant separate trial for alleged go-between in law prof’s slaying

A Florida judge on Friday turned down a request for a separate trial by an alleged go-between in the 2014 slaying of Florida State University law professor Dan Markel. Judge James Hankinson ruled that Katherine Magbanua will have to be tried with another suspect, alleged triggerman Sigfredo Garcia. Magbanua worked in the dental office run by the Markel’s former in-laws. Prosecutors have suggested Markel was killed as part of a murder-for-hire plot, though no one has been charged besides Magbanua, Garcia and one of their associates, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. The trial is set to begin on Monday. The Tallahassee Democrat, WCTV)

Judge blocks California law requiring candidates to disclose tax returns

A federal judge in California on Thursday issued an injunction from the bench to temporarily block a California law requiring presidential and gubernatorial candidates to disclose five years of tax returns to appear on the primary ballot. U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. ruled in five separate lawsuits challenging the law, including one filed by President Donald Trump. No presidential candidate has yet submitted tax forms to state officials as required by the law; its deadline for candidates in the March 3 primary is Nov. 26. (The Los Angeles Times)

Ginsburg explains why she didn’t retire before Trump’s election

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg explained Wednesday why she didn’t retire during the presidency of Barack Obama. “When that suggestion is made, I ask the question: Who do you think the president could nominate that could get through the Republican Senate? Who you would prefer on the court than me?” Ginsburg said. The justice was questioned by NPR’s Nina Totenberg at a New York City event. (CNBC, MarketWatch)