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Colorado state rep, Columbine survivor, pushes to end gun-free zones in schools

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Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, who was a Columbine High School sophomore at the time of the 1999 mass shooting, is pushing legislation that he says would protect students — by getting rid of gun restrictions in schools.

He has introduced the bill annually since he was elected in 2014, The Washington Times reported. Previous attempts have been turned down.

Neville, a Republican, told The Times the current law “creates a so-called gun free zone in every K-12 public school.”

Under Colorado law, concealed-carry permit holders may bring firearms onto school property, according to The Times, but must keep them locked inside their vehicles.

“Time and time again we point to the one common theme with mass shootings, they occur in gun-free zones,” Neville told The Times.

He added law-abiding citizens should be able “to defend themselves and most importantly our children from the worst-case scenarios.”

The massacre on Valentine’s Day of last week in Florida has renewed a nationwide debate about gun violence and how to prevent mass shootings.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, was suspected of opening fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where he was a former student, killing 17 people and injuring more than a dozen others.

Neville has contended, according to The Times, that more of his classmates would have survived the attack if faculty had been armed. In April 1999, two teens killed 12 fellow students and a teacher before killing themselves inside Columbine High School, in Littleton, Colorado.

The congressman’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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EU slammed as Brussels 'slow to engage' to solve NI protocol issues 'It's nonsense!'

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GEORGE EUSTICE has branded as “bonkers” a situation in which British-made sausages could not be sold in Northern Ireland amid continuing rows over post-Brexit border arrangements.

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Senate Dems to start confirming Biden’s judges to ‘restore the balance’ in courts

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WASHINGTON — The Senate is set to approve President Joe Biden’s first judicial nominees this week, marking the start of an ambitious push to make an impact on the federal courts.

The Senate advanced the nomination of Julien Xavier Neals to be a district judge in New Jersey by a vote of 66-28 on Monday, setting up a final confirmation vote Tuesday.

Next up is Regina M. Rodriguez to be a district judge in Colorado.

The two were advanced in committee last month, along with two other district court nominees and Ketanji Brown Jackson for the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said they were “the first of many jurists that the Democratic-led Senate will consider to restore the balance to the federal judiciary.”

He said the Senate will “swiftly and consistently” process Biden’s judicial picks, “bringing balance, experience and diversity back to the judiciary.”

Republicans aggressively reshaped the judiciary with young conservatives during the Trump administration. Former President Donald Trump appointed 234 judges to the federal bench, flipping the ideological balance in numerous circuit courts and installing three justices to create the most conservative Supreme Court in nearly a century.

Schumer said many of them were “woefully inexperienced and far outside the judicial mainstream.”

A vote on Jackson in the full Senate is expected in the coming weeks. She is seen as a likely short-lister for a Supreme Court vacancy should one open up during Biden’s presidency.

The courts-focused progressive group Demand Justice launched a six-figure ad campaign Monday to build support for Jackson, targeting Black audiences on radio and digital platforms.

Schumer also recommended two voting rights lawyers for judgeships: Myrna Perez of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and Dale Ho of the American Civil Liberties Union for the Southern District of New York.

Neals and Rodriguez were nominated for judgeships during the Obama administration but did not have votes in the Senate, which was then run by Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the current minority leader.

Under precedents established by both parties, the 60-vote threshold has been abolished for all judicial confirmations. Nominees can advance with simple majorities.

A separate rule, established in 2019, cut debate time from 30 hours to two hours for certain types of nominees, including those for district court judgeships, so Republicans could quickly confirm Trump’s picks. The precedent will enable Democrats to speedily confirm a number of Biden’s nominees.

There are 71 vacancies in district courts and nine openings in appeals courts, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The numbers are set to rise with additional retirements.

The judicial battle could further heat up if a Supreme Court justice retires. Some progressive activists, including Demand Justice, are pushing Justice Stephen Breyer, 82, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, to retire while Democrats control the Senate so they can confirm a liberal successor.

Breyer has not given any indication that he plans to step aside.

Frank Thorp V contributed.



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'Money talks!' Britons pledge to boycott EU27 goods in protest of bloc's treatment of UK

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BRITONS have pledged to boycott goods sold from EU27 countries in protest of the bloc’s post-Brexit treatment of the UK, an Express.co.uk poll has found.

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