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TX law allowing cops to draw blood without warrant deemed unconstitutional by state’s highest court

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On Wednesday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals declared that a law allowing police officers to take blood samples from those suspected of drunk driving without first obtaining a warrant is unconstitutional, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Writing on behalf of the majority in the 5-4 decision, Judge Elsa Alcala said that “we hold that a non-consensual search of a DWI suspect’s blood conducted pursuant to the mandatory-blood-draw and implied-consent provisions in the Transportation Code, when undertaken in the absence of a warrant or any applicable exception to the warrant requirement, violates the Fourth Amendment.”

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The case on which the court based its ruling is that of David Villarreal, who was arrested in 2012 after he refused to perform a field sobriety test. The officers took him to the hospital and had his blood drawn against his will, claiming that they were empowered to do so by a state law that requires taking the blood alcohol content of people with two or more drunk driving convictions.

At his trial, the state requested Villarreal be sentenced to 25 years in prison, given his prior convictions for drunk driving in 2001 and 2005. His attorney protested, claiming that the non-consensual, warrant-less drawing of his blood violated his client’s right against unreasonable search and seizure.

The trial judge agreed, but the state appealed — which is why the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled on the case.

The ruling means that officers will now have to possess a warrant before compelling suspected drunk drivers to submit to blood alcohol tests. Villarreal’s lawyer noted, however, that this ruling will not necessarily keep his client out of jail.

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“All it is, is a ruling that they cannot use the blood test that they obtained without a warrant,” Fred Jimenez said. “That’s all it is. They can still try my client. It’s a weaker case without that evidence.”


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‘Trump people lie — we know that’: Ex-House GOP staffer shreds Democrats for letting Lewandowski off the hook

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MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski denounced President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski as "rude" and "insolent" -- but her fellow "Morning Joe" panelists ripped House Democrats for letting him off the hook with obstructing their investigation.

Lewandowski turned the House Judiciary Committee hearing into a "circus," Brzezinski said, and panelists agreed he unlawfully claimed executive privilege, and a former Republican House staffer said he should have been charged with contempt of Congress.

"He was a mini Trump," Brzezinski said. "You can speak to Corey Lewandowski in real life, and often you can see someone who doesn't seem like Trump. In front of the cameras, he was playing for an audience of one. He was rude, he was insolent, he was stonewalling and, ultimately, being revealed to be a liar after being shown that he went on a national TV show, Ari Melber, it's not like a camera was shoved in his face, and he chose to lie to the American people."

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Pennsylvania Republican senator arrested and charged with possession of child pornography

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According to a release from Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Republican state Sen. Michael Folmer has been arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.

The release said that the investigation began as the result of a CyberTip about Tumblr discovering that a user had uploaded child pornography onto their site. It ultimately led to the home of Folmer in Lebanon, PA. A search warrant yielded images on Folmer's phone.

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Netanyahu refuses to concede after he falls short — blames media instead

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Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, refused to concede after being down in the election night polls. Like the last election, Netanyahu is claiming his own personal victory and blaming the media for all of his woes.

Senior Diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid, at Channel 13 News in Tel-Aviv, was live-tweeting the election results late Tuesday night.

https://twitter.com/barakravid/status/1174116674225758209?s=21

"Netanyahu says Israel needs a Zionist government that is committed for Israel as a Jewish state. No government can be based on support from Arab parties," Ravid said.

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