Hawaii

After 'intense debate,' Hawaii lawmakers vote to defer suicide bill

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The House Health Committee of the Hawaii Legislature March 23 unanimously voted to defer a bill that would have legalized physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients.

The move by the seven-member committee, which took place after hours of what new reports described as "intense debate," essentially means no further action will be taken on the measure this session.

Democrats in Senate plan to filibuster Gorsuch's nomination

As the confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's U.S. Supreme Court nominee, moved into the March 23 testimony phase with those for and against his nomination taking the floor, the Democrats announced plans to filibuster his nomination.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-New York, announced on the Senate floor he would oppose Gorsuch's nomination by joining other Democrats in a filibuster. This means Gorsuch will need 60 votes to be confirmed by the Senate, and with only 52 Republicans, this would be unlikely.

Confirmation hearings open for Trump's Supreme Court nominee

The issues of religious liberty and abortion were briefly raised during the second day of Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's U.S. Supreme Court nominee.

Gorsuch said March 21 that he wouldn't give his personal views on Roe vs. Wade or any other Supreme Court decision during the hearing and only said the court's decision in Roe set a precedent that has been reaffirmed by the court. He gave similar answers on questions about guns and campaign finance.

Trump vows to keep fighting for travel ban blocked again by courts

President Donald Trump, during a campaign rally in Nashville, vowed to fight the latest court ruling blocking his executive order temporarily suspending immigration from six Muslim-majority countries and refugee resettlement all the way to the Supreme Court.

"We're going to fight this terrible ruling," the president told a crowd of cheering supporters in Nashville's Municipal Auditorium March 15. "The danger is clear. The law is clear. The need for my executive order is clear."

Hawaii Senate vote advances assisted suicide bill modeled on Oregon law

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The Hawaii Senate voted overwhelmingly March 7 to advance a bill permitting physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients.

Called the "Medical Aid in Dying" bill, S.B. 1129 passed with 22 votes in favor, three against. Two of the affirmative votes were cast "with reservations." The bill now goes to the state House of Representatives where it will be debated and voted on in committee before going before the full body.

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March 24-April 6, 2017

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