Latest Ellen Knickmeyer News

FILE - In this June 15, 2020, file photo the columns of the Supreme Court are seen with the Capitol at right, in Washington. The Senate is ready to move quickly on a Supreme Court nominee. President Donald Trump is expected Saturday, Sept. 26, to announce his replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

On guns, abortion, high court could become more conservative

Sep. 27, 2020 9:00 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — If Congress confirms President Donald Trump's nominee to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court would become more conservative, and also perhaps more ready to tackle certain hot-button issues like abortion and guns. Chief Justice John Roberts would also likely become less...

FILE - In this Aug. 14, 2020, file photo, William Perry Pendley, acting director of the Bureau of Land Management, speaks to the media on the Grizzly Creek Fire in Eagle, Colo. A federal judge has ruled that the Trump administration's leading steward of public lands has been serving unlawfully and blocked him from continuing in the position. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, that U.S. Bureau of Land Management acting director William Perry Pendley was never confirmed to the post by the U.S. Senate and served unlawfully for 424 days. Montana's Democratic governor had sued to remove Pendley, saying the the former oil industry attorney was illegally overseeing a government agency that manages almost a quarter-billion acres of land, primarily in the U.S. West. (Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily via AP, File)

Judge removes Trump public lands boss for serving unlawfully

Sep. 25, 2020 9:42 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A federal judge ruled Friday that President Donald Trump's leading steward of public lands has been serving unlawfully, blocking him from continuing in the position in the latest pushback against the administration's practice of filling key positions without U.S. Senate approval....

FILE - In this July 30, 2019, file photo, a red-cockaded woodpecker looks to a biologist as it is released back into in a long leaf pine forest at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. A bird declared endangered in 1970 -- the red-cockaded woodpecker, which taps pine sap to protect babies from snakes and gets its sons to help care for the next clutch of nestlings -- has recovered enough to relax federal protection, officials said Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Feds: Relax protections for woodpecker endangered since 1970

Sep. 25, 2020 7:09 PM EDT

The red-cockaded woodpecker, a bird declared endangered in 1970 and surviving today in 11 states' scattered longleaf pine forests, has recovered enough to relax its federal protection, officials said Friday. But not all wildlife advocates agree. “The red-cockaded woodpecker has flourished to the point that...

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, at Cal Expo in Sacramento where he announced an executive order requiring the sale of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035, a move the governor says would achieve a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. California would be the first state with such a rule, though Germany and France are among 15 other countries that have a similar requirement. (Daniel Kim/The Sacramento Bee via AP, Pool)

California is ready to pull the plug on gas vehicles

Sep. 24, 2020 8:30 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California will ban the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks in 15 years, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday, establishing a timeline in the nation's most populous state that could force U.S. automakers to shift their zero-emission efforts into overdrive. The...

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talks during a question and answer sessions with state Republican legislators in the Senate chamber of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wis. Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. (John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

Pompeo shatters diplomatic norms with political appearances

Sep. 24, 2020 6:07 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Undaunted by criticism, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is forging ahead with a series of events that have overtly political overtones ahead of the November presidential election. Casting aside a long tradition of the nation’s top diplomat shunning partisan politics, Pompeo gave a...

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he arrives at Sacramento McClellan Airport, in McClellan Park, Calif., Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, for a briefing on wildfires. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Trump spurns science on climate: 'Don't think science knows'

Sep. 14, 2020 8:02 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — With the smell of California wildfires in the air, President Donald Trump on Monday ignored the scientific consensus that climate change is playing a central role in historic West Coast infernos and renewed his unfounded claim that failure to rake forest floors and clear dead...

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about climate change and wildfires affecting western states, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Untidiness vs. climate change: Candidates on wildfire causes

Sep. 14, 2020 4:39 PM EDT

Another record wildfire season in the West put climate change atop the presidential campaign agenda Monday. Here’s a look at President Donald Trump's and rival Joe Biden’s sharply different stands on the culprit behind worsening wildfires. CLIMATE CHANGE Biden in a speech Monday said climate change...

FILE - In this July 30, 2020, file photo members of the Seattle Storm stand in front of a photo of Breonna Taylor before a WNBA basketball game against the Washington Mystics in Bradenton, Fla. Taylor was killed in her home by police officers. Americans' suggestions of suitable statues for President Donald Trump's planned National Garden of American Heroes are in, and they look considerably different from the predominantly white worthies that the administration has locked in for many of the pedestals. Lehigh County, Pennsylvania Commissioner Amy Zanelli, suggested George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black Americans whose killings by police sparked massive street protests. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

George Floyd? Donald Trump? Hero statue nominations are in

Aug. 31, 2020 7:41 PM EDT

George Floyd. Sacagawea. The guy who invented air conditioning. Americans' suggestions of suitable statues for President Donald Trump's planned National Garden of American Heroes are in, and they're more activist, less white and far more Indigenous than the president’s nominees. Well, for the most part,...

A chemical fire burns at a facility during the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, near Lake Charles, La. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Key air monitors offline after Laura hits Louisiana gas hub

Aug. 30, 2020 9:30 PM EDT

Hazardous emissions from a chlorine plant fire, abruptly shuttered oil and gas refineries and still-to-be assessed plant damage are seeping into the air after Hurricane Laura, regulators say, but some key state and federal monitors to alert the public of air dangers remain offline in Louisiana. While the...

Damage to a roof from Hurricane Laura is seen Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, in Pineville, La., during Gov. John Bel Edwards' aerial tour of stricken areas in the northern part of the state. (Bill Feig/The Advocate via AP, Pool)

'A time to pick up:' Hurricane-hurt Louisiana begins cleanup

Aug. 29, 2020 5:22 PM EDT

CAMERON PARISH, La. (AP) — Residents in southwestern Louisiana embarked Saturday on the epic task of clearing away felled trees, ripped-off roofs and downed power lines after Hurricane Laura tore through parts of the state. The U.S. toll from the Category 4 hurricane rose to 16 deaths, with more than half...