MIAMI -- A federal judge in Orlando struck down a Florida law on Tuesday that required welfare recipients to undergo mandatory drug testing.
Judge Mary S. Scriven of U.S. District Court wrote in her decision that the state's testing requirement was unconstitutional. "The court finds there is no set of circumstances under which the warrantless, suspicionless drug testing at issue in this case could be constitutionally applied," she wrote. The ruling made permanent an earlier, temporary ban by the judge.
The requirement had been a signature legislation of Gov. Rick Scott, who argued that the drug testing was necessary to help protect taxpayers and families. Mr. Scott said Tuesday that the state would appeal the ruling.
Ark. official urged to quit
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Lt. Gov. Mark Darr of Arkansas, who said this week that he would settle with his state's ethics commission amid findings that he repeatedly broke campaign-finance laws, on Tuesday defied mounting calls for his resignation, including one from Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, and said he intended to remain in office.
"The mistakes I made have been well documented," Mr. Darr, a Republican who agreed Monday to pay $11,000 in fines as part of a settlement with the ethics board, said in a statement.
Gun law passes court test
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A federal judge ruled Tuesday that New York's expanded ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines was constitutional, but struck down a provision forbidding gun owners from loading their firearms with more than seven bullets or shells.
The judge, William M. Skretny of U.S. District Court in Buffalo, N.Y., called the seven-round limit "an arbitrary restriction" that violated the Second Amendment.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and lawmakers passed the new laws, among the most restrictive in the country, in January 2013 in response to the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. in late 2012.
De Blasio to be sworn in
NEW YORK -- Bill de Blasio will become New York's 109th mayor today after winning election in a record landslide by pledging to reduce income inequality and restrain aggressive police tactics.
Mr. De Blasio, 52, the first Democrat to run City Hall in 20 years, is to be inaugurated at 12:01 a.m. today at a ceremony at his home in Brooklyn. Later today, he is to take the oath of office again during a public swearing-in ceremony.
Marriage ruling appealed
SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah took its fight against gay marriage to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, asking the high court to suspend same-sex unions that became legal when a judge struck down the state's voter-approved ban.
In papers filed Tuesday, the state asked Justice Sonia Sotomayor to overturn a decision that has led to more than 900 gay marriages in Utah. She told lawyers for the three gay couples challenging the state's ban to respond by Friday to Utah's filing.
Girl kept on life support
OAKLAND, Calif. -- A 13-year-old California girl declared brain dead after tonsil surgery remained on life support Tuesday after a state judge gave her family at least another week to find a place to move her.
Doctors at Children's Hospital Oakland want to take Jahi McMath off the machines that are keeping her body functioning, saying she will never recover.
-- Compiled from news services