State judge rejects Obama complaint
ATLANTA — A Georgia judge has rejected a complaint that sought to keep President Obama off the state’s ballot for next month’s presidential primary.
Deputy Chief Judge Michael Malihi filed his decision Friday. The complaint contended Obama isn’t a natural-born U.S. citizen, and therefore, should not be on the ballot. Malihi said in his decision that it has been determined that Obama was born in the United States.
Obama’s local attorney, Michael Jablonski, did not attend a hearing last week in Atlanta. The plaintiff’s attorneys urged Malihi to hold him and the president in contempt.
The judge said in his decision that he doesn’t condone Jablonski’s conduct but did not hold him or the president in contempt.
Three groups file suit against corps
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Three conservation groups sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Friday, saying a South Carolina pollution permit is needed for a planned $600 million deepening of the Savannah River shipping channel because the work will dredge up toxic silt.
Deepening the 32-mile shipping channel will dredge cadmium that will be placed on South Carolina soil, the suit contends.
The suit, filed by the Southern Environmental Law Center, was brought on behalf of the Savannah Riverkeeper, the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League and the South Carolina Wildlife Federation.
The lawsuit says the corps’ own draft environmental impact statement on the deepening indicated that there is cadmium in clays that would be removed as the river bottom is deepened.
Billy Birdwell, a spokesman for the Savannah District of the corps, said the agency has not seen the lawsuit and doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
New license plate for sale next week
COLUMBIA — A new South Carolina license plate available for sale next week advocates equality for gay residents in a state that not only bans gay marriage, but any other type of domestic union.
Christine Johnson, the executive director of South Carolina Equality, said Friday the plate provides a way for people to show they support equality for lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual residents. She said the need for equality extends far beyond marriage to more basic issues, such as employment and housing.
South Carolina is among just three states with the plate. Maryland was first in 2008. Indiana also offered the plate this year.
The plates will be available Monday at Department of Motor Vehicles offices statewide, for an additional $25 over the cost of a standard license.