Fox News 2024-02-29 04:33:37


Third state removes former president Trump from the primary ballot

An Illinois judge announced late Wednesday that former President Donald Trump has been removed from the state’s 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot over his alleged role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

Cook County Circuit Judge Tracie Porter barred Trump from the Illinois ballot one month after the anti-Trump challenge was dismissed by the Illinois State Board of Elections. 

According to court documents obtained by Fox News, Porter gave the order on Wednesday, urging the board to remove Trump or “cause any votes cast for him to be suppressed,” for violating section three of the 14th Amendment, or the “disqualification clause,” for engaging in insurrection.

Porter’s ruling reverses last month’s decision by the Illinois Board of Elections to keep Trump’s name on the primary ballot after a group of Illinois voters accused the former president of engaging in insurrection. 

REPUBLICAN EX-JUDGE ARGUED TRUMP ENGAGED IN INSURRECTION, SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM ILLINOIS PRIMARY BALLOT

However, the order is put on hold until Friday, in case of an appeal from Trump’s attorneys to the Illinois Appellate Court, First District or the Illinois Supreme Court. 

A campaign spokesperson for Trump issued a statement to Reuters saying it “is an unconstitutional ruling that we will quickly appeal.”

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering for the first time the meaning and reach of Section 3 of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which bars former officeholders who “engaged in insurrection” from holding public office again.

The 14th Amendment, Section 3 of the Constitution states, “No person shall… hold any office… under the United States… who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States… to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

TRUMP SAYS HE’S A ‘BELIEVER’ IN THE SUPREME COURT AFTER ORAL ARGUMENTS IN COLORADO BALLOT CASE

Trump has never been charged with inciting an insurrection.

Nancy Pelosi took to X, formerly Twitter, to share her thoughts on the ruling.

“The Supreme Court is placing itself on trial with its decision to hear the former president’s total immunity claim. It remains to be seen whether the justices will uphold the fundamental American value that no one is above the law – not even a former president,” Pelosi wrote. 

HOUSE DEMOCRAT FROM MAINE RIPS STATE’S DECISION TO TAKE TRUMP OFF BALLOT

The court will make a decision no later than the end of June on whether Trump can be prosecuted for election interference, the Associated Press reports.

Illinois is now the third state where Trump was booted from the ballot, after Colorado and Maine. 

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But those decisions were paused pending the appeal of the Colorado case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The primary election is set for March 19th. 

Fox News’ Garrett Tenney and Brooke Singman contributed to this report. 

Widow of former Red Sox player Tim Wakefield dies just 5 months after pitcher’s passing

Stacy Wakefield, the widow of former Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim, died Wednesday.

Tim, notorious for his knuckleball during his 19-year career, died in October after a battle with brain cancer. Stacy, too, was battling cancer.

“It is with deep sadness that we share that our beloved mother, daughter, sister, niece, and aunt, Stacy, passed away today at her home in Massachusetts,” the Wakefield family said in a statement. “She was surrounded by her family and dear friends, as well as her wonderful caretakers and nurses. The loss is unimaginable, especially in the wake of losing Tim just under five months ago. Our hearts are beyond broken.

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“We will remember Stacy as a strong, loving, thoughtful and kind person, who was as down-to-earth as they come. We feel so lucky to have had her in our lives, and we take comfort in the fact that she will be reunited with Tim, the love of her life.

“We would like to thank all of Stacy’s doctors, nurses and caretakers who helped her from diagnosis to today – we are eternally grateful for your unmatched care and support. And to all of you who have sent well wishes over these last several months, we truly appreciate your kindness.”

BLUE JAYS PITCHER’S 4-YEAR-OLD SON IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER BEING STRUCK BY VEHICLE

Stacy and Tim were married from 2002 until his passing. They had two children together.

A two-time World Series champion, Tim owned a 4.43 ERA over 3,006 innings in 590 appearances for the Red Sox from 1995-2011. He made his major debut as a Pittsburgh Pirate in 1992, where he spent his first two seasons. 

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He was on the team that broke “The Curse of the Bambino” in 2004 – one year after he allowed a walk-off home run to Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees in the 2003 American League Championship Series. He was also on the 2007 team that defeated the Colorado Rockies in the World Series.

Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.

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School district agrees to protect free speech rights of pro-life students

A Las Vegas school district has agreed to protect pro-life students’ views after current and former students sued their high school, the district and school administrators, alleging discrimination against their campus club.

The group of students from the Students for Life chapter at East Career and Technical Academy (ECTA) filed their lawsuit in 2022 in response to “ongoing bias” against the club for its beliefs, the Thomas More Society said.

The legal group representing the students announced they recently reached a settlement agreement with the Clark County School District (CCSD) to make changes to the school’s student handbook and distribute a memorandum to district administration reminding them to protect students’ First Amendment rights.

The agreement will ensure pro-life students’ views are protected in the district’s more than 300 schools, the Thomas More Society touted.

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“This public, taxpayer funded, school district and high school were actively violating the Equal Access Act, the Nevada Constitution, and the United States Constitution, apparently due to ongoing bias against the club’s pro-life beliefs and actions,” Joan Mannix, Executive Vice President and counsel for the Thomas More Society, said in a statement.

Mannix was “pleased” with the settlement, but said it was “regrettable” that school officials needed this reminder, and they were violating their own district policies on discrimination regarding student clubs.

Fox News Digital previously reported the Students for Life group had accused ECTA of denying their fliers with images in the school newspaper, despite other groups being allowed to include pictures in their fliers. The suit also claimed the ECTA assistant principal had “refused” to allow students to post fliers referring to an adoption agency and pregnancy resource clinic during the 2019-2020 school year.

The school also reportedly rejected a club meeting announcement which depicted pictures of students declaring, “I reject abortion,” as “too controversial,” while allowing faculty to display pro-abortion posters in classrooms.

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The school district had previously found itself in legal trouble with another student in 2015 after initially refusing to approve her application to start a pro-life club on campus at a different high school, the lawsuit claimed.

Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America, which assisted the local chapter in its fight, vowed to keep holding schools accountable for trying to silence pro-life students.

“As hostile attacks on pro-life free speech steadily grow, Students for Life of America will not allow school administrations to overlook or instigate First Amendment violations against the Pro-Life Generation,” she said in a statement. “Free speech includes pro-life speech, whether you like it or not. Pro-life students will always have a voice for the voiceless, and Students for Life of America will ensure their freedom to do so is respected.”

Clark County School District did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

Fox News’ Cortney O’Brien contributed to this report.

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Heart-stopping video shows gator charging at couple driving golf cart

A Florida couple was recently pursued by an alligator while riding in a golf cart, as seen in recently recorded footage.

The video, which was captured by bystander Denise Prues, shows the gator swaggering across residential property in Ave Maria, Florida, on Feb. 16.

The reptile was facing a pond when a couple was driving by in the golf cart.

‘ALLIGATOR’ FLOATING IN ARIZONA POND PROMPTS 911 CALLS FROM CONCERNED LOCALS

The gator is then seen opening its jaws and charging at the couple before the vehicle swerves and nearly capsizes into the water.

The man and woman fled the scene and the gator then entered the pond.

Prues can be heard saying, “Oh my God,” as she captures the frightening footage.

“I heard a noise in the side yard and looked up, and the alligator was slowly walking between the houses,” Prues told Storyful. “I was on my phone so [I] quickly switched over to video.”

AMERICA’S STRANGEST ALLIGATOR ENCOUNTERS: SEE THESE 13 STARTLING STORIES

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) website has advice on how Sunshine State residents can stay safe from alligator attacks.

“Be aware of the possibility of alligators when you are in or near fresh or brackish water,” a brochure that’s published on the FWC’s website reads. “Bites may occur when people do not pay close enough attention to their surroundings when working or recreating near water.”

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The agency says that alligators rarely cause serious injuries in Florida, despite unwanted encounters with residents. Residents who spot alligators that may pose a threat to them are encouraged to call 866-392-4286.

“Generally, alligators less than four feet in length are not large enough to be dangerous unless handled,” the FWC advises.

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Fox News Digital reached out to the FWC for comment. 

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Some ‘Jeopardy!’ fans vow to ‘never’ watch the show again over question

“Jeopardy!” fans are in an uproar over a clue presented on Monday’s episode.

In the category “Speech! Parts of Speech!,” one of the contestants selected the $600 clue, which, as host Ken Jennings read, was “xem, xyrs, xemself.” The same contestant buzzed in to answer “What are pronouns?,” and Jennings awarded him the money, saying, “Those are pronouns, neopronouns.”

The prefix “neo” means “new” — neopronouns are new pronouns, typically ones that are used to avoid “he” or “she.”

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The show moved on quickly, with Jennings and the contestants jumping to the next question, but many viewers were surprised to see a clue about neopronouns on the game show.

“So, in order to win at Jeopardy, you need to be able to keep up with whatever bull the wokes are coming up with?” one person asked on X.

Another former fan said they are “done” with “Jeopardy!,” and one said that if they were asked the question, “I would answer by turning off the television, never watching that effing show again.”

“So much for Jeopardy,” a complaint read. “The woke crowd has claimed another. That’s OK. I have my King James Bible to read. Like God, that will never change.”

Several viewers brought up Alex Trebek, the longtime host who died in 2020 after battling pancreatic cancer. The suggestion was that Trebek never would have agreed to such a question being presented on the show.

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“They didn’t waste time making Alex start spinning in his grave; did they?” a fan wrote. Another asserted that “Jeopardy died with Alex Trebek.”

One more former fan insisted, “I will NEVER watch Jeopardy after this. After Alex, it all went downhill.”

But other fans applauded the clue. One person wrote, “Jeopardy just had a question about neo pronouns & it’s probably silly of me, but that was so exciting to see. And it wasn’t treated like a joke, either.”

Another commented, “I don’t really get the outrage on this one. It’s a good Jeopardy! question because those are a confusing example of pronouns that would take most people time to realize what part of speech they are.”

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Thousands of X users are discussing the moment. Popular account Libs of TikTok shared the clip of the pronoun question, and so far it’s been liked 12,000 times and retweeted 3,000 times. The video has over a million views.

Before this controversy, “Jeopardy!” fans made another clip from the show go viral for a much more innocuous reason.

During an episode last week, contestants were shown a picture of an American figure skating legend with the clue, “At the Winter Olympics, this American won gold with a four-and-a-half-minute program that featured multiple triple jumps.” The photo was of Scott Hamilton.

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Deb Bilodeau, who had $2,000 at that point, guessed, “Who is Mary Lou Retton?”

Those watching the classic quiz show at home were delighted with the answer and had some fun at Bilodeau’s expense.

“SOMEONE ON JEOPARDY JUST THOUGHT A PHOTO OF SCOTT HAMILTON WAS MARY LOU RETTON I’VE BEEN WHEEZING FOR FIVE MINUTES,” one “Jeopardy!” fan wrote on X.

Someone else wrote that they “spit out a mouthful of wine.”

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“Rough night for ol’ Scott Hamilton on Jeopardy,” one more fan chimed in.

Fox News Digital’s Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.

Comedian, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ star dies after suffering heart attack

Richard Lewis, the legendary stand-up comedian who also starred alongside Larry David on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” has died. He was 76.

According to his publicist, Jeff Abraham of Jonas Public Relations, Lewis died peacefully at his home in Los Angeles on Tuesday night after suffering a heart attack.

Abraham stated, “His wife, Joyce Lapinsky, thanks everyone for all the love, friendship and support and asks for privacy at this time.”

He noted that Lewis announced he was living with Parkinson’s disease in April 2023, and can currently be seen co-starring in the final season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” on HBO with creator and star Larry David.

David, in a statement via an HBO spokesperson, expressed his sadness at the loss of his dear friend and co-star.

“Richard and I were born three days apart in the same hospital and for most of my life he’s been like a brother to me. He had that rare combination of being the funniest person and also the sweetest. But today he made me sob and for that I’ll never forgive him,” David said. 

Their “Curb” co-star Cheryl Hines also expressed her heartbreak over Lewis’ death.

“When I was young I had the biggest crush on Richard Lewis. He was the funniest person on stage and the most handsome comedian. Then when I was cast on ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ I got to work with him and it was a dream come true,” Hines said in a statement. 

CHERYL HINES ON ‘CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM’: IT’S ‘NOT TOO FAR OFF FROM REAL LIFE’

She continued, “Through the years I learned who Richard really was and the gifts he gave. Yes, he was the comedian I fell in love with, but he was also one of the most loving people I know. He would take time to tell the people he loved what they meant to him — especially in recent years. In between takes on ‘Curb,’ he would tell me how special I was to him and how much he loved me.”

Hines concluded, “To be loved by Richard Lewis. A true gift. I love you Richard.”

HBO also issued a statement, saying, “We are heartbroken to learn that Richard Lewis has passed away. His comedic brilliance, wit and talent were unmatched. Richard will always be a cherished member of the HBO and ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ families, our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends and all the fans who could count on Richard to brighten their days with laughter.”

Lewis was born in New York City in 1947 and raised in New Jersey, the youngest of three children.

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His stand-up career took off in the 1970s and ’80s, and he earned the nickname “The Prince of Pain” for his melancholy topics and pouring his anguish and torment on stage.

Comedy Central named Lewis one of the top 50 stand-up comedians of all time, and he earned a place on GQ magazine’s list of the “20th Century’s Most Influential Humorists.” He also lent his humor for charity causes, including Comic Relief and Comedy Gives Back.

In 1989, he delivered a memorable performance at Carnegie Hall, appearing on stage with taped-together yellow legal pad papers for a two and a half hour set that led to two standing ovations.

The “Howard Stern” regular also produced comedy specials for HBO and Showtime, including “I’m in Pain,” “I’m Exhausted, I’m Doomed,” and “Richard Lewis: The Magical Misery Tour.”

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In addition to stand-up, Lewis acted regularly. He co-starred on the ABC series “Anything But Love” with Jamie Lee Curtis, and appeared in films like Mel Brooks’ “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” as a deeply neurotic Prince John. Lewis also dabbled in dramatic roles, with a cameo in the Nicolas Cage drama “Leaving Las Vegas,” which led to his own indie film, “Drunks,” a picture that dealt with alcoholism.

Lewis was also open in his comedy about his addiction, alcohol and mental health struggles, something he detailed in his 2008 memoir “The Other Great Depression” and a follow-up, “Reflections From Hell: Richard Lewis’ Guide on How Not to Live,” released in 2015.

The comedian sought treatment in 1994 for drugs and alcohol after a cocaine overdose and had been sober since.

In 2000, Lewis joined the recurring cast of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” created and written by and starring his friend David. Lewis played a fictionalized version of himself across the show’s 12 seasons.

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Last year, Lewis confirmed he would appear in the show’s 12th season, after having had to miss out most of the previous season to recover from surgery, and had recently completed filming. 

He also addressed his Parkinson’s diagnosis and decision to retire from stand-up on X, saying in a video, “I’m finished with stand-up, I’m focusing on writing and acting.”

Lewis added, “I have Parkinson’s disease, but I’m under a doctor’s care and everything is cool, and I love my wife, I love my little puppy dog, and I love all my friends and my fans, and now you know where it’s been at the last three and a half years.”

Fox News Digital’s Larry Fink and The Associated Press contributed to this report

Former Biden admin official gives Democrats a harsh reality check on crime

Former Biden communications director Kate Bedingfield argued on Wednesday that the Democratic Party should get “more aggressive” on crime because Americans in major cities are “feeling frightened.”

Reacting to comments made by Mayor Eric Adams, D-N.Y., Bedingfield said it would be smart for Democrats to get tougher on crime. 

“I think it’s smart for Democrats to be more aggressive on it because people are feeling frightened. Now, I don’t subscribe, to borrow the mayor’s language, I don’t subscribe to the Trump vision of America as a decaying wasteland where packs of people are running wild committing crime, but it is true that people across the country, particularly in cities, are concerned about crime. It is smart for Democrats to be more aggressive about it, to be more responsive to what people are feeling,” Bedingfield said on CNN. 

But, she said it gets “dangerous” when people “veer into the demagoguery and the bashing immigrants and making immigrants scapegoats.”

MAYOR ERIC ADAMS SAYS NEW YORK CITY HAS ‘RUN OUT OF ROOM’ FOR MIGRANTS: ‘IT’S NOT GOING TO GET ANY BETTER’

“Now, that, I don‘t believe is where the Democratic Party should be. But I do think that taking on this issue of crime, being tougher is a good thing for Democrats,” she added, and said it would end up benefiting the party. 

Former Republican Georgia Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan also weighed in on the issue and said immigration had become a three-dimensional issue.

“This illegal immigration issue has become three-dimensional. When you watch these cities start to swell and you watch Democrat mayors really struggle with just how to deal with just the structure and the technical details of dealing with this influx. Brian Kemp puts it well, he says, ‘every state is now a border state.’ And, you know, we’ve watched in Georgia, over the past couple of weeks, play out just the awful scenarios of UGA student Laken Riley, who was murdered by an illegal immigrant…. There are two separate issues, but they are – they are blurred into one just horrific issue in Georgia,” he said during the media appearance.

“And I think Democrats have this wrong. I think the Biden administration has this wrong. I think Democrats know that. And I think it’s up to mayors to step up and say that out loud, not just tongue in cheek, but out loud say, Joe Biden, you’re wrong, move your feet on this issue,” he continued. 

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The New York City mayor argued on Tuesday that people who commit violent crimes in the city shouldn’t have the privilege of remaining in the city. 

“I don’t believe people who are violent in our city and commit repeated crimes should have the privilege of being in our city,” Adams said during a press conference on Tuesday. “You don’t have the right to be in our city and tarnish the overwhelming number who are here following the rules.” 

Adams also argued on Monday that sanctuary city law needed to be modified in New York City so that any migrant who commits a felony can be turned over to ICE and deported.

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 “But those small numbers that are committing crimes? We need to modify the sanctuary city law, so that if you commit a felony… we should be able to turn you over to ICE and have you deported,” Adams said. “It is a right to live in this city… and you should not be committing crimes in our city.”

Fox News’ Greg Wehner and Timothy Nerozzi contributed to this report. 

Major oil companies ask SCOTUS to rule on key aspect of high-stakes climate case

A coalition of major oil companies are asking the Supreme Court to rule on a key aspect of numerous ongoing nationwide lawsuits filed by cities, counties and states, accusing the companies of deceiving the public about their role in causing global warming.

In a petition for writ of certiorari filed Wednesday, the oil companies — including Sunoco, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Marathon Petroleum, ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66, among others — asked the high court to intervene in a climate case filed against them by the City and County of Honolulu. They said a Supreme Court judgment in the case could have far-reaching impacts on the other similar cases filed by other jurisdictions.

“Rarely does a case of such extraordinary importance to one of the nation’s most vital industries come before this Court,” the companies wrote in the filing. “Energy companies that produce, sell, and market fossil fuels are facing numerous lawsuits in state courts across the Nation seeking billions of dollars in damages for injuries allegedly caused by global climate change.”

“This case presents the Court with its only foreseeable opportunity in the near future to decide a dispositive question that is arising in every climate-change case: whether federal law precludes state-law claims seeking redress for injuries allegedly caused by the effects of interstate and international greenhouse-gas emissions on the global climate,” the filing continued.

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The companies requested the Supreme Court specifically “review and clarify” whether state law is able to impose the costs of global climate change “on a subset of the world’s energy producers” chosen by plaintiffs in the case.

“Without this Court’s intervention, years might pass before another opportunity to address this pressing question comes along,” it added.

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The case dates back nearly four years when, in March 2020, Honolulu officials announced they had sued the companies for damages related to climate change and for deceiving the public about their fossil fuel products’ potential impact on global warming. 

Honolulu is one of more than a dozen major jurisdictions to file such a lawsuit against oil companies in recent years. Overall, states and cities including California, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Minnesota, Chicago, New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Baltimore, which collectively represent more than 25% of Americans, are pursuing similar litigation.

The fossil fuel industry has unsuccessfully attempted to move some of the cases from state courts, where they have been filed, to federal courts. In January, the Supreme Court declined to weigh in on that question, forcing the cases back to state courthouses.

But the filing Wednesday represents the first time the Supreme Court has been asked to review issues around the merits. It particularly calls on the court to recognize that the federal Clean Air Act effectively preempts state law and that state laws are unable to provide “relief for global climate change.”

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“State court litigation is not a constitutionally permissible means to establish global climate and energy policy,” Theodore Boutrous, who serves as counsel for Chevron Corporation, said in a written statement to Fox News Digital. “As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held in dismissing a similar New York City lawsuit, ‘such a sprawling case is simply beyond the limits of state law.’”

In a separate statement, Phil Goldberg, special counsel for the National Association of Manufacturers’ Accountability Project, called for the Supreme Court to grant the petition.

“Regulating the worldwide production and use of energy — as the plaintiffs’ case attempts to do — is simply beyond the limits of any individual state’s law,” Goldberg said. “Trying to apply Hawaii state law to climate change here is directly at odds with these rulings, and the Supreme Court should take this case to make sure that states properly follow its jurisprudence.”

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The Honolulu case, along with a large share of the other similar cases filed by state and local governments, is being spearheaded by the California law firm Sher Edling. Sher Edling, which was founded in 2016 with the stated goal of taking on such litigation, states on its website that its climate practice seeks to hold oil companies accountable for their alleged “deception” about climate change.

Sher Edling’s work has received the support of environmentalists and nonprofit groups that argue climate litigation is an important tool for fighting global warming.

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“In light of the growing body of evidence of Big Oil’s climate fraud and deception, and lower courts’ continued rejection of their efforts to escape trial, it’s no surprise that fossil fuel companies are once again attempting to escape accountability,” Alyssa Johl, vice president of legal and general counsel at the Center for Climate Integrity, told Fox News Digital. 

“Communities across the country deserve their day in court to hold Big Oil accountable for their climate lies and the damages they’ve caused.”

Sher Edling didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Odd thrift store donation found to be a World War II-era grenade

Good deeds can sometimes have unintended consequences.

A police department in British Columbia, Canada found that to be true after a donor accidentally dropped a World War II-era grenade in a thrift store donations bin on Monday.

“Well, you never know what you can find when thrifting and yesterday proved that to be true,” Abbotsford Police Department said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

A 911 caller from the Value Village location in Abbotsford told police on Monday that there was an apparent explosive device that was discovered by the thrift store’s staff.

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“Officers attending evacuated the store and surrounding businesses out of an abundance of caution, awaiting officers of the Explosives Disposal Unit (EDU) to attend and assess the device, render it safe, and dispose of it,” the police department explained.

“Officers cordoned off the area of the business to mitigate any potential risk to the public.”

Officials eventually found that the grenade was a decommissioned Mills bomb. It dated back to World War II and is no longer explosive.

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A resident had used it as a paper weight and donated it by accident, authorities said.

A spokesperson for the Abbotsford Police Department told Fox News Digital that the grenade has since been destroyed by EDU officers.

“The grenade was never intended to have been donated by the previous owner, and following EDU’s closer inspection the grenade was found to be decommissioned having no explosive material contained in it prior to its destruction,” constable Art Stele explained.

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Stele added this type of situation is a “rarity” for the department.

“We we were very relieved to have learnt that the grenade was decommissioned, yet want to ensure persons take the precaution of going through their donations prior to drop off,” the officer said to Fox News Digital.

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Fox News Digital reached out to Value Village for comment, but has not heard back.