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    Bloomberg changes party affiliation back to Democrat

    Billionaire businessman and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has not ruled out a presidential run.
    LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images/File 2018
    Billionaire businessman and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has not ruled out a presidential run.

    NEW YORK — Michael R. Bloomberg, the Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent, says he is returning to his roots: He has reregistered as a Democrat — an initial but essential step toward a possible run for president in 2020 as a Democrat.

    Bloomberg made the announcement in simultaneous social media postings on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which showed the left-handed 76-year-old filling out his registration paperwork (and also, incidentally, the absence of his middle “R” initial).

    “At key points in US history, one of the two parties has served as a bulwark against those who threaten our Constitution,” Bloomberg wrote, adding, “We need Democrats to provide the checks and balance our nation so badly needs.”

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    Bloomberg had abandoned the Democratic Party to launch his political career in 2001 and win the mayoralty in New York City as a Republican. But he noted Wednesday that he had been a Democrat “for most of my life.”

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    He ended nearly two decades of estrangement, inspired by what he said was the call of history and the need for an opposition party to provide on a check on President Trump.

    New York Times

    Kavanaugh misconduct case sent to Colorado court

    WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John Roberts on Wednesday referred more than a dozen judicial misconduct complaints filed recently against Brett Kavanaugh to a federal appeals court in Colorado.

    The 15 complaints, related to statements Kavanaugh made during his Senate confirmation hearings, were initially filed with the federal appeals court in Washington, where Kavanaugh served for the last 12 years before his confirmation Saturday to the Supreme Court.

    A judge on the federal appeals court in Washington had asked Roberts to refer the filings to another appeals court for review after determining that they should not be handled by Kavanaugh’s fellow judges at the time on the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

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    In a letter Wednesday to the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, Roberts said he had selected the court in Colorado to ‘‘accept the transfer and to exercise the powers of a judicial council with respect to the identified complaints and any pending or new complaints relating to the same subject matter.’’

    The Denver-based appeals court is led by Chief Judge Timothy Tymkovich, the former solicitor general of Colorado who was nominated to the bench by President George W. Bush. The 10th Circuit handled another recent judicial misconduct case from Washington involving the former chief judge of the District Court.

    It is unclear what will come of the review by the 10th Circuit. The judiciary’s rules on misconduct do not apply to Supreme Court justices. The 10th Circuit will likely decide to dismiss the complaints as moot now that Kavanaugh has joined the high court.

    ‘‘There is nothing that a judicial council could do at this point,’’ said Arthur Hellman, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh and expert on the operation of federal courts.

    The 10th Circuit will likely close the case ‘‘because it is no longer within their jurisdiction,’’ now that Kavanaugh has been elevated to the Supreme Court, he added.

    Washington Post

    Murkowski says she knows Alaska better than Trump

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    WASHINGTON — Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is pushing back against President Trump, saying she knows her state’s political terrain ‘‘better than he does.’’

    Trump said voters ‘‘will never forgive’’ Murkowski for opposing Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, and he said the senator will ‘‘never recover’’ politically.

    Murkowski, who isn’t up for reelection until 2022, told reporters that her ‘‘barometer is not necessarily what the president says but what the people of Alaska say.’’

    She acknowledged that some voters are disappointed in her decision, but said that’s unavoidable because Alaskans were split on whether Kavanaugh should be confirmed.

    Murkowski got a vote of confidence Wednesday from Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who told the Associated Press that ‘‘nobody’s going to beat her’’ in Alaska.

    Associated Press