Obama urges vote on judicial picks
President Barack Obama on Tuesday called on the Senate to swiftly confirm three new nominees to the influential and understaffed U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Obama staged a rare formal ceremony in the Rose Garden to nominate the three to the appeals court. Visibly exasperated after years of delays on votes on many of his earlier nominations, Obama upbraided Senate Republicans for blocking past nominees and warned them to stop playing "games." Obama nominated two female lawyers, Patricia Millett and Cornelia Pillard, and an African American federal judge, Robert Wilkins, to serve on the federal court, which is powerful because it rules on a variety of domestic policies.
First lady confronts protester at event
Michelle Obama experienced a rare face-to-face encounter with a protester late Tuesday — approaching the activist and threatening to leave a fundraiser if the person did not stop interrupting her speech. Obama was addressing a Democratic Party fundraiser in a private home in the Kalorama neighborhood of northwest Washington when Ellen Sturtz, 56, a lesbian activist, interrupted her remarks to demand that President Barack Obama sign an antidiscrimination executive order. A pool report from a reporter in the room quoted Obama as saying: "Listen to me or you can take the mike, but I'm leaving. You all decide. You have one choice." The audience responded by asking her to remain, according to the report, which quoted a woman nearby telling Sturtz, "You need to go."
Fort Hood, Texas: During his first full day in court defending himself, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people, told a judge on Tuesday that he believed he was defending the lives of the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan from U.S. military personnel when he went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in 2009. If convicted, he faces a possible death sentence.
Los Angeles: An internal review by the Los Angeles Police Department concluded that rogue ex-Officer Christopher Dorner was justifiably fired, a lawyer who reviewed the findings told the Associated Press on Tuesday. Authorities said Dorner killed four people, including two law enforcement officers, during a weeklong rampage in February.