Wednesday Must Reads: Obama Picks Centrist for Supreme Court; Oakland Council Okays Controversial Housing Plan

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Stories you shouldn’t miss:

Merrick Garland.
  • Merrick Garland.
1. President Barack Obama nominated a centrist judge — Merrick B. Garland — to the US Supreme Court, The News York Times$ reports. Garland, a well-respected moderate, currently serves on US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and would replace the late conservative justice, Antonin Scalia, on the high court. However, Senate Republicans have vowed to block any Supreme Court nomination by President Obama, contending that the next president should select Scalia’s successor.

2. After affordable housing activists disrupted last night’s Oakland City Council meeting, the council moved to the mayor’s private conference room and voted 6-1 to approve a controversial housing proposal that is to be built on public property near Lake Merritt, the Trib$ reports. The activists wanted the council to select an all affordable-housing plan for the East 12th Street site, but the council instead backed a mixed-housing plan that will include both affordable and market-rate units.

3. After being devastated by the closed Dungeness crab season this year, California’s commercial fishing industry is poised take another major hit when fishery managers impose tight restrictions on salmon fishing this spring, the Chron reports. Fishery managers say the restrictions are necessary due to the fact Chinook salmon populations have plummeted because of the drought.

4. Pregnant women who follow the federal government’s recommendations on fish consumption are ending up with dangerous levels of mercury in their bodies, the Chron$ reports, citing a new study from the Oakland-based Environmental Working Group. The study strongly suggests that the federal guidelines are too lax and that pregnant women should be eating less seafood.

5. UC Berkeley head basketball coach Cuonzo Martin knew that a female reporter was having problems with one of his assistants — Yann Hufnagel — at least two months before the university launched a sexual harassment investigation of Hufnagel, the Chron reports, citing internal campus emails. The university fired Hufnagel after a campus investigation concluded that he sexually harassed the female reporter relentlessly, and then blocked her from doing her job when she refused his advances. She was then fired from an unnamed news organization.

6. And Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump appear to be on their way to a fall showdown for president after Clinton swept five Democratic primaries last night and Trump won four GOP contests.

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