Nebraska

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More than a year after Nebraska and Oklahoma sought to sue Colorado over the carry-over effects of that state's law making recreational marijuana legal, the U.S. Supreme Court has denied the two states' complaint.

The court did not explain its decision, with which Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas disagreed. Thomas wrote a five-page dissent in which Alito joined (a reminder: the court is currently at eight members).

Flickr / scubabrett22

The Supreme Court has rejected an effort by Nebraska and Oklahoma to have Colorado's pot legalization declared unconstitutional.

The justices are not commenting Monday in dismissing the lawsuit the states filed directly at the Supreme Court against their neighbor.

They argued that Colorado's law allowing recreational marijuana use by adults runs afoul of federal anti-drug laws. The states also said that legalized pot in Colorado is spilling across the borders into Nebraska and Oklahoma, complicating their anti-drug efforts and draining state resources.

Flickr / scubabrett22

Oklahoma's attorney general says his state and others are suffering from the export of marijuana from Colorado and wants the U.S. Supreme Court to consider whether Colorado's pot market violates federal law.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed a brief Wednesday in the case in which Oklahoma and Nebraska want the nation's highest court to declare Colorado's pot legalization unconstitutional.

The Obama administration says the Supreme Court should reject a lawsuit from Nebraska and Oklahoma that seeks to declare Colorado's legalization of marijuana unconstitutional.

The Justice Department's top courtroom lawyer said in a brief filed Wednesday that the interstate dispute over a measure approved by Colorado voters in 2012 does not belong at the high court.

Nebraska and Oklahoma filed their lawsuit directly with the Supreme Court last year, arguing that Colorado's law allowing recreational marijuana use by adults runs afoul of federal anti-drug laws.

Updated at 5:52 p.m. ET

Lawmakers in Nebraska overrode Gov. Pete Ricketts' veto of their vote to repeal the death penalty, making it the first Republican-controlled state in the U.S. to repeal the death penalty since North Dakota in 1973. The vote was 30-19.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts vetoed legislation passed last week that repealed the state's death penalty.

"Please sustain my veto. Please stand with the citizens of Nebraska and law enforcement for public safety," he said, flanked by law enforcement personnel, murder victims' family members and state lawmakers who support capital punishment.

Lawmakers in Nebraska have given final approval to a measure that would abolish the death penalty with enough votes to override a threatened veto from Gov. Pete Ricketts.

The vote was 32-15. Conservative Nebraska has a unicameral Legislature and all bills go through three votes. In the previous round, the vote was 30-16; in the first, it was 30-13. It would take 30 votes to override a veto from Ricketts, a Republican. If that happens, Nebraska will become the first Republican-controlled state in the U.S. to repeal the death penalty since North Dakota in 1973.

There's a PSA that greets you on the radio when you're driving the flat stretch of Colorado State Highway 113 near the Nebraska state line: "With marijuana legal under Colorado law, we've all got a few things to know. ... Once you get here, can't leave our state. Stick around, this place is pretty great."

Updated at 1:08 p.m. ET.

The GOP-controlled House of Representatives has voted 266-153 to approve the Keystone XL pipeline despite a presidential veto threat, just hours after Nebraska's Supreme Court, in a split decision, cleared the way for the controversial project.

The Senate, which also has a Republican majority, is considering similar legislation.

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