This week in news

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-iowa

Alex Hanson

Miss the news this week? Read our recap of the biggest stories below, then test your knowledge with our news quiz here.

Obama nominates new Supreme Court Justice

After weeks of speculation on whether he would move forward with a pick, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Justice Antonin Scalia died in February, leaving an open seat on the high court.

Any nominee must be approved by the U.S. Senate, currently held by Republicans, and U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is charged with holding any hearings, has said the next president should pick the nominee.

Grassley held firm on Thursday, saying his committee would not hold any hearings despite the new nomination.

“A lifetime appointment that could dramatically impact individual freedoms and change the direction of the court for at least a generation is too important to get bogged down in politics. The American people shouldn’t be denied a voice,” Grassley said in a statement Wednesday. “Do we want a court that interprets the law, or do we want a court that acts as an unelected super legislature? This year is a tremendous opportunity for our country to have a sincere and honest debate about the role of the Supreme Court in our constitutional system of government.”

Garland, 63, originally from Chicago, was first appointed by President Clinton in 1997 to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and was confirmed by the Senate for that role. 

Obama said Garland is one of the “sharpest legal minds” and “brings to his work a spirit of decency, modesty, integrity, even-handedness, and excellence.” He added that he has fulfilled his constitutional duty to nominate a replacement, and now the Senate should do theirs and hold hearings and an up or down vote.

Pizza Ranch linked to E. coli outbreak

13 people, including an Iowan, were sickened after reportedly eating at Pizza Ranch, a pizza chain headquartered in Iowa.

Nine of the people said they recently had eaten at Pizza Ranches, and two children in Kansas and Nebraska, suffered suffered kidney failure and had to be hospitalized, the Des Moines Register reported earlier this week.

An investigation focussed a dry dough mix used to make desserts, a CDC spokesperson told the Register. No bacteria were found in samples of the dough mix, but the outbreak ended after Pizza Ranch stopped using the mix and a similar product by early February.

Illnesses happened in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to the Register.

Trump, Clinton dominate again on Tuesday

Another week means another round of voting in the presidential election.

Five more states held primary elections on Tuesday, with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton dominating the map.

Trump declared victory in Florida, North Carolina and Illinois. He held a slight lead in Missouri with all precincts reporting, but the slim margin will likely trigger a recount.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich was able to win his home state by over 10 percent.

On the Democratic side, Clinton swept the map over Bernie Sanders, declaring victory in every state on Tuesday.

Marco Rubio drops out of 2016 race

After loosing his home state of Florida on Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio decided to end his campaign for president.

Rubio’s dropout is another blow for establishment Republicans in an off year election as GOP voters overwhelmingly back outsider candidates. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are the top two candidates remaining with a path to the nomination. Ohio Gov. John Kasich remains in the race, but has only won his home state.

“While we are on the right side, this year, we will not be on the winning side,” Rubio said.

Frank Sinatra Jr. passes away

Frank Sinatra Jr., the son of legendary entertainer Frank Sinatra, died unexpectedly in Florida Wednesday. He was 72.

Sinatra died of a heart attack in a Daytona Beach, Florida, hospital, according to a spokesperson. 

He was on a “Sinatra Sings Sinatra” tour and was scheduled to perform at the Peabody Auditorium Wednesday, CNN reported. An announcement on the venue’s Facebook page said the singer had become ill and cancelled the show.

Sinatra’s father died in 1998, also of a heart attack at age 82.