Trump calls anti-Kavanaugh protesters ‘paid professionals.' Herbert calls special session to deal with medical marijuana issue. Utah now has five women heading colleges.
Happy Friday. President Donald Trump this morning accused the protesters demonstrating against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of being “paid professionals” and part of a smear campaign funded by left-leaning donors. The protesters have swarmed the Capitol complex and are confronting senators, including Sen. Orrin Hatch, in the public hallways. [Politico]
Topping the news: Gov. Gary Herbert will call a special session in November to have the Legislature take up a compromise proposal for allowing medical marijuana no matter how voters decide on Proposition 2 on Election Day. [Trib] [Fox13]
-> A group opposed to Prop 2 is suing to try to keep the initiative off the ballot. [Fox13]
-> Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee say the FBI found no corroborating evidence to back allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and they’ll vote for him. [Trib]
-> Utah now has five women heading colleges, the most ever in the history of the state. [Trib]
Tweets of the day: From @MattLaso: “Barricades have been erected around the Capitol ahead of the Kavanaugh vote. Have been here 12 years and have never seen this for a vote.”
Happy Birthday: Today to Jace Johnson and on Saturday to The Tribune’s Taylor Stevens.
Behind the Headlines: Tribune reporters Taylor Stevens and Benjamin Wood as well as editorial page editor George Pyle join KCPW’s Roger McDonough to talk about the week’s top stories, including potential medical marijuana legislation in the works. Every Friday at 9 a.m., stream “Behind the Headlines” at kcpw.org, or tune in to KCPW 88.3 FM or Utah Public Radio for the broadcast.
In other news: Utah Valley University saw the largest gain of students of any public college in the state, swelling to nearly 40,000 students this fall. [Trib]
-> A federal judge is expected to tour southern Utah as part of a fact-finding trip but details are not public as the judge evicted a Tribune reporter from the courtroom when the discussion of the tour came up. [Trib]
-> Robert Gehrke says the medical marijuana compromise announced by state leaders shows the LDS Church is still a heavyweight in Utah politics but maybe not as much as before. [Trib]
Nationally: The Senate will take up Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation today in a procedural vote and then move to a final vote tomorrow, though its unclear how some key senators are going to cast their ballots. [WaPost]
-> Kavanaugh, meanwhile, says he regrets saying some things during his testimony to the Judiciary Committee. [WaPost]
-> After 8 years of job growth, unemployment is now the lowest since 1969. [NYTimes]
-- Thomas Burr