5 things to know Thursday, Feb. 25: Possible Supreme Court choice

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval participates in the opening session of the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval participates in the opening session of the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Here’s what you need to know to stay informed this Thursday:

1. Possible Supreme Court appointee would act as test for Senate GOP.

Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval has been named a possible choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy according to two people familiar with the process, the Associated press reports. Nevada’s first Hispanic governor, Sandoval would give President Barack Obama the opportunity to challenge the GOP caucus’ unified stance that the next president should appoint Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement. Senate Democrats are expected to again demand that Republicans consider Obama’s nominee Thursday at noon. However, because he is a supporter of abortion rights, Senate Republicans are likely to take issue with Sandoval.

2. Officer who killed man who shot at police helicopter won’t be indicted.

Austin SWAT sniper Luke Serrato will not be indicted for shooting and killing 27-year-old Sawyer Flache, who shot at a police helicopter in February 2015, The American-Statesman’s Philip Jankowski reported Wednesday. Video released Wednesday shows Flache shooting at an Austin police helicopter multiple times, while it circled above his house for nearly an hour. Serrato fatally shot Flache from a nearby ditch. A neighbor spoke with Flache for around 15 minutes between bouts of shooting at the helicopter, at which time he denied having heard shots.

3. Tim Cook says he will make his case directly to Obama.

During his first interview since he announced Apple would refuse to adhere to a court order demanding the company override security features on an iPhone belonging to San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, CEO Tim Cook told ABC news that giving into the FBI would be “bad for America.” He also said he would attempt to make his case directly to President Barack Obama. “Some things are hard and some things are right, and some things are both. This is one of those things,” Cook said. Cook compared the software the FBI is asking be created to “cancer.” The company will file its legal response to the order by Friday, the Associated Press reported.

4. Appeals court dismisses Rick Perry criminal case.

The legal troubles that have followed Rick Perry for 18 months were brought to an end Wednesday when an appeals court dismissed the remaining criminal charge against him, The American-Statesman’s Chuck Lindell reports. Perry was originally indicted in 2014 for felony charges related to his attempt to force District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign following her drunken driving arrest. “I’ve always known that the actions that I took were not only lawful and legal, they were right,” Perry said. Perry celebrated with a trip to Sandy’s.

5. Austin blood center to follow stricter donor rules because of Zika virus.

To protect the blood supply from the transmission of the Zika virus, the Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas has announced it will begin installing stricter screening criteria for donors, which go beyond federal recommendations, says American-Statesman reporter Mary Ann Roser. The FDA has recommended refusing donation from anyone who has had sex with someone who has visited a Zika-threatened country within the past three months, as well as anyone who has traveled to one of those countries themselves within the past four weeks. There are 14 known cases of Zika in the United States that were transmitted through sexual contact with someone who visited one of the affected countries.

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