Senate confirms solicitor general

WASHINGTON - The Senate confirmed White House lawyer Donald Verrilli Jr. on Monday to succeed Justice Elena Kagan as U.S. solicitor general.

With the 72-16 vote, Verrilli will fill a post that has been vacant since the Senate confirmed Kagan to her Supreme Court seat last August. The solicitor general represents the executive branch of government before that court.

Verrilli, about 53, is now a deputy counsel to President Obama. Before that, he worked at the Justice Department as an associate deputy attorney general. He clerked for former Justice William Brennan Jr., and, as a private lawyer, argued 12 cases before the Supreme Court and participated in more than 100 cases before it. - AP

Arguments over Ind. funds cutoff

INDIANAPOLIS - A dispute between Indiana and federal Medicaid officials over Indiana's new abortion law cutting off some public funding for Planned Parenthood should be resolved by government administrators and not the courts, Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher told a federal judge Monday.

Fisher and Ken Falk of the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents Planned Parenthood of Indiana in its request for a federal injunction blocking the law, presented oral arguments on the injunction and the law before U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.

Pratt has said she will rule by July 1, when some provisions in the law take effect. She noted that Planned Parenthood has said June 20 is when it expects to run out of funding to provide general health services to 9,300 Medicaid patients it serves across Indiana.

The law signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels would cut off about $1.4 million in Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood, but Falk and Fisher agreed that as much as $5.3 billion in Medicaid funds to the state could be at risk. - AP

Wis. justices asked to act on union law

MADISON, Wis. - Attorneys for Republican lawmakers asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday to overturn a judge's order blocking the state's polarizing union-rights law, while Democrats urged the justices to uphold the ruling or make the GOP go through the usual - and slow - appeals process.

The court heard hours of testimony, setting the stage for what could be the most decisive ruling on the law's fate since the Republican-controlled Legislature passed it nearly three months ago.

The law is a key part of Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to close a $3.6 billion hole in the state budget. If it remains in limbo, the state could face new financial problems when a new, two-year budget takes effect July 1. The law strips most public workers of nearly all their collective-bargaining rights. - AP

Elsewhere:

New York City will deploy more than 200 police at the World Trade Center site by mid-July as security for the construction and opening of a memorial to 9/11 victims, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

A public memorial service for assisted-suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian is planned Friday at a Troy, Mich., cemetery. Kevorkian, 83, died Friday.