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FROM THIS EPISODE

As the US Supreme Court considers same-sex marriage, Justice Anthony Kennedy is considered the "swing vote." Today, he was the first to ask if the court should wait to assess the impact of sudden change on an age-old institution.  We'll hear about a court session with historic implications.

Also, President Obama and Prime Minister Abe address US-Japanese relations at White House. On today's Talking Point, the President denounces both the violence in Baltimore — and police abuse against people in poverty.  

Photo: Mark Fischer

Producers:
Benjamin Gottlieb
Katie Cooper
Gideon Brower

Obama, Abe Address Relations at White House 6 MIN, 30 SEC

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was at the White House today and joined a news conference with President Obama. Speaking of the World War II enemy now a long-time American ally, the President observed, "We have seen over multiple decades that Japan is a peace-loving country, having absorbed some very difficult lessons from the past. Japan does not engage in aggression on the international stage or in its region."

Shihoko Goto is an associate at the Woodrow Wilson Center's Asia Program, focusing on Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Guests:
Shihoko Goto, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (@GotoEastAsia)

Same-Sex Marriage: Who Should Decide? 34 MIN

The first time same-sex marriage was officially recognized was in Holland in 2001. Now, it's permitted in 36 American states and the District of Columbia. Today, the US Supreme Court was asked to overturn bans on the practice in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee — essentially legalizing it for the entire country. History and the speed of change were on the minds of justices including Anthony Kennedy, who observed, "I don't even know how to count the decimals when we talk about millennia. This definition has been with us for millennia, and it's very difficult for the court to say, 'oh well, we know better'."

Can nine justices rule that gays and lesbians should be able to marry — or is that a right granted to individuals by the Constitution? Should the US Supreme Court let the democratic process continue state by state? These were some of the questions raised today in a case asking the Court to overturn gay-marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. We hear about some arguments rooted in ancient history and others based on the recent sea-change in public opinion.

Guests:
Paul Brewer, University of Delaware (@udcpc)
Steven Mazie, Economist magazine (@stevenmazie)
Steve Sanders, Indiana University (@SteveSSanders)
Ed Whelan, Ethics and Public Policy Center (@EdWhelanEPPC)

More:
Oral argument on Obergefell v. Hodges
US v. Windsor
Economist graphic on gay marriage and the law
Economist on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage
Economist on the case against gay marriage
ABC-Washington Post poll on support for same-sex marriage
Ethics and Public Policy Center's Supreme Court amicus brief in Proposition 8 marriage case
'Press Play' interview with David Savage on gay marriage at the Supreme Court

Value War

Paul R. Brewer

Police Brutality and the Baltimore Riots 9 MIN, 35 SEC

After last night's rioting, there is tension on the streets of Baltimore — filled with protesters, police and the National Guard. At the white House today, President Obama denounced last night's violence but praised peaceful protest by thousands of people over the killing Freddie Gray, of a young black man in police custody, and what he called "decades" of abuse that needs to be recognized. Investigative reporter Mark Puente is following the story for the Baltimore Sun.


A demonstrator confronts police near Camden Yards during a protest against the death in
police custory of Freddie Gray in Baltimore April 25, 2015. (Sait Serkan Gurbuz/Reuters)

Guests:
Mark Puente, Baltimore Sun (@MarkPuente)

More:
Puente investigation alleged undue force used by Baltimore police (Sept, 2014)
Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake on a DOJ investigation into Freddie Gray's death

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