The next president is very likely going to appoint at least one new Supreme Court justice. The current court is split four to four between conservative and liberals with one swing vote providing a razor-thin margin on many rulings. Guest host Judy Muller explores what sort of justices would be appointed by McCain and Obama, and how those choices would affect our lives. Also, OPEC schedules emergency meeting as oil prices tumble, and distraught parents of difficult teenagers usually have to muddle through those years as best they can. But in Nebraska, parents can just dump them at the nearest hospital.
FROM THIS EPISODE
We hadn't heard much about the Supreme Court until this week's final debate. John McCain and Barack Obama were asked what sort of justices they would appoint, and it is clear that they differ profoundly on the subject. The current Court is four judicial conservatives – Alito, Roberts, Thomas and Scalia, four judicial liberals— 88-year old Stevens, 75-year old Ginsburg, Breyer and Souter, and one swing vote, Anthony Kennedy. The next president is likely to appoint at least one, and perhaps as many as three, new justices. Since the justices most likely to retire are on the liberal side of the Court, Obama would likely appoint justices who would maintain the status quo; McCain could create the most conservative Court since the 50's. What sort of impact will the next Court have on our lives? We look at what's at stake, from abortion to affirmative action.
Douglas Kmiec, Pepperdine University (@dougkmiec)
John McGinnis, Professor of Law, Northwestern University
William Taylor, Chairman, Citizens Commission on Civil Rights
Jeffrey Rosen, George Washington University (@RosenJeffrey)
Wendy Long, Counsel, Judicial Confirmation Network
All states have a safe haven law, aimed at providing a way for desperate new mothers to drop off their infants at a hospital without fear of prosecution for abandonment. But Nebraska's Safe Haven Law actually allows parents to drop off children as old as 17--and they are doing just that. Most of the 19 kids who have been dropped off at hospitals have been teens or pre-teens. In some cases, parents or grandparents are driving to Nebraska from other states, so desperate are they to get rid of extremely troubled kids. We hear more from Senator Arnie Stuthman, who authored the law, and Martha Stoddard, who's reporting on the story for the Omaha World-Herald.
Despite relentlessly depressing economic news, this week oil dropped below $70 a barrel for the first time in 14 months, down from July's record high of $145. So even if Americans can't get loans for new cars, it will be easier to fill up their old ones with gas prices averaging $3.08 a gallon; and even as homeowners struggle to hold onto their homes, the cost of heating them will be lower than last winter. Philip Verleger, Professor of Strategy and International Management at the University of Calgary, looks at the drop in demand and prices as well as OPEC's response.