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FROM THIS EPISODE

The US Supreme Court today struck at the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a major achievement of the Civil Rights Movement. Is voting discrimination against blacks and other minorities a thing of the past? We hear the dispute that's already raging. Also, President Obama and climate change.

Banner image: President Lyndon B. Johnson shakes hands with Martin Luther King after signing the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965. Photo: Yoichi R. Okamoto

Producers:
Caitlin Shamberg
Kerry Cavanaugh
Katie Cooper

Today's Talking Point Obama Outlines Plans to Combat Climate Change 9 MIN, 27 SEC

In a speech much awaited — by environmentalists and the energy industry — President Obama today outlined America's first comprehensive strategy for coping with climate change. The White House doesn't expect that Congress will act on climate change so he laid out his own "action agenda" for the Executive branch, focusing on limits for coal-fired power plants.

 

Guests:
Jody Freeman, Harvard Law School (@Harvard_Law)
Coral Davenport, New York Times (@CoralMDavenport)

Main Topic Another Split Decision, Another Political Firestorm 41 MIN, 22 SEC

The President says he is "deeply disappointed" with today's decision by a divided US Supreme Court, this time over the voting rights of blacks and other minority citizens. Writing for a 5-to-4 majority of the court, Chief Justice John Roberts declared that Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act -- a major achievement of the civil rights movement -- is out of date and therefore, unconstitutional. Roberts said federal guidelines for oversight of minority voting don't reflect present reality. Nine mostly Southern states and parts of others will no longer have to ask Washington to approve changes in their voting laws. Is voting discrimination against blacks and other minorities a thing of the past?  We hear the dispute that's already raging.

Guests:
Robert Barnes, Washington Post (@scotusreporter )
Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School (@Harvard_Law)
Carrie Severino, Judicial Crisis Network (@jcnseverino)
Thomas Mann, Brookings Institution (@BrookingsInst‎)
Allison Riggs, Southern Coalition for Social Justice (@scsj)
Ryan Haygood, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (@NAACP_LDF)
Nina Perales, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (@MALDEF‎)

In the Balance

Mark Tushnet

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