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FROM THIS EPISODE

Yesterday, the US Supreme Court issued its much-awaited decision on affirmative action, saying the University of Michigan Law School can consider race in admissions toward the general goal of achieving diversity, but declared unconstitutional a system that gave points to undergraduate minority applicants individually. The split decision ensures ongoing debate for armies of lawyers on both sides of the hot-button issue. Again, Sandra Day O-Connor cast the -swing- vote that some claim makes her more powerful than Chief Justice Rehnquist himself. As another term draws to an end, what are the prospects for change-from retirements and new appointments? We look at the process and the politics of the Supreme Court with a former Court clerk, the dean of Catholic University Law School, a House Judiciary Committee staffer, and the editor of National Review.
  • Making News: NASA Says Space Shuttle Could Fly as Early as December
    Five months after the Columbia Space Shuttle disintegrated on re-entry, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board today gave an update of what it-s discovered so far. A former scientist with the space program, Keith Cowing is editor of NASA Watch.com. Cowling has more on the next projected launch and plans to replace the aging shuttle.
  • Reporter's Notebook: Study Finds Little Diversity among Top Congressional Staffers
    Whatever the ultimate fate of affirmative action at the US Supreme Court, this week's National Journal reports on a striking lack of diversity on Capitol Hill. Of 15,000 staff workers for the Senate and Congress, a very few wield power in the process of making law. To compare them to the general population, the political weekly surveyed 314 of the very most senior aides. Editor Charlie Green has the results.

Columbia Accident Investigation Board

Columbia Space Shuttle

International Space Station

US Supreme Court

Gratz v Bollinger (undergratuate admissions - unconstitutional)

Grutter v Bollinger (law school admissions - approved)

UC v Baake (1978)

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