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FROM THIS EPISODE

Has the US Supreme Court scored a victory for free speech or increased the influence of money in politics?  We hear about last week's 5-to-4 decision on the rights of corporations. Also, executions, bombs and political turmoil in Baghdad, and controversy over admitting Haitian refugees to this country sounds like a run-up to the next debate over immigration. 

Banner image: Pedestrians wait to cross the street in front of the US Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Producers:
Sonya Geis
Gary Scott
Christian Bordal

Making News Executions, Bombs and Political Turmoil in Baghdad 7 MIN, 47 SEC

Within minutes of each other, three bombs went off in Baghdad today, striking three hotels full of international news services, nonprofits and business organizations. A least 36 people were killed and 71 injured, including three Iraqis employed by the Washington Post. We get an update from the Post's Leila Fadel and from Liz Sly of the Los Angeles Times.

Guests:
Leila Fadel, Washington Post (@LeilaFadel)
Liz Sly, Washington Post (@lizsly)

Main Topic The US Supreme Court and Partisan Politics 36 MIN, 47 SEC

Corporations are individuals with First Amendment rights, and they can spend whatever they want to in political campaigns. So said the US Supreme Court last week in a 5-to-4 ruling that overturned two of its own precedents and a 63-year-old limit on corporate spending in political campaigns. The majority said it was lifting the burden of "censorship." The dissenters said it was opening the door wider than ever to corporate corruption. Is the decision a victory for free speech or will it drown out "the voice of the people." Will there be more money in politics than ever before? Will Republicans get a big, new advantage? Will there be all that much of a difference? We look at the ruling, the controversy and the possible impact in this year's elections and beyond.

Guests:
Tom Hamburger, Washington Post (@thamburger)
Fred Wertheimer, Founder and President, Democracy 21
Bradley Smith, Center for Competitive Politics (@CommishSmith)
Heather Gerken, Professor of Elections Law, Yale Law School

One-Party Country

Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten

Reporter's Notebook Should US Let More Haitian Earthquake Victims Enter the Country? 6 MIN, 23 SEC

As the US and other countries meet in Montreal today to plan a larger conference on reconstructing Haiti, there's growing pressure to admit refugees to the US, and discussion is beginning to sound like a microcosm of the broader immigration debate. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) says "humanitarian parole" will allow about 200 Haitian children to have severe injuries treated in Miami. But the Departments of State and Homeland Security are in no hurry to bend the rules. Amy Goldstein reports for the Washington Post.

Guests:
Amy Goldstein, Reporter, Washington Post

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