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FROM THIS EPISODE

As predicted, conservatives on the US Supreme Court today took sharp aim at Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Is it out of date, or still necessary in the era of voter ID and targeted reapportionment? We hear the arguments and what the justices had to say. Also, budget talks will resume after deep cuts take effect, and how Americans have been hooked by the food industry on salt, sugar and fat.

Banner image: US Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) (L) speaks at a voter's rights rally in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington February 27, 2013. Photo by Gary Cameron/Reuters

Producers:
Caitlin Shamberg
Evan George
Christian Bordal

Main Topic The Voting Rights Act Gets Another Day in Court 34 MIN, 35 SEC

Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act covers all of nine states and localities in seven others whose histories of racial discrimination in voting led Congress to require them to get federal permission whenever they change voting laws. First passed in 1965, after voting-rights marchers were attacked by sheriff's deputies in Selma, Alabama, it's been extended several times, most recently in 2006, with huge majorities in the House and the Senate and the signature of President George W. Bush. Today it was lawyers for Shelby County, Alabama whose lawyers told the court the Act is not just out of date, but unconstitutional. During arguments today, the US Supreme Court was sharply divided. Justice Scalia called Section 5 a "racial entitlement." Supporters called it as relevant now as when it was enacted. We hear about the arguments, how they were received and the prospects for a decision in June.

Guests:
Robert Barnes, Washington Post (@scotusreporter )
Gary May, University of Delaware
Ilya Shapiro, Cato Institute (@ishapiro)
Nancy Abudu, American Civil Liberties Union (@nabudu)

Reporter's Notebook Salt, Sugar, Fat and Stomach Share 8 MIN, 31 SEC

book.jpgIn 1999, the heads of 11 major food companies met to discuss America's growing weight problem. Should they change their formulas to prevent increased obesity? The answer was, "no," and since then, they've gone on to develop sophisticated new ways of getting more customers -- including children -- to eat more and more. Michael Moss is an investigative reporter for the New York Times. His latest book is Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, about the role of America's food industry in the obesity epidemic.

Guests:
Michael Moss, New York Times (@M_MossC)

Salt Sugar Fat

Michael Moss

Making News Budget Talks Will Resume after Deep Cuts Take Effect 7 MIN, 38 SEC

President Obama has spent the week warning Americans about the consequences of "sequester." Now he's invited the top leaders of both parties in both houses of Congress to visit the White House — but not until Friday, when $85 billion in budget cuts are scheduled to go into effect. Rachel Smolkin is Deputy Managing Editor of Politico.

Guests:
Rachel Smolkin, Politico.com (@RachelSmolkin)

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