FROM Dahlia Lithwick
'Conservative' courts and judicial activism Our first topic on this program was the national crisis over Bush v. Gore, when the US Supreme Court decided the 2000 presidential election. Florida's state courts were summarily over-ridden — by Supreme Court justices who'd promised to uphold states' rights and by a 5-to-4 decision declared George W. Bush the winner. One dissenter called the majority "crudely partisan." On this last week before To the Point turns to podcasting only, we hear what's happening now. From the Supreme Court on down, President Trump has promised to choose judges from lists of conservative activists.
After a violent weekend, what's next for Charlottesville? Reporter Dahlia Lithwick lives in Charlottesville. She shares what residents had to say about the clashes between white supremacist protesters, counter-protesters and police over the weekend. We look at politics in Charlottesville and the story behind removing confederate statues in the city.
Week in politics: Health care, intelligence investigation, Gorsuch The vote for the Republican healthcare plan was set for this afternoon, but wasn’t going to get the votes needed to pass it. So what’s the political fallout? The investigation into Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign took another twist today. Will Democrats filibuster Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch?
Dem threat of Gorsuch filibuster could force nuclear option When President Obama had only a year left to serve, Republicans refused to consider his Supreme Court nominee because President Obama had only a year left to serve. Now, Republicans are pushing for Judge Neil Gorsuch — even though President Trump is under investigation. Today, Democrats announced a filibuster. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced, "If this nominee cannot earn 60 votes, a bar met by each of President Obama's nominees, and President [George W.] Bush's last two nominees, the answer isn't to change the rules -- it's to change the nominee." Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor and legal correspondent at Slate , joins us from outside the fourth day of hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Welcome to Donald Trump's Washington At Trump Tower today, the President-elect stood beside stacks of files that he said represented his billions of assets all over the world. He insisted he's doing much more than the Constitution requires to avoid any conflicts of interest. Trump's first news conference in six months upstaged last night's Obama Farewell Address and today's confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill. He said he's not selling off billions in assets, and claimed that turning management over to his two sons is more than required by the Constitution. We look at today's political drama from Trump Tower to the vetting nominees Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State and Jess Sessions for Attorney General.
Are Feminists Fired Up for Hillary? Hillary Clinton will be the first woman nominated for President by a major political party. And yet, some feminists are feeling ambivalent, or less than enthusiastic, about it. What's changed since 2008, when optimism for a Hillary Clinton presidency was so high?
Supreme Court strikes down Texas Abortion Restrictions The US Supreme Court handed down a win for abortion rights voting 53 to strike down a restrictive Texas abortion law that activists argued would have shut down all but a handful of clinics in the state. It’s the court’s most sweeping ruling on abortion in two decades. And it could deter other states from imposing strict regulations on clinics as a means of forcing them to close. The law HB 2 required clinics to have surgical facilities and doctors with admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The justices ruled 53 that the law put an “undue burden” on women’s access to abortion. It’s a the Supreme Court’s first major ruling on the issue in two decades.
Supreme Court Punts Birth Control Case to Lower Courts All remaining eight members of the US Supreme Court today refused to decide the latest case against Obamacare and sent it back to the lower courts for reconsideration. It involves contraception. Today's action is evidence that, with the vacancy caused by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, a divided court is trying to avoid formal deadlocks. Dahlia Lithwick is senior editor and legal correspondent for Slate.com .
Contraception Coverage Before the Supreme Court… Again The Little Sisters of the Poor are one of the plaintiffs in a case that went before the U.S. Supreme Court this morning. The nuns claim that the Affordable Care Act violates religious freedom by requiring employers to provide contraception coverage. Two years ago, the Supreme Court allowed companies with religious objections to opt out of paying for birth control. But in the lawsuit before the Supreme Court today, a group of religious nonprofits claims the process of opting out is too burdensome.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Trump's new look at civil rights and global warming President Trump is reportedly ready to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We look at the possible consequences. On the second half of the program, we hear about cuts in Obama-Era civil rights programs called for by the Trump Administration's first budget plan.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?