FROM Dahlia Lithwick
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.
The Supreme Court Considers Texas Abortion Access Case The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in what’s being called the biggest abortion case in nearly a quarter century. The case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, concerns requirements recently imposed by state lawmakers on abortion providers in Texas. The law being challenged requires that abortion providers have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers. That could force most abortion clinics in Texas to shut down. Would that place an “undue burden” on women seeking abortion services, and therefore, violate their constitutional rights?
Antonin Scalia: His Legacy in Law and Politics The late Justice Antonin Scalia relished the use of vivid language in fiery debates about the Constitution, politics and social issues. Almost immediately after his sudden death was announced on Saturday, Republicans and Democrats got right to it. The unexpected vacancy leaves the Court divided evenly between the Left and the Right. Should it be filled by President Obama or by his successor? With nine months left in the bitter race for the White House, abortion, voting rights, affirmative action and immigration are issues that could be left hanging.
The Supreme Court after Scalia Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died this weekend at the age of 79 after serving on the court for nearly 30 years. He was a strict constructionist - he believed that the Constitution was not a living document to be interpreted as the court saw fit. His dissents often fell along constructionist line, and often injected biting humor into the proceedings. Scalia's death leaves a cloud of uncertainty over the major cases before the Supreme Court now, and an incipient political firestorm in the waning days of President Obama's final term.
CBO: Under GOP plan, millions will lose coverage Republicans are divided and Democrats are saying, "we told you so," when it comes to official estimates of what it will cost to repeal and replace Obamacare. The Trump White House says the Congressional Budget Office is just wrong.
The President and America's infrastructure: Bait and switch? President Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure proposal may not be what it seems. We look at the prospects for much-needed improvements in roads, bridges and airports.
Trump's travel ban and the long-term agenda The Trump Administration's revised travel ban may be good news for some visa holders and others, but it's still being challenged as unconstitutional. Some reporters call it the beginning of a long-term effort to change the demographic make-up of the United States.
America's top diplomat faces challenges in Asia Whatever happened to America's "pivot to Asia?" That's just one of the questions left hanging since Rex Tillerson's first trip there as Secretary of State. Is the Trump Administration hoping to change Foreign Policy or maintain the status quo?