FROM Doug Kendall
Has the South Outgrown the Voting Rights Act? After the re-election of America's first black president, Alabama and other states want the US Supreme Court to throw out a key section of the Voting Rights Act . It requires states and localities with histories of racial discrimination to check with the Justice Department when they change voting laws. Democrats and Republicans extended it almost unanimously in 2006, and George W. Bush signed the new law . But in a case financed by a shadowy conservative fundraiser, states claim they're being punished for sins of the past. Do last year's elections tell a different story? The Supreme Court will hear arguments next week. Did Chief Justice Roberts invite the challenge? President George W. Bush signs the Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006 on Thursday, July 27, 2006
A New Justice and a New Term for a Court in Transition The US Supreme Court began its first full term today. Justice Sonia Sotomayor , who's replacing retired Justice David Souter adds a new face to America's highest court, though it's not clear she'll make much of a difference on major decisions. Conservatives still dominate five to four, with Anthony Kennedy the bouncing ball on constitutional questions and precedents. If Chief Justice Roberts goes ideological, decisions on gun rights, religion, campaign spending and executive power could be legal blockbusters. Is he more likely to guide the court to "incremental" rulings less likely to be overridden while Congress is controlled by the Democrats?
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.