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?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
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.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.