FROM Erik Eckholm
Southern Baptist Convention Elects Its First Black President Since this morning, when we first recorded our broadcast of To the Point, the Southern Baptist Convention elected its first black president . The Rev. Fred Luter said, "That I can be president of the largest Protestant denomination in the country is unbelievable." He is a black preacher from New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward. The denomination he'll be leading was born before the Civil War in defense of slavery. Resisting integration, it was a bastion of white supremacists through the civil rights movement and into the 1990's.
The Southern Baptist Convention Makes History The Southern Baptist Convention , born before the Civil War in defense of slavery, was a bastion of white supremacists through the civil rights movement and into the 1990's. It was only twenty years ago that America's largest Protestant denomination apologized for "institutionalized racism" and resistance to civil rights. Now it's poised to choose its first African American President this week in New Orleans. Is this a one-time event or recognition of the need to reach out to blacks, Latinos and Asians in a changing America? Note: After we taped today's feature, Luter was elected SBC president
Abortion Rights and New State Restrictions Last week in Kansas, a federal judge intervened to prevent enforcement of new rules that would have shut down two of that state's three abortion clinics. His injunction will stay in effect until a trial is held. In Nebraska, Idaho, Indiana, Oklahoma, Alabama and South Dakota, legislatures have also enacted tough new restrictions for legal abortions in the past year, with hopes of reaching a newly conservative US Supreme Court. Will abortion become an issue in next year's presidential campaign? Will claims about "fetal pain" change public opinion?
Abortion: From State Houses to the Courts, Presidential Campaign Last week, Kansas came close to shutting down all but one of the state's three abortion clinics before a federal court intervened. The injunction will stay in effect until a trial is held. The Kansas legislature joins those of Nebraska, Idaho, Indiana, Oklahoma, Alabama and South Dakota in recently enacting new abortion restrictions in the past year, and anti-abortion supporters also have a litmus test for presidential candidates. The laws are designed to reach the US Supreme Court, more conservative than it was 40 years ago, to modify or even overturn Roe v. Wade . We hear more about new rules, and the argument over when a fetus begins to feel pain.
Political appointments and the reshaping of the judiciary President Trump has the chance for a long-term impact -- not just on the US Supreme Court, but on the entire federal court system. And his nominees are likely to get the support of a massive spending campaign by donors who don't have to reveal their names. Can President Trump "pack" the federal court system?
House Republicans release their Obamacare replacement As two House committees take up "repeal and replacement" of "Obamacare," there may be life left in the Affordable Care Act after all. Even Republicans are divided, and proposed changes won't make good on President Trump's promise to provide "health insurance for everybody."
Cover-up or witch hunt?: The latest on the WH ties to Russia Less than two months into his Presidency, Donald Trump is struggling to get his agenda under way, making it harder himself with tweets that dominate public attention. Meanwhile, important questions are going unanswered: why have staff members and the Attorney General lied about contacts with Russian officials?
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."