FROM Ilya Shapiro
The Voting Rights Act 50 Years Later: Race and the Ballot Box The 1965 Voting Rights Act paved the way for black voters in states where they'd been denied the franchise, despite the Bill of Rights and the Civil War. In 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled that enforcement wasn't needed any more. Now, Alabama's accused of trying again to keep blacks away from the polls, while the Supreme Court's being asked to rule that Latinos get an unfair advantage . We hear more about voter ID's, the drawing of district boundaries and the Constitution.
The Voting Wars: Who's Winning? Who's Losing? In North Carolina, it’s same-day registration; in Ohio it’s early voting; in Wisconsin and Texas, it’s Voter ID. In just 10 days, the US Supreme Court has intervened three times in voting wars between Democrats and Republicans. We’ll hear how court actions on Voter ID and other restrictions could make a big difference in Washington.
The Supreme Court Wraps Up Its Term Two key Supreme Court decisions were made today. One allows closely held companies to opt out of the requirement of having to provide contraception coverage for employees under Obamacare; the other allows some public employees to avoid paying dues to the union representing them. In a 5-4 decision today the court sided with the Hobby Lobby crafts stores and Conestoga Wood, a cabinet making company, in a contraceptive case. Both companies claimed their Christian beliefs compel them not to cover certain kinds of contraception mandated under Obamacare. The court ruled that so-called “closely held” companies such as these qualify could for an exemption under the healthcare law if it violated the owners’ religious beliefs. In the other big ruling this morning, the Court decided that unions cannot force home care workers to pay their dues. Many labor supporters and court watchers referred to Harris v. Quinn as the session’s sleeper case -- seemingly a dry challenge over the right of unions to demand dues, but lying just below the surface are implications that could affect the future of electoral politics, immigration reform, hiking the minimum wage, and other issues of vital national importance.
Will Voters Be Kept from the Polls…Again? Last year, the US Supreme Court ruled that key parts of the Voting Rights Act, signed by Lyndon Johnson in 1965, had outlived their usefulness. By a five to four majority, the court lifted burdens imposed on states with histories of discrimination in voting. Almost immediately, North Carolina, Texas and other states passed Voter ID laws, cut short early voting and eliminated same-day registration. The Court also invited Congress to update the Voting Rights Act. Are those needed protections against voter fraud or a return to the past? Is there evidence of renewed hardship for minorities, the elderly or women voters? Voter ID warning outside the polling station of Ward 1 in Nashua, New Hampshire, 2013 Photo by Mark Buckawicki
Attorney General Eric Holder on Collision Course with Texas On Voting Rights Civil Rights leaders and Attorney General Eric Holder are scheduled for White House meetings later today. In the aftermath of the Court’s divided ruling on the Voting Rights Act, they’ll be discussing another case, which has led Holder’s intervention in Texas.
US Supreme Court and the Convoluted History of Civil Rights The Civil Rights Era arguably began in 1954, when the US Supreme Court desegregated the public schools — in a decision that was unanimous. This week the US Supreme Court made history with rulings on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and two cases involving same-sex marriage, but what kind of history? The court is so sharply divided that legal scholars are still trying to figure out what the decisions will mean. Can states and local agencies now get away with denying minorities the right to vote? What's next for same-sex marriage? We talk with civil-rights historian Taylor Branch and others about what happened this week and what to expect in the future.
The Voting Rights Act Gets Another Day in Court Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act covers all of nine states and localities in seven others whose histories of racial discrimination in voting led Congress to require them to get federal permission whenever they change voting laws. First passed in 1965, after voting-rights marchers were attacked by sheriff's deputies in Selma, Alabama, it's been extended several times, most recently in 2006 , with huge majorities in the House and the Senate and the signature of President George W. Bush. Today it was lawyers for Shelby County, Alabama whose lawyers told the court the Act is not just out of date, but unconstitutional. During arguments today, the US Supreme Court was sharply divided. Justice Scalia called Section 5 a "racial entitlement." Supporters called it as relevant now as when it was enacted. We hear about the arguments, how they were received and the prospects for a decision in June.
The Supreme Court Takes On Healthcare Led by Florida, 26 states have challenged President Obama's Affordable Care Act , passed two years ago without the vote of a single Republican. Lower courts have been sharply divided on the principal question of whether the federal government can punish Americans who don't buy health insurance. But there's a lot more at stake and, starting Monday, the US Supreme Court will hear six hours of oral arguments on what Republican call "Obamacare." We look at the potential consequences for the President , the Chief Justice and tens of millions of Americans.
The Supreme Court: Healthcare and History Led by Florida, 26 states have challenged President Obama's Affordable Care Act , passed two years ago without the vote of a single Republican. Next week, the US Supreme Court will hear three days of oral arguments on the case — the first time that's happened in 45 years. But laws like this, that raise constitutional issues and intimately affect tens of millions of people, don't come around very often. Lower courts have been sharply divided on the principal question: can the federal government punish Americans who don't buy health insurance? Can the government mandate that Americans buy health insurance? What's at stake for the legacies of Chief Justice Roberts and President Obama in the midst of an election year?
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?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
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.