FROM Janice Shaw Crouse
Abortion and SCOTUS Become Presidential Campaign Issues In last week's vice presidential debate , Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan disagreed last week on questions central to controversy about women's rights. Moderator Martha Raddatz asked both about abortion. Biden said his Catholic religion required him to oppose it in his own life, but that he would not impose his views on others. Ryan, who's also Catholic, said "elected representatives," not "unelected judges," should make that call. We hear how abortion and the right to appoint Supreme Court Justices have become issues in the presidential campaign.
Women's Rights, the Supreme Court and the Race for the White House The US Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade , and the Obama Administration calls it "settled law." In last week's vice-presidential debate , moderator Martha Raddatz asked about abortion. Vice President Joe Biden said his Catholic religion required him to oppose it in his own life, but refused to impose that on others, calling it a decision between a woman and her doctor. Raddatz asked Congressman Paul Ryan, who's also Catholic, if supporters should fear a Romney administration. He, and the website of the Romney campaign, said "elected representatives," not "unelected judges," should make that call. Would Romney sign legislation to overturn Roe v. Wade? Would he appoint new justices to replace aging supporters of a woman's right to choose? Has he been clear about his own views on reproductive rights or the standards he would apply to his power of appointment? NOTE: You can find all our election coverage at KCRW.com/election 2012 .
Barack Obama and Gay Marriage On Tuesday, voters in North Carolina said "no" to legalizing same-sex marriage. On Sunday, Vice President Biden said he was " completely comfortable " with same-sex marriage. Visit msnbc.com for breaking news , world news , and news about the economy The White House said President Obama's views were still "evolving." Last night on ABC News, Barack Obama said, "Yes." video platform video management video solutions video player The American people are divided almost evenly, and Mitt Romney is solidly on the other side . Why did the President choose this moment? What will it mean for his re-election campaign ?
Barack Obama and Gay Marriage On Sunday, Vice President Biden said he was " completely comfortable " with same-sex marriage. The White House said President Obama's views were still "evolving." Visit msnbc.com for breaking news , world news , and news about the economy Last night on ABC News, America's first black president said he'd reached a conclusion , committing himself on what the New York Times calls " the last civil rights movement ." video platform video management video solutions video player Mr. Obama wants it decided state by state, but Mitt Romney wants a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. With public opinion running about 50-50, the President concedes there's political danger. When given a chance, voters have never approved. Why did he come out now, in the midst of his re-election campaign? We talk about religion, politics, money and personal conviction.
Is the 'War on Women' Just a War on Words? Every election year, women's issues grab headlines at some point. What's being know this year as "the war on women" is being fueled by many of the same issues that always come up when the conversation is about women. Is there anything new to the latest debate? Working women versus stay-at-home mothers, and reproductive rights have all been hot topics in the past. What's different this year? Is there really such a thing as "the women's vote"? If there is, what defines it? How are the two political parties courting women, and what influence will women voters have in the 2012 election?
Winners and Losers in the Budget Shutdown Showdown Democrats wanted a spending freeze, while Republicans demanded $61 billion in cuts. The final agreement was $39 billion, and the Republicans dropped efforts to undercut healthcare reform and family planning. Those are the broad outlines of last Friday's agreement , with the details yet to come, and even, perhaps, still subject to change.
The Shutdown Showdown The government shutdown was averted on Friday night with only an hour to spare. Even though details have not been revealed, both sides claim victory. The Republicans got $39 billion in budget cuts, when the Democrats didn't want any. The Democrats held off assaults on healthcare reform and family planning. But that was just about this year's budget, and the big stuff is yet to come, with President Obama announcing his own plan for reducing the deficit on Wednesday. In the meantime, we hear how both parties are spinning the aftermath of a potential crisis and what comes next.
Mitt Romney and Religion in America's Public Life Massachusetts Senator John Kennedy became America's first Catholic president after a speech in which he said no Catholic prelate would tell him what to do in the White House. In Texas today, less than 100 miles from where Kennedy made his address, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said he does not define his presidential candidacy by his Mormon religion. He promised that if he's elected "no authorities of [his] church… will ever exert influence on presidential decisions." With a Constitutional ban on religious tests for public office, is it political bigotry to question any candidate's faith, or does Mormonism raise specific questions some voters have the right to ask? Did Romney tell them what they wanted to know?
East Asia: President Trump's first foreign policy test Starting with North Korea's latest test of nuclear missiles, a chain of events is causing instability in Asia. Could it turn into the first real foreign policy crisis of the Trump Administration?
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?