FROM Steve Knight
Crime, Punishment and Constitutional Rights in California According to yesterday's ruling by the US Supreme Court, California has two years to reduce the prison population by more than 30,000 inmates. The five-vote majority said overcrowding is so bad it violates the constitutional protection against "cruel and unusual punishment," even causing unnecessary deaths. The four dissenters warned in different ways about a flood of criminals loosed on the streets of the biggest state in the union. Governor Brown's Corrections Director said his goal "is not to release inmates at all." He already has a plan to send non-violent, less serious offenders to county jails.
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?
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?
Trump's opening offer: Making some of America 'great again?' A massive increase for the Pentagon at the expense of domestic programs. We hear about winners and losers in the President's first proposed budget.