FROM Teresa Stanton Collett
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.
Same-Sex Marriage in California Same-sex marriage is legal in California, at least until November, when voters are likely to get the chance to overturn last week's ruling by the state supreme court. The Massachusetts Supreme Court was first, back in 2003, the only other state that's legalized same-sex marriage . But the ruling in California went further, saying that discrimination against homosexuals is the same as racial discrimination. Many gays and lesbians are celebrating the opinion by Chief Justice Ron George, a former prosecutor appointed by a Republican Governor. Does the decision nullify "the will of the people," since a statewide same-sex marriage ban passed overwhelmingly eight years ago? Can the people nullify the court that nullified them? What's the likely impact on other states and the presidential campaign?
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.