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?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
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?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?