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?
Is America turning its back on the world? President Trump has made no secret of his contempt for the United Nations — and he's not alone. But, will proposed cuts in US contributions be counterproductive to America's role in the world and to national security?
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."
Trump reversing Obama's climate change legacy President Trump has vowed, in his words, to "turn the EPA from a job-killer into a job-creator," and today, he's announcing his order for "energy independence." We look at the prospects for putting his promises into effect by ripping up the Obama legacy on climate change.