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Different states select their judges in different ways, including appointment and a variety of election systems. When three Supreme Court justices were rejected last week, the decision of Iowa voters was celebrated as a rebuke of judicial overreach and decried as a threat to judicial independence. We hear about same-sex marriage and judicial selection. Also, ahead of its IPO, GM posts largest quarterly profit in 11 years, and America’s top math students are no better than average when compared to the rest of the world.

Banner image: Justices of the Iowa State Supreme Court. Chief Justice Marsha K. Ternus (C), Justice Michael J. Streit (5th R) and
Justice David L. Baker (far R) were rejected in last week's retention election.

Making News Ahead of IPO, GM Posts Largest Quarterly Profit in 11 Years 7 MIN, 50 SEC

After bankruptcy and a federal bailout, General Motors has made its largest quarterly profit in 11 years.  What's good for General Motors may be good politically for Barack Obama. David Welch writes for Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

David Welch, Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Main Topic Should Judges Be Elected? 37 MIN, 1 SEC

In April of last year, the seven-member Supreme Court of Iowa ruled unanimously that the state law against same-sex marriage was a violation of equal rights. Last week, three of the justices faced a retention election and all three were thrown out by the voters. What's the message to other judges whose decisions might be unpopular? Fundraising for judicial campaigns has doubled in ten years to $206 million nationwide. Has that eroded voter confidence in judicial independence? Are judges the guardians of minority rights against public opinion or "legislators in robes" who should be accountable to the people?

Dennis Goldford, Drake University
Carrie Severino, Judicial Crisis Network (@jcnseverino)
Bert Brandenburg, Justice at Stake Campaign (@JusticeStake)
Joseph Grodin, former Justice, California State Supreme Court

Reporter's Notebook US High School Math Students Score 31st Out of 56 Countries 6 MIN, 42 SEC

In the first-ever study of its kind, the US is 31st among 56 countries, from Taiwan to the Czech Republic, in the performance of top students in math. That's according to researchers at Harvard, Stanford and the University of Munich in Germany.  What are the implications for US competitiveness in science, engineering, technology and other components of the global economy? Paul Peterson, a Harvard University professor and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, is editor-in-chief of Education Next, which has published the findings.



Paul E. Peterson, Professor of Government, Harvard University

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