FROM Dahlia Lithwick
A win for anti-abortion forces, as Supreme Court rules on crisis pregnancy centers The Supreme Court today struck down a Ninth Circuit Court decision on the California law called The Reproductive FACT Act. The 2015 law requires crisis pregnancy centers -- which are often faith based -- to inform clients that the state provides free or low-cost abortion services. Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, said that violates these centers’ anti-abortion beliefs and therefore their First Amendment rights.
Sen. Al Franken resigns after sexual harassment accusations Democratic Senator Al Franken has been accused of groping and kissing women without their consent. He has apologized for some of his actions and denied others. In a speech Thursday, Franken said he’s confident that the Senate Ethics Committee would have cleared him. But having lost the support of his colleagues, he is stepping down.
'Conservative' courts and judicial activism Our first topic on this program was the national crisis over Bush v. Gore, when the US Supreme Court decided the 2000 presidential election. Florida's state courts were summarily over-ridden — by Supreme Court justices who'd promised to uphold states' rights and by a 5-to-4 decision declared George W. Bush the winner. One dissenter called the majority "crudely partisan." On this last week before To the Point turns to podcasting only, we hear what's happening now. From the Supreme Court on down, President Trump has promised to choose judges from lists of conservative activists.
After a violent weekend, what's next for Charlottesville? Reporter Dahlia Lithwick lives in Charlottesville. She shares what residents had to say about the clashes between white supremacist protesters, counter-protesters and police over the weekend. We look at politics in Charlottesville and the story behind removing confederate statues in the city.
Week in politics: Health care, intelligence investigation, Gorsuch The vote for the Republican healthcare plan was set for this afternoon, but wasn’t going to get the votes needed to pass it. So what’s the political fallout? The investigation into Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign took another twist today. Will Democrats filibuster Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch?
Dem threat of Gorsuch filibuster could force nuclear option When President Obama had only a year left to serve, Republicans refused to consider his Supreme Court nominee because President Obama had only a year left to serve. Now, Republicans are pushing for Judge Neil Gorsuch — even though President Trump is under investigation. Today, Democrats announced a filibuster. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced, "If this nominee cannot earn 60 votes, a bar met by each of President Obama's nominees, and President [George W.] Bush's last two nominees, the answer isn't to change the rules -- it's to change the nominee." Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor and legal correspondent at Slate , joins us from outside the fourth day of hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Welcome to Donald Trump's Washington At Trump Tower today, the President-elect stood beside stacks of files that he said represented his billions of assets all over the world. He insisted he's doing much more than the Constitution requires to avoid any conflicts of interest. Trump's first news conference in six months upstaged last night's Obama Farewell Address and today's confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill. He said he's not selling off billions in assets, and claimed that turning management over to his two sons is more than required by the Constitution. We look at today's political drama from Trump Tower to the vetting nominees Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State and Jess Sessions for Attorney General.
Are Feminists Fired Up for Hillary? Hillary Clinton will be the first woman nominated for President by a major political party. And yet, some feminists are feeling ambivalent, or less than enthusiastic, about it. What's changed since 2008, when optimism for a Hillary Clinton presidency was so high?
Supreme Court strikes down Texas Abortion Restrictions The US Supreme Court handed down a win for abortion rights voting 53 to strike down a restrictive Texas abortion law that activists argued would have shut down all but a handful of clinics in the state. It’s the court’s most sweeping ruling on abortion in two decades. And it could deter other states from imposing strict regulations on clinics as a means of forcing them to close. The law HB 2 required clinics to have surgical facilities and doctors with admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The justices ruled 53 that the law put an “undue burden” on women’s access to abortion. It’s a the Supreme Court’s first major ruling on the issue in two decades.
Supreme Court Punts Birth Control Case to Lower Courts All remaining eight members of the US Supreme Court today refused to decide the latest case against Obamacare and sent it back to the lower courts for reconsideration. It involves contraception. Today's action is evidence that, with the vacancy caused by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, a divided court is trying to avoid formal deadlocks. Dahlia Lithwick is senior editor and legal correspondent for Slate.com .
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
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?