FROM Ramesh Ponnuru
The brewing battle over Number 9 In splashy prime-time fashion President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch , a federal appellate court judge from Colorado to the US Supreme Court yesterday, fulfilling a campaign promise to nominate a conservative originalist. At 49, Gorsuch is expected to keep the court's conservative status quo for years to come. Some Democrats want to fight the nomination as payback for Republicans stonewalling President Obama's own pick, for nearly a year. Will the GOP escalate all the way to what's called “the nuclear option -- and do away with the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees altogether?
First Lady Paints Personal Portrait of President At the Democratic convention in Charlotte last night, First Lady Michelle Obama told the story of a rise to the White House from humble origins without losing family values. Without ever mentioning Mitt and Ann Romney, she created an image of stunning contrasts. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro also electrified the delegates, the first Latino to keynote a Democratic convention. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick lauded President Obama's long list of accomplishments, made even more impressive considering that "Congressional Republicans have made obstruction itself the centerpiece of their governing strategy." We hear some highlights.
The US Supreme Court and Reverse Discrimination In 2003, New Haven, Connecticut said it would promote firefighters based on a written and oral exam. But when the results were in, no blacks and only two Hispanics scored well enough to become lieutenants or captains. New Haven then scrapped the promotion exam. White firefighter Frank Ricci, who did well on the test, sued for reverse discrimination. Today, the US Supreme Court ruled in his favor .
The US Supreme Court and Reverse Discrimination In 2003, New Haven, Connecticut said it would promote firefighters based on a written and oral exam. But when the results were in, no blacks and only two Hispanics scored well enough to become lieutenants or captains. New Haven then scrapped the exam. White firefighter Frank Ricci, who did well on the test, sued for reverse discrimination. Today, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-to-4 in his favor , saying the white firefighters were unfairly denied promotions based on their race. Dissenters said the white workers deserved "sympathy," but "had no vested right to promotion." Is the decision, which could alter employment practices nationwide, a case of "judicial activism," conservative style? Will it have an impact on President Obama's nominee to the court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor , who was effectively overruled by today's action?
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.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.