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  2. The last great hope of preserving our democracy from the corrupting influence of money is carpal tunnel syndrome.
     


  3. 65
    — 

    The number of countries in which homosexuality can be punished by at least 14 years in jail.  In 10 countries, you can be punished with life imprisonment.  In Somalia and Nigeria, there’s no law against murdering LGBT individuals.

    India’s gay sex ban shows why the LGBT movement must go global

     

  4. Today, a majority of the Supreme Court justices voiced strong skepticism of the Defense of Marriage Act’s constitutionality. 

    Indeed, DOMA may be doomed.

     

  5. 40 years later, Roe v. Wade is still under siege. The pro-abortion-rights Americans who fought to win the landmarkdecision might not recognize today’s bruised-and-battered version of the law. 

    Read more

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  6. According to a recent survey, 2 in 3 Americans can’t name a single Supreme Court Justice. Twenty percent of the people who took the poll were able to name Chief Justice John Roberts. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    GOOD DAY FOR:

    Getting to know our national treasures
    Beer enthusiasts launch a petition on the White House website asking for the recipe for the official White House Honey Ale. [Death & Taxes]

    Prurient Anglophiles
    Photos leak online of a naked Prince Harry engaging in a not particularly regal game of strip billiards in Las Vegas. [HyperVocal]

    Geeks uniting
    A comedy site successfully raises hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a New York property that was inventor Nikola Tesla’s last laboratory, with plans to turn it into a museum. [The Daily What]

    BAD DAY FOR:

    Getting a high-profile “Like”
    The “iGrill” app gets so much traffic after winning an endorsement from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg that its servers crash for two hours. [Business Insider]

    Civics teachers
    A poll finds that two-thirds of Americans can’t name a single Supreme Court justice. [Newser]

    Arts & crafts
    An elderly woman unintentionally destroys a 19th century Spanish fresco when she decides to “restore” the painting herself. [GlobalPost]

    (Source: theweek.com)

     


  7. Whoever wins the presidency in November will be looking at a high court with several elderly justices. Most of them are liberals: Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who has battled cancer) is 79. Stephen Breyer is 73. And Anthony Kennedy, usually the court’s swing vote, is 75. The oldest true conservative: 75-year old Antonin Scalia.

    Let’s say Obama wins a second term. Ginsburg, Breyer, or both could choose to retire, confident that the president would pick someone of a similar ideological bent. (On the other hand, isn’t that what Bush thought of Roberts?) Obama has already picked two justices. If he were to serve another four years, it is not inconceivable that he could select four, perhaps five justices in total — setting his philosophical stamp on the court for decades to come.

    But the stakes are probably even higher if Romney were to win. Those liberal justices would still be the oldest and most likely to go (one way or the other), though none have indicated that they’re thinking of stepping down. Could they outlast a potential eight-year Romney tenure? If he were to replace a liberal justice or two, the court would swing decisively to the right.

    So if you think the stakes are high this November and for the next four years, consider this: Whoever you cast your ballot for — Mitt Romney or Barack Obama — you’re really casting a vote that could resonate for 30 or 40 years. If that’s not reason to show up the polls, then nothing is.

     

  8. Chief Justice John Roberts just became liberals’ new best friend.

    The conservative justice — who in the past has led the charge to allow unlimited corporate spending in elections, strike down city gun laws, and dismantle affirmative action programs — came up big for President Obama on Thursday by providing the crucial fifth vote to largely uphold Obama’s 2010 overhaul of the health care system.

    Most critically, Roberts sided with the court’s four liberal justices to uphold the individual mandate, the centerpiece of ObamaCare that requires most Americans to buy insurance or pay a fine. The move stunned court observers, many of whom had predicted that Justice Anthony Kennedy, a more-regular swing vote, would be the conservative who wavered. (Instead, Kennedy voted to overturn the entire law.)

    So, why did Roberts vote with the liberals?

    (p.s. this is a photo of Roberts administering the oath of office to Obama in 2009. But it kind of looks like they’re high-fiving.) 

     

  9. Today, the Supreme Court is expected to finally hand down its monumental decision on ObamaCare. And based largely on the strong skepticism that the court’s conservative justices expressed about the law’s constitutionality during oral arguments in March, the conventional wisdom is that the court will strike down part or all of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement. Of course, many notable figures, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), have predicted that the court will uphold the law, but only 10 percent of Americans share her view, according to one poll. However, oral arguments are famously poor predictors of how the court will rule, and there is some evidence to suggest the law will survive.

    4 reasons the court might uphold ObamaCare

     


  10. 5 possible outcomes of the Supreme Court’s ObamaCare decision

    The Supreme Court handed down several big, consequential decisions on Monday — just not the one most of the U.S. political world is awaiting. The high court’s ruling on ObamaCare will almost certainly arrive on Thursday, ending months of suspense and setting into motion an unpredictable series of political and perhaps even policy dominoes. But “when the verdict does come, don’t be surprised if the outcome and implications are not instantly clear,” cautions Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic. There are likely to be various opinions and dissents joined by different justices, leaving a whole range of possible outcomes. Here’s a look at some of the most likely scenarios, plus some of the less-likely possibilities: 

    1. The Supreme Court upholds the entire law
    Policy-wise, this is the clearest scenario. And “if you believe in health care reform, as I do, this is obviously the best outcome,” says Cohn. It is also, despite all the tea-leaf reading, “a very credible” possibility — “two very conservative judges at the appellate level found the law to be constitutional,” after all. If you don’t like the law, there would be room for hope, too, says Deirdre Walsh at CNN. Upholding ObamaCare, GOP aides and strategists privately acknowledge, would jolt the GOP base and give the party “a cleaner election-year message”: The only way to slay ObamaCare is to put Republicans in control of the House, Senate, and White House.

    2. The justices strike down just the individual mandate
    The individual mandate — the focus of the court challenge — is by far the most unpopular part of the law. It requires most Americans without employer-sponsored health insurance to buy it, often with government subsidies, or pay a fine. Killing just the mandate would be “a moral victory for critics” of Obama and his health care law, says Cohn, but would “probably do very little damage to the law itself.” It’s “the worst-case scenario for insurance companies,” though, say Brent Kendall and Peter Landers at The Wall Street Journal. If Congress didn’t act, insurers would have to accept all-comers, regardless of age or pre-existing conditions, and people could wait until they’re sick to sign up, leading to “chaos in the market.” 

    3. The mandate and other provisions are overturned
    The Obama administration itself argued that if the individual mandate goes, at least two other provisions should, too, says Stephanie Condon at CBS News. Those parts of the law — the ones requiring insurers to cover everyone who asks, and charge them the same rates regardless of age — are “nearly twice as popular” with the public as the mandate. If the court strikes down these three parts, “it would mean that the principal aim of the law — expanding coverage to tens of millions of Americans — would be unlikely to be achieved,” say Kendall and Landers. And “Republicans would feel vindicated and push to repeal the rest of the law.”

    Keep reading

     

  11. A risky balancing act 
    CHRISTOPHER WEYANT, Copyright 2012 Cagle Cartoons

     

  12. Cartoon of the day: Take that, Mom
    STEVE KELLEY ©2012 Creators Syndicate

    More cartoons!

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  13. Cartoon of the Day: Health-care hack job
    TOM TOLES © 2012 Universal Press Syndicate

    (Source: theweek.com)