Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 6:56 am
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case testing whether states, in the name of preserving judicial impartiality, may bar judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.
There was a time when judicial elections were a pretty tame affair, with relatively little money spent, and candidates in most states limited in how they could campaign. Not anymore.
Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:37 am
John Cruden served with U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam, taking his law school aptitude test in Saigon and eventually becoming a government lawyer.
Earlier this month, he started a new job running the environment and natural resources division at the Justice Department. For Cruden, 68, the new role means coming home to a place where he worked as a career lawyer for about 20 years.
Cruden has been around long enough to have supervised the Exxon Valdeez spill case, a record-setter. That is, until the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
A U.S. Congressional delegation led by Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy is in Cuba to discuss greater cooperation after President Obama embarked on a historic thawing of relations between the two countries after a decades-long chill.
Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:05 am
When you're president of the United States, what you say about the economy matters, because it isn't just about numbers and widgets; It's about people's lives and hopes. The health of the economy is intertwined with the national psyche.
On Tuesday, when President Obama delivers his State of the Union address, he will talk about the economy, something that in the past he's struggled to describe in a way that resonated with the American people.
On the one hand, having the just-elected senator from Iowa, Joni Ernst, deliver the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address next week makes perfect sense.
On the other hand, you have to wonder why anyone would want the job. As often as not, the opportunity to speak right after the president does has been the kiss of death for aspiring politicians — especially in the GOP during the Obama years.
Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 2:52 pm
Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who was due Friday to receive the second of 20 rounds of 50 lashes, is getting a temporary reprieve. A doctor who examined Badawi found his wounds from last Friday's public flogging in Jiddah hadn't healed and determined the blogger would be unable to withstand another round. The doctor recommended the punishment be postponed by a week.
Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 7:01 am
Incoming Texas Gov. Greg Abbott created a stir last week during a speech to the conservative and influential think tank the Texas Public Policy Foundation, where he accused Texas cities of contributing to the "California-ization" of Texas.
"The truth is, Texas is being California-ized with bag bans, fracking bans, tree-cutting bans," Abbott said. "We're forming a patchwork quilt of bans and rules and regulations that is eroding the Texas model."
Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 2:57 pm
Federal workers with a pressing need can take an advance of up to six weeks of sick leave under a new policy unveiled by President Obama on Thursday. The White House is urging Congress to make paid sick leave mandatory in the U.S.
The president signed a memorandum today instructing federal agencies to advance up to six weeks of paid sick leave to workers who need the time to care for a new child, a family member or for similar uses.
Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 5:00 pm
When Maajid Nawaz was growing up in Essex, England, in the 1990s, the son of Pakistani parents, he first found his voice of rebellion through American hip-hop.
"It gave me a feeling that my identity could matter — and did matter — growing up as a British Pakistani who was facing racism from whiter society," Nawaz tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "but also confusion about where my family was from and not really fitting into either culture."
The U.S. has transferred five detainees from Guantanamo Bay — four to Oman and one to Estonia, the Defense Department says. The transfers bring to 122 the number of detainees who remain at the military prison.
Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 1:07 pm
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Now that Republicans control both chambers of Congress, the pressure is on to convey a clear message and to get things done. GOP lawmakers have decided to spend a couple days in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It's known as the sweetest place on Earth.