During Wednesday's Supreme Court oral argument over the Defense of Marriage Act, Chief Justice John G. Roberts was intent on getting one question answered from those seeking to overturn the law: were the politicians who passed the measure bigots?
As Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr. explained that DOMA denies equal protection to gay Americans under the law since they are barred from getting married, Roberts pressed Verrilli on the point.
A new Pew Research Center poll shows conservatives think the Supreme Court is a bunch of liberals, while liberals think the court is a bunch of conservatives.
So who's right?
Below, we look at two competing theories, illustrated by Randy Schutt and based on data compiled by academics at two major universities.
EARLIER ON THE FIX:
One in an occasional series of observational pieces keyed off the White House daily briefing.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest scored a political point Monday when Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason asked whether the president would be watching the historic oral arguments on gay marriage at the Supreme Court this week.
The Supreme Court today is hearing arguments for and against a key part of the Voting Rights Act designed to protect against racial discrimination at the polls. It's an important case that could upend the way certain parts of the country go about making changes to voting laws. Below, we give you everything you need to know about it.
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider a GOP challenge to existing aggregate limits on contributions from individuals to candidates for federal office, and and the parties and political action committees that support/oppose them.
It has the potential to be a landmark case in the history of campaign finance with wide-reaching implications. So, what's at issue and what could the Court decision mean for campaigns in the future? We explain below.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas broke his nearly seven-year silence during oral arguments on Monday with an apparent joke about lawyers and law school. On Tuesday, Comedy Central's Jon Stewart attempted to make sense of Thomas's remark.
All that appears in the court transcript is Thomas saying, "Well — he did not — "
"‘Well he did not?'" Stewart asked on "The Daily Show." "If I was going to say only four words in seven years, you've got to make them count -- ‘You're out of order!'; ‘Luke, I am your father.'"
Check out the complete segment below.
As the Supreme Court considers a caseinvolving copyright law and textbooks purchased overseas and sold in the United States, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert weighed in on the matter during his Monday night program.
"I'm sorry, I don't buy this first sale' argument. And if I did buy it, I would not sell it, because I don't have the right," Colbert said.
Check out the full clip below.
On July 4, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney tried to explain the (close to) unexplainable: How a penalty in Massachusetts is a tax nationally.
At issue is the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Obama’s health care law by stating that those who don’t opt in to the insurance system can be taxed for not doing so.
One of the most common mistakes made in political reporting is to assume that average voter is following the daily news cycle as closely as we are. He or she isn’t.
The latest poll numbers from the Pew Research Center on the Supreme Court’s decision on President Obama’s health-care law are (yet another) affirmation of that fact.
Forty-five percent — yes 45 percent! — of respondents in the Pew poll either didn’t know what the court had done in regards the health care law (30 percent) or thought that the court had rejected most of the provisions of the law (15 percent).
Let’s just make sure we are all clear: Forty-five percent of people didn’t know about or were misinformed about the most highly publicized Supreme Court case since — at least — Bush v. Gore in 2000 that dealt with the landmark legislative accomplishment of Obama’s first term in office. That is staggering stuff.
In a 2010 Pew poll less than three in ten Americans knew that John Roberts was the Chief Justice of the United States. But, his pivotal role in Thursday’s Supreme Court decision to uphold President Obama’s health care law might well turn Roberts into a more household name.
According to Google data, searches for Roberts soared between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. eastern time Thursday, far outdistancing other terms like “individual mandate” and “SCOTUS”.
Here’s a chart from the good people at Google detailing the top five rising search terms over that critical three hours on Thursday.
Roughly two months ago, we posted the chart below that details peoples’ responses to a Pew question about who is the Chief Justice of the United States. Given the focus today on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the health care — and on Chief Justice John Roberts himself — we thought it was worth re-posting. Prepare to be amazed/depressed/shocked/amused.
While browsing around the Pew polling site this morning — and, yes, we do a fair amount of that — we came across a chart on the Supreme Court that reminded us, for the billionth time, that assuming the average person follows the back and forth of Washington as closely as we do is a major mistake.
Without further ado, here’s the chart:
The Supreme Court gave President Obama’s health-care law its constitutional seal of approval Thursday.
When it comes to their political seal of approval, Democratic House and Senate candidates weren’t so kind.
Despite the law being upheld, Democrats with tough races ahead of them continue to tread lightly around a law that remains broadly unpopular nationwide — including among key independent voters.
Updated at 12:02 p.m.
For the second time this week, initial reports about the Supreme Court’s decision were flat wrong.
The complicated nature of the court’s decisions, along with the Twitter age and the race to be first, led at least two major news networks — CNN and Fox News — to mistakenly report Thursday morning that the individual mandate portion of President Obama’s health care law had been struck down.
The problem: The law and the mandate were actually upheld.
Here’s CNN, before and after:
In less than 24 hours, the Supreme Court will hand down its ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the defining achievement of President Obama’s first term in office.
The stakes — from a political and a policy perspective — are absolutely massive although, as we have noted, public opinion on the law itself seems to be relatively cemented.
While the ruling isn’t likely to drastically change how people perceive the law, it could well have a major impact on how voters perceive the two parties — and their respective candidates for president — with 131 days left before the November election.
Below we examine the three most likely decisions from the Court — affirmation of the law, rejection of the law and some middle ground — and how the two parties would seek to shape them politically.
We’ll know what the Court decides by (around) 10 am tomorrow. Until then, the political world waits with bated breath. (Looking for something to do between now and then? Use this interactive to find out what the different rulings from the Court could mean to your health care.)
As the two parties wrestle over what it means for national politics, it’s also worth examining the influence (if any) the decision will have on Arizona politics.
Democrats have talked a big game about winning Arizona at the presidential and Senate level, where Sen. Jon Kyl’s (R-Ariz.) retirement has left an open seat this year. Most of that talk holds that the controversy over the Arizona law — also known as “SB1070” — and Obama’s movement on immigration will lead to increased Latino turnout in a 30 percent Hispanic state.
But an equally valid line of argument maintains that the Arizona law, which Republicans have spear-headed, is broadly popular. And as long as the immigration issue is front-and-center, that’s good for the GOP.
It’s a glorious day on Twitter — thanks to the Supreme Court. Basically everybody in the political Twitterverse is firing off tweets on the rulings, demonstrating what we’ve long held to be the great wit of the American people. (USA! USA!)
Below, we’ve assembled some of the best (light-hearted) tweets from this morning. Did we miss any?
SCOTUS announces it will be taking its talent to South Beach immediately following the ruling— Nathan Wurtzel (@NathanWurtzel) June 25, 2012
Right now is way better than Friday afternoon for a document dump.— jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty) June 25, 2012
Oh dear Lord, you poor cable news folks. Take a break, read what happened, then tell us. We'll wait.— Sam Youngman (@samyoungman) June 25, 2012
Let’s say that later this morning (or on Thursday), the Supreme Court rules that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional, thereby invalidating — whether in part or in total — the signature legislative accomplishment of President Obama’s first term.
The initial reactions are predictable. Republicans would be triumphant, Democrats depressed. And, as we have written before, it’s not entirely clear that anything — up to and including the Supreme Court’s decision — can drastically alter public opinion regarding Obama’s health care law.
There’s basically no winning for the Supreme Court when it rules on President Obama’s health care law next week.
A new poll from the Pew Research Center shows more Americans will be unhappy than happy regardless of what the court rules — whether it upholds the law, strikes it down entirely, or strikes down the individual insurance mandate and leaves the rest alone.
But on the whole, the most popular decision appears to be tossing the whole law out, which earns the approval of 44 percent of Americans and 50 percent of electorally crucial independents. And opposition to the law remains significantly stronger than support.
Some time between now and July 4, the Supreme Court will hand down two rulings — one on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law, the other on Arizona’s immigration law — that could have genuine impact on the battle for the White House this fall.
The tea-leave reading of how the Court will rule — and, to be clear, this is guesswork at best — seems to suggest that they may well strike down the health care law and uphold Arizona’s measure, a dual decision that would widely be seen as a victory for conservatives and a defeat for President Obama.
We may finally have a Texas congressional map for the 2012 election.
After a series of fits and starts thanks to a long, drawn-out legal process, a three-judge panel in San Antonio on Tuesday released an interim plan for the coming election.
For the second time in five years, Texas’s new congressional map is headed for a date with the Supreme Court.
And the results could be very significant, both in Texas, in the 2012 election, and for the future of the congressional redistricting process.
So, for those who aren’t versed in legalese, redistricting, or the Lone Star State generally (it’s not all about Texas Gov. Rick Perry), here’s what you need to know
With its recent decisions to take up a trio of major cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has signaled that it will become a major player in the 2012 election.
The court’s decision Monday to review Arizona’s controversial illegal immigration law was just the latest addition to what many see as its most important and politically charged docket in recent years.
The court also said late Friday that it would review a contentious redistricting situation in Texas, and perhaps most importantly, a few weeks ago it said it would examine President Obama’s health-care bill.
All three rulings, on their surface at least, favor Republicans, as the GOP had been seeking to get the high court to tackle those issues.
But even as we don’t know how the cases will pan out, simply raising the issues to such prominence could have a major impact on the 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
At the same time, it’s not exactly clear which party will benefit.
The U.S. Supreme Court has again thrown Texas’s new congressional map into a state of flux, temporarily blocking a court-drawn redistricting map late Friday and announcing that it would rule on the constitutionality of the map early next year.
The ruling is a win for Republicans who had sought to hold up the map of the state’s 36 congressional districts. The map was drawn by a three-judge panel after a map drawn by Texas Republicans got caught up in the courts.
The news that the Justice Department had requested that the Supreme Court examine President Obama’s health care law means that a verdict from the nation’s highest court will likely come sometime next year — right in the heart of the 2012 race.
While the decision will undoubtedly draw massive amounts of media attention, political strategists on both sides of the aisle questioned how large an impact the ruling would have on how health care will play out in the 2012 presidential election.