NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped veggies and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

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After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she disparaged him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb political statements" about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":


States' Rights And DOMA Clash On A Shifting Battlefield

Sep 9, 2012
Originally published on September 9, 2012 4:07 pm

The debate over states' rights versus federal power is as old as our country. The latest brush-up comes in a doubly-sticky challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.

Three states now contend that DOMA is a violation of states' rights for the federal government to not recognize same-sex couples who were legally married under state law. Vermont, Connecticut and New York all allow gay couples to marry. They contend that the federal government does not have constitutional authority to regulate marriage and family relationships at any level.

The states are voicing their opinions over a particular case of the federal government's demand for $350,000 in estate taxes when Edie Windsor's partner died. Had Windsor been married to a man, the IRS would have allowed her partner to transfer assets to Windsor under the marital tax deduction. By not recognizing the legal status of Windsor and her partner, the feds are essentially reversing a marriage that is legal under New York law. In other words, the states argue, the feds "unmarried" Windsor and her partner.

The conflict is just the latest challenge to DOMA, at which several federal and state judges have been chipping away. As an article in The Christian Science Monitor explains, the most recent chip came earlier this year from the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. It called DOMA discriminatory regarding partner benefits because it "fails the test" when considering its inequitable impact on minority interests.

That same article explains how even the law's originators have come to realize that the federalism provisions they put in DOMA haven't worked to prevent legalization of gay marriage on the state level, as it was intended to do.

The question over whether the federal government can use DOMA to ignore a state-recognized same-sex marriage is bound to face further tests as more states look to legalize gay marriage. This November, Maryland, Maine and Washington are putting the question to voters. Minnesotans are voting on an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment that would define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

If you read the cultural tea-leaves, there is a growing comfort level with the idea of same-sex marriage. Even NFL football players — those in the manliest of manly sports — have taken up the mantle in favor of same-sex marriage.

Just this week, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe published an impassioned letter to a Maryland state delegate who demanded that the Ravens' owner not permit his players to talk about the issue of same-sex marriage. You can read more about why Kluwe wrote the letter in this New York Times article. Aside from invoking the First Amendment, Kluwe also goaded the lawmaker for being against gay marriage in the first place:

"I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won't come into your house and steal your children. They won't magically turn you into a lustful c***monster. They won't even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population — rights like Social Security benefits, child care tax credits, Family and Medical Leave to take care of loved ones, and COBRA healthcare for spouses and children. You know what having these rights will make gays? Full-fledged American citizens just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that entails. Do the civil-rights struggles of the past 200 years mean absolutely nothing to you?"

As you can see, Kluwe's letter makes reference to some of the federal programs that come into conflict when states permit gay marriage.

The New York case is pending in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, but as more states consider same-sex marriage laws — and as more people see gay marriage as a basic right — DOMA's constitutionality may need to be settled in the Supreme Court.

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