Politics

3:23am

Tue February 26, 2013
Law

Supreme Court Considers If Warrantless DNA Swab Violates Constitution

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 9:44 am

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a case about the collection of DNA evidence, and whether the Fourth Amendment prohibits police from obtaining DNA samples before conviction without a warrant.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on Tuesday in a case that could throw a monkey wrench into the widespread use of DNA testing — a case that pits modern technology against notions of personal privacy.

Twenty-eight states and the federal government have enacted laws that provide for automatic DNA collection from people at the time of their arrest. The question is whether it is unconstitutional to do that without a warrant, for the sole purpose of checking the DNA against a national DNA crime scene database.

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2:57pm

Mon February 25, 2013
It's All Politics

Would-Be Federal Judges Face The Washington Waiting Game

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:23 pm

To understand what's happening with federal judge vacancies, consider this: The Senate voted Monday night to approve the nomination of Robert Bacharach to sit on the federal appeals court based in Denver.

Bacharach had won support from both Republican senators in his home state, and his nomination was approved unanimously. But he still waited more than 260 days for that vote.

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2:50pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Governing

The Scramble Over The Sequester Showdown

If Congress fails to make a deal on government spending and taxation before Friday, federal cuts of more than 85 billion dollars will be enacted. NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley discusses the politics of a potential deal and the options for avoiding sequestration.

1:27pm

Mon February 25, 2013
The Two-Way

Supreme Court Will Not Hear Campaign Finance Case On Corporate Donations

The Supreme Court denied the petition of businessmen who say the 2010 Citizens United ruling makes it legal for corporations to contribute directly to candidates. The court building is seen here during renovations in December.
Alex Wong Getty Images

The Supreme Court says it won't hear a case that would have let candidates solicit money from corporations. By doing so, the court is reaffirming one strict ban on corporate political money, three years ago after easing other limits in its controversial Citizens United ruling.

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8:59am

Mon February 25, 2013
The Two-Way

Today's Three Stories To Read About 'The Sequester'

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 10:55 am

Barring a last-minute deal that at the moment seems unlikely, months of brinkmanship are set to culminate on Friday.

The sequester — $85 billion worth of across-the-board cuts in federal spending — will begin to kick in, with potentially serious economic consequences, including federal furloughs and the slashing of programs.

Here are three stories we've plucked from the ether that should give a good picture of what's going on as we approach sequester D-Day:

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6:18am

Mon February 25, 2013
Political Junkie

Chicago's Robin Kelly On Track To Join List Of Black Women To Serve In Congress

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 12:10 pm

Shirley Chisholm (N.Y.) was the first black woman elected to Congress; Barbara Jordan (Texas) was twice the Dem keynote speaker; Cynthia McKinney (Ga.) was later a Green Party prez nominee; Stephanie Tubbs Jones (Ohio) served as House ethics cmte chair and played a big role in the 2008 Clinton campaign.
Ken Rudin collection

Once, the special election to succeed the disgraced Jesse Jackson Jr. in Illinois' 2nd District seemed impossible to handicap, especially with some two dozen or so candidates on the ballot. Thus, it became not so much a horse race discussion as a conversation dominated by concerns about race and guns. Now, according to many observers, many of the questions have given way to the sense that Tuesday's winner will be Robin Kelly, a former state representative. (We officially must wait for the general election, on April 9.)

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11:40am

Sun February 24, 2013
It's All Politics

As Deep Cuts Loom, Continued Appeals For A Deal, Finger-Pointing

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 10:01 am

With less than a week before the across-the-board-spending cuts go into effect, Republicans and Democrats are sounding off about the sequestration.

"There's easy ways [sic] to cut this money that the American people will never feel," Rep. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said on Fox News Sunday. "What you hear is an outrage because nobody wants to cut spending ... and it will be somewhat painful, but not cutting spending is going to be disastrous for our country."

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6:36am

Sun February 24, 2013
Politics

Week In Politics: The Looming Spending Cuts Edge Closer

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 7:03 am

Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR National Political correspondent Mara Liasson about the week in politics, including the looming spending cuts facing Congress and the administration's urging of the Supreme Court to strike down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act.

5:01pm

Sat February 23, 2013
It's All Politics

Top GOP Voter ID Crusader Loses Virginia Election Panel Post

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 9:24 am

Hans Von Spakovsky in his official FEC photo taken during former President George W. Bush's administration.
FEC.gov

To those who closely follow the voter ID wars, Hans von Spakovsky is a household name, one of the nation's leading crusaders against voter fraud, and also one of its more controversial. Days before the 2012 election, The New Yorker profiled him as "the man who has stoked fear about imposters at the poll."

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1:37pm

Sat February 23, 2013
It's All Politics

Bloomberg's Anti-NRA Message — And Money — Could Sway House Race In Chicago

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun control superPAC has poured more than $2 million into a Democratic primary in Chicago for a U.S. House seat.
Brendan McDermid Reuters/Landov

One of the most important events in the national gun violence debate will take place Tuesday — in the snows of Chicago, a thousand miles from Newtown, Conn., or Washington, D.C.

That's where Democratic voters will choose their nominee to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. Because the district is so heavily Democratic, the winner will almost certainly be sworn in at the Capitol following the April general election.

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