Politics and Government

Race
6:51 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Nearly Six Decades Later, Integration Remains A Work In Progress

Students in Central High School walk through the hallways between classes.
Debbie Elliot NPR

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 12:30 pm

A federal judge in Little Rock, Ark., approved a settlement today that ends decades of litigation over school desegregation there.

The city was one of the first tests of the U.S. Supreme Court's historic Brown v. Board of Education, when President Eisenhower sent federal troops to integrate Central High School in 1957.

Just about anyone you speak to about the Little Rock desegregation case says it's time for the contentious and ongoing litigation to be over. But no one is really celebrating either.

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Two Death Row Inmates Exhausted All Appeals
6:20 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Attorney General Pruitt Wants Execution Dates Set

Credit Flickr.com

Attorney General Scott Pruitt is seeking execution dates for two Oklahoma death row inmates who have exhausted their state and federal appeals.

Pruitt's office on Monday asked the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to set execution dates for 46-year-old Charles Warner and 38-year-old Clayton Lockett.

Warner received the death penalty for the 1997 killing in Oklahoma City of 11-month-old Adriana Waller, the daughter of Warner's girlfriend.

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It's All Politics
5:25 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

California Rep. George Miller To Retire

Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., addresses a panel of family members during a hearing on the Upper Big Branch Mine Tragedy in Beckley, W.Va., at the Beckley-Raleigh Convention Center in May 2010.
Jon C. Hancock AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 1:03 am

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), a top ally to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and a veteran of four decades in Congress, announced Monday that he will not seek re-election.

"I'll miss my daily collaboration with Leader Pelosi and so many colleagues whom I respect and admire," Miller said in a statement.

Miller, 68, currently serves as the top Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee and ranks as the fifth most senior member of the House.

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Law
4:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Arizona Abortion Law Remains Ruled As Unconstitutional

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 5:01 pm

A new class of restrictive abortion laws, passed in recent years in a swath of states, hinges on the argument that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation.

But the fetal pain assertion, viewed skeptically by many scientists, hit a bump Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a lower court ruling striking down an Arizona law that criminalized abortions at 20 weeks.

The state's ban asserted that "unborn children feel pain during an abortion at that gestational age." Federal courts last year also blocked similar "fetal pain" laws in Idaho and Georgia.

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Politics
4:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Beyond The Bridge, Christie Faces Questions About Sandy Funds

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 7:53 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Today brings a new wave of questions about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. It's no longer just about whether Christie knew members of his team had ordered a traffic jam on the Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge. Today we learned the federal government is also investigating whether the Christie administration misused funds earmarked for recovery from Superstorm Sandy.

We're joined once again by reporter Matt Katz of member station WNYC. And, Matt, what more can you tell us about these new allegations?

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Law
4:26 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

U.S. High Court Hears Arguments On Recess Appointments

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 7:53 pm

Supreme Court justices across the ideological spectrum voiced skepticism on Monday about the way President Obama and other presidents have made temporary recess appointments to fill executive branch vacancies.

Article II of the Constitution says: "The President shall have the power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate," and that these appointees shall serve until the end of the following year, or longer if they are confirmed.

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It's All Politics
4:22 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Majority In Congress Are Millionaires

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., speaks on CBS's Face the Nation in Washington on Oct. 27. A new report lists Issa as the wealthiest member of Congress.
CHRIS USHER AP

For the first time in history, more than half the members of Congress are millionaires, according to a new analysis of financial disclosure reports conducted by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Of the 534 current members of the House and Senate, 268 had an average net worth of $1 million or more in 2012 – up from 257 members in 2011. The median net worth for members of the House and Senate was $1,008,767.

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It's All Politics
3:40 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

High Court's Pass On 'Fetal Pain' Abortion Case Unlikely To Cool Debate

Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 1:02 pm

A new class of restrictive abortion laws, passed in recent years in a swath of states, hinges on the argument that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation.

But the fetal pain assertion, viewed skeptically by many scientists, hit a bump Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a lower court ruling striking down an Arizona law that criminalized abortions at 20 weeks.

The state's ban asserted that "unborn children feel pain during an abortion at that gestational age." Federal courts last year also blocked similar "fetal pain" laws in Idaho and Georgia.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:52 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Most County Commissioners Expected To Support Rock And Gravel Tax Proposal

An Oklahoma gravel pit.
Credit photoFlounder / Flickr Creative Commons

Lawmakers in limestone-rich south-central Oklahoma have, for years, pushed for a new tax on companies mining for rock and sand.

Those efforts have failed, but the fight will be revived in the 2014 legislative session. Johnston County Commissioners have formally endorsed an organization that will lobby for a tax on sand, silica, gravel and other aggregates, The Oklahoman‘s Adam Wilmoth reports:

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Indian Times
2:16 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Review Of Last Week’s Top Stories In Oklahoma’s Indian Country

Credit Susan Shannon

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma has been selected as one of the first five organizations in the nation to test a new anti-poverty program to improve life in chronically poor areas. The tribe will create a “Promise Zone” in an economically challenged area in southeastern Oklahoma and use community groups, businesses and schools to focus on specific education and economic development goals.

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