It would not be an exaggeration to call the recently completed Supreme Court term a lollapalooza. Day-by-day on the last week of the court term, the justices handed down one legal thunderbolt after another: same-sex marriage, voting rights, affirmative action. The end-of-term crush of opinions made so many headlines that other important decisions got little public notice.
Congress is in recess this 4th of July week and, for a change, it's a real recess. Lawmakers haven't bothered with the kind of going through the motions sessions, a relatively recent political strategy that have marked some past legislative breaks. That suggests at least a temporary truce between the Senate and the White House over the contentious issue of presidential appointments.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. Happy 4th of July. And we begin the hour by taking the nation's political temperature on a couple of points. First, immigration, and how that issue is playing in a key border state. In our series, Texas 2020, we've been covering the implications of changing demographics. One of the rising political stars in Texas is the son of a foreign-born father and American mother.
State troopers and local law enforcement agencies are stepping up patrols during the long Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Sixty-nine police and sheriff's departments are joining with the state troopers to target drunken drivers and other violators by conducting sobriety checkpoints and additional patrols. Funding from the extra patrols comes from grants awarded by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the state Department of Transportation.
On this Fourth of July, we've been following developments in Egypt, where the military has deposed the elected President Mohamed Morsi. President Obama says the U.S. is watching with, as he put it, deep concern. And he urged the generals to transition to an elected civilian government as quickly as possible.
NPR's White House correspondent Scott Horsley joins us now to talk about what role, if any, America plays in this situation. Good morning.
It's too soon, obviously, to know how the Obama administration's decision to delay by a year the imposition of penalties on large employers that fail to provide health insurance to their workers will ultimately play out, politically.
Robert Bentley is finding that raising campaign money as an incumbent governor is much easier than doing it as a state representative seeking statewide office for the first time.
Bentley filed a campaign finance report Tuesday night showing he took in $422,500 in contributions in his first month of fundraising for his re-election campaign. He had raised about $15,500 at the same point four years ago, when he was a little-known state representative from Tuscaloosa running in the Republican primary with six other candidates.
The American Values Survey finds that citizens of the U.S. think they're more divided today than they were a decade ago. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks with Don Baer about whether we're really as different as we believe we are.
And now, this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're going to go back to law and the politics of abortion, and we want to focus on what's happening in Texas. Early this morning, legislators there revived an effort to restrict access to abortion in that state. The bill would ban most abortions after 20 weeks and it would also place new tough standards on existing clinics.
We've got a series going this week, Texas 20/20, bringing into focus the politics and demographics of a state where the Latino population is growing fast. Texas is a Republican stronghold, and has been for years. Still, the rising number of Latinos offers Democrats an opening. This morning, NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports on the current state of the Democratic Party.
At gay pride events throughout the country last weekend, marchers celebrated the Supreme Court's ruling striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Now, the rainbow flags are giving way to calculators and sharp pencils, as gay and lesbian couples start to grapple with the practical impact of what the ruling means for them.
President Obama has directed Cabinet members to implement the ruling "swiftly and smoothly" by extending federal recognition to same-sex marriages for the first time. But that will be easier for some federal agencies than others.