Politics & Government

Politics
4:09 am
Wed March 27, 2013

GOP Eyes S.D. Senate Seat, Tim Johnson To Retire

South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson says he will not seek a fourth term in the U.S. Senate. The Democrat has served in Washington since winning the lone House seat in 1986. The decision thrills Republican in the state who see a chance to pick up a seat. Democrats are hoping they can field a strong enough candidate to prevent that.

State Park Cuts
10:38 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Cuts To State Park Operations May Be Ahead

Cuts to the state parks system could be coming due to new legislation.
Credit Trance Mist / Flickr

  The state conservation department says it may eliminate some services and cut back hours of operation at state parks across Alabama.


The department's state parks director, Gregory Lien, has written a letter to community leaders explaining the circumstances.


Parks officials said the possible cuts stem from pending legislation that would divert $5 million in tax revenue that has been used in prior years to support the parks. Instead, the parks would rely only on the money they generate, which is not sufficient to maintain services.

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Water Wars
10:19 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Ga. Lawmakers OK Resolution Seeking Border Shift In Tri-State Water Dispute

Georgia lawmakers made a move that could impact a decades long water dispute with Alabama and Florida.
Credit Southern Environmental Law Center

  Georgia lawmakers are seeking to redraw the state's border with Tennessee and have authorized the state attorney general to file a lawsuit if negotiations fail.

The House voted 157-13 Tuesday to adopt a resolution seeking a strip of land leading to the Tennessee River. The offer will be sent to Tennessee officials, who have rebuffed previous efforts.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
6:33 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

At Arguments, Supreme Court Takes Halting Steps Into Gay Marriage Issue

People file into the Supreme Court on Tuesday for the court's hearing on California's Proposition 8, a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:58 pm

At the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, the moment had finally arrived. After four years of litigation in the lower courts, the Supreme Court was hearing a challenge to California's ban on same-sex marriage. But minutes into oral arguments, it became clear that the justices may not give either side the clear-cut victory it wants.

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Politics
3:56 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Proposition 8 Case Has High Political Stakes For Both Parties

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We'll learn what the court decides to do about DOMA and California's Proposition 8 sometime this summer. Its options vary widely. But no matter what the result, there will be political implications.

NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson joins us to walk through some of them.

And, Mara, first, let's talk briefly about this really sea change in public opinion now in favor of same-sex marriage. Could the court reverse that tide in any way?

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It's All Politics
1:15 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Gay Marriage Arguments: Cellphones, The Internet And Fertility Over 55

This artist rendering shows attorney Charles J. Cooper, who was defending California's voter-passed ban on gay marriage, addressing the Supreme Court on Tuesday. From left, the justices are Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, (Chief Justice) John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan.
Dana Verkouteren AP

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 3:25 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard lively arguments Tuesday in a challenge to California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages.

And, as many learned painfully after last year's court decision to uphold Obamacare, it is risky business to predict how justices will rule later based on questions raised in arguments.

So we won't.

Instead, here are five areas of discussion we found interesting, even if they may not prove predictive of the outcome.

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Political Junkie
11:42 am
Tue March 26, 2013

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

In the thousand-plus or so emails I get each time a ScuttleButton puzzle is posted, I invariably will get dozens and dozens of complaints that it was just too easy, that it insulted their intelligence, that I need to make them more challenging. That was clearly the case last week, as there were nearly 100 such emails.

Well, be careful what you wish for. This week's puzzle is one of the most difficult.

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Outside the Supreme Court, The Arguments Continue

A member of the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization (right) is confronted by a pro-gay-marriage activist outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:58 pm

As oral arguments were beginning Tuesday in the first of two same-sex marriage cases inside the Supreme Court, the steps in front of the court were filled with throngs of what looked to be mostly gay-marriage supporters, spilling out in front of the building and to the other side of the street.

About a half hour earlier, a parade of traditional-marriage supporters had arrived, later headed to a rally on the National Mall.

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Around the Nation
10:32 am
Tue March 26, 2013

The Browning Of A Nation

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:45 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

You've probably been hearing a lot about how America's racial and ethnic makeup is changing. Now it seems as though some of these population tipping points are happening sooner than expected. In a few minutes we will talk about the implications of this in areas like the economy and pop culture.

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Around the Nation
10:32 am
Tue March 26, 2013

How Will America Cope With Diversity Changes?

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:45 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We want to continue our conversation about this country's changing population. We hope you just heard my conversation with demographer William Frey of the Brookings Institution and the University of Michigan and he told us that in just five years the majority of Americans under 18 will be members of groups that are minorities now, which is to say not white. That's a lot sooner than demographers had expected that to happen.

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Economy
10:32 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Indian Nations Squeezed By Sequester

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:45 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, when regular jobs can't be found or don't pay all the bills, many Americans turn to the so-called shadow economy, which is bigger than you might think. We'll talk about that in our conversation about personal finance just ahead. But first, we want to turn, again, to how the government is paying its bills or not. We're talking about the sequestration.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Happening Now: Supreme Court Hears First Of Two Gay-Marriage Cases

The line was long Tuesday outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., as spectators came to hear the oral arguments about California's Proposition 8.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 1:45 pm

  • NPR's Nina Totenberg: Three key points about Tuesday's court hearing

(Our most recent update was at 12:50 p.m. ET.)

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It's All Politics
9:07 am
Tue March 26, 2013

NPR's Twitter Coverage Of Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Arguments

People line up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday before the justices hear arguments in the first of two same-sex marriage cases.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 9:26 am

NPR is covering the historic oral arguments before the Supreme Court in a number of ways, including on Twitter.

You can follow our Twitter coverage at @nprpolitics.

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Dothan Regional Airport
8:21 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Officials Consider Options to Keep Air Tower Open

Officials are trying to keep the control tower at the Dothan Regional Airport open.
JAY HARE / DOTHAN EAGLE

City and county officials are working to determine what they can do to try keeping the control tower at the Dothan Regional Airport open.


Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz told the Dothan Eagle an aircraft maintenance repair company was looking to open a plant in Dothan and bring as many as 500 new jobs. Officials say the company is hesitant to relocate to an airport without a functional control tower.

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Politics & Government
8:02 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Alabama House Special Election in 3 Counties

Randall Shedd, the former director of the Cullman County Commission, is facing off Danny Alldredge in the GOP runoff for House District 11.
sheddforhouse.com

The former director of the Cullman County Commission on Aging, Randall Shedd, and former Cullman County school board member Danny Alldredge are facing off in the Republican runoff for Alabama House District 11.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday in parts of Cullman, Blount and Morgan counties.


Shedd led the primary election Feb. 13, and Alldredge finished second in the field of four candidates.


The runoff winner will meet Democrat Kelly Evans in the general election May 7.

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