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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer.
The city of Chicago wants to close dozens of public schools, claiming that money could be better spent. But protests are growing. Hundreds of members of the Chicago Teachers Union and other labor groups rallied yesterday.
With Mississippi legalizing home brewing, Alabama is now the only state that doesn't allow citizens to brew small amounts of beer or wine at home for personal use.
Home brewing enthusiasts have been trying since 2009 to get the Alabama Legislature to legalize what several thousand people are already doing illegally. But they have always met with strong opposition. Home brewing bills have won approval from legislative committees and could come up for a vote in the House or Senate soon.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Another Democrat steps away from the Senate, the price of previous presidents, and the present president calls out Congress on immigration. It's Wednesday and time for a...
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Political courage...
CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
NPR's Nina Totenberg: On what happens if the court declines to decide.
(We most recently updated the top of this post at 1:45 p.m. ET.)
There seem to be four solid votes on the Supreme Court — and possibly a fifth — to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages, NPR's Nina Totenberg told us after Wednesday's oral arguments before the nine justices.
But there's a big "if."
As in: There's possibly a 5-vote majority to strike down the law if the court first decides it should even issue an opinion.
The city council in Orange Beach has approved a measure banning T-shirts and other items deemed offensive.
The council voted 4-1 on Tuesday in favor of the ordinance, which prohibits stores from openly displaying merchandise that could be considered offensive. Al.com (http://bit.ly/13wB8o4) reports that the ordinance restricts items that could be considered offensive to the areas of the stores that only adults can enter.
Mayor Tony Kennon started pushing for the law following a recent trip to an Orange Beach souvenir shop.
An Alabama-based religious broadcasting organization is reviewing its options after a federal judge dismissed its lawsuit challenging part of the new federal health care law.
U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn threw out the lawsuit filed the Irondale-based Eternal Word Television Network in February. The judge says the issue isn't ready for court because rules are still changing.
From 'Morning Edition': Nina Totenberg previews Wednesday's case
As we wait for the Supreme Court to convene again at 10 a.m. ET and begin the second of two historic days of oral arguments focusing on legal issues surrounding same-sex marriage, there's a natural question:
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.
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.
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.