Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 1:26 pm
A special prosecutor who spent two years exploring Justice Department misconduct in the botched case against late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) said "contest living" — the desire to win a big case — explained the failure to follow the rules in one of the biggest political corruption prosecutions in decades.
"[Lawyers] do not want to have to undermine our case if it can possibly be avoided," investigator Hank Schuelke told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. "That motive to win the case was the principal operative motive."
Listen to Wednesday Afternoon's Supreme Court arguments
The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard the last of three days of oral arguments on the fate of President Obama's health care law. A transcript of Wednesday afternoon's arguments, as prepared by the court, follows.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: We will continue argument this afternoon in case 11-400 Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services.
Mr. Clement. ORAL ARGUMENT OF PAUL D. CLEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE PETITIONER MR. CLEMENT: Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court:
The measure would make it a crime to terminate a pregnancy once a fetus reached 20 weeks. Foes have said such decisions are best left to a woman and her doctor. But Republican Senator Steve Yarbrough said it's not that simple.
"There's a third person in that room," he argued. "There is the baby. Who speaks for her, the totally innocent one with no voice? Who has the duty and the right to speak for her? We do."
The legislation crafted by Senator Ron Gould would extend the right to those who have a state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon, to carry it on university campuses. Gould got a similar measure through the Legislature last year only to have it vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer amid concerns about its wording. He said this new version addressed those issues. But Gould said Tuesday he just could not line up the votes this time around.
Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 1:43 pm
On the final morning of its three-day health care law extravaganza, the U.S. Supreme Court wrestled with the question of whether parts of the 2010 federal statute can survive if the justices strike down its central tenet: the individual insurance requirement.
In other words, if the nine justices find the insurance mandate unconstitutional when they rule by June, would that mean that the entire law also fails the constitutionality test?
There's a Republican presidential primary next Tuesday in Wisconsin. But as the accompanying photo taken by NPR political correspondent Don Gonyea in Delafield, Wisc. suggests, a lot of Wisconsinites have other political matters on their minds.
As Don writes in an e-mail:
"Note that the recall coming up on June is the big political story here. Not Tuesdays presidential primary."