New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, considered a rising star and possible presidential contender in the Republican Party, is advising Republicans to back away from their heated opposition to a Muslim center two blocks from New York's "Ground Zero." Christie has called on both parties to stop making the issue a "political football."
Former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, known for his hot temper and deep barrels of pork for his rural state, died Monday night in a plane crash. Stevens, 86, was the longest-serving Republican ever in the U.S. Senate, maintaining his membership in the upper house of Congress for an even 40 years. He was finally defeated in 2008 after a federal jury in the District of Columbia found he had concealed more than $250,000 in gifts and convicted him on seven felony counts. The verdict came just eight days before Stevens lost his bid for a seventh term to Democrat Mark Begich, then the mayor of Anchorage.
Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) is the latest Republican Senator to announce he will vote against confirmation of Solicitor General Elena Kagan as the next associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. In a strongly worded op-ed piece published in USA Today for July 8, McCain said his criteria for Supreme Court nominees are "integrity, character, legal competence and ability, experience, and philosophy and judicial temperament. On that test, Elena Kagan fails," he wrote.
U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky said he supports the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and would “unequivocally” oppose any effort to repeal it. The Republican nominee issued his statement after a news cycle dominated to a large extent by close questioning about his previous statements on the subject and whether he believed the principle of property rights should allow the owner of a business establishment to refuse service to racial minorities.
When Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania announced last year that he was switching from the Republican to the Democratic Party, he said, "My change in party will enable me to get re-elected." But on the eve of Tuesday's Democratic primary in the Keystone State, it is far from certain that it will even help him get renominated.
The federal agencies distributing money under the massive economic stimulus program certainly have some interesting and imaginative ways to create jobs. One of them is to help the state of Massachusetts force retailers who sell cigarettes to display signs with graphic anti-smoking images or pay fines of up to $300.
As a professor of law at the University of Chicago, Elena Kagan wrote that the lack of substantive questions and answers in confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees had made those hearings “a vapid and hollow charade.” As Solicitor General of the United States and nominee for the Supreme Court, she now takes a more benevolent view of the charade.
Could it be that Solicitor General Elena Kagan, President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, is something less than thoroughly committed to the legal doctrine that abortion is an option guaranteed to women by the U.S. Constitution? A memo written by Kagan when she was a policy advisor to President Bill Clinton urged the President to support a compromise ban on partial birth abortions, referred to in news reports simply as "late-term abortions." News of the memo, reported May 10 by the Associated Press, and the dearth of other information about Kagan relating to the issue, has some "pro-choice" activists looking for a clearer picture of how Kagan might rule on efforts to place any limits on the option to abort by whatever procedure is agreed upon by a woman and her physician.
Sen. Robert F. Bennett of Utah has become the first congressional incumbent to be defeated this year. Given that distinct and dubious honor by the delegates at the Utah Republican Convention on Saturday, Bennett would still rather be his party's nominee for U.S. Senate, as he has been for his past three elections.
Evangelist Franklin Graham said the Obama White House was behind the decision to bar him from speaking at a National Day of Prayer event at the Pentagon because of his comments about the Muslim religion. After the 9/11 attacks, Graham called Islam a "very evil and wicked religion." More recently, the Associated Press reported, he has said he finds Islam offensive and wants Muslims to know that Jesus Christ died for their sins. U.S. Army spokesman Col. Tom Collins said on April 22 that Graham's remarks were "not appropriate."