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Washington (CNN) - A state law that would make public the names of people signing a petition for a voter referendum against greater rights for same-sex partners has been upheld by the Supreme Court.
At issue in this free speech and privacy dispute was whether officials in Washington state properly decided there was a "compelling public interest" when opting to release the names of gay rights opponents who voluntarily signed a statewide petition. The court by an 8-1 vote on Thursday decided in favor of the state.
"Public disclosure promotes transparency and accountability in the electoral process to an extent other measures cannot," wrote Chief Justice John Roberts. "Public disclosure of referendum petitions in general is substantially related to the important interest of preserving the integrity of the electoral process."
Gov. Christine Gregoire last year signed a bill approved by the legislature affording same-sex couples, as well as domestic partners over the age of 62, the same "rights, responsibilities, and obligations" given married spouses. It is commonly called the "Everything But Marriage" bill.
(CNN) - The day Bristol Palin fans have been waiting for has finally arrived: ABC has released a clip of her acting debut on the small screen.
Palin is playing herself on the ABC Family show "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," set to air later this summer. According to the network, Palin plays a friend of the show's main character, Amy. The show has recently focused on how Amy reacts to an unexpected pregnancy.
Palin, the 19-year old daughter of Sarah Palin, gave birth to her son Tripp in December 2008.
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(CNN) - Sarah Palin says she's "looking forward to heading down to the Lower 48 for some great events," as she speaks in Texas, Virginia, and Georgia over the next week.
The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee will address the crowd at the Oil Palace in Tyler, Texas, as part of the tourist attraction and entertainment venue's Conservative Voices in America, according to her facebook page and The Oil Palace website.
"Sarah Palin's appearance caps a year of providing a forum for some of the most important Conservative Voices in America," says Oil Palace manager Jim Couch, in a statement on the venue's website.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry will also attend, but a campaign spokesman says his appearance is not a political event. Palin has endorsed Perry as he run's this year for re-election for a third full term in office.
The next day Palin addresses the audience at the Freedom Fest 2010, in Norfolk, Virginia. The event, sponsored by a conservative talk radio station, is billed as a "salute to our military and first responders."
Washington (CNNMoney.com) – Lawmakers are closing in on melding two different versions of Wall Street reform.
However, they have yet to tackle one of the last and more controversial measures: Cracking down on the big banks' investment activities and risky bets.
For nearly two weeks, a negotiating committee of 43 lawmakers has been reconciling the House and Senate versions of the most sweeping overhaul of the financial regulatory system since the 1930s.
Lawmakers leading the negotiations insisted that the panel is on track to complete negotiations by Thursday evening, which would prepare bills for final passage by each chamber next week.
However, the group had yet to consider changes cracking down on banks' risky bets, in part because of an apparent stand-off between Democrats in the Senate and House.
Related: SC Democratic candidate Alvin Greene vows to stay in the race
Washington (CNN) - There was more evidence Thursday that First Lady Michelle Obama's healthier eating campaign has yet to win over the President.
Mr. Obama treated visiting Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to an all American lunch at Ray's Hell Burger in Arlington, Va.
In the bi-lat spirit, the two Presidents shared an order of fries.
For the "main course," President Obama ate a cheddar cheeseburger, topped with lettuce, tomato and 'bread and butter' pickles. He washed it all down with bottled iced tea.
Mr. Medvedev passed up lettuce and pickles for jalapenos and mushrooms, then tossed back the all American drink, Coca-cola.
A large pool of Russian and American press tagged along on what was an unscheduled lunch stop.
(CNN) - Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said Thursday that he was nearly "physically sick" when he read the story about Gen. Stanley McChrystal and McChrystal's staff in Rolling Stone. Mullen also said he was "stunned."
He said the story, in its totality, amounted to an unacceptable challenge to civilian authority.
Washington (CNN) - The top US military official said he backs the president's decision to remove Gen. Stanley McChrystal from his command post.
"I'm very supportive of the president's decision," Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen said at a Washington event on Thursday.
President Barack Obama has tapped Gen. David Petraeus, the current commander of Central Command, to replace McChrystal as top commander in Afghanistan.
Asked if he has any individuals in mind to replace Gen. Petraeus at Centcom, Mullen said simply, "I do." and then added "but that's all I'll say."
(CNN) – A federal judge has denied the Obama administration's request to stay his ruling lifting a moratorium on offshore drilling moratorium until an appeals court could review the case.
In an emergency hearing Thursday, U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman denied the government's motion to stay pending appeal "for the same reasons given in [the] Court's June 22, 2010 order granting the plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction."
The six-month ban had halted all drilling in more than 500 feet of water and prevented new permits from being issued.