August 7th, 2010
05:31 PM ET
4 years ago

McConnell, Paul and Conway compete for Fancy Farm bragging rights

(CNN) - The major powerbrokers of Kentucky politics gathered Saturday for the annual Fancy Farm Picnic, a rough and tumble political event in which candidates serve up their best stemwinder and hope it's not drowned out by the raucous audience.

At this year's event, Senate hopefuls Rand Paul and Jack Conway were joined onstage by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and much to the delight of the crowd, the three heavyweights each took their turn slinging one-liners.

If a candidate overruns their allotted speaking time at Fancy Farm, they are shooed offstage by a band, just like the Academy Awards. And the gathering is probably the only political event in the country that features an opening prayer that includes the line: "Lord, may our words be gracious and tender today, for tomorrow we might have to eat them."

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Filed under: 2010 • Jack Conway • Kentucky • Mitch McConnell • Rand Paul
August 7th, 2010
02:34 PM ET
4 years ago

Gillibrand attends the BlogHer conference, stresses organization

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand meeting with bloggers at the BlogHer conference.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand meeting with bloggers at the BlogHer conference.

New York (CNN) – Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand met with a group of 25 of the web's top female political bloggers Friday evening as part of the BlogHer Conference, a two-day gathering of 2,400 female bloggers.

The freshman New York Democrat, one of Washington's most web-savvy politicians, used the appearance to press other women to run for office, a rallying cry heard throughout the conference.

“We need you,” Gillibrand told the bloggers. “You don’t have to be afraid [of politics] just because it is a blood sport.”

A frequent blog contributor herself, Gillibrand discussed her experience in the Senate, and specifically the fight against the Stupak amendment – a crucial sticking point for liberal Democrats that turned the debate over health care reform legislation on its head. Gillibrand expressed surprise at the lack of grassroots coordination from women to protest the amendment and pointed to the debate as one where women could have been better organized, and more effective.

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Filed under: Kirsten Gillibrand • Social Media
August 7th, 2010
02:10 PM ET
4 years ago

Kagan takes oath, prepares for several high-profile cases

Washington (CNN) - Elena Kagan, building on a long, diverse legal career in government and academia, was officially sworn in as the 112th justice at the Supreme Court on Saturday, promising to "faithfully and impartially" discharge her new judicial duties.

With friends, family and four of her new colleagues looking on, the 50-year-old Kagan took the judicial oath in the court's wood-paneled West Conference Room. It was only the second time such a ceremony was televised at the court.

Chief Justice John Roberts administered the 62-word oath, required of all federal judges. In a private ceremony just moments before, Kagan took a separate constitutional oath across the hall. Both are necessary for her lifetime job to become official.

Kagan beamed as she waved to relatives and guests when walking in for the public ceremony. Among those in the ornate room were her two brothers, as well as former colleagues from the Justice Department, where she served as solicitor general before being tapped by President Obama for the high court on May 10.

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Filed under: Elena Kagan • Supreme Court
August 7th, 2010
09:42 AM ET
4 years ago

CNN 100: As Albuquerque goes, so goes New Mexico 1st

 The CNN 100 takes a look at the top 100 House races, from now until Election Day.
The CNN 100 takes a look at the top 100 House races, from now until Election Day.

Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here. Today's featured district is:

New Mexico 1st – Rep. Martin Heinrich (D) is seeking a 2nd term
Primary: June 1, 2010
Location: Central New Mexico
Days until Election Day: 87

Republicans see an opportunity to knock off a freshman Democrat in New Mexico's 1st district and reclaim a seat they had held for 40 years.

Rep. Martin Heinrich was elected to the House in 2008, one of 33 Democratic freshmen sent to Congress that year. He was a member of the Albuquerque City Council when he announced he would challenge incumbent GOP Rep. Heather Wilson, who had held the seat since 1998. Wilson narrowly won her 2006 re-election bid with 50 percent of the vote and eventually opted to run to replace retiring GOP Sen. Pete Domenici in the U.S. Senate rather than seek a sixth full term. Heinrich went on to win the House seat with 56 percent over Republican Darren White.

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Filed under: 2010 • CNN 100 • New Mexico • Popular Posts
August 7th, 2010
09:34 AM ET
4 years ago

Facts about Supreme Court oath ceremonies

ALT TEXT

Elena Kagan was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - Elena Kagan was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday to become the 112th justice on the Supreme Court. Here is a look at what happens next:

Q: With the Senate vote, is Kagan now officially a justice?

CNN: No, the final step in the confirmation process involves President Obama issuing a written commission to his nominee, who then must take two oaths of office before assuming her official duties.

Q: What is the wording of the oaths?

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Filed under: Elena Kagan • Popular Posts • Supreme Court
August 7th, 2010
09:20 AM ET
August 7th, 2010
09:17 AM ET
August 7th, 2010
09:15 AM ET
4 years ago

Top officials in California urge judge to allow same-sex marriage

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked a federal judge Friday to allow same-sex marriages.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked a federal judge Friday to allow same-sex marriages.

(CNN) – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked a federal judge Friday to allow same-sex marriages while an appeal over the struck-down law that banned them makes its way through the courts.

Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown filed briefs two days after Chief U.S District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, known as Proposition 8, violated the constitutional rights of same-sex couples.

In his Wednesday ruling, Walker also issued a temporary stay, which stopped his decision from taking effect.

If he lifts his stay, officials in California could immediately be allowed to perform same-sex marriages again. They were able to do so, briefly, before the Proposition 8 ban passed in 2008.

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Filed under: California • Same-sex marriage