Here's what we're watching Thursday Inside Politics:
Turns out money is the same thing as speech in the eyes of the U.S. Supreme Court.
SCOTUS campaign finance in a nutshell: After the Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC yesterday, you can't just give as much money as you want to any candidate. Those limits are still set at $5,200 every two years. But there's now no limit on how much total you can give to all candidates. The old limit was $123,000 every two years. As Jeffrey Toobin put it on CNN just after the decision, essentially, in the eyes of the court, corporations are people and money is speech.
John Roberts’ majority ruling: “Money in politics may at times seem repugnant to some, but so too does much of what the First Amendment vigorously protects. If the First Amendment protects flag burning, funeral protests and Nazi parades - despite the profound offense such spectacles cause - it surely protects political campaign speech despite popular opposition.”
Stephen Breyer’s dissent: The decision “creates a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate’s campaign. Taken together with Citizens United v. FEC, today’s decision eviscerates our Nation’s campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve.”
Updated 3:49 p.m. ET, 4/2/2014
Ann Arbor, Michigan (CNN) – Having declared his signature health care initiative a success - at least for now - President Barack Obama headed to Michigan Wednesday to push another top domestic priority, raising the federal minimum wage.
Speaking to a rowdy crowd at the University of Michigan, Obama used much of his remarks to lambast Republicans who oppose such a hike, saying it amounted to giving working-class Americans "the shaft."
Washington (CNN) - Chicago White Sox fan-in-chief President Obama honored the Boston Red Sox at the White House on Tuesday for their 2013 World Series championship, but he slipped in a quick plug for his hometown team while greeting the defending champs.
“Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox and Red Sox Nation. Good luck this season. May the best Sox win,” Obama said.
Washington (CNN) - After a surge of sign-ups on enrollment deadline day, Obamacare is now on track to hit the White House's original target of 7 million people signing up, a senior administration official said Tuesday.
More than 4.8 million visits were made to healthcare.gov and 2 million calls were made to the call center Monday, raising optimism that the goal would be met, the official said.
Updated 5:13 p.m. ET, 3/31/2014
(CNN) – President Barack Obama jumped into the heated Democratic primary battle in his native state of Hawaii, backing incumbent Sen. Brian Schatz over Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.
Schatz, previously lieutenant governor, was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Gov. Neil Abercrombie in 2012 after the death of longtime Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye.
Washington (CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul took a shot Thursday on Twitter at President Barack Obama over the National Security Agency surveillance controversy.
As the President was meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, the first term Republican senator from Kentucky, who is one of Obama's biggest critics over NSA surveillance activities, jokingly offered the President a suggestion on what he should say to the pontiff.
Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner ripped a decision to extend the March 31 Obamacare enrollment deadline for some people who have not finished signing up.
"What the hell is this, a joke?" he said on Wednesday of the Obama administration’s latest change in carrying out the politically charged health law.
Washington (CNN) - Nearly six in ten Americans say they approve of the sanctions the United States and the West have placed on Russia, but they don't expect the sanctions to be effective, according to a new national survey.
And a CBS News poll also indicates more people disapprove than approve of how President Barack Obama has handled the crisis, and a majority of the public feels the situation in Ukraine is beyond America's control and that the U.S. doesn't have a responsibility to get involved.
Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration will give more time to people who try to apply for health insurance coverage through the federal marketplace by Monday but encounter difficulty, administration officials said Tuesday evening.
Monday is the deadline for people to enroll in order to have coverage for this year or face penalties under the Affordable Care Act.
"Open enrollment ends March 31. We are experiencing a surge in demand and are making sure that we will be ready to help consumers who may be in line by the deadline to complete enrollment - either online or over the phone," said Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services.