(CNN) – A challenge to Alabama's Republican-drawn legislative maps, which some civil rights and political groups say amounts to an unconstitutional racial quota and gerrymandering, will be reviewed by the Supreme Court.
The justices announced Monday they would decide whether the redrawn boundaries crowded African-American voters into fewer black-majority districts, reducing their political clout in a state where they make up an estimated 27 percent of the population.
(CNN) - The Supreme Court gave limited approval on Monday to public prayers at a New York town's board meetings, citing the country's history of religious acknowledgment in the legislature.
The 5-4 ruling came in yet another contentious case over the intersection of faith and the civic arena. It was confined to the specific circumstances and offered little guidance on how other communities should offer civic prayers without violating the Constitution.
(CNN) - Retired Justice John Paul Stevens may have carved a mostly liberal record in his nearly 35 years on the U.S. Supreme Court, but he received high praise Wednesday from one of the most conservative members of Congress.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called the 94-year-old Stevens one of the most effective and "dangerous" justices, and said he was lucky no longer having to face him on the bench.
Minimum wage vote - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled a procedural vote on legislation that would raise the minimum wage gradually from $7.25 to $10.10. No Republicans have said they’ll vote for it, and some Democrats haven’t said for sure. Even if, somehow, a minimum wage increase could pass the Senate, there’s little chance House Republicans would allow a vote.
So anyone interested in actually seeing a higher minimum wage should not hold their breath for this vote.
But that won’t stop President Obama from appearing Wednesday afternoon to complain that Republicans are standing in the way. Democrats clearly want to use the minimum wage as a wedge issue in 2014.
Why? It’s popular.
(CNN) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Michigan's voter-approved law that bans use of racial criteria in college admissions.
In a 6-2 vote, the court ruled a lower court did not have the authority to set aside the law.
(CNN) - Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized the Supreme Court's view of campaign finance at a Tuesday event, telling an audience in Portland, Oregon, that the judicial body's ruling will limit the number of people involved in the political process.
"With the rate the Supreme Court is going, there will only be three or four people in the whole country that have to finance our entire political system by the time they are done," Clinton said during the question and answer portion of an appearance at The World Affairs Council of Oregon.
Last week, the Supreme Court decided in a 5-4 ruling to allow more private money in electoral politics by removing a limit on the total number of candidates one can donate to in one election season.
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.”
Washington (CNN) - If you're rich and want to give money to a lot of political campaigns, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that you can.
The 5-4 ruling eliminated limits on how much money people can donate in total in one election season.
Washington (CNN) - In another blow to federal election laws, the Supreme Court on Wednesday eliminated limits on the total amount people can donate to various political campaigns in a single election season. However, the court left intact the current $5,200 limit on how much an individual can give to any single candidate.
At issue is whether those regulations in the Federal Election Campaign Act violate the First Amendment rights of contributors.
(CNN) - Conestoga Wood Specialties was founded a half-century ago in a Pennsylvania garage. The Hahn family's commitment to quality is driven in large part by their Christian faith, which in turn may soon threaten the company's very existence.
That financial and constitutional dynamic is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, in a high-stakes encore to the health care reform law known as Obamacare. The justices will hear oral arguments Tuesday in a dispute involving contraception coverage and religious liberty.