Joan's Feed
May 23, 2013

In any scandal, lying to Congress is tough to prove

By Joan Biskupic and Kim Dixon

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Reuters) – When embattled Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner was called before a congressional committee Wednesday, she declared that she had done nothing wrong – but said she did not intend to testify. Her defiance only turned up the heat from Republicans who have threatened to take her to court for misleading Congress.

Yet whatever political problems Lerner may have escalated for the Obama administration in the scandal over IRS scrutiny of Tea Party and other conservative groups, history suggests neither she nor any other IRS official is likely to face criminal charges related to congressional testimony.

May 23, 2013

Analysis: In any scandal, lying to Congress is tough to prove

By Joan Biskupic and Kim Dixon

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Reuters) – When embattled Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner was called before a congressional committee Wednesday, she declared that she had done nothing wrong – but said she did not intend to testify. Her defiance only turned up the heat from Republicans who have threatened to take her to court for misleading Congress.

Yet whatever political problems Lerner may have escalated for the Obama administration in the scandal over IRS scrutiny of Tea Party and other conservative groups, history suggests neither she nor any other IRS official is likely to face criminal charges related to congressional testimony.

May 15, 2013

Once a beacon, Obama under fire over civil liberties

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – He may have been the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. He may have written a book extolling constitutional values in a democracy. And he may have run for president on a civil liberties banner, pledging to reverse the legacy of George W. Bush.

But as U.S. president for the last 4-1/2 years, Barack Obama has faced accusation after accusation of impinging on civil liberties, disappointing his liberal Democratic base and providing fodder for rival Republicans as he deals with the realities of office.

May 15, 2013

Analysis: Once a beacon, Obama under fire over civil liberties

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – He may have been the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. He may have written a book extolling constitutional values in a democracy. And he may have run for president on a civil liberties banner, pledging to reverse the legacy of George W. Bush.

But as U.S. president for the last 4-1/2 years, Barack Obama has faced accusation after accusation of impinging on civil liberties, disappointing his liberal Democratic base and providing fodder for rival Republicans as he deals with the realities of office.

Apr 28, 2013

Court may limit use of race in college admission decisions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Thirty-five years after the Supreme Court set the terms for boosting college admissions of African Americans and other minorities, the court may be about to issue a ruling that could restrict universities’ use of race in deciding who is awarded places.

The case before the justices was brought by Abigail Fisher, a white suburban Houston student who asserted she was wrongly rejected by the University of Texas at Austin while minority students with similar grades and test scores were admitted.

Mar 28, 2013

Analysis: Supreme Court energizes gay rights even as it resists

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After two days of Supreme Court arguments over same-sex marriage, the United States may be left with this irony: While the high court is not likely to alter the constitutional landscape for gays, the justices nevertheless have provided a rallying point for the gay-rights cause.

Three major legal outcomes appeared likely as the justices on Wednesday ended the second dramatic day of arguments in the most closely watched dispute of their current term:

Mar 28, 2013

Analysis – U.S. top court energizes gay rights even as it resists

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After two days of Supreme Court arguments over same-sex marriage, the United States may be left with this irony: While the high court is not likely to alter the constitutional landscape for gays, the justices nevertheless have provided a rallying point for the gay-rights cause.

Three major legal outcomes appeared likely as the justices on Wednesday ended the second dramatic day of arguments in the most closely watched dispute of their current term:

Mar 26, 2013

Analysis: Supreme Court seems poised to avoid same-sex marriage tide

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For nearly four years, proponents of same-sex marriage have been strategically building a test case aimed at convincing the conservative-leaning Supreme Court to declare that gay marriage is a constitutional right. The advocates felt they were ready.

But on Tuesday, after an intense, wide-ranging hearing, it appeared the justices were not.

Mar 26, 2013

Analysis – U.S. top court seems poised to avoid same-sex marriage tide

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For nearly four years, proponents of same-sex marriage have been strategically building a test case aimed at convincing the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court to declare that gay marriage is a constitutional right. The advocates felt they were ready.

But on Tuesday, after an intense, wide-ranging hearing, it appeared the justices were not.

Mar 26, 2013

Major U.S. Supreme Court decisions on gay rights

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The two gay marriage cases the U.S. Supreme Court will hear this week begin a new chapter in its review of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

It has been a decade since the court last took up a gay-rights dispute. That 2003 case from Texas and the court’s two earlier gay-rights decisions were closely fought and produced strong dissenting opinions.