In a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court has struck down the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on the grounds that it violates the equal protection clause. The ruling says same-sex spouses are entitled to the same federal benefits and protections as opposite-sex couples. The case, United States Vs. Windsor, invalidates the act with a 5-4 decision. "DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal," writes Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion.
Around midnight last night, the Texas Senate shutdown Senator Wendy Davis's (D-Fort Worth) nearly 11 hour filibuster meant to prevent the passage of Senate Bill 5, a restrictive abortion law. Christy Hoppe, Austin bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News, was present for entire filibuster. James Henson is the director of the Texas politics project as the University of Texas.
The Supreme Court will soon issue its decisions in the two same-sex marriage cases the Justices heard this term, but same-sex marriage has long divided the African-American community, a fact filmmaker Yoruba Richen explores in her new documentary, "The New Black." She joins us today to discuss her film that examines the history and future of same-sex marriage in the black community and the black church.
In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling on Tuesday that strikes down key parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Section 4 was struck down, which had established a formula to identify states that may require extra scrutiny by the federal government and Justice Department when it comes to changing its voting laws.
The Miss You Can Do It pageant gives girls with physical disabilities a chance to achieve and compete. Abbey Curran, a former Miss Iowa, was born with cerebral palsy and created the pageant in 2008. "Miss You Can Do It," the subject of a new HBO documentary, premieres tonight on HBO. John Hockenberry spoke with Curran at an HBO event last week.
It's official: The Miami Heat basketball team has won back-to-back NBA Championship titles. Game 7 of the 18th NBA Finals was finished last night with the Heat winning 95-88 against the San Antonio Spurs. Joining us today to discuss the game is Joey Palacios, reporter for KSTX in San Antonio, and Tim Reynolds, sports writer for the Associated Press.
We all know Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. But it turns out August 1963 wasn't the first time that King delivered that speech. A few months earlier, on June 23, Dr. King led more than 100,000 people in a march through Detroit, where he gave his "I Have a Dream" speech for the first time. Journalist Tony Brown witnessed the original "Dream" speech, and Brown coordinated Dr. King’s 1963 Freedom Walk in Detroit.
Jose Antonio Vargas arrived in the United States at the age of 12, but he didn't learn his about his undocumented status until he tried to get his driver's license at the age of 16. Since he revealed his status in a 2011 New York Times Magazine article, Vargas has become an immigration reform activist. He joins us today to discuss his latest project, "Documented," a new film that examines his own immigration story, from his childhood in the Philippines through today.
The protests in Brazil that initially began as a response to transportation fare increases have grown into a much larger movement, drawing thousands of Brazilians into the streets. Eliane Cantanhêde, a columnist for the newspaper Folha de São Paulo and TV commentator for Globo News em Pauta, joins us to discuss Brazil's economic disparities and the many ways this protest could play out.
HBO's "The Sopranos" changed television, it changed the entertainment industry and actor James Gandolfini himself changed the character of the Italian-American made guy. Today we take a look back at the impact of Gandolfini's break through role in The Sopranos, and the cultural significance of the show in America. Chris Carley, co-owner of Holsten’s, the restaurant where the the last scene of The Sopranos was filmed, discusses the late actor.
New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg's death, and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry’s move to Secretary of State, left two major vacancies in the Senate. Both states are looking to fill those seats with special elections in the next few months. R.D. Sahl, longtime Boston news anchor and Boston University journalism professor, and Sarah Gonzalez, northern New Jersey enterprise reporter for WNYC and NJPR, discuss the candidates.
As we learn more about the National Security Agency's secret surveillance programs and leaker Edward Snowden, The Takeaway is looking at freedom in America, and freedom's relationship to privacy. Jill Lepore, New Yorker staff writer and professor of American history at Harvard University, explores the relationship between privacy, government transparency and freedom in U.S. history.
As President Obama meets with fellow G-8 leaders in Northern Ireland, Syria’s fate is high on the agenda, but there is little consensus on the best path forward. Former British ambassador Carne Ross is founder of Independent Diplomat, a non-profit diplomatic advisory group that is currently advising the Syrian Coalition. He outlines the Syrian rebels' position, and analyzes the potential issues in the international community.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has brought two separate lawsuits against two major companies: discount retailer Dollar General and car-maker BMW. The E.E.O.C. alleges that these companies used criminal background checks to screen out workers who have a criminal record of any kind. The suits were brought under the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination against job seekers on the basis of race.
Celebrated author, columnist for The Miami Herald, and born-and-raised Floridian Carl Hiaasen discusses his latest foray into fiction and the news form his home state, where the George Zimmerman trial is underway.
In the next few weeks, the Supreme Court will determine the fate of affirmative action in college admissions. Most Americans think of affirmative action as a post-Civil Rights Era phenomenon, but race has long played a role in college admissions. Fifty years ago today, Alabama Governor George Wallace made his final stand for segregation at the University of Alabama. That evening, in a landmark speech, President Kennedy called on Congress to pass comprehensive civil rights legislation.
There is growing outrage at the revelation this week that the Obama administration required Verizon to provide call data on their customers. The news yesterday that the NSA is also mining internet data via sites like Google, Facebook, and Apple only heightened public anger. What can the government do with our cell phone and internet data, anyway?
Today President Obama meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping far outside the beltway, in sunny Palm Springs, California. The two leaders have much to discuss, from North Korea to cyberattacks to recent reports of Chinese espionage in American institutions. Peter Narvarro is a professor of economics and public policy at the University of California, Irvine. He recently directed a film entitled “Death By China.”
Samantha Power, President Obama's nominee to replace outgoing United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, has focused her career on the study of genocide and humanitarian intervention, If Power is confirmed, she faces a number of challenges to her strong beliefs: she may find herself debating policy with some of the dictators she has sought to bring down. Kurt Volker understands the challenges Samantha Power might face. Volker served as the U.S. ambassador to NATO from 2008 to 2009.
Last year Harvard and M.I.T. announced a joint online learning initiative called edX, that promised to reach students across the globe by providing online classes free of charge. Recently, there has been some debate about the effectiveness of the massive open online courses, or MOOCs, offered by the nonprofit start-up, and its for-profit competitors. Anant Agarwal, the president of edX, remains a strong advocate of online education and its ability to democratize education.