The Future of the Supreme Court, U.S. Military Might, Happiness on the Decline

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The 2017 World Happiness Report finds that happiness is on the decline in the United States.
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Coming up on today's show:

  • The Senate confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Nominee Neil Gorsuch continues on Tuesday, with Judge Gorsuch taking questions for the first time. Tim Meyer, a professor of law and an enterprise scholar at Vanderbilt Law School, clerked for Judge Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit from 2007-2008. He explains why he believes Gorsuch should be confirmed. 
  • Former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold sat on the Senate judiciary committee for 16 years. He penned an opinion piece for The Guardian this week and argues that Judge Gorsuch's confirmation would bring illegitimacy to the Supreme Court and would “endorse and normalize unconstitutional political games.”
  • Fraser Speaks is a 27-year-old grad student living with bipolar disorder in Charleston, South Carolina. She gets her health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, and is particularly worried about changes to provisions that require insurance agencies to offer plans to people with pre-existing conditions.
  • President Donald Trump is quietly escalating military involvement in places like Syria, where his administration is sending some 400 Marines to the ISIS-controlled city of Raqqa. Several dozen Army rangers are also being sent to the contested area around Manbij and Kuwait, where the U.S. plans to station 2,500 more troops for use in Iraq and Syria. Andrew deGrandpré, chief editor and Pentagon bureau chief for The Military Times, explains. 
  • Since October, around 255,000 people have been displaced from Mosul as the battle to retake the city from ISIS continues. Existing refugee camps are overwhelmed, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is working to create new spaces for people to find safety. Caroline Gluck, senior public information officer for the U.N. Refugee Agency, weighs in.
  • The 2017 World Happiness Report was released on Monday, and the United States ranks 14th. Norway has risen from 4th place to 1st. John Helliwell, a senior fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and editor of the 2017 World Happiness Report, has the details.