Crimes & Courts

Weekly Reporter Roundtable

Apr 3, 2017
Ohio Statehouse in Columbus
Alexander Smith / Wikimedia Commons

GOP Ohio lawmakers are working to pass legislation that will help curb the opiate epidemic in the state. Ohio had the most opioid-related overdose deaths in the country in 2014, with prescription opioids accounting for 22 percent of those deaths. The bill will prevent doctors from over-prescribing opiates and will require state officials to make available online patient education and counseling resources. Today we'll discuss this and the latest in state and national news with a panel of reporters. 

Guests:

The U.S. Senate could make history this week, but no one is feeling particularly good about it.

"It is depressing; I'm very depressed," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "We're all arguing against it, but we don't know any other option."

The nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and the GOP blockade against Merrick Garland before him are forcing another showdown over whether to invoke the "nuclear option" and change the rules of the Senate to make it easier for a president to get all of his nominations approved.

Political Junkie Ken Rudin

Mar 31, 2017
President Donald Trump announcing Judge Neil Gorsuch as his Supreme Court nominee at the White House on January 31st, 2017.
White House Official Photographer / Wikipedia Commons

As Judge Neil Gorsuch's confirmation vote for Supreme Court draws closer, it's becoming apparent that Democrats are prepared to filibuster. If he does not get the 60 votes needed to clear the Senate, Republicans could invoke the "nuclear option" and create a rule change that would allow Gorsuch to be confirmed with just a simple majority. Join us as we discuss this and the latest in political news with Ken Rudin. 

Guest:

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the state of Texas has been using an unconstitutional and obsolete medical standard for determining whether those convicted of murder are exempt from the death penalty because of mental deficiency.

The 5-to-3 decision came in the case of Bobby James Moore, who killed a store clerk in Houston in 1980 during a botched robbery.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

On the final day of the confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch, the Senate Democratic leader announced his opposition to the Supreme Court nominee.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Chuck Schumer said Gorsuch "will have to earn 60 votes for confirmation," setting up a showdown with Republican leaders who may attempt to change Senate rules.

School districts must give students with disabilities the chance to make meaningful, "appropriately ambitious" progress, the Supreme Court said Wednesday in an 8-0 ruling.

The decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District could have far-reaching implications for the 6.5 million students with disabilities in the United States.

After a day of statements, Tuesday's Supreme Court confirmation hearing was all about answers. Judge Neil Gorsuch was careful in his responses to Senate Judiciary Committee members, but there were still a number of insights that marked the day. Read our full Day 2 coverage here. These are five highlights:

US Supreme Court
Joe Ravi / Wikimedia commons

NPR Politics team will live blog the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. The live blog will include streaming video, with posts featuring highlights, context and analysis from NPR reporters and correspondents.

At his Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Neil Gorsuch pitched himself as a reasonable jurist who would do his best to uphold the rule of law without any bias.

"Sitting here, I am acutely aware of my own imperfections," the federal appeals court judge told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. "But I pledge to each of you and to the American people that, if confirmed, I will do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of our great nation."

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that when clear evidence emerges after a jury verdict that there was racial bias during deliberations, the trial judge must make an exception to the usual rule protecting the secrecy of deliberations in order to determine whether the defendant was denied a fair trial. The vote was 5-to-3.

Writing for the court majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that racial discrimination is unlike other types of misconduct that may occur in the jury room because it "implicates unique historical, constitutional and institutional concerns."

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