In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court held that the Affordable Care Act authorized federal tax credits for eligible Americans in states with their own exchanges AND in the 34 states with federal exchanges. Read the decision here.

In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that states must recognize same-sex marriages from other states and cannot ban same sex marriage. Read the ruling here.

Other recent Supreme Court decisions can be read here.



Apparently, the Obama Administration has decided that Iran is our friend in Iraq, as Iranian and US forces will be sharing a military base there.  How does Senator Tom Cotton, who fought against Iranian supported militia in Iraq, feel about this?  Here is his statement.

The Reader Crowned with Flowers (Jean Baptiste Camille Corot)

The Reader Crowned with Flowers
(Jean Baptiste Camille Corot)

This week, I offer discussions of some important ideas currently in the public debate: protected liberties, poverty, and justice. In “What ‘Liberties” Does the Constitution Protect?,” Hadley Arkes challenges what we mean (or have meant) by “liberty” or “liberties” in this country. Researchers Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield present their findings in a study of poverty in the US in “Air Conditioning, Cable TV, and an Xbox: What is Poverty in the United States Today?” (from 2011). In “The Meaning of Justice,” Russell Kirk presents a history of the many ways societies have defined “justice.” (This last is an older article, but worth reading.)

“God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can’t. If a thing is free to be good, it’s also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata -of creatures that worked like machines- would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they’ve got to be free. Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently, He thought it worth the risk.

From The Case for Christianity, C.S. Lewis

The President wants the ability to negotiate international trade treaties with limited input or interference from Congress. Is this constitutional? Probably not.

From Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; … To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes; ….”

Whether or not TPA, TPP, TTIP or TISA would help the US economy, is irrelevant. (These agreements probably would help US corporations and certainly could hurt US workers.) The power for trade agreements lies with Congress, not the President.