obama state of unionUPDATE, June 24: House passed H.R. 5175 by 219-206 today. Senate still must vote. As you might be already aware, House Speaker Pelosi had to pull the DISCLOSE Act, H.R. 5175, from a scheduled vote last Friday, when widespread outrage erupted over a special exemption for the NRA in exchange for not opposing the bill. Well, the bill is still alive and well with a vote now scheduled in the House for tomorrow, June 24. The Senate leadership has already promised Pelosi that if the House passes the bill, then the Senate will vote on it in time for it to take effect for the elections this fall.

Supreme Court and life sentences for teenage inmatesYou might think that being a Supreme Court justice would be the top of the line job for someone in the legal profession. But, many Supreme Court decisions suggest that too many justices are not satisfied with their role, and seek more sweeping powers as supreme policy-makers, grand second-guessers or philosopher-kings.

The latest example of this is the recent Supreme Court decision in the case of Graham versus Florida. The issue was whether the Constitution permitted a state to impose a sentence of life without the possibility of parole when the criminal was a youthful offender. The Supreme Court voted 6 to 3 that this was a violation of the Constitution.

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