AirTalk for May 10, 2010

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Obama names Elena Kagan as Supreme Court nominee

It's official: President Obama has chosen Solicitor General Elena Kagan as his nominee to succeed retiring Justice John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court. As solicitor general, Kagan is the federal government's chief advocate before the Supreme Court, though she has never served as a judge. A former dean of Harvard Law School, at age 50 she also would be the youngest justice and the third female on the court. What are Kagan's legal views? Is she the best choice to replace the high court's flagship liberal justice? And are we headed for a contentious confirmation process?
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Oil spill update: new options & environmental impact

After a failed attempt to stem the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP officials are considering several new approaches to stopping the leak. One option would be trying a smaller container than the 100-ton box previously used to contain the spill and funnel oil to tankers on the surface. Other choices include drilling a hole into the broken pipe to draw the oil into a new pipe, or plugging the well head with a rubbery material. It's estimated that almost 4 million to as many as 21 million gallons of oil have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. Will the latest containment efforts work? How bad will the environmental impact be?
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Lena Horne dies

Jazz great and actress Lena Horne died yesterday at age 92. Horne broke many barriers in the industry and paved the way for African Americans. At a time when African American actors were over looked for serious roles, Horne worked hard to fight the color barrier. Larry Mantle speaks to James Gavin about the life and contributions of Lena Horne.
If they put it on the ballot, will voters come?
The idea is to assure that the candidates with the greatest number of votes square off in state elections. Instead of having a Republican and a Democrat face each other, the system would allow for a slate of candidates and the two highest vote takers would battle it out on a general election ballot. Proponents say it will make elections fairer and cut across party lines. Opponents say it will effectively block third party candidates from ever reaching the general election. Larry hears both arguments and gets KPCC listeners to chime in.
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