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SCOTUS doles out death penalty, EPA & redistricting decisions, vows to take up affirmative action




Protesters with signs gather outside of the U.S. Supreme Court June 29, 2015 in Washington, DC. Today the high court ruled on the controversial drug that was implicated in botched executions, state efforts to reduce partisan influence in congressional redistricting and Environmental Protection Agency limits on the emission of mercury and other toxic pollutants from power plants.
Protesters with signs gather outside of the U.S. Supreme Court June 29, 2015 in Washington, DC. Today the high court ruled on the controversial drug that was implicated in botched executions, state efforts to reduce partisan influence in congressional redistricting and Environmental Protection Agency limits on the emission of mercury and other toxic pollutants from power plants.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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In its final day of the 2015 term, the Supreme Court handed down decisions reinforcing the death penalty, upholding Arizona (and thereby California’s) congressional redistricting process and limiting the President’s power to limit pollution from power plants.

In addition to those, the court also announced that next term it will re-hear a case about the use of race in college admissions. That case involves a white woman who sued after she was denied admission to UT-Austin. A conservative-leaning federal appeals court in New Orleans has twice sided with the University’s policy, but experts now believe that the Supreme Court’s decision to re-hear the case may portend tighter restrictions on affirmative action in higher education.

Guests:

Jody Armour, Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at the University of Southern California

Vik Amar, a professor at the University of California, Davis School of Law

Timothy Cama, Energy and Environment Reporter at The Hill

Noah Feldman, a constitutional studies expert at Harvard Law School. His take on today’s EPA decision, “Justices Flex Their Power in EPA Case,” was published this morning in Bloomberg View