A New Ambivalence

Long a black-and-white issue, abortion is now seen more as an argument to be fostered, not settled.

Justice: Bench Player

Walk down the hallway on the second floor of the Supreme Court, through the part of the massive marble building the public never gets to see, just past the chambers of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and you might think you've stumbled into a gallery.

First Comes Junior In a Baby Carriage

Tara Rhodes always assumed her life would unfold in the usual order--she'd date her boyfriend, they'd get married and then have a kid or two. But then Rhodes, a legal secretary in Philadelphia, learned she was pregnant.

Where Is the Roberts Court on Race?

The Roberts Court Tackles RaceCrystal Meredith had a simple wish: she wanted her son, Joshua, to attend an elementary school near their home in Louisville, Ky.

Church Meets State

The left often complains that evangelicals have too much influence in American life. But evangelicals themselves grumble that the politicians they help elect leave much of their agenda undone. So what impact has the religious right actually had on public policy? An overview:

Drama in the Court

Even on one of the busiest news days in years—election returns trickling in, the secretary of Defense ousted, the president admitting to an electoral "thumping"—the Supreme Court delivered its own drama with today's arguments over the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

Happy, But Not Satisfied

Will last week's New Jersey Supreme Court decision on gay marriage have an impact on next week's election? The ruling opened the door to make the state the second in the nation—after Massachusetts—to allow gay marriage by finding that the legislature must offer same-sex couples some form of marriage or civil union.Gay marriage was one of the hot-button issues in 2004, but Evan Wolfson, executive director of the gay-rights group Freedom to Marry and author of "Why Marriage Matters" (Simon &...

Breaking The Faith

It was just one more thing the White House didn't need weeks before a midterm election: a tell-all book dissing the administration's dealings with social conservatives.

As Goes South Dakota, So Goes the Nation

All eyes are on South Dakota. At least that was the message at a Washington breakfast this week with leaders of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood and the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families.

Stem Cells: A Papal Study

This week the Holy See will hold its first official international congress on stem-cell research, an indication the Vatican isn't shying away from the science or ethics of the controversial field.

Embryonic War

It was heralded as a scientific milestone. Published in an advance online version of the scientific journal Nature, it was touted on the front pages of newspapers across the country.

A Hot Case

If you thought only wonks in Birkenstocks cared about global warming, think again. Last week a coalition of green activists, states and cities, religious groups, energy companies and even a ski resort filed briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that the Environmental Protection Agency should regulate greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.

The Wedding March

For Seattle-area pastor and gay-marriage opponent Joseph Fuiten, there was little time to savor the good news. Within hours after the Washington Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, to uphold the state's ban on same-sex marriage, Fuiten--who leads a 2,000-member congregation--was drafting a missive about the ruling to send to 30,000 conservative Christian voters.

A New Contract?

His e-mail newsletter reaches more than 200,000 subscribers—and another 1,000 sign up every week. His 90-second radio commentary hits the airwaves on 350 radio stations and is one of the most downloaded political podcasts on iTunes.

Roberts's Rule

The final gavel has landed, the last oyez-oyez sounded for the summer. So how did the new Roberts Supreme Court stack up? Despite this week's contentious decisions on Texas redistricting plans and the legal rights of enemy combatants at Guantánamo, the court struck a more harmonious note overall.

Politics of the Altar

Back in 2004, suburban Seattle pastor Alec Row-lands watched with dismay as gay couples in Massachusetts flocked to courthouses and churches, exchanged vows and walked away legally wed.

A Supreme Bank Shot

During his often mind-numbing confirmation hearings, a polished John Roberts delivered a virtual seminar on constitutional law while managing to skirt most of his own views.

Supremes: Roberts--And Then The Real Battle

The confirmation battle over Judge John Roberts is about to take center stage. George W. Bush quickly nominated Roberts to serve as chief justice--a move the president had considered all along, according to one adviser close to the process who refused to be quoted because of the sensitivity of the deliberations.

Plan B: Elusive Solution

When the Food and Drug Administration announced Aug. 26 it was again delaying a decision on whether to make Plan B--the morning-after pill--available over the counter for women 17 and older, Commissioner Lester Crawford cited the problem of limiting distribution to younger teens.

John G. Roberts: What Answers Is He Going To Give

In 39 arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court, John G. Roberts earned a reputation as an unflappable advocate for his clients. But this week, when Roberts testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee in his own bid to join the high court, he'll face a different challenge.

Bush's Choice

The choice was contentious even before it was official. The name of John G. Roberts--President George W. Bush's pick to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor--leaked to the press about an hour before the judge appeared at Bush's side in the East Room of the White House last night.

End of Term

It was supposed to be a morning of high drama at the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices handed down the six remaining cases of the term on Monday--including several controversial decisions on the Ten Commandments and Internet file-sharing.

A BETTER SAFETY NET

First researchers disclosed fears that popular antidepressants might increase the risk of teen suicide. Then studies linked widely prescribed arthritis painkillers like Vioxx and Celebrex to heart attacks and strokes.

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