When the Supreme Court ruled on campaign-finance reform last week, the biggest surprise was that the court upheld a ban on last-minute television and radio issue ads bought with "soft money." (Ads that mention a federal candidate near an election must be paid for with "hard money"--cash raised in small amounts from individual donors--not soft money from corporations, labor groups or big donors.) But if you turn on the tube just before Election Day, you'll probably still see plenty of ads.
Sir John Templeton has the kind of retirement most people dream about. On a recent afternoon, the former mutual-fund tycoon strolled the veranda of his white-columned plantation-style home in the Bahamas, gazing out over the trimmed golf course to the sparkling sea below.
When Texans Russell Smith and John Anthony traveled to Vermont to join in a civil union in February 2002, they had all the romantic intentions of any couple exchanging "I do's." But like the 50 percent of Americans whose marriages end in divorce, Smith and Anthony later decided to call it quits.
When George W. Bush nominated him to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in May 2001, Miguel Estrada seemed like a shoo-in. A 41-year-old Honduran immigrant with a solid resume, he'd clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, served as a federal prosecutor during Bush I and then as assistant solicitor general in the Clinton administration.
While most Americans were preoccupied with terrorist threats last week, House Republicans got a quiet start on their domestic agenda. Without a public hearing and only a brief floor debate, House leaders passed a new, stricter welfare-reform bill--which calls for tougher work requirements and limits on training, education and child-care funding. "I think the Republicans are using what's going on to get their goods through Customs," says Rep.