Political fallout of the Brexit vote

I must admit that I have been taken by surprise by the ‘sky is falling’ reactions to the vote by the UK to leave the European Union. This is my fault in that I, like so many Americans, wasn’t paying close attention to what was going on in Europe and while it appears that dire warnings about the consequences of leaving were commonplace over there, this news did not really register for me in the days before the vote.
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US Supreme Court strikes down Texas abortion restrictions

In an important decision today, the US Supreme Court by a 5-3 vote in the case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt struck down the 2013 law in Texas that had placed onerous restrictions on clinics that provide abortions and thus threatened to shut down nearly all of them in the state. That law, if upheld, would have set the stage for similar laws in other states, effectively largely nullifying the right to abortion except for rich people who could afford to travel to the very few clinics in the US (or abroad) to get safe, legal abortions.
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Avoiding facile lessons from the Brexit vote

There has been much gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair about the UK voting in a referendum to leave the EU. There have been some analyses of the demographics of the vote that looked at how each of the over 300 local authorities voted and comparing that with the demographics of that area. The analysis suggests that those voting to leave were more likely to be older, less formally educated, have lower incomes, and live in areas that had smaller population densities and fewer foreign-born and unmarried people.
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What happened with justice Kennedy between Fisher I and Fisher II?

Opponents of affirmative action, like opponents of abortion, have been steadily chipping away at it hoping to make it so marginal as to be effectively dead or to even land a final blow that eliminates it altogether. In the case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (that I discussed earlier here) they thought that the latter moment had come, at least when it came to affirmative action in public university admissions because all the signals were that the court would rule against the UT’s policy of using race as a a limited factor in their consideration of prospective students.
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Second thoughts on Brexit?

There seems to be some confusion in the UK about what to do now that the referendum on leaving the European Union resulted in the Leave side winning. It appears that there is a possibility that the UK may not actually leave after all. The actual process of leaving only begins when the government invokes Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty that forms the basic structure of the union and there seems to be hesitancy on both sides about triggering it.
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Surprise Brexit vote by UK

The voters in the UK surprised everyone, including the pollsters, by narrowly voting to leave the European Union by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1%. England and Wales voted to leave by fairly comfortable margins while Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain by even larger margin, leading some to predict that this vote may not only lead to a break with the EU but also a breakup of the UK itself. As late as the day before the vote, the Remain group had seemed to be gaining in the polls with the result that stock markets had risen in anticipation, so the victory by the Leave group came as a real shock.
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Donald Trump hates to be criticized about anything

A curious feature about Donald trump is that he hates to acknowledge that he is not perfect in any way. It is quite extraordinary really. This quality was on clear display during the primary race when Marco Rubio made that jab about Trump having small hands. It was clear that Rubio was crudely implying a correlation between hand and penis size that has no justification whatsoever but rather than dismissing it as a childish jibe, Trump actually defended the size of his hands.
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The future of political satire is brighter than ever

With the retirement of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert from their comedy shows, many of us feared the loss of sharp political satire. But while The Daily Show itself has struggled to find its footing with its new host, alumni Samantha Bee and John Oliver, and also Seth Meyers, have been terrific in picking up the mantle. Of the three, Bee is the most consistently funny but all are analytical and informative.
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Marco Rubio to seek re-election to US senate

To no one’s surprise, Marco Rubio has reversed himself and decided to run for re-election to his Florida senate seat. He had been strongly criticized for being an absentee senator and having the worst attendance record in that do-nothing body and in the past he had repeatedly expressed his disdain for the body. He had said that he would move to the private sector after his quest for the Republican nomination became just another road kill under the Donald Trump bus.
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