Friday, June 24, 2016

June 23, 2016

House Democrats ended their sit-in on the House floor. Led by civil rights legend John Lewis (D-GA), the Democrats were protesting Speaker Paul Ryan's refusal to bring gun safety legislation to the floor for an up or down vote. The Speaker prevailed in adjourning for the Independence Day break, with the House scheduled to return on July 5.

It was referendum day in the UK, with voters deciding whether to stay in the European Union, or leave the economic alliance (BREXIT).

The Supreme Court tied 4-4 in a decision (US v Texas) that in effect blocks President Obama's plan to halt deportations for some 4 million undocumented immigrants. The administration plan would have granted some legal status to those with clean criminal records. The practical effect is to maintain the status quo ante, with the administration continuing to use its prosecutorial discretion in deportations.

In another decision (Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin), the Supremes affirmed a lower court decision that endorsed the University's use of racial preferences in admissions. This was a blow to anti-affirmative action proponents. In a third noteworthy decision, the court ruled that states could impose penalties for refusal to take a breathalyzer test, but not for refusal to take a blood test, without a warrant (Birchfield v North Dakota, Bernard v. Minnesota, Beylund v. Levi).

Finally, Ben Simmons of LSU was the #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, with Duke's Brandon Ingram going 2nd to the LA Lakers.

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