Most Americans oppose President Obama’s healthcare reform even though they strongly support most of its provisions, a Reuters/Ipsos poll shows.
Support for the provisions of the healthcare law was strong, with a full 82 percent of survey respondents, for example, favoring banning insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
Sixty-one percent are in favor of allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26 and 72 percent back requiring companies with more than 50 employees to provide insurance for their employees.
Photo credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Erns
The Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Jose Padilla, who said he had been tortured at a military jail in South Carolina and who sought to hold former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other officials accountable.
The justices let stand an appeals court ruling that dismissed the lawsuit by Padilla on the grounds his allegations lacked merit. The appeals court said he had no right to sue for the alleged constitutional violations and the judiciary could not review such sensitive military decisions.
In the lawsuit Padilla, a former Chicago gang member and a Muslim convert turned al Qaeda recruit who had been convicted on terrorism charges, sought a declaration that his designation as an enemy combatant, his military detention and his treatment in custody were unconstitutional. He had been held in the military prison from June 2002 until January 2006.
Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens leveled new criticism against the court’s landmark 2010 ruling on campaign financing, saying it had allowed corporations to ramp up spending and non-voters to influence the outcome of elections.
Stevens, who dissented from the “Citizens United” ruling, said it had increased the importance of cash in contested elections, opened the floodgates for foreign campaign spending and put corporations or other out-of-state speakers ahead of voters interested in local issues.
"A rule that opens the floodgates for foreign campaign expenditures will increase the relative importance of out-of-state speakers and minimize the impact of voters’ speech that addresses purely local problems," Stevens said.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear an Obama administration appeal arguing that attorneys, journalists and human rights groups have no right to sue over a law making it easier for intelligence agencies to eavesdrop on foreign communications.
The justices said they would review a ruling by a U.S. appeals court in New York that the plaintiffs have the legal right to proceed with their challenge to a 2008 amendment to the law, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The section at issue allows intelligence agencies to eavesdrop on overseas communications, including phone calls and e-mails, more widely and with less judicial oversight than in the past.
The change meant the U.S. government does not have to submit to a special judge an individualized application to monitor a non-American overseas. Instead, the U.S. attorney general and the director of national intelligence can apply for mass surveillance authorization from the judge.
— Alison Frankel: “SCOTUS: Corporations are people, unless they torture other people”