Washington (CNN) - The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a Michigan law banning the use of racial criteria in college admissions, a key decision in an unfolding legal and political battle nationally over affirmative action.
The justices found 6-2 that a lower court did not have the authority to set aside the measure approved in a 2006 referendum supported by 58% of voters.
It bars publicly funded colleges from granting "preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin."
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the court's first Latina, reacted sharply to the decision.
"For members of historically marginalized groups, which rely on the federal courts to protect their constitutional rights, the decision can hardly bolster hope for a vision of democracy that preserves for all the right to participate meaningfully and equally in self-government," Sotomayor wrote.
But three justices in the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito. concluded that the lower court did not have the authority to set aside the law.
"This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it," Kennedy wrote.
We want you to weigh in: The Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s ban on affirmative action for college admissions; do you agree or disagree?
Legal in 17 states: Where do you stand? S.E. Cupp discusses the fast moving issue of federal protections for gay rights.
(CNN) – Days before the release of her new book, Sen. Elizabeth Warren reiterated that she's not angling for a White House bid.
"I'm not running for president," the Massachusetts Democrat said in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS's "Sunday Morning."
Pressed again, she stood firm: "I'm not running for president. You can ask it lots of different ways."
The timing of her book's release on Tuesday has drawn parallels to President Barack Obama, who also published a title two years into his first Senate term back in 2006. He announced his presidential campaign less than a year later.
Warren, who was elected to the Senate in 2012, has become the face of the progressive movement. While former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the overwhelming favorite in public opinion polls for the 2016 Democratic nomination, Warren frequently comes in at a distant second or third place. FULL STORY.
We want you to weigh in: Do you want Elizabeth Warren to run for President in 2016?
The selfie. The “guys’ trip.” An endorsement?
President Barack Obama, who has never been less than glowing in public praise of his vice president, said in an interview aired Thursday that Joe Biden “will go down as one of the finest vice presidents in history” and has been “a great partner in everything that I do.”
But Obama stopped short – as he’ll likely do until a Democratic nominee emerges in 2016 – from saying he’d support Biden if he makes a third run for the White House.
“I suspect that there may be other potential candidates for 2016 who have been great friends and allies,” he told CBS News. “I know that we've got an extraordinary secretary of state who did great service for us and worked with me and Joe to help make the country safer.”
That “extraordinary” diplomat would be Hillary Clinton, the understood Democratic frontrunner whose every utterance is parsed for signs she’s closer to jumping back into the political fray.
As it happens, the last time Obama sat down with CBS for a joint interview was with Clinton as she prepared to step down as secretary of state shortly after the start of his second term. And just as he did Thursday, Obama heaped praise on the former rival.
“I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretary of states we've had,” he said – but again stopped short of offering his 2016 endorsement. FULL STORY
We want you to weigh in: If Joe Biden decides to run for President in 2016, should Obama endorse him?
(CNN) - Michael Bloomberg is investing a chunk of his personal fortune to minimize the influence of the National Rifle Association.
The former New York City mayor pledged $50 million to his new group Everytown for Gun Safety, an umbrella organization for his two other gun control groups: Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. It aims to make the political climate more supportive of gun control.
The new organization plans to compete against the NRA by adopting its playbook. The NRA has built an impressive and effective organization that touts millions of members, a robust lobbying organization and a massive campaign arm.
"You've got to work at it piece by piece," Bloomberg told the The New York Times.
In its grass-roots operation, Everytown plans to increase its membership from 1.5 million to 2.5 million this year to implement its education and mobilization efforts. The group will focus on 15 states that have liberal gun laws, including Texas, Montana and Indiana. States that have advanced gun control initiatives will also receive attention, including Colorado and Washington.
"The NRA should be afraid," said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. Women, and more particularly mothers, will be the key demographic in the outreach to curb gun violence.
"Moms are afraid that our children will be taken away. In the end, that's the emotion that's going to win." FULL STORY
We want you to weigh in: Can Michael Bloomberg and his millions defeat the NRA?
The selfie is more than a silly teenage trend. It's the millennial calling card: they can do it better themselves.
(CNN) – Chelsea Clinton is once again keeping the door open to a possible run for office in the future.
"I live in a city and a state and a country where I support my elected representatives. If at some point that weren't the case, and I didn't support my mayor or my city councilwoman or my congresswoman or either of my senators – and I'm lucky to live in a state where I have lots of women representing me, you know – maybe then I'd have to ask and answer the question for myself, and come to a different answer," Clinton said in an interview with Fast Company magazine.
Fast Company is a business magazine that touts itself as "uncovering innovative thinkers on the verge of breakthrough successes"
For years, when asked if she wanted to go into politics, the answer from Bill and Hillary Clinton's daughter was a resounding no. But Chelsea, now 34, doesn't say no anymore, and in interviews over the past year or two has cracked open the door just a bit. FULL STORY
We want you to weigh in: Do you think Chelsea Clinton has a future in elected office?
Washington (CNN) – Shortly after Kathleen Sebelius was tapped to carry out President Barack Obama's signature health care reform effort, the head of Health and Human Services found herself in the crosshairs of Republicans determined to repeal the law.
The two-term Kansas governor-turned-Obamacare-chief-defender is resigning as health secretary. She's leaving after a problem-plagued rollout of HealthCare.gov, the federal website portal critical to the law's implementation, but with the administration taking a victory lap after unexpectedly reaching and then exceeding its sign-up target of 7 million. FULL STORY
We want you to weigh in: What do you think of Kathleen Sebelius resigning as Health Secretary?