The plaintiffs in the Proposition 8 case before the Supreme Court received a phone call from President Obama while being interviewed by Thomas Roberts on MSNBC.
Dan Amira: “It doesn’t even rhyme, but #StandWithWendy, the Twitter hashtag used to show support for the eleven-hour filibuster carried out by Texas state senator Wendy Davis last night, was even more popular than #StandWithRand, the Twitter hashtag that became a rallying cry for Rand Paul supporters when the Kentucky senator embarked on a thirteen-hour filibuster over drone policy in early March.”
Harry Enten: “In poll after poll taken over the past few months, at least 60% of Americans have agreed that the federal government should recognize same-sex marriages in those states that allow it…. The lack of a wider ruling on marriage at large likely saves the court from issuing a divisive opinion… While most Americans believe same-sex marriage should be legal, polling is unclear on whether they want the federal government to force it upon the states. CBS News found that over 60% thought it should be left to the states, while an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll discovered the opposite. Even in that poll, however, most thought if a federal statute did exist it should define marriage as between one man and one woman.”
Gurbaksh Chahal: “Social data drove the 2008 presidential elections and big data drove the 2012 election. In 2016 it will be the marriage of the two that will determine the next President of the United States.”
“With over 10 billion sharing events taking place each month over social media, big data is being created every second with each like and share, and wherever we travel across the globe with our mobile devices… Social data is fundamentally changing how advertisers approach the art of marketing. Now, we can track pretty much anything online — our campaign decisions are influenced by factors that extend far beyond the impression and conversion metrics that permeated the ad industry just five years ago.”
“I’ve always had the belief that age is just chronology. I know people who are 50 who are older than I am.”
— Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), quoted by the Washington Post, on turning 80 over the weekend.
The U.S. Supreme Court said in a broad ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. The vote was 5 to 4 with Justice Anthony Kennedy reading the majority opinion.
In a related case, the court did not make a ruling on California’s Proposition 8 meaning that same-sex marriage is once again legal in the nation’s most populous state. The ruling has no effect on other states, however.
Wonk Wire has a round up of analysis and opinion.
First Read: “If there was one overarching theme to yesterday’s big news events — the Voting Rights Act decision, President Obama’s climate-change speech, and Wendy Davis’ filibuster in Texas — we saw key portions of the Democratic base as fired up as we’ve seen them since the Nov. 2012 election. Taken together, this COULD be the beginning of how the Democratic Party attempts to nationalize the midterms and figure out how to motivate its base. And while some of these issues may not appeal to some swing voting groups, remember this: Midterms are about base enthusiasm.”
First Read notes voter turnout was “absurdly low” in yesterday’s U.S. Senate special election.
“Markey received more than 640,000 votes — almost half of the nearly 1.1 million votes Martha Coakley got in her losing effort in 2010. And as we’ve pointed out, this low turnout isn’t just in Massachusetts; it has also occurred in Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Virginia. Folks, there’s something happening — an aggressive passiveness has taken hold with the electorate, at least with semi-casual voters.”
CNN has made it official: “Crossfire” will be returning to the channel this Fall, TV Newser reports.
“CNN is poaching S.E. Cupp from MSNBC’s The Cycle to represent the right side of the table, alongside former House Speaker and Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich. Obama campaign consultant Stephanie Cutter and former White House advisor Van Jones will represent the left side of the table.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) vowed to block all State Department nominations until President Obama appoints an inspector general to investigate the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Wall Street Journal: “The U.S. economy grew at a 1.8% annual rate in the first quarter, slower than the earlier estimates of 2.4% growth. Economists had expected a 2.4% final reading for first-quarter growth.”
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds a majority of Americans regard President Obama favorably, but his numbers have softened considerably among his fellow Democrats.
Obama’s favorability stands at 53%, compared to 44% of Americans who view him unfavorably.
While 85% of Democrats regard Obama favorably, the number of those who are strongly supportive of him has dropped since the start of the year. Just 58% of Democrats describe themselves as having a “strongly favorable” view of Obama, down from 72% who said the same in January.
“It’s been fun, but, uh, see you soon.”
— Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R), quoted by the Austin American Statesman, after declaring an “unruly mob” had pushed a vote on an abortion bill past the legislative deadline.
“The nation watched on Tuesday — and into Wednesday — as Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) and hundreds of impassioned reproductive rights advocates stalled proceedings and ultimately defeated controversial abortion legislation in a storm of screams and shouts as the clock struck midnight,” the Texas Tribune reports.
Said Davis, after standing for nearly 13 hours to filibuster a bill designed to restrict abortion: “I am overwhelmed, honestly.”
“Republican senators made a last-ditch effort to approve SB 5, voting 19-10, but by then the clock had ticked past midnight. Under the terms of the state Constitution, the special session had ended, and the bill could not be signed, enrolled or sent to the governor. That fact was not immediately clear, and confusion abounded on the Senate floor. Republicans claimed the bill had passed while Democrats said it had not.”
Washington Post: So who is Wendy Davis?
Sunlight Foundation: “In the 2012 election, 28 percent of all disclosed political contributions came from just 31,385 people. In a nation of 313.85 million, these donors represent the 1% of the 1%, an elite class that increasingly serves as the gatekeepers of public office in the United States.”
“Australia’s first female prime minister, Julia Gillard, has been sacked by her party and replaced by the man she ousted three years ago,” the Guardian reports.
“After an unprecedented day of political bloodletting in Canberra, Kevin Rudd beat Gillard to become Labor party leader in a ballot of MPs by a margin of 57 to 45. It is only the second time a sitting Australian prime minister has been removed from office by their party; Rudd’s removal was the first.”
The Sydney Morning Herald has the latest.
Rick Hasen explains how Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for a conservative Supreme Court majority in Shelby County v. Holder, crippled Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
“In the Shelby decision, we see a somewhat more open version of a pattern that is characteristic of the Roberts court, in which the conservative justices tee up major constitutional issues for dramatic reversal. First the court wrecked campaign finance law in Citizens United. On Tuesday it took away a crown jewel of the civil rights movement. And as we saw in Monday’s Fisher case, affirmative action is next in line, even if the court wants to wait another year or two to pull the trigger. Imagine striking down affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act in the same week!”