Supreme Court Battle Quietly Brews As Future Nominations Loom – ABC News

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Supreme Court Battle Quietly Brews As Future Nominations Loom – ABC News

An interesting article from longtime PAEC member and chair Tyler about possible upcoming nominations to the Supreme Court. At the center of the piece is Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu who was nominated to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Hearings regarding his nomination will be held this week in committee. A son of Taiwanese immigrants, Liu would be the only active APA federal appellate court judge in the country. What makes the story more intriguing is that according to the ABC News article, Liu is seen as a possible Supreme Court nomination for Obama. Given that Liu is only 39, this could mean that as the possible first Asian American on the court, Liu could serve for a very long time.

You can read more about Professor Liu here.

Thanks for the heads up, Tyler. As always, anyone is welcome to email with an interesting story you’d like to see on the blog.

Census Promotion Videos

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2010 is a Census Year. Here are some funny videos about why you should fill out the census. Yale students will fill it out in April. Encourage your families to fill them out too.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
United States Census 2010
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care reform

A Village Called Versailles Screening and Tea

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The Vietnamese Student’s Association will be hosting as part of the AACC Film Festival a screening of A Village Called Versailles, an inspiring documentary about a Vietnamese community in New Orleans and the obstacles they faced in rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. Before the screening there will be a Chaplain’s Tea and dinner with Father Vien who was featured in the film. Afterward there will be a Q&A session with Father Vien and the film’s director. These event are cosponsored by the Yale South East Asian Studies Council, ALIVE, and the Chaplain’s Office and it was organized by senior Xuan Nguyen as part of her thesis.

Wednesday, March 31st
4pm Chaplain’s Tea w/ Father Vien in Golden Center
5pm Dinner w/ Father Vien in Pierson
7pm A Village Called Versailles Screening + Q&A w/ director and Father Vien in Golden Center

Please send an email to to reserve your spot for the dinner.

Recap of Islamic Awareness Month Kick-Off and Ivy Muslim Conference (Part 1)

Flyer from MSA Meet & Greet, the kickoff event for Islamic Awareness Month at Yale

Meet and Greet
This month the Muslim Student’s Association of Yale is hosting a series of events as part of Islamic Awareness Month. Their first event was the kick-off meet and greet. So many people showed up that by the time I arrived a lot of the (TURKISH!) food was gone. But no worries because they still had a chocolate fountain.

Over 100 people attended the conference.

Conference Opening

There was a noticeable buzz when I arrived in the Dwight Hall Chapel. Students from Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, and even Brandies had traveled to Yale for the first ever Ivy Muslim Conference. Inclement weather had forced several schools’ delegations and two key speakers from DC to cancel last minute, but the conference was still well underway. Though I couldn’t grasp the meaning of the introductory prayer read from the Qur’an, I was still astounded by the audience. Among the 50 or so seated people and the dozen or more standing around there was much more ethnic diversity than I had expected. Of course I had met Caucasian Muslims before and had a Chinese Muslim friend in high school but I went into the conference without remembering that Islam transcends race. This small insight got me thinking a lot; this would be a running theme throughout the day.

Obama Nails It With State of the Union and “Question Time”

Last week was a very busy one in politics. On Wednesday, President Obama gave his first State of the Union Address. (Watch it at Given the tough political climate, it was clearly an important speech, and the president and his team were well prepared, shifting the focus to jobs and the economy. Health care reform wasn’t even mentioned until after the first half hour, but Obama still urged Congress not to give up on it yet. He made a lot of swings at the Republicans and took some jabs at his own party as well, challenging both parties to lead the country. He surprisingly made a direct mention of the Supreme Court and its decision on federal election spending, which usually does not happen in political speeches. (Not to be outdone, Justice Alito reacted visibly, which was not supposed to happen as well.) Obama also spent a lot of time talking about the culture of Washington and what it needs to clean up: the permanent election, playing politics with Senate confirmation of public officials, zero-sum game mentality, and the general cynicism and disillusionment these problems create.

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Corporate Groups in Politics

This past week’s special senatorial election in Massachusetts has received a lot of national attention. Conservatives have heralded Scott Brown’s win as clear signs of the nation’s discontent with President Obama while liberals worry about what the repercussions will be not only for health care reform but also for climate change and the rest of their agenda. The added drama that the Kennedy seat was won by a Republican just 14 months after Obama carried the state by 26 points has helped this incident overshadow the far more important political news of the week. In a 5- 4 decision on Citizens United vs. FEC, the Supreme Court overturned over a century’s worth of precedent in allowing corporations and unions to spend from their own treasuries on political campaigns.

The reactions to this ruling have varied from cries of treason to the celebration of  “a great day for the First Amendment.” This broad range of responses comes as no surprise given the long history of government restrictions on corporate participation in campaigns starting with the Tillman Act of 1907 and as recently as McCain-Feingold Act of 2002. The rulings will allow special interest groups to use their deep pockets to run ads for or against candidates who support their agendas. Proponents of the first amendment rights of institutions see it as a big victory and have dressed it up as a great win for Americans. At the same time, the dissenting opinion of the court warned that the decision “threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation.” Complicating the matter even more is the group of supporters who argue that the ruling is both good and bad for our democracy because the potential for corruption is greater but it decreases the power of big media corporations, which were exclusively allowed to participate in campaigns.

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Colbert Report on Obama’s first year

Great piece from the Colbert Report about the criticism of President Obama’s first year:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word – Two-Faced
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Economy