It’s become one of the most talked about issues of our time: how to define marriage. For the longest time, politicians of both parties said it was between one man and one woman. But as more and more states recognize same-sex marriage — and as more and more opponents are trying to stop it — it was inevitable that the issue would reach the Supreme Court. And that’s what happened this week. Robert Barnes of the Washington Post guides us through the arguments the justices heard on Tuesday, reminding us that the ultimate verdict may be decided by the Court’s “swing” justice, Anthony Kennedy.
The number of presidential candidates is starting to rise. Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, is on the precipice of making his second bid. Back in 2008, he won the Republican caucuses in Iowa but failed to win the nomination. Janine Parry of the University of Arkansas reminds us of Huckabee’s record as governor, warts and all, as he prepares for another presidential campaign.
On the Democratic side, we have our first challenger to Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont and a self-styled socialist, announced his intention to run this week. He’s considered a long-shot for the nomination — he’s not known for an ability to raise much money, he’ll be 75 years old by election day 2016, and Clinton’s polling numbers are strong. But, as political analyst Stu Rothenberg points out, Sanders’ case finds a receptive ear from many in the progressive wing of the party.
Speaking of foreign policy, our “this week in political history” goes back to April of 1975, 40 years after the U.S. suffered one of its worst defeats ever. That’s when American troops were forced into a rushed and chaotic departure from Saigon, as South Vietnam was falling to the Communists from the North. Loren Jenkins, who was in Saigon during that city’s fall as a correspondent for Newsweek, recalls those final days.
It’s been a rough going for some Republicans from Staten Island in recent years as well. Vito Fossella and, more recently, Michael Grimm, were forced to resign from Congress because of personal or financial scandals. Next week is the special election to succeed Grimm, who resigned in January. Celeste Katz of the New York Daily News sets up Tuesday’s election.
And finally, Patrick Gavin, a political reporter-turned-filmmaker, talks about his new movie, “Nerd Prom,” a critical look at Washington’s obsession with celebrity and celebrities during its yearly dinner on behalf of the White House Correspondents Association.
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