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5:35 PM ET, March 28, 2012

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Argument recap: A lift for the mandate?  (FINAL UPDATE 5:12 pm)  —  Analysis  —  The Supreme Court spent 91 minutes Wednesday operating on the assumption that it would strike down the key feature of the new health care law, but may have convinced itself in the end not to do that because of just how hard …
RELATED:
David G. Savage / Los Angeles Times:
Justices poised to strike down entire healthcare law  —  Demonstrators pray outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the third day of oral arguments over the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images / March 28, 2012)
Kevin Russell / SCOTUSblog:
First severability argument update  —  Paul Clement is finished.  The Court was skeptical that the whole act should fall if the individual mandate is invalid.  But there wasn't any clear indication of how far the Court would go.  It seemed like there wasn't much question …
David Frum / david-frum:
Supremes Won't Save GOP From Itself on Obamacare  —  A supporter of President Barack Obama's health care reforms(R) argues with several elderly women who are against the reforms in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC after the morning session March 27, 2012, KAREN BLEIER / AFP / Getty Images
Dahlia Lithwick / Slate:
The Supreme Court's Dark Vision of Freedom  —  The court's conservatives apparently believe in the land of the free.  Circa 1804.  —  The fight over Obamacare is about freedom.  That's what we've been told since these lawsuits were filed two years ago and that's what we heard both inside and outside the Supreme Court this morning.
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Justices Ask if Health Law Is Viable Without Mandate  —  WASHINGTON — On the third day and final of Supreme Court arguments over the constitutionality of President Obama's health care overhaul law, the justices on Wednesday shifted their attention to a question with enormous practical implications …
Jonathan Allen / Politico:
White House defends embattled solicitor general  —  The White House is coming to the defense of Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, whose efforts to defend the president's health care law Tuesday are under attack as a “train wreck” and “The Worst Supreme Court Argument of All Time.”
Alex Seitz-Wald / ThinkProgress:
Romney Justifies Denying Health Care To People With Pre-Existing Conditions: 'We Can't Play The Game Like That'  —  As Mitt Romney tries to distance himself from Obamacare, he ran into some trouble last night when he got stumped by comedian Jay Leno.  Leno asked Romney what he would do to help people …
msnbc.com:
First Thoughts: Brace yourself for another 5-4 decision  —  Brace yourself for another 5-4 decision... And such a decision would have two consequences: 1) feed the perception that the Supreme Court is as partisan as the other branches, and 2) satisfy no one... Yesterday was a bad day for the mandate …
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Santorum uses Supreme Court oral arguments on Obama healthcare law to criticize Romney
Discussion: Politico and The Hill
Glenn Thrush / Politico:
John Roberts Court on trial
Julian Pecquet / The Hill:
Reactions: Lawmakers revert to talking points as Justices leave them in the dark
Discussion: Politico
Philip Klein / Campaign 2012:
SCOTUS mulls striking down all of Obamacare
Adam Serwer / Mother Jones:
Obamacare's Supreme Court Disaster
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Dem kicked off House floor for ‘hoodie’ in Trayvon Martin protest  —  Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) on Wednesday morning was asked to leave the House floor after removing his suit jacket to reveal a “hoodie,” then putting the hood of his sweatshirt on his head to protest the Trayvon Martin killing in Florida.
RELATED:
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
Rasmussen does a poll on whether Zimmerman is guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin.
Joel Gehrke / Campaign 2012:
Dem pulled from House floor for Trayvon hoodie
Corey Boles / Washington Wire:
Rep. Bobby Rush Is Scolded for Wearing a ‘Hoodie’ on House Floor
Discussion: Hot Air
Fox News:
Media Matters writer ‘sorry’ after blasting Drudge for Martin photo
Greg Holyk / ABCNEWS:
Record Number See Romney Negatively; Obama Outpaces Him in Popularity  —  Mitt Romney trails Barack Obama by 19 points in basic popularity as the 2012 presidential contest inches closer to the main event, with a record 50 percent of Americans in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll now rating Romney unfavorably overall.
RELATED:
CNN:
CNN Poll: Obama leads Romney and Santorum in November showdowns  —  Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama holds a double-digit lead over GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in hypothetical general election matchups, according to a new poll.
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Tom Fontaine / PittsburghLIVE.com:
Santorum slips in Pennsylvania, survey finds
Bloomberg:
News Corp. Said to Plan U.S. Sports Network to Rival ESPN  —  Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (NWSA) is taking steps to start a national U.S. sports network on cable television aimed at challenging Walt Disney Co. (DIS)'s ESPN, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
RELATED:
JSOnline:
Romney calls in to Wisconsin voters from Texas, embraces Walker and Ryan  —  MicrosoftInternetExplorer4  —  <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" DefUnhideWhenUsed="true"  —  DefSemiHidden="true" DefQFormat="false" DefPriority="99"  —  <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="0" SemiHidden="false"
Spencer Ackerman / Wired:
FBI Taught Agents They Could ‘Bend or Suspend the Law’  —  The FBI taught its agents that they could sometimes “bend or suspend the law” in their hunt for terrorists and criminals.  Other FBI instructional material, discovered during a months-long review of FBI counterterrorism training …
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Stealing Christianity  —  TNR's Tim Noah wrote yesterday about one of my all-time biggest pet peeves: the constant appropriation of the word “Christian” by conservative evangelicals as exclusive to their distinctive and hardly uncontested point of view.  What sent Noah off was an NPR story on …
Discussion: The New Republic and Mother Jones
 
 
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 More Items: 
BBC:
New attacks target Jews in France
Discussion: New York Times and Via Meadia
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Rubio: 'I'm not going to be the vice presidential nominee'
Discussion: GOP 12
Reid Cherlin / GQ:
Take It From Me: Defending Obamacare is Super-Hard
Discussion: Ezra Klein, Mother Jones and News Desk
Naftali Bendavid / Washington Wire:
House Hits Roadblock Over Transportation Bill
Michael Wilson / City Room:
On ‘Mad Men,’ an Opening Scene Straight From Page 1
Discussion: Poynter
William A. Jacobson / Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion:
Sourcing narrative “facts” in the Martin case
Discussion: The Right Scoop
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Mississippi Is Most Religious U.S. State
 Earlier Items: 
Mj Lee / Politico:
John McCain: John Boehner's got it wrong on presidential travel
Discussion: Hot Air and Mediaite
Richard A. Oppel Jr / New York Times:
Strength and Weakness in the Campaign of Ron Paul
Michael Birnbaum / Washington Post:
German town fears loss of U.S. Army base
Matt Bai / New York Times:
Obama vs. Boehner: Who Killed the Debt Deal?
Discussion: msnbc.com and Politico