Supreme Court begins whole woman’s health v. hellerstedt—
On March 2, the Supreme Court began hearings for Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, their first abortion case since 1992. The case challenges the 2013 Texas House Bill 2, which requires abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a hospital no more than 30 miles away from the clinic while also requiring these clinics to have the same standards as “ambulatory surgical centers.” Opponents of the law say that these requirements have forced half of the 41 clinics in the state to shut down, while its supporters believe it makes clinics safer. The court will decide whether or not the law violates the “undue burden” standard upheld in their last abortion case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Super Saturday & Ben Carson—
With only six candidates left in the 2016 Presidential Race, five states cast their primary ballots on Super Saturday, March 5. The Republican ballots were split between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, with Cruz winning Kansas and Maine and Trump winning Louisiana and Kentucky. These wins boosted Cruz’s campaign, as he now has 295 delegates, making him the closest challenger to Trump’s 378 delegates. After losing to Hillary Clinton on Super Tuesday, Bernie Sanders gained momentum when he won Kansas and Nebraska, while Clinton won Louisiana. Republican candidate Ben Carson ended his campaign
on March 4.
Flint, Michigan Funding on Hold—
On March 4, Utah Senator Mike Lee placed a senatorial hold on a bipartisan funding package which would give Flint, Mich. and other cities $220 million in federal aid to deal with lead-contaminated water pipes that are causing a public health emergency. Lee placed the hold because he believes that federal aid is not needed given the current financial state of Michigan. “The state of Michigan has an enormous budget surplus this year and a large rainy-day fund, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. Relief and repair efforts are already in the works,” Lee said in a statement. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz lifted his hold on the package, making Lee the only senator preventing it from getting a vote on the Senate floor.
knife found in O.J. Simpson’s estate—
O.J. Simpson was acquitted for murder in 1995, but the discovery of a knife on his former estate in Brentwood, Los Angeles is raising new questions about his role in the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. A construction worker on the property gave the knife to former Officer George Maycott in 2002, but Maycott did not report the knife until recently. The LAPD is currently analyzing the knife for evidence of DNA. Many are skeptical of the discovery given the coincidental timing of it with a new FX show about Simpson’s trial. Even if the knife is proven to be the murder weapon, Simpson, who is currently in jail for robbery and kidnapping, could not be prosecuted for the murders again.
South Dakota Bill vetoed—
South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard vetoed a controversial bill on March 1 which would have restricted restroom access for transgender students in the state. The bill would have prevented transgender students from using their preferred bathroom, forcing schools to find other accommodations for the students. Supporters of the bill believe it would have protected all student’s privacy, while opponents called the bill discriminatory. Daugaard said he believes any cases of misconduct should be handled by the school district. “If and when these rare situations arise, I believe local school officials are best positioned to address them,” Daugaard wrote in his decision. The state’s Senate is currently deliberating another bill, which requires transgender students to play for sports teams correlating to their assigned sex.
Nancy Reagan passes away—
Former first lady Nancy Reagan passed away from congestive heart failure on March 6 at the age of 94. Born on July 6, 1921, Reagan was an actress who met her husband Ronald when he was president of the Screen Actors Guild. They were married in 1952. The pair had two children together, and Nancy was also stepmother to Ronald’s two children from his first marriage. During her time as first lady, she advocated against drug abuse with an anti-drug campaign called ‘Just Say No.’ After Ronald was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she became an advocate for stem-cell research to find a cure for the disease. Ronald died in 2004. Nancy will be buried next to her husband at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.