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Professors ask Congress for an ethics code for Supreme Court

US Supreme Court, 2010A group of more than a hundred law professors from across the country has asked Congress to extend an ethical code of conduct to the Supreme Court - for the first time - and clarify when individual justices should step away from specific legal cases.

The group's appeal on Wednesday, in a letter to the House and Senate Judiciary committees, comes after recent controversies involving travel and appearances at political events by several Supreme Court justices, including Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. Rep. Christopher S. Murphy (D-Conn.) said he plans to introduce legislation that addresses the issue.

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Nancy Pelosi: Women's Rights Face Greatest Threat 'In Our Lifetime'

Nancy Pelosi: Women's Rights Seriously Threatened Women's reproductive rights are being seriously threatened by the Republican Party, according to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who said she is worried that many women are complacent about the possibility that they will lose access to abortions.

"They're advancing extreme legislation," Pelosi said Thursday during a conference call with reporters. "It's dangerous to women's health, disrespects the judgment of American women -- I don't know if they even gave that a thought -- and it's the most comprehensive and radical assault on women's health in our lifetime. It's that bad."

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Coalition urges halt to House hearings on Muslim radicalization

Rep. Peter King, R-NYA coalition of 51 religious and civil rights groups is calling on congressional leaders to stop upcoming hearings on Muslim extremism in the U.S. or have the investigation refocused to include other hate groups.

The coalition, working with the San Francisco-based Muslim Advocates legal organization, said the March hearings led by Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, would demonize Muslim Americans and persuade many of them not to cooperate with police.

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Senate fails to repeal health care law

Senate fails to real health care lawThe U.S. Senate failed to repeal the nation's health care law but gave Republicans a chance to go on record with their objections to the sweeping measure that requires all Americans to have insurance.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., forced the party-line vote by attaching the House-passed repeal bill to a pending measure on aviation issues. All 47 GOP senators voted for repeal, but Democrats have the majority in the Senate.

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Republican Congressman Proposes Tracking Freedom of Information Act Requests

Representative Darrell IssaMr. Issa, a California Republican and the new chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, says he wants to make sure agencies respond in a timely fashion to Freedom of Information Act requests and do not delay them out of political considerations.

But his extraordinary request worries some civil libertarians. It “just seems sort of creepy that one person in the government could track who is looking into what and what kinds of questions they are asking,” said David Cuillier, a University of Arizona journalism professor and chairman of the Freedom of Information Committee at the Society of Professional Journalists. “It is an easy way to target people who he might think are up to no good.”

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Time to end foreign aid to Israel: ‘We just can’t do it anymore,’ Sen. Paul warns

Israel has been, by far, the largest recipient of US foreign aid anywhere in the world. Since the inception of Israel's close diplomatic relationship with the US all the way through 2008, Americans gave Israel over $103 billion, according to the American Educational Trust.

"What I'm concerned about," Paul said, is that "if we do nothing -- if we coast along as we've been coasting -- entitlements and interest will consume the whole debt within a decade; will consume the whole budget. There will be nothing left for anything else. My fear is we could have a precipitous calamity where nobody gets any checks from government, so security fails, Medicare fails, unless we start making the difficult decisions now.

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How Congress helped thwart Obama's plan to close Guantanamo

How Congress helped thwart Obama's plan to close GuantanamoTwo years after the newly minted Obama administration moved to undo what had become one of the most controversial legacies of the George W. Bush presidency by ordering the closure of the prison camps at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a trove of State Department documents made public by the website WikiLeaks is providing new information about why that effort failed.

Key among the factors, the cables suggest: Congress' refusal to allow any of the captives to be brought to the United States.

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