Nina Totenberg | New Hampshire Public Radio

Nina Totenberg

Eighteen years ago, Lorrie Triplett's husband, Ensign Andrew Triplett, rode off on his bike to board the destroyer USS Cole, heading for the Persian Gulf. It was the last time she would see him. On Wednesday, she sat in the U.S. Supreme Court and "really wanted to scream."

Her husband was among 17 killed in 2000 when al-Qaida suicide bombers in a small boat attacked the Cole while it was refueling in a harbor in Yemen. Dozens more men and women were injured. They and the families of the dead sued the government of Sudan for allegedly providing material support for the attack.

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As the fight over the Brett Kavanaugh nomination continues to reverberate throughout the country, the shorthanded Supreme Court began its new term Monday. Republicans had hoped to seat nominee Brett Kavanaugh in time for the start of the term, but that, of course, did not happen.

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The accusations against Brett Kavanaugh are mounting, with a third woman going public with a charge of sexual misconduct against the Supreme Court nominee. Today on Capitol Hill, the first of Kavanaugh's accusers is taking the stand.

Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET

It is still unclear exactly how and under what conditions Christine Blasey Ford will testify Thursday on Capitol Hill. Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a sexual assault when they were in high school.

Professor Christine Blasey Ford came forward on Sunday for the first time telling her story alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually attacked her 35 years ago when the two were both in high school.

So how is this different from the sexual harassment allegations made against now Justice Clarence Thomas by law professor Anita Hill in 1991 at his confirmation hearing?

I know because I was there. I broke the story and then watched in amazement as events unfolded.

There are big differences and similarities in these two events.

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Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET

The White House is accusing Senate Democrats of an unfounded "11th hour attempt to delay" a vote on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, released a statement Thursday afternoon disclosing that she had referred "a matter" involving Kavanaugh to "federal investigative authorities."

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Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh shares one important view with President Trump: Both are deeply suspicious of any attempt to limit the president's power over executive branch officials.

That view could have important consequences for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 election, which includes allegations of collusion and possible obstruction of justice.

There are about 2 million people who work in the federal government. Despite being in charge of the executive branch, the president is limited in the people he can fire.

But could that be about to change?

In Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump has nominated someone to the Supreme Court who believes, as he does, in an expansive view of presidential power.

Could the president hire and fire civil servants at will, for example? That question is at the heart of a concept that likely will come up often at Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings this fall.

In the battle over the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the usual suspects are lining up in support and opposition. At the grass roots, however, there is one new entry nervously eyeing the Kavanaugh nomination. It is March For Our Lives, started by high school students in Parkland, Fla., after the shooting there, and aimed ultimately at enacting more effective gun regulations.

Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

The White House withdrew the nomination Ryan Bounds to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit Thursday afternoon amid allegations of racist writings.

The Senate, on a party-line vote Wednesday, ended debate on the controversial nomination, with a confirmation vote expected Thursday. But instead, the nomination was pulled.

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There is a phrase that you may be hearing a lot over the next few months.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING MONTAGE)

JOHN CORNYN: And this has come to be known as the Ginsburg standard.

Updated at 5:58 p.m. ET

President Trump has narrowed his list of Supreme Court candidates to three, according to two sources close to the process.

The three are Judges Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Raymond Kethledge with Kavanaugh and Barrett as the top two at the moment.

It's important to maintain that caveat, because President Trump has not made a final decision, and it could change.

For four decades, the Supreme Court has been like a balance board, tilting this way and that. And, while it has moved more and more to the right with each reset, the center has held.

This term, and for the foreseeable future, however, the board looks more like a slide.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement this week, may feel secure in his legacy. But Justice Sandra Day O'Connor did, too, only to be disappointed.

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Updated at 5:54 p.m. ET

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement Wednesday, setting the stage for what promises to be an epic political battle over his replacement.

A Trump nominee is likely to be far more conservative than Kennedy, who, though appointed by President Ronald Reagan, voted with the court's liberals in some key cases.

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Updated at 11:26 a.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court has reversed a lower court decision upholding a California law requiring anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers to more fully disclose what they are.

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

In a 5-4 ruling that gave broad leeway to presidential authority, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Trump's travel ban that barred nearly all travelers from five mainly Muslim countries as well as North Korea and Venezuela.

The president's proclamation was "squarely within the scope of Presidential authority under the INA," the court wrote in its majority opinion, referring to the Immigration and Nationality Act.

"A moment of profound vindication"

A bitterly divided Supreme Court on Monday upheld the redrawing of congressional and state legislative maps in Texas. The decision reversed earlier court findings that intentional racial discrimination had infected the way that some statehouse and congressional districts were drawn — and came five years to the day after the high court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.

"Our legislative maps are legal"

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Some online sales are about to start costing more.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states can require retailers to collect and remit sales taxes on out-of-state purchases. The 5-to-4 decision reversed decades-old decisions that protected out-of-state vendors from sales tax obligations unless the vendor had a physical presence in the state.

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