In a blow to supporters of affirmative action, the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a voter-approved ban on using race as a factor in college admissions at Michigan's state-run universities. The court ruled 6 to 2 that the state law banning the use of racial preferences does not violate the U.S. Constitution, although the court was splintered on the reasoning for the decision.
Meeting with Ukrainian officials on Tuesday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden expressed support for the interim government while also criticizing Russia for its efforts to destabilize the country. Biden told a meeting with Ukrainian legislators that the country has a second opportunity to make good on the original promise made by the Orange Revolution.
U.S. Secretary Of State John Kerry said Thursday that he and his counterparts from Russia, Ukraine and the European Union have reached an agreement on a preliminary plan for ending the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Kerry was speaking at the end of the Ukraine contact group's first meeting, comprising the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, the EU and the U.S., in the Swiss city of Geneva.
While outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will likely be remembered by many for her role in the troubled rollout of Obamacare, President Barack Obama praised her extraordinary leadership in remarks on Friday. The president's remarks came after the White House revealed that Sebelius is stepping down from her post as HHS Secretary after five years on the job.
With Israeli and Palestinian negotiators failing to make progress, Secretary of State John Kerry indicated Friday that the U.S. will re-evaluate its role in the Middle East peace process. Kerry, who has made an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement his top priority, noted that both parties say they want to continue but had a pessimistic tone regarding the outlook for the talks.
In the latest blow to campaign finance laws, the Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down the limits on the total amount of money individuals can contribute to all candidates, parties and political action committees. The 5 to 4 ruling by the court's conservative justices argued that the aggregate limits infringe on the donor's First Amendment rights.