Here’s your weekly quick look at a few developing stories in the political arena:
- The midterm elections were this past Tuesday. Republicans winning control of the senate, marijuana, and minimum wage were just some of the big stories from this election. For our recap article, click here.
- President Obama spoke about the election results and he vowed cooperation with Republicans to help move the country forward in his last two years as president. President Obama said, “The American people sent a message, one that they’ve sent for several elections now. They expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do. To everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you.” President Obama also said that taking executive action on immigration, which he postponed until after the election, remains a top priority and vowed to move before the end of the year.
- Speaker of the House John Boehner, however, warned President Obama that there would be no chance for immigration reform in the next two years if President Barack Obama takes executive action on the issue himself. Boehner said, “I’ve made clear to the president that if he acts unilaterally on his own, outside of his authority, he will poison the well and there will be no chance for immigration reform moving in this Congress.” Republicans have said that they might address immigration reform when they have control of both chambers next year, but have warned that Obama could kill those chances if he takes executive action.
- So how was voter turnout this election? Well full numbers aren’t out yet, but preliminary numbers are showing that turnout numbers are way down. Michael P. McDonald, a political scientist at the University of Florida, has estimated that just 36.6 percent of Americans eligible to vote did so for the highest office on their ballot. That’s down from 40.9 percent in the previous midterm elections, in, and a steep falloff from 58 percent.
- And finally, The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on November 6th upheld same-sex marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee, making it the first federal appeals court in the country to rule against marriage equality. The decision, which will stop gay and lesbian couples from marrying in several states, likely means that the Supreme Court will now have to take up and rule on a same-sex marriage case soon. Dale Carpenter, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Minnesota, said “This is the circuit split that will almost surely produce a decision from the Supreme Court, and sooner rather than later. It’s entirely possible that we could have oral arguments in coming months and a Supreme Court decision by next summer.” The decision was written by Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton, an appointee of George W. Bush.