February 14 - The Raucous Republican Debate; Possible White House Strategies to Get a Replacement on the Supreme Court; The Consequences of a Tied Supreme Court; The Clinton / Sanders Healthcare Reform Debate

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with an appraisal of last night’s raucous Republican presidential debate in South Carolina ahead of next Saturday’s primary and speak with Andy Brack, a veteran political analyst of South Carolina’s politics who is founder and editor of Statehouse Report. He joins us to assess the likely winners and losers in this key primary state that could propel Donald Trump towards the nomination or slow his momentum as the other contenders fight for second place.

Part 2

Then with the death of the leading conservative on the Supreme Court, Justice Antonin Scalia, we explore what options and strategies the White House and the Senate’s Democratic minority might employ in the next 11 months to get a replacement for Justice Scalia nominated then confirmed on the court in this increasingly contentious election year. Jim Manley, a 21 year veteran of the U.S. Senate who served as senior advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for the past six years and, before that, served 12 years as an aide to the late Senator Ted Kennedy, joins us to discuss how the Democrats can get around a determined Republican majority in the Senate who have vowed to block any nominee, even a nominee who has been unanimously approved by them to a lower court.

Part 3

Then we look into the life and legacy of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia with a former law clerk for Scalia’s close friend on the court Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Aziz Huq, a Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School joins us to discuss how this leading conservative voice on the court changed the way arguments are presented and argued before court as well as Scalia’s impact on the political, economic and social life of the country that has been moved in a conservative direction since Antonin Scalia was appointed by Ronald Reagan.

Part 4

Then finally we examine the issue that has become the main policy argument between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in their campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination, healthcare and whether to improve the Affordable Care Act or go to a single-payer system that most of the other advanced economies have.Wendell Potter, a former health insurance executive whose latest book is “Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It”, joins us to discuss what is driving the rising costs of healthcare that have not been curbed by the ACA.