Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Previewing Supreme Court session

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Oct 13, 2015 9:20 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, October 13, 2015:

The words "deeply-divided" seem to precede any mention of the U.S. Supreme Court in media reports in the last few years.

That's because there have been so many 5-4 decisions on historic cases like those upholding Obamacare and legalizing same-sex marriage.

As always, the court will consider several significant cases during its fall session, which began Monday and close decisions on them won't be a surprise.

Among the cases the court will consider is whether states can compel public employees to pay union dues.  The case was brought by a California teacher who argues forcing her to pay dues that could be used for political purposes violates her First Amendment rights.

If you thought the court had made a final decision last year when it allowed for-profit companies to opt out of Obamacare requirements based on religious reasons -- think again.  Now, several religious affiliated institutions say the law's process for opting out of a requirement to pay for contraception violates their religious beliefs.

The Supreme Court could also take up a case that requires abortion clinics to meet the same standards as hospitals.

Widener University Commonwealth Law School Professor Michael Dimino appears on Tuesday's Smart Talk to preview the fall session. 

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  • Scott LaMar img 2015-10-13 10:17

    Cathy writes...
    I believe that the top 10% rule that your guest mentioned today, which was the University of Texas's approach to affirmative action, was imposed by the state legislature and not the university's doing. Please ask your guys to clarify.

  • Scott LaMar img 2015-10-13 10:18

    A listener writes...
    In Pei was a treasurer for my PSEA local for many years; we collected PACE money separetly from dues. Since PA is a 'right to work' state, none of the people in our bargaining unit were required to pay anything yet they enjoyed the benefits of the collective bargaining agreement.