By Kathleen Clark
Early this month, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, to the Supreme Court. This, of course, comes in response to the shocking death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away in February at the age of 79 while on a trip in Texas. Chief Judge Garland’s nomination will be a hotly contested battle on Capitol Hill and his likely delayed confirmation offers yet another chance to both look back at what Justice Scalia accomplished as the longest-standing member of the court, and to highlight some of the potential outcomes in an eight person Supreme Court for the more contentious legal cases.
By Samantha Guthrie
From April to September 2015, Americans’ belief that Iran poses a very serious threat to the United States rose from 39 percent to 49 percent. In the interim months, Iran dominated headlines, and its rotation in the news cycle has continued into the first months of 2016. Iran’s long isolation from Western markets, rejection of Western political alliances, and exclusion from Westerners’ travel itineraries has built a wall of ignorance around the country. Now that US and EU sanctions have been lifted, a new Iran is emerging onto the world stage, and will be a significant new player on the board, posing a challenge to US foreign policy unlike anything the country has faced in decades.
On January 16th, 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran was in compliance with the nuclear deal signed in July by Secretary of State John Kerry and the State Department, after years of painstaking stop-and-go negotiation. While it will take approximately 10 years of continued compliance for all nuclear-related sanctions to be fully rescinded, January’s “Implementation Day” means that Iran will be able to sell its oil on world markets once again, and its banks will be able to connect to the global system.