TIME Military

The Pentagon’s Dubious Dogfight

USAF The Pentagon plans to test the A-10, left, against the F-35 in 2018.

Test pitting new F-35 against venerable A-10 comes too late to matter

The good news is the Pentagon is finally pitting its tried-and-true A-10 Warthog against its brand-new F-35 Lightning II to see which one is better when it comes to helping out troops on the ground. The bad news is such testing won’t start for another three years, when the military will be too invested in the F-35 to do much about it.

In other words, the test will come too late to make much difference—for either the grunts on the ground, or the taxpayers footing the $400 billion bill for 2,457 of the planes Lockheed Martin is building for the Air Force, Marines and Navy.

“This is the endgame of a premeditated strategy that has led to this totally absurd situation,” says Chuck Spinney, a retired Pentagon warplane analyst. “It brings into sharp relief the whole way we buy our weapons.”

While some are cheering the aerial duel as a necessary sizing up of the two warplanes the Pentagon is counting on to keep American troops safe on 21st century battlefields, that misses a key point by a mile: the tardy testing highlights the second half of a two-act Pentagon play designed to make the F-35 a fait accompli:

• The opening act began with what’s known in the weapons-building trade as “concurrency”—letting something be designed and produced at the same time. Over the past decade, concurrency allowed production contracts to be spread around the country (45 of 50 states are building parts of the F-35) and, indeed, the world (11 nations are helping the U.S. build the plane). That has given it momentum on Capitol Hill.

• In the closing act, concurrency has delayed testing of the aircraft for years—including against the A-10—ensuring its production no matter what the belated testing might uncover.

Or, as they sometimes say at the Pentagon: too early to tell, too late to stop.

Concurrency’s cost could be seen late Tuesday, when the Pentagon announced a $311 million contract award to Lockheed for “retrofit modification hardware,” a common result of trying to build weapons when their blueprints remain in flux.

The A-10, with its single mission of protecting the grunts on the ground with its fierce 30mm cannon, has long been the favorite of soldiers and Marines who find themselves pinned down by enemy forces. But it’s that very attribute—that the heavily-armored A-10 is dedicated to a single mission—that has made the `hog vulnerable in an increasingly tight budgetary environment. Scrapping it, as the Air Force proposes, would save $4 billion over five years, the service estimates.

The F-35, on the other hand, is a Swiss-army-knife kind of warplane. The Air Force, Marines and Navy all had to compromise to come up with a design they could share. Outfitted to perform several missions—it can fly off aircraft carriers, drop bombs and shoot at other airplanes—it can’t excel at any of them. “The idea that we could produce a committee design that is good for everybody is fundamentally wrong,” declares retired general Merrill McPeak, a fighter pilot who served as Air Force chief of staff as the F-35’s development got underway in the early 1990s.

The Pentagon’s operational testing office issued a grim assessment of the most-costly weapons system in history in its latest annual report earlier this year. “Overall suitability continues to be less than desired by the Services, and relies heavily on contractor support and unacceptable workarounds,” it said, “but has shown some improvement.”

Michael Gilmore, director of the testing office, said last week that his office will send out separate formations of each plane to conduct what the military calls “close air support” missions. Such testing will highlight “capability gaps” between the F-35 and A-10. “It’s really not wise to guess,” he said. “You have to go out and get data and do a thorough and rigorous evaluation.”

That’s the only way, Air Force officials say, to know where to spend more money on the F-35 to make up for any shortcomings it might have compared to the 40-year-old A-10.

TIME Debates

CNN Amends Republican Debate Rules To Include Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina
John Minchillo—AP Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina speaks during a pre-debate forum on Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland.

A surprise late change to the polling criteria

Carly Fiorina won’t be excluded from the main stage at this month’s CNN debate after all.

In a victory for the former HP CEO, the cable network announced Tuesday that it is amending its rules for qualifying for the Sept. 16 debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library to include all candidates who are polling on average in the top 10 in surveys conducted after the Aug. 6 Fox News debate.

“We learned this week that there will likely be only two more polls by the deadline of September 10th,” the network said in a statement. “In a world where we expected there to be at least 15 national polls, based on historic precedent, it appears there will be only five. As a result, we now believe we should adjust the criteria to ensure the next debate best reflects the most current state of the national race.”

All those who average in the top 10 on surveys from July 16—the original threshold—with also be included, according to the network.

Fiorina, who has surged in polling after a well-regarded performance in the “happy hour” debate last month, was unlikely to meet the original qualifications because there have been fewer polls meeting CNN’s standards since the Fox News debate than there were before it. Fiorina’s campaign has aggressively lobbied both the network and the Republican National Committee to amend the rules to allow her on stage, frustrating officials at both organizations who said the candidate should have raised objection in May when the qualifications were first set.

But amid mounting pressure from conservative groups and Fiorina supporters, CNN reversed course on its commitment to stand by the initial rules. Instead, 11 candidates will appear in the primetime debate, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul—each at risk of falling out of the top 10—remaining on stage as well.

Fiorina deputy campaign manager Sarah Isgur Flores, tweeted a statement thanking activists for their help securing a spot for Fiorina.

“I applaud CNN for recognizing the historic nature of this debate and fully support the network’s decision to amend their criteria,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in a statement.

TIME jeb bush

Democrats Scrutinize Jeb Bush’s Record on Florida River

Former Florida Governor and GOP Presidential candidate Jeb Bush at a town hall meeting at the VFW Post 9644 August 25, 2015.
Andy Cross—Copyright - 2015 The Denver Post, MediaNews Group. Former Florida Governor and GOP Presidential candidate Jeb Bush at a town hall meeting at the VFW Post 9644 August 25, 2015.

But the case against Bush is as murky as the waters

In a 30-second television ad, the images will be powerful: soupy green algae overtaking a river, dead fish floating in brown water elsewhere downstream, a factory’s pipeline spewing millions of gallons of wastewater each day in Florida’s poorest county. It’s an ugly sight, for sure, and one that could worry even voters who are jaded about environmental protections.

Such is the scene from time to time along Florida’s St. Johns River, a 310 mile-long waterway that has struggled for years to accommodate the wastewater coming from nearby factories, water treatment plants and manicured lawns. And that river is poised to get a national close-up as voters consider former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s campaign for the White House.

“As he sells himself as an environmentalist, we’ll remind folks that his record doesn’t match that,” said Scott Arceneaux, executive director of the Florida Democratic Party. “He’s going to run on his record here (in Florida) why he should be President. We’re going to remind folks about all the things he didn’t do.”

The Bush campaign declined multiple requests for comment about his environmental record.

Yet while the images of the river look bad, the details of its pollution are less damning. In fact, the pollution spewing forth has declined since Bush first encountered the issue during his first days in in office in 1999.

Georgia Pacific treats wood pulp with harsh chemicals that make its final products such as Brawny paper towels, Dixie Cups and Angel Soft toilet paper sparkling white. But that process, used across the industry, leads to millions of gallons of wastewater every day.

At Georgia Pacific’s plant in Palatka, Florida, the wastewater for the longest time went into Rice Creek. But when that small stream became too polluted, the company and other paper producers in the area started to look for an alternative. What if they could just pump their pollutants further downriver, to a bigger body of water where their waste would have less of an impact?

As Bush took office, environmental groups and state agencies were watching pollutant levels in Rice Creek climb to potentially unsafe levels, especially when the creek was barely moving or had dried up. The pollution transformed the waterway into a river of green sludge, a place where algae thrived and fish died.

Only a fraction of the pollutants can be traced to the Georgia Pacific plant; one half of one percent of the nutrient material going into the St. Johns River comes from the company. Three dozen water treatment plants, along with lawn chemicals from golf courses and gated communities, were also adding to the levels of pollutants in the waterways, so it is impossible to pinpoint specific culprits.

Looking at these reports and realizing the trouble they faced, Georgia Pacific, Champion International and Buckeye Florida asked the newly-sworn-in Governor for permission to build a pipeline that would ship their waste further downstream, into the St. Johns River. There, they argued, the pollutants could be diluted to safe levels. Companies all over the country were doing similar things and continue to this day.

The thinking is this: these chemicals, in small amounts, are fine. Tap water in many places, for instance, contains trace amounts of chlorine. It is not harmful if it’s diluted in a city’s water supply, but no one would suggest you pour yourself a tall glass of Clorox bleach.

Bush gave the companies provisional permission to build the proposed pipeline if the waters in the creek fell outside of acceptable environmental levels. In other words, if the pollutant levels became unsafe, the companies could build a pipeline to pump their waste into a bigger body of water where it wouldn’t be so bad. In one email, Bush, who kept close tabs on the project, said of the pipeline solution: “it is a win, win.”

As expected, the creek’s waters grew more troubled, so Bush’s state Department of Environmental Protections stepped in and said the companies could build the pipeline.

Legal fights immediately ensued. Environmental groups said the pipe did not address the pollutants or their long-term impact. The companies said they were doing more than was required under the Bush-approved permit. Jeb Bush’s state environmental regulators clashed with President George W. Bush’s Environmental Protection Agency. It was a tangle of conflicting rulings that left the pipeline in limbo when Jeb Bush left office in 2007.

In the middle of all of this, Koch Industries bought Georgia Pacific in late 2005. That’s when the lobbying of the Governor got serious—and Democrats started paying closer attention. Charles and David Koch, after all, are some of the most generous patrons to conservative political and advocacy groups in the country.

The Kochs’ role is partially why the non-profit Bridge Project, a Democrat-backed research group that is focused on conservatives’ records, point to the river as a weak spot for Bush.

During Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s winning re-election in 2014, critics also tried to blame him for the river’s problems and suggested Scott backed the pipeline as payback to the Kochs. Now, with Bush running for President, his Democratic critics are ready pick up again on that criticism in the coming weeks and try again.

But the case against Bush is shaky. While he gave approval to the pipeline, he left office without the pipeline being constructed, and fights continue to this day on how to fix the St. Johns. A joint University of North Florida-Jacksonville University study found fish in the river were not considered toxic, but added that residents should not eat more than two meals a week that included fish caught in the waters.

“You definitely don’t want to drink it or swim it regularly,” said Lisa Rinaman, a former top aide the Jacksonville Mayor who now serves as St. Johns Riverkeeper, an environmental defense position. “There’s some metallic taste you get in your mouth out there.” But, she acknowledges, the pipeline has helped and there have not been fish kills since the pollutants were diluted in the larger St. Johns River instead of Rice Creek.

MORE: 7 Things We Learned Writing a Cover Story About Jeb Bush

As for the Kochs, their plant continues to churn out paper products with much improved environmental standards. “These improvements have not only turned the mill’s pulp washing and bleaching system into a state-of-the-art operation, but they have also had a significant impact on restoring and improving water quality in Rice Creek and the St. Johns River,” Georgia Pacific said in a statement to TIME.

In all, the company has spent $250 million on environmental upgrades to the facility. Pollutants are down, and the St. Johns River is coming back. For instance, Georgia Pacific’s plant along the St. Johns has reduced its water use by 40 percent, its phosphorous discharges by 75 percent and its nitrogen discharges by 59 percent, according to company records.

“The record is very clear that not only were we held firmly to meet standards set by state and federal government officials involved, we went above and beyond the installation of manufacturing process improvements before being authorized to construct the pipeline,” the company said in its statement.

Critics are quick to point out that the plant has still be found in non-compliance with the Clean Water Act in 10 of the last 12 quarters, according to the EPA’s report on the Palatka plant.

Yet, even without upgrades, it might not have mattered. Georgia Pacific is the largest employer in Putnam County, and that county remains the poorest in all of Florida. While the river has improved, it’s still fighting the churn of wastewater that makes its way there every day. Environmental groups continue to criticize the pipeline project. Those groups, however, aren’t getting much help from the people the pipeline most directly impacts; those families want the jobs Georgia Pacific provides.

Bush himself, meantime, has bragged about his environmental record. “When I was Governor, I think most people in Florida, they would say—whether they liked me or not—they would say I had a pretty darned good environmental record,” Bush told an audience of the 450 of the most influential conservative donors in the country recently. They were meeting at a private summit convened by none other than network of think tanks, nonprofits and political groups backed by the Koch brothers.

During Bush’s time as Governor, Florida did make strides on its environment. Bush invested $2 billion into the Everglades, backed marine sanctuary projects in the Florida Keys and opposed offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. “I protected Wild Florida; that we cleaned the water,” Bush told the audience. “We started to focus on Everglades restoration.”

But his role in the St. Johns Pipeline is one Democrats plan to hammer in the coming week. He may even find a few surprising defenders. As environmentalist Rinaman acknowledges: “There’s no market for brown paper towels.”

Read Next: Obama’s Trip to Alaska Shows Both Sides of His Climate Change Legacy

TIME climate change

Obama’s Trip to Alaska Shows Both Sides of His Climate Change Legacy

Barack Obama Anchorage Alaska
Andrew Harnik—AP President Barack Obama speaks during a visit to the Snow City Cafe in Anchorage on Sept. 1, 2015.

President Obama brought his crusade against climate change to Alaska this week to highlight the effects of warming. But the state also depends heavily on fossil fuels

President Barack Obama brought his crusade against climate change to Alaska this week with a three-day trip designed to highlight the devastating effects of global warming and promote initiatives to address the issue.

“Human activity is disrupting the climate, in many ways faster than we previously thought,” Obama told a meeting of international delegates in Anchorage Monday. “Climate change is no longer some far-off problem. It is happening here. It is happening now.”

The visit to Alaska, a state that is both rich in fossil fuels and particularly vulnerable to climate change, places Obama at the heart of the struggle to adapt. Rising sea levels, devastating wildfires and coastal erosion all threaten communities across the state, thanks largely climate change. But, at the same time, Alaska benefits from the very fossil fuels that help cause man-made global warming. Oil resources support thousands of jobs in the state and allow the state to avoid levying income or sales tax. Every year the state government issues a royalty check to state residents (nearly $1,900 in 2014) funded by the oil industry.

While Obama has billed his trip as an opportunity to highlight the threat of climate change—and the steps his Administration is taking to fight it—his policies embody the tension between the vital fossil fuels play in the U.S. economy and the need to reduce carbon emissions. Obama has proposed aggressive U.S. action on climate change, including a 26% to 28% reduction in carbon emissions by 2025 from 2005 levels. But he has also supported measures to open oil drilling in the Arctic, a move condemned by environmentalists angered over the danger of an disastrous oil spill and the threat of more carbon emissions

“Obama’s visit to Alaska is really significant, not just because he’s the first sitting president to visit this state, but because Alaska is really at the front lines of climate change in the U.S. right now,” said Marissa Knodel, a climate change campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “But, while he’s claiming he wants to be a climate leader, he’s doing the exact opposite by opening offshore oil and gas to companies like Shell for drilling.”

Obama, whose arrival in Anchorage on Monday was met with protest from opponents of drilling, has said that allowing limited drilling will allow the U.S. to remain energy independent while it pursues alternatives to fossil fuels. “Now even as we accelerate [the clean energy] transition, our economy still has to rely on oil and gas,” Obama said in his weekly radio address days before traveling to Alaska. “As long as that’s the case, I believe we should rely more on domestic production than on foreign imports.”

Citing academic research, climate change advocates argue that burning all the fossil fuels buried in the Arctic would contribute to global warming to an unsafe degree. The region contains nearly a quarter of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas resources, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. And a 2014 study published in the journal Nature concluded that “development of resources in the Arctic and any increase in unconventional oil production are incommensurate with efforts to limit average global warming” to a level deemed acceptable by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Not that you’d know the President supported Arctic drilling from his Alaska visit. In appearance after appearance, the President highlighted the ways in which climate change has threatened the region. There may not have been a better place for such a pitch. The state has warmed by 3.4°F (1.9°C) over the past 50 years, twice as fast as the country at large over, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This past winter was especially warm in Alaska, with temperatures 4 to 10°F (2 to 5.6°C) warmer than normal, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Experts expect temperatures to rise as much as 7.0°F (3.9°C) by 2100.

Temperature increases have contributed to melting ice and glaciers in the region. In total, 75 billion tons of ice from glaciers melts in the state each year, according to a recent study in Geophysical Research Letters. The melting of glaciers contributes to global sea level rise, in addition to destroying a local treasure and tourist draw. In the Alaskan Arctic, melting ice has threatened the habitats of many native animals, including the polar bear. Just last week thousands of Arctic walruses flocked to an Alaskan shore, likely because they couldn’t find ice haul out. Ice loss, sea level rise and warmer waters have also contributed to the erosion of the state’s coast at an average rate of 4.6 feet (1.4 meters) each year. Entire communities may need to be relocated just to survive.

At the same time the gradual loss of Arctic sea ice has opened new shipping possibilities in the far North—which in turn has contributed to a battle of influence in the Arctic between the U.S. and Russia, one Washington is seen at risk of losing. During his trip, Obama announced a number of measures aimed at quelling those concerns, including an expanded U.S. naval presence in the region.

Beyond melting ice, Obama highlighted a laundry list of climate facing the region: melting permafrost, dramatic storm surges and changing migratory routes for animals hunted by native Alaskans.

The trip to Alaska is the latest in a series of effort by the President to draw attention to global climate change and position the U.S. as a leader on the issue. The White House recently finalized the Clean Power Plan, which mandates emission reductions from power plants, and announced initiatives to expand solar power and billions of dollars in private sector commitments to finance renewable energy production. Climate change was also in the background of Obama’s visit to New Orleans last week for the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The White House hopes that recent climate actions will give the U.S. a leadership position at a United Nations conference on climate change in Paris later this year. Climate advocates and global leaders alike hope that summit will yield the world’s first binding and global agreement to address global warming that will require concrete cuts to curb carbon emissions.

“This year, in Paris, has to be the year that the world finally reaches an agreement to protect the one planet that we’ve got while we still can,” said Obama in a speech on Monday. “We can have a legitimate debate about how we are going to address this problem; we cannot deny the science.”

TIME

O’Malley Finds Something to Like in Clinton Emails

Democratic Presidential Candidates Speak At DNC Summer Meeting In Minneapolis
Adam Bettcher—Getty Images Democratic Presidential candidate former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks at the Democratic National Committee summer meeting on August 28, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

While Jeb Bush and Donald Trump are blasting each other for praising Hillary Clinton in the past, one of Clinton’s rivals is now using her past praise for him to raise money.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley sent a fundraising email to supporters Tuesday which noted that the former Secretary of State had said nice things about him in the past.

The praise comes from an email that Clinton sent to her friend Sen. Barbara Mikulski in April 2010, long before the two prepared to run against each other for president, in which Clinton complimented O’Malley profusely ahead of his reelection contest for Maryland governor:

“How’s our friend, Martin, doing?” Clinton said in her note to Mikulski. “I know he has a rematch when he should be reelected by acclamation for steering the ship of state so well. Pls give him my best wishes.”

The Clinton email was released by the State Department Monday as part of a public records request of all of Clinton’s electronic correspondence during her time as Secretary of State.

O’Malley noted Clinton’s praise in his fundraising email, saying he was “flattered,” then switched gears to make his pitch for more debates in the Democratic primary, which have been limited by the Democratic National Committee to six.

“Here’s the thing: I didn’t win in Maryland by acclamation. I won because of supporters like you. I won because we fought for progressive change,” O’Malley wrote. “Democrats are not going to win THIS election by acclamation either. We need more debates to get our positions on the issues in front of voters.”

Read Next: Martin O’Malley Plans Revolt Over Democratic Debate Rules

TIME celebrities

White House Responds to Kanye West’s Presidential Run

Kanye West
Matt Sayles—Invision/AP Kanye West accepts the video vanguard award at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Aug. 30, 2015, in Los Angeles.

One option: "I'm not no politician, bruh"

Kanye West rocked the political world Sunday when he announced his intention to run for President in 2020 during an award acceptance speech at MTV’s Video Music Awards, and now the White House has joined in on the fun.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One Monday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest joked about the rapper’s possible campaign swag, according to Politico, saying he looks forward “to seeing what slogan he chooses to embroider on his campaign hat.” (Earnest’s comments may have been a dig at Republican candidate Donald Trump, who’s “Make America Great Again” hats have become an internet sensation.)

West’s acceptance speech contained a number of possible slogans for an outsider candidate, including “I’m not no politician, bruh.” However, if President Obama has his way, the rapper’s hats may just read “jackass.” Obama has described West in such terms twice, first in 2009, after West’s infamous interruption during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the VMAs, then again in a 2012 interview with the Atlantic.

Jimmy Kimmel also poked fun at the idea of West’s run Monday night, producing a video montage of Kanye and Trump that cut between the rapper’s VMA’s speech and some outlandish moments from the Trump campaign.

 

TIME White House

Follow President Obama as He Instagrams His Way Around Alaska

Barack Obama Alaska
Andrew Harnik—AP President Barack Obama speaks during a visit to the Snow City Cafe in Anchorage on Sept. 1, 2015.

Obama will be sharing photos of his trip to Alaska

“Hey everyone, it’s Barack.”

On Monday night, President Obama took over the White House’s official Instagram account to announce he will be sharing photos of his trip to Alaska.

Though not his first time traveling to America’s last frontier, the President says it is his first chance to tour the state. He will be meeting with Native American groups, elected officials and business leaders to talk preserving the beauty that is Alaska. Survivalist Bear Grylls will also join President Obama in a hike along Alaska’s Exit Glacier to illustrate the effect of climate change.

The high-profile trip, which kicked off Monday, comes shortly after Obama renamed Mount McKinley to its native Alaskan name of Denali.

A White House Facebook video goes behind the scenes with the President, giving viewers a closer look at Obama’s Instagramming technique. Watch below:

TIME Hillary Clinton

Learn Hillary Clinton’s Quirky Email Slang

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Charlie Neibergall—AP Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks a news conference at the Des Moines Area Community College on Aug. 26, 2015, in Ankeny, Iowa.

Here's how she talks to close friends and coworkers

The release of thousands of emails from Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State hasn’t just opened a window into her political decisions, it’s also revealed how she talks.

A number of emails from Clinton to her closest staffers show a private lingo, often a form of shorthand to make typing easier on a smartphone but also the kind of personal references people who work closely together develop.

Here’s a short glossary of some common Hillaryisms:

are you awake: Subject line of any email sent past 10 p.m. or so. Nothing else is in the email so that if the recipient is asleep, they don’t feel pressured to respond at 2 a.m.

berry: Clinton’s BlackBerry.

Diane Reynolds: A pseudonym used by Chelsea Clinton when checking into hotels and also for her email address on Hillary Clinton’s homemade server.

hPad: Clinton’s iPad.

HRod: A nickname for Hillary Rodham Clinton, based on one of her email addresses, hrod17@clintonemail.com. Presumably a play on A-Rod, the nickname for New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez.

kidlet: Children. State Department staffer Cheryl Mills often referred to her children as “kidlets” in emails to Clinton.

pls print: A request for a staffer to print out an email, often the text of a longer news story, presumably so that she can read it.

WJC: Hillary Clinton’s husband, former President William Jefferson Clinton. State Department staffers often referred to Bill Clinton by his initials, though Hillary usually just called him Bill.

Read Next: Hillary Clinton’s Lawyer Readies for Email War

TIME Civil Rights

A History Lesson for the Kentucky Clerk Refusing to Grant Marriage Licenses

Not everyone immediately accepted the Supreme Court's 1967 ruling about interracial marriage, either

In recent months, as the Supreme Court considered the question of marriage equality, one particular case served as a frequent point of comparison for advocates of gay marriage rights: Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 case that struck down laws that prevented interracial marriage. The case was even cited by Justice Anthony Kennedy in his opinion in the gay marriage case, Obergefell v. Hodges, when he noted that it established the precedent that marriage is “one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”

Now it seems that the link between Loving and Obergefell doesn’t end there. As a Kentucky county clerk continues to refuse to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples—despite Obergefell and despite a refusal by the Supreme Court to get involved with her case—it’s worth remembering that it was years after Loving before interracial marriage was actually a given across the United States.

In theory, the Loving ruling meant all anti-miscegenation laws in the United States were invalidated. At the time, more than a dozen states had such laws on the books. But three years later, when Sgt. Louis Voyer (who was white) and Phyllis Bett (who was black) tried to get married in Alabama, they were refused a license by Probate Judge C. Clyde Brittain, on the basis that Alabama law would have made such a license criminal. In fact, Alabama law still made Voyer and Bett’s coupledom criminal in itself, and the Alabama constitution actively barred state lawmakers from legalizing marriage between “any white person and a Negro, or descendant of a Negro.”

In the resulting 1970 case United States v. Brittain, the district court ruling was extremely straightforward: there was no question that the Alabama laws in question were unconstitutional and that Voyer and Bett had the right to marry. The court even held that it didn’t matter if there were some other justification for not allowing them to do so—for example, if the bride did not properly provide proof of residence—because it was so obvious that the real motivation was racial. (This point is perhaps relevant today, as the Kentucky clerk in question has worked around the Obergefell ruling by refusing to grant all marriage licenses—but she has made no secret that her motivation is related to the question of her beliefs about marriage equality.) Nor did it matter that Voyer and Bett had gone ahead and gotten married in Tennessee. There was, the court ruled, reason enough for it to issue an opinion, just to set the record straight:

Although the unconstitutionality of these miscegenation laws cannot be seriously questioned by any trained in the law, we find a situation where the chief law officer of the State of Alabama is not free (and this has been so stipulated) to advise Judges of Probate who are not members of the bar that these miscegenation laws are unconstitutional and should not be followed. Such advice could only (by force of custom if not of law) be given after the Alabama laws had been declared unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction. Given such a situation, there is no reason for this Court to delay making such a declaration until another couple in just the right circumstances next feels the pinch of these laws.

It took years for the last wave of such local tests of Loving to finally die down, as explained by Julie Lavonne Novkov in her book Racial Union. It took another decade or so for the echo of Loving‘s implications to pass through the courts. (It wasn’t until 1984, for example, that the court ruled interracial couples couldn’t be discriminated against in child-custody decisions.) And it wasn’t until 2000 that Alabama actually removed its long-unenforceable anti-miscegenation law from its books.

If the fallout from Loving is any indication, those who side with the Kentucky clerk may have years of fight left to go—but their battle will likely be a losing one in the end.

Read TIME’s original coverage of the Loving case, here in the TIME Vault: Anti-Miscegenation Statutes: Repugnant Indeed

Read next: Kentucky Clerk Still Won’t Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

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TIME jeb bush

Why Jeb Bush Is Taking a Right Hook to Donald Trump

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush fired back at Donald Trump Tuesday with a video questioning his conservative bona fides.

The 80-second video hits Trump with a hard right hook, showing clips of him talking about living in New York City, calling himself pro-choice, praising single-payer health care and saying that Hillary Clinton is “a terrific woman.”

“I lived in New York City and Manhattan all my life, so my views are a little bit different than if I lived in Iowa,” Trump says at the beginning of the video, a clip from his 1999 appearance on “Meet the Press.”

Bush and Trump have been engaged in a war of words, as the real estate mogul maintains his lead on the GOP field. Trump released a campaign video on Instagram juxtaposing Bush’s assertion that people cross into the U.S. illegally as an “act of love” with photos of criminals in the country without legal status.

For months, the Bush campaign has tried to ignore Trump, but it has now decided to treat him as a legitimate candidate who must be taken down. Attacking from his right flank is an attempt to both weaken the front-runner and bolster Bush’s conservative bona fides.

Some of the attacks draw on Trump’s past statements, which he has since repudiated. While the video shows Trump saying he is “very pro-choice,” he said during the August Republican debate that his views have “very much evolved” on the issue.

Another line in the video draws from that debate to show Trump arguing that single-payer health care “works in Canada” and “works incredibly well in Scotland,” although Trump went on to say that it “could have worked in a different age” in the United States.

Trump responded Tuesday with another Instagram showing Bush praising Clinton.

No more Clintons or Bushes!

A video posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

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