TIME Supreme Court

Supreme Court Justices Earn Free Trips and More on the Side

Six of the court’s nine members received paid trips to Europe in 2014

Before inspiring celebration, debate and dictionary searches last week, the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court managed to squeeze in some globetrotting—on someone else’s dime.

Six of the court’s nine members received paid trips to Europe in 2014, including to Berlin, London and Zurich, as reported on the justices’ annual financial disclosure reports released Thursday. The excursions are just some of the many perks that come with having the final word on the nation’s laws.

The reports—which detail the stock holdings, travel, spousal income, gifts and debts of the nine Supreme Court justices—show the many ways that the judges can pad their finances beyond their judicial salary. Associate Supreme Court justices earn a salary of $244,400, while the chief justice earns $255,500, according to the Federal Judicial Center. The judges hold significant investments that have helped turn most of them into millionaires.

The justices do not have to disclose the costs of their reimbursed travels, which included a three-week multi-stop trip that Justice Anthony Kennedy took to Salzburg, Austria, San Francisco and Aspen, Colo., last July, paid for by the Aspen Institute and the University of the Pacific. New York University also paid for Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg to travel to Florence, Italy. Chief Justice John Roberts taught a class on the history of the Supreme Court to students of the New England School of Law in London.

All of the justices received at least some free travel, even if not international.

Teaching and giving one-off lectures was a common side venture for the justices, seven of whom reported income from universities. Kennedy was an adjunct professor at the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law, Justice Samuel Alito taught at Duke University Law School and Justice Elena Kagan was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School.

Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer both reported income from book royalties, though Scalia’s books seem to be selling far better, earning more than $33,000 in 2014, compared with the $7,000 Breyer reported. However, Scalia’s books did not sell as well as they did the year before, when he reported nearly $77,000 in royalties.

Besides their side gigs as teachers and book authors, six of the nine justices were also landlords. For example, Scalia’s property in Charlottesville, Va., netted him at least $5,000 a year in rent, while Breyer’s property on the island of Nevis in the West Indies earned less than $1,000 a year in rent. Justice Clarence Thomas reported owning one third of a rental property in Georgia but said he received no rent in 2014.

The reports reveal that the majority of the justices do not own individual stocks, reducing the likelihood that a conflict of interest would require a justice to remove him or herself from ruling on a case.

Only Alito, Roberts and Breyer own individual stocks, and all three have recused themselves from cases involving companies in which they were invested. Roberts stepped aside in at least two cases involving Time Warner Inc., in which he owned at least $350,000 worth of stock. Breyer sat out of a patent case because of at least $50,000 in Cisco Systems Inc. stock.

Alito sold his Coca-Cola Co. stock on April 16, 2014, just before the court heard oral arguments in a lawsuit against Coca-Cola on April 21, allowing him to rejoin the rest of the court for the case after recusing himself from the initial proceedings.

The disclosures were released Thursday, the day before the Fourth of July holiday and after delivery of the final opinions of the term. Typically the court has made them available in mid-June. The disclosures appear to have been delayed by Alito’s filing, which was amended on June 30, a month and a half after the May 15 filing deadline.

Though Roberts has hailed “modern technology” for making the financial interests of public officials more transparent, the federal judiciary remains old-school in its disclosure system. To check out the financial interests of the more than 3,200 federal judges, members of the public must request the documents by snail mail from court administrators in Washington, D.C., pay for reproduction costs, then either pick them up in person or have them shipped. By comparison, Congress makes its members’ reports available in a searchable database.

Click here to view the Supreme Court justices’ complete disclosures.

This story is from The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative media organization in Washington, D.C. Read more of its investigations on accountability in government or follow it on Twitter.

TIME politics

John Roberts’s Principled Mistake in the Obamacare Decision

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Instead of 'textualism,' the chief justice chose 'purposivism'—much to the benefit of progressives

Chief Justice John Roberts’s decision in King v. Burwell, upholding the capacity of federal exchanges to provide insurance subsidies, has drawn fire as an unprincipled expression of support for Obamacare. This charge is unfair. It is a principled decision, implementing a well-established, if wrong-headed, theory of statutory interpretation, giving greater weight to what the court sees as the overriding purpose of legislation rather than its text. Unfortunately, that theory is one that is likely to aid progressivism, because it tends to make judges partners in legislative programs to expand state power.

The essence of King v. Burwell comes down to the divide between Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia. The case turned on the question of whether insurance subsidies would be available for those who signed up to federal exchanges as opposed to state exchanges. The statute clearly restricts subsidies to “an exchange established by the State.” “State,” in turn, is expressly defined as “each of the states and the District of Columbia.” Thus, for Scalia, the case is an easy syllogism. Subsidies are available on exchanges established by a state; exchanges established by the federal government are not exchanges established by a state.

For Roberts, however, this interpretation would defeat what he sees as the purpose of the Act: to expand insurance for those previously uninsured. If a state didn’t set up an exchange, the federal exchange operating in the state could not accomplish this purpose, because most people without insurance could not afford to purchase at market prices. Worse still, the lack of subsidies would create a risk of a “death spiral” in the availability of insurance. Because Congress prohibited insurers from excluding people with preexisting conditions, many people would wait to purchase insurance until they got sick—a rational decision for some, since even the cost of paying a fine for failing to comply with the mandate to buy insurance would be small compared with the amount required to buy unsubsidized insurance.

Roberts’s approach privileges the purpose or intent of the statute over the most plausible import of its text. It is not a novel move in statutory interpretation, and it has many adherents among legal theorists. The method works well, for instance, in interpreting the contracts made between two people—understanding their language not in terms of its plain meaning but in terms of the shared intent of the parties, i.e., the overriding purpose that the contract was intended to serve.

But as law professor Mark Movsesian has suggested, while such a method of interpretation may be appropriate for contracts, it is not appropriate for statutes. One formidable difficulty is that while a contract, when it is an agreement between two people, may have a single overriding purpose, federal legislation is a product of 535 legislators plus the president. It’s hard to distill an overriding intent or purpose from such a collection of wills, particularly in complex statutory schemes.

The Affordable Care Act is a case in point. While one objective was indeed to insure the uninsured, another was to encourage the states to experiment and to prevent undue location of authority in the federal government. As the now famous video by Jonathan Gruber shows, some of the ACA’s supporters embraced the natural purpose of the plain meaning of its subsidies provision. Permitting only state exchanges has the advantage of motivating each state to establish exchanges. Otherwise, their taxpayers will wind up paying for the subsidies in other states. Indeed, now that subsidies will become available on federal exchanges, a number of states will likely give up their exchanges, further centralizing power in the federal government.

Moreover, unlike a contract, a statute is written for people who are not parties to its making. This difference provides another reason to interpret a statute according to its plain text rather than forcing citizens to figure out which of many purposes the text should be thought to serve—let alone trying to divine the intentions of the legislators who passed it. In this sense, “textualism” reflects the rule of law, rather than that of particular people.

“Purposivism,” by contrast, makes the task of progressives easier. Textualism requires progressives to change the world expressly, one line of text at a time, but purposivism enlists the courts as allies. They can then use the broad purposes of the legislation to smooth out obstacles that compromises, mistakes, and tensions among multiple objectives may have created.

One section of Roberts’s opinion demonstrates how his method of interpretation transforms the judiciary and the legislature’s role under the separation of powers. In response to the argument that interpreting away the clear import of the text would traduce the venerable rule against treating language as without effect, Roberts noted that the statute as a whole seemed so badly drafted that this rule—against “surplusage”—might not apply. And indeed, the statute was badly drafted, because it didn’t go through the regular order of a House and Senate conference committee, where different objectives are often reconciled and language is revised. The reason was that Senator Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts deprived the Democrats of their filibuster-proof majority and forced ACA proponents to enact the original unrevised version that the Senate had already passed. Thus, Roberts’s method of statutory interpretation allows progressives to push legislation fraught with contradictions and tensions through the legislature, confident that the Supreme Court will refine it through interpretation to advance its broadest and most abstract purposes. Conservatives, in contrast, rarely enact the kind of comprehensive legislation reordering markets or society that requires such help to make it coherent.

Justice Scalia decried Roberts’s opinion as showing favoritism toward the Affordable Care Act. Perhaps. The more substantial concern is that the chief justice has endorsed a method of statutory interpretation that aids the progressive agenda more generally.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Religion

The Fight Over Oklahoma’s Ten Commandments Monument Rages On

Oklahoma Capitol Ten Commandments
Sue Ogrocki—AP The Ten Commandments monument is pictured at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 30, 2015. Oklahoma’'s Supreme Court says the monument must be removed because it indirectly benefits the Jewish and Christian faiths in violation of the state constitution.

State officials are calling for amendments to the state constitution

Oklahoma lawmakers are considering a measure that would amend the state’s constitution after a court ruled that a Ten Commandments monument at the State Capitol violated a ban concerning religious symbols on public property.

Republican leaders in Oklahoma’s House of Representatives said Wednesday they will work to pass a resolution that will let voters decide whether to repeal part of the state’s constitution that bans faith-based monuments from state grounds.

“The state Supreme Court misapplied an archaic and progressive section of our state Constitution and used that to apply a ruling that goes against the belief structure of the majority of Oklahomans,” Republican state Rep. Jon Echols said, according to The Oklahoman.

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that a 6-foot Ten Commandments granite monument had to be removed, calling it “obviously religious in nature.”

State officials have said that the monument is historical and similar to one in Texas that was ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court.

“Quite simply, the Oklahoma Supreme Court got it wrong,” Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt saud in a statement. “The court completely ignored the profound historical impact of the Ten Commandments on the foundation of Western law.”

The controversial monument was installed in 2012 and funded by a Republican representative, who donated it to the state. The monument has been the subject of numerous debates over the separation of church and state in Oklahoma. Other religions, including the Satanic Temple, have argued that monuments symbolizing their faiths should be included as well. Last year, a man smashed his car into the monument, saying Satan made him do it.

TIME Innovation

America’s Very Own Greece

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

These are today's best ideas

1. Puerto Rico is America’s very own Greece.

By Felix Salmon in Fusion

2. What’s behind the bloody surge in violent extremism? Competition.

By Justin Conrad and Kevin Greene in Political Violence at a Glance

3. With one decision, the Supreme Court opened the door to political innovation. The next part will be harder.

By Francine Kiefer in the Christian Science Monitor

4. The next nuclear accident is closer than you think.

By Hugh Gusterson in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

5. Upgrading America’s communications infrastructure wasn’t important until Google did it.

By James Surowiecki in MIT Technology Review

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME society

Justice Scalia Is Right—California Isn’t the Real West

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Zocalo Public Square is a not-for-profit Ideas Exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism.

But with immigration flatlining and the climate drying up, it may soon be

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was on the wrong side of most Californians, and history, in his cranky dissent to last week’s landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage across the nation.

But, much as we might hate to admit it, Scalia was right when, in the same dissent, he argued that California isn’t part of the American West. And in so doing, he raised—almost certainly unwittingly—an important question about California’s future.

Scalia made his point via a swipe at his colleagues for being unrepresentative of the United States as a whole (and thus being foolish to impose their views on marriage equality on the entire country). After noting that all nine justices attended Harvard or Yale law schools and that only one grew up in the Midwest, he wrote: “Not a single Southwesterner or even, to tell the truth, a genuine Westerner.” But what about Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is from Sacramento? Scalia’s answer came parenthetically in the next line: “California does not count.”

The words “California does not count” prompted an array of California pundits and leaders to fly off the handle, and challenge the justice. How dare he disrespect California? Of course we count! “Antonin Scalia Doesn’t Heart California—or Get Us, Either,” said an LA Times headline.

Kamala Harris, California’s Attorney General and leading candidate for U.S. Senate, coolly countered Scalia—an old-school “originalist” who thinks the U.S. Constitution should be read as it was in 1789—with a line from old-school rapper Ice T: “Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.” You should know that Ice T’s line was inspired by one from Gandhi’s 1927 autobiography (“Hate the sin not the sinner”) and St. Augustine’s 424 A.D. letter (“with love for mankind and hatred of sins”), so Harris out-originalist-ed the originalist Supreme Court justice by more than 1,300 years. Snap.

Despite all the California retorts, Scalia’s fundamental point went unchallenged, perhaps because it is so clearly correct: California doesn’t fit in the American West. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

Indeed, the best book ever written about California—Carey McWilliams’ California: The Great Exception, published in 1949 and never out of print—is about precisely this reality. California is singular, among Western U.S. states, in how it was settled so early and grew so quickly. Our Western neighbors have always been slower, more plodding, less populous places. And so California became a ragtag giant among much smaller states in the West, defined by our sudden and explosive changes in culture, economy, and demographics.

“One cannot, as yet, properly place California in the American scheme of things,” wrote McWilliams, adding: “To understand this tiger all rules must be laid to one side. All the copybook maxims must be forgotten. California is no ordinary state; it is an anomaly, a freak, the great exception among the American states.”

Sixty-six years after those words were published, California is still an exception in many ways—we’re the only state to break ground on high-speed rail, we’re responsible for half of the country’s venture capital, and no one is as crazy about direct democracy as we are. Some, like the economist Bill Watkins at California Lutheran University, predict that coastal California will become even more exceptional, an ever-more-glittery playground for the global super rich, with the rest of California being populated by the working-class people who serve them.

But there is another possibility—that our state (or at least everything except the other-worldly Bay Area)—continues to change in ways that make us more closely resemble other Western states.

The crucial shift in this direction has been that California is no longer a state of arrival, a destination for the world. Immigration is flat. Over the last generation, more people have been leaving California for other states than have been moving here from the rest of the country. The high cost of living has been the prime force for driving out mostly lower-income folks.

Those outflows have given us more in common with neighboring states like Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Oregon—in two ways.

First, those states, having received so many Californians seeking more affordable housing, have effectively been colonized by us, and are beginning to vote and eat more like California. All four now have In-N-Out Burger outlets, as does Texas, another big destination for exiting Californians. And as we made huge hikes in tuition and limited enrollment in our public universities, more California high school graduates are heading to public universities in neighboring states. (I’ve seen see this phenomenon firsthand since I teach at Arizona State University).

Second, those of us left behind in California are also more Western—because we are more likely to have grown up here. In previous generations, California was populated by people from Asia, Latin America, and the American Midwest and South. But in today’s California, the majority is homegrown—born and raised in California—and the newer arrivals are more likely to be from Las Vegas than Little Rock.

This more-homegrown California is also becoming much older—and less dynamic. We remain more ethnically and racially diverse than other Western states, but there are signs that our diversity lead is narrowing. While out-migration from California slowed somewhat during the recession, it’s likely to pick up as our economy comes back and California becomes even more expensive.

It’s not just demography making us more Western; drought has a role too. We’re becoming a drier place, with dustier landscaping that resembles Arizona and Nevada. Last year, we finally regulated groundwater, as other Western states have been doing for years.

Of course, these trends could all change. But if they persist, and California continues to Westernize, it will pose questions for our state and our country. The fact that California was so exceptional often accelerated change nationwide. As the historian H.W. Brands has noted, the American dream was of slow, tedious Poor Richard’s Almanac-style growth until California became a state—and gave us a new, faster dream of rapidly accumulated wealth. Will it be good for us, and for America (Happy Birthday, by the way), if we become just another Western state?

For now, you are right, Justice Scalia. California doesn’t really count as Western. But time has a way of changing the meaning of many things, including marriage and our messy state.

Joe Mathews is California & innovation editor for Zócalo Public Square, for which he writes the Connecting California column.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Chris Christie

Chris Christie Criticizes Supreme Court’s Chief Justice

Gov. Chris Christie announces his presidential campaign on June 30, 2015 at Livingston High School in Livingston, New Jersey.
Steve Sands—WireImage Gov. Chris Christie announces his presidential campaign on June 30, 2015 at Livingston High School in Livingston, New Jersey.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he is “incredibly disappointed” with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts after his opinion last week on Affordable Care Act subsidies, suggesting the jurist acted inconsistently with his opinion the following day when he opposed legalizing same-sex marriages.

Meeting New Hampshire voters at his first town hall since declaring his presidential campaign early Tuesday, Christie was asked what type of justices he would nominate to the Supreme Court. He replied that he was partial to the legal reasoning of fellow New Jerseyan, Associate Justice Samuel Alito, one of the court’s most conservative members.

“Every opinion that I’ve seen Justice Alito put out has been consistent and reasoned, and if I became President of the United States, I’d be out there looking for Sam Alitos to put on the Court,” Christie said.

“Those are the kind of justices I’m looking for,” Christie said. “If you read Justice Alito’s decisions, what they are is an absolute tribute to what the role of the court should be in my view. Which is they are not there to make laws, they are not there to make social policy, they are there to interpret the laws passed by the Congress and signed by the president, and that’s it.”

Christie continued that he was upset with Roberts, who is a member of the conservative wing of the Court but has twice ruled to save central components of the controversial healthcare law.

“I’m incredibly disappointed in Chief Justice Roberts. In two days in a row, he had two opinions that you couldn’t square with each other,” Christie said. “On Thursday, he writes an opinion on Obamacare that basically says ‘I know the words don’t say this, but I think they mean it, so I’m going to vote to keep Obamacare.’ The next day, he votes against same-sex marriage by saying the Court has no role in second-guessing the people and their legislature. Well, man, you just did it yesterday.”

Roberts authored a 6-3 decision in King v. Burwell in which he argued that a typographical error should not override the legislature’s intent to make health insurance subsidies available to those on federal exchanges. Roberts called the mistake one of “more than a few examples of inartful drafting,” but said, “A fair reading of legislation demands a fair understanding of the legislative plan.”

“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” he continued. “If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”

The following day, Robert’s decried the majority’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges in favor of nation-wide same-sex-marriage, arguing the Court was usurping the role of the legislature.

“Understand well what this dissent is about: It is not about whether, in my judgment, the institution of marriage should be changed to include same-sex couples,” he wrote. “It is instead about whether, in our democratic republic, that decision should rest with the people acting through representatives, or with five lawyers who happen to hold commissions authorizing them to resolve legal disputes according to law. The Constitution leaves no doubt about the answer.”

Alito voted with the minority in both cases.

TIME same sex marriage

35 Million People Shared Their Pride on Instagram This Weekend

@mc_gutty "Crazy and amazing day marching in the Pride Parade," writes Mike Gutkin of New York City on June 29, 2015.

It's more than during last year's FIFA World Cup

More than 35 million people participated in the Pride weekend celebrations on Instagram, creating 116 million interactions, TIME has exclusively learned.

That’s 116 million photographs, comments and likes — a record for a pride event and more than during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, an event that lasted a month.

These high numbers can be explained by the Supreme Court’s historic decision, which legalized same-sex marriage across the U.S. on Friday, but also by Instagram’s release of its new search and explore feature, which has made it easier for users to participate in the conversation on the photo-sharing platform. During much of the weekend, the pride-related hashtags were trending.

The top hashtags were:

  1. #lovewins
  2. #pride
  3. #equality
  4. #loveislove
  5. #love
  6. #lgbt
  7. #gay
  8. #marriageequality
  9. #gaypride
  10. #pride2015

Users also embraced emojis with six of the top 10 emoticons shared being hearts. The number two emoji was of a rainbow, with emojis depicting same-sex couples placing seventh and eighth on the list. While the bulk of the activity took place in the U.S., Instagram also saw posts shared from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Russia, Turkey, and the U.K. among many other countries.

Cities such as San Francisco, New York and London were also trending, as highlighted in the curated collection called “Places of Pride”, which Instagram curated throughout the weekend.

Happy pride weekend 😄🇺🇸 #whp🌈

A photo posted by Loren Baxter (@lorenbaxter) on

Pride Toronto 2015 #WHP🌈

A photo posted by @vinceharttrup on

Correction: The original version of this story stated that the number of Instagram interactions during Pride weekend constituted a record for Instagram. It was more than the number of interactions observed during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

TIME relationships

Jimmy Kimmel Asked Little Kids What They Think About Gay Marriage

Hot debate for minds of all ages

Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to sanction marriage equality in all 50 states, Jimmy Kimmel turned to one important group to hear their thoughts on the subject: kids.

Responding to those who think explaining the change in marriage laws would be difficult, Kimmel sent a producer and cameraperson out into the field for a Jimmy Kimmel Live segment to find out what kids know about marriage equality. For the most part, the kids Live found had no problem understanding marriage in any form. But they certainly weren’t lacking for opinions on the institution of marriage itself.

Some think there’s a best time of day to marry, others are planning to wait until 30 before they wed, and one thinks it’s fiscally irresponsible to marry at all. But even if it’s not for them, all of the kids seem to agree on one thing: everyone should have the right to marry… as long as they’re old enough, of course.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME Supreme Court

Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Union Fee Collection

The Supreme Court Issues Orders On Lethal Injection And Redistricting
Mark Wilson—Getty Images An American flag flies over the U.S. Supreme Court June 29, 2015 in Washington, DC. ( Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The case could affect 7 million public sector employees in 20 states

The Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will hear a pivotal case against public-sector unions, deciding whether those unions can collect mandatory fees from non-members who benefit from collective bargaining.

The challenge comes from 10 non-unionized public school teachers in California who argue that paying the fee violates their free speech rights. They’re asking the Supreme Court to overturn a precedent from the 1970s that allows public sector unions to charges fees to non-union workers as long as the funds are not used for political activity.

California teachers’ unions and state Attorney General Kamala Harris have opposed the challenge, while conservative Justices have criticized the union precedent in the past. The case could affect 7 million public sector employees in 20 states, Reuters reports.

[Reuters]

 

TIME White House

Obama’s Approval Rating Cracks 50%

President Obama Joins Mourners At Funeral Of Rev. Clementa Pinckney
Joe Raedle—Getty Images President Barack Obama delivers the eulogy for South Carolina state senator and Rev. Clementa Pinckney during Pinckney's funeral service on June 26, 2015 in Charleston, S.C.

After he sang 'Amazing Grace' on television and had a big week in the Supreme Court

President Barack Obama’s approval rating cracked 50% following a week of dramatic news events, marking the highest ratings for his presidency since 2013.

A CNN/ORC poll found that 50% of Americans approve of Obama’s handling of the presidency, after a week that included Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage and the Affordable Care Act, as well as several statements on race and an emotional eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was killed in the Charleston shooting. Obama rounded out the week by singing “Amazing Grace” on national television at Rev. Pinckney’s funeral Friday.

The poll shows a significant jump since Obama’s 45% approval rating in May, and a dip in his disapproval rating, to 47%. This is the first time his approval rating has hit 50% since May 2013, and the second time his disapproval rating has fallen below 50% in that stretch of time.

The breakdown on specific issues is also going Obama’s way. 52% said they approve of how Obama is handling the economy, which is the first time that particular metric has exceeded 50% in six years of CNN/ORC polling. 55% said they approve of how Obama is handling race relations, up from 50% in May.

Yet there are still persistent challenges for Obama, especially on race. 74% of Americans say racial discrimination against black people is a serious problem in America, up from 47% five years ago– among African-American respondents, that number has jumped from 42% to 80%. And 42% of Americans think that race relations have gotten worse under Obama, compared to 20% who think they’ve gotten better.

[CNN]

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