The U.S. Senate has defied President Bush, voting overwhelmingly to amend a Pentagon spending bill to ban “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” of anyone in U.S. military custody. The amendment passed October 5 on a 90-9 vote. All nine who opposed it are Republicans.
Epitomizing what is at stake in the battle over a replacement for retiring justice Sandra Day O’Connor, a skeptical Supreme Court heard arguments early last month in a case involving Oregon’s assisted-suicide law.
The justices are considering whether the U.S. attorney general can use federal drug-control laws to punish physicians who prescribe death-hastening drugs to patients.
Hundreds of clergy, scientists and academics have launched a grassroots campaign to oppose religious conservatives, beginning with concerted opposition to the teaching of “intelligent design” in public school science classes.