• Head v. Heart: How Supreme Court justices wrestle with tough decisions

    Top Line

    When the Supreme Court takes on a politically heated case, as it recently did with two cases involving gay marriage, the justices are more likely to listen to their heads over their hearts.

    So say Tim O’Brien and Martin Clancy, veteran journalists and authors of the new book “Murder at the Supreme Court.”

    “The justices often vote the law as opposed to their own feelings,” former ABC News producer Martin Clancy tells Top Line.“I mean time and time again, we've discovered in notes of Supreme Court conferences where justices are really conflicted.”

    Clancy and O’Brien’s book looks specifically at how the Supreme Court has wrangled with the death penalty historically, but the book also sheds light into how the justices avoid getting personal opinions involved in their rulings.

    “Sometimes justices will vote to uphold capital punishment even though they personally oppose it,” says retired ABC News Law Correspondent Tim O’Brien. “No justice now thinks it's unconstitutional, per se,

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  • BOTTOM LINE

    Whether you like it or not, the speculation about the 2016 presidential campaign has already begun, and there’s been a whole lot of discussion about whether or not Hillary Clinton will run for president again. The former Secretary of State has already begun giving speeches since resigning her post earlier this year, and support networks have already begun to emerge for Hillary 2016. A lot of you had questions about Clinton’s potential candidacy, and about the 2016 race in general.

    David Buchanan wrote in on Facebook: Secretary Clinton's place in history is well established. She is widely respected and there are many people who disagree with many of her political positions but still join in that respect (like me). She has a platform to influence public policy, if she chooses to use it, for the rest of her life. All of that would be put to risk if she runs (even if she wins). Why would she do that?

    Melina Visinjivik asked: Who's the DNC frontrunner if Hillary Clinton doesn't

    Read More »from Handicapping 2016: If not Hillary, then who?
  • On the brink? Gen. James Thurman hopeful for peace but ready for war on heavily armed Korean border

    On the Radar

    As North Korea’s young leader Kim Jong Un continues to escalate the rhetoric of war-- and has even moved a missile to the east coast of the country-- the top U.S. commander in South Korea says the threats are being taken seriously and his troops stand ready to fight if necessary.

    “If they [North Korea] decided to, you know, resume hostilities, I think we've got to be ready to go,” Gen. James Thurman tells On the Radar from the Demilitarized Zone along the border between North and South Korea. “Readiness is number one. If you ask every one of these soldiers that are out here, it's about fighting tonight. It’s not a bumper sticker; it’s we've got to be able to do that."

    Thurman says that while it's hard to know for sure what Kim Jong Un's intentions are, he emphasizes that the young leader's "reckless" behavior will not be rewarded.

    “He’s trying to intimidate the South Koreans and intimidate the region, and we're not gonna let that happen,” says Thurman.

    Thurman describes

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