Noontime News is a snapshot of our RSS feeds from the noon (Eastern time) hour.

Court Strikes Down Michigan’s Affirmative Action Ban

“A federal appeals court struck down Proposal 2 on Friday, a 2006 ballot initiative in Michigan that banned Affirmative Action in college admissions and government hiring.

In a 2-1 decision, the Appellate panel ruled that Prop 2 violated the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment. “The majority may not manipulate the channels of change in a manner that places unique burdens on issues of importance to racial minorities,” Judges R. Guy Cole and Martha Craig Daughtrey wrote in the majority opinion.”

Schumer: Obama May Not Need Congress To Avoid Default — But Congress Needs To Act

“On a conference call with reporters Friday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) acknowledged that President Obama may not need Congressional authorization to avoid a default on the national debt. But he noted, too, that the Constitutional debate on this question isn’t ripe enough yet for Obama to take an end run around Congress, even if Republicans refuse to increase the national borrowing limit.”

Minnesota Government Shuts Down As Republicans Refuse To Raise Taxes On Millionaires

“Minnesota’s government will be shutdown over the Fourth of July weekend as the state’s Republican-controlled state legislature and Democratic governor failed to reach an agreement to close a $5 billion budget deficit before midnight. To close the deficit, Gov. Mark Dayton (D) proposed raising taxes on people making over $1 million a year. Republicans, who took control of both houses last November and campaigned on a platform of no tax increases, are digging in their heels and insist on reducing the deficit through major budget cuts.”

Read More: BPI Campus’ continuing coverage of the Minnesota Showdown
Read More: Tim Pawlenty Tells Minnesota GOP To Shut ‘Er Down!
Read More: Minnesota Shutdown Hits Poor; Aid Groups Scramble

E-Mails Show WI Justices’ Debate After ‘Chokehold’ — Meet With Police Vs. Photo Session

“The seven Justices of the Wisconsin Supreme Court really don’t agree about anything. Besides politics and high-profile decisions, it has now emerged that after an incident that has liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley accusing conservative Justice David Prosser of putting her in a chokehold, they didn’t even agree about whether to meet quickly with the Capitol Police — or proceed to a group photo session first.”

U. S. Supreme Court Review: Final statistics for October Term 2010

“The conservative bloc of the Court has had another relatively successful year. The Chief Justice and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito created the majority in 63% of 5-4 decisions, their highest success and cohesion rate during the Roberts Court.”

Global Warming Hates The Fourth Of July

“As fossil fuel pollution heats the planet, one of the casualties is the traditional celebration of the founding of the United States. The record droughts, floods, and storms fueled by global warming are causing widespread bans on fireworks and the cancellation of numerous municipal firework displays, even a celebration for our soldiers in Oklahoma.”

Judge Blocks New Kansas Abortion Rules

“A federal judge temporarily blocked Kansas from enforcing new abortion regulations Friday that would have prevented two of the state’s three abortion providers from continuing to terminate pregnancies.

U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia’s injunction will remain in effect until a trial is held in a lawsuit challenging the Kansas rules. A new licensing law and state health department regulations had taken effect Friday.”

GOP 2012 Presidential Candidates
Herman Cain Hauls In $2.46M In Fundraising, ‘No Debt’
Jon Huntsman Raises $4.1M When You Include The Donation He Gave Himself
Ouch: Tim Pawlenty Raises Anemic $4.2 Million For Presidential Bid
Mitt Romney Raises Up to $20 Million
Romney Repeatedly Said Obama ‘Made The Recession Worse,’ Now Claims ‘I Didn’t Say That Things Are Worse’
Santorum: Poor History Scores A Result Of ‘Conscious Effort’ By ‘The Left’ To Keep Students Uninformed
Tim Pawlenty takes low-key Florida campaign swing

Wis. GOPer Loses Court Case To Get On Ballot In State Senate Recalls

“A Dane County judge has ruled against Wisconsin GOP state Rep. John Nygren’s effort to get onto the ballot to challenge Democratic state Sen. Dave Hansen, after state election officials disqualified Nygren due to a lack of sufficient petition signatures. It leaves the GOP with only one other candidate in the race — who brings some personal baggage.”

CHART: Rate Of U.S. Troops Killed In Iraq Is At ’03 And ’04 Levels

“Last month marked the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Iraq since 2008. Fifteen American soldiers were reported killed there in June, 14 of them in hostile action.

But not only are American deaths in Iraq this month at a three-year high, the number of U.S. troops killed as a percentage of the total number of “boots on the ground” is higher this month than in June 2003 and nearly as high as in June 2004.”

Read More: More U.S. troop deaths raise questions about strategy

American Family Association Invokes Slavery To Slam RNC’s Appointment Of Gay Fundraiser

“Some social conservatives are extremely upset with the Republican National Committee for appointing the executive director of the pro-gay Log Cabin Republicans to its finance committee, with the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer suggesting the move makes it time to “stop giving even one more dollar to the Republican Party” or even to start a new “3rd party.” The “GOP just threw us under the bus,” he tweeted.”

Is San Francisco Driving Its Families Away?

“Census data confirms what many San Francisco lawmakers and policy wonks know: The city is bleeding families. San Francisco has about 5,000 fewer children than 10 years ago, despite the city’s reputation for being among the most family-friendly in the country. The culprit: the cost of housing.”

Dominique Strauss-Kahn freed as case details aired outside court room

“Former IMF boss freed after doubt cast on aspects of alleged victim’s account, while her lawyer gives graphic description.”

Chávez cancer diagnosis divides Venezuelans

“Supporters express shock at television address confirming cancer rumours, while critics see opportunity for change.”

Good News: Neptune’s Day Is Shorter Than Was Thought

“Neptunians presumably already knew this.

A day on the gaseous giant apparently doesn’t last 16 hours and six minutes, as we Earthlings have long thought.”

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