1. One of the most important cases SCOTUS has heard in decades. Yesterday, the Supreme Court debated the constitutionality of DNA fingerprinting in the case of Maryland vs. King. King’s lawyers argue that police violated King’s privacy by using DNA analysis to convict him of rape. State attorneys counter that swabbing checks is a harmless procedure that puts criminals behind bars.
2. Landmark civil rights bill up for review. Today, SCOTUS hears oral arguments on the constitutionality of a major portion of the Voting Rights Act which requires states (mostly in the South) with a history of voting discrimination to get approval from the Department of Justice for all changes to state voting procedures. Representatives of Shelby County, Alabama say this level of government interference is unconstitutional, as the South no longer participates in unfair voting practices.
3. Inmates get in on Silicon Valley tech boom. Earlier this week, Eddie Griffin pitched his idea for a live music streaming service called “At the Club.” The catch? Griffin is wrapping-up a 15-year prison sentence for drug possession. Griffin was one of seven inmates who made presentations as part of San Quentin’s “Last Mile” business class.
4. Study confirms what millennials already know: sleeping less than 6 hours sucks. A study has found that several nights of insufficient sleep disrupts the functioning of over 700 genes. However, some experts caution that sleep should be judged on its quality, not on quantity alone.
5. New Jersey casinos to offer online gambling. Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill on Tuesday allowing casinos to provide online gambling services. Christie hopes the bill will make Atlantic City competitive with other top gambling destinations.
6. Hagel confirmed, finally. Chuck Hagel was sworn-in as Secretary of Defense at a closed-door ceremony this morning.
7. Hopefully this turns out better than last time. An Australian billionaire has announced plans to construct a “Titanic II.” Clive Palmer presented a blueprint for the ship, as well as digital renderings of the vessel’s interior. Titanic II will hit the high seas in 2016.
8. The pope bids farewell. Today, Benedict XVI delivered his final major public address to a crowd of 150,000. He admitted that during his papacy, there were times when, “[The] seas were rough and the wind blew against us and it seemed that the Lord was sleeping."
9. U.S. draws closer to aid for Syrian rebels. Secretary of State John Kerry is finalizing the details of a proposal to provide equipment, though not weapons, to rebels in Syria. This would mark a major policy shift for the U.S., which has yet to provide direct aid to Syria.