Today is the second of three days in which the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments over the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The act requires that most Americans have health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty on their 2015 income tax payments. Opponents argue that the government has overstepped its power; supporters say that without the act, the uninsured will continue to shift the burden of tens of billions of dollars to other Americans.
The court has scheduled two hours of arguments, twice the standard allotted time.
More of your morning links below:
— The Orlando Sentinel yesterday published a story detailing the account Zimmerman gave to police about what happened on Feb. 26, the day he fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in Sanford, Fla. According to the Sentinel report, Zimmerman told police he and Martin exchanged words, after which Martin punched him and slammed his head into the sidewalk. The Sanford Police decried what it called “unauthorized leaks,” but confirmed that the report was an accurate reflection of what Zimmerman had told them. (CNN)
— The New Black Panther Party--described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “racist” organization--announced this weekend that it had placed a $10,000 bounty for Zimmerman’s capture. The move has subsequently been criticized across the board, including by Post opinion writer Jonathan Capehart, who yesterday called the bounty “an affront to anyone who wants Zimmerman held accountable.” (Washington Post Opinions)
— Syria and China have backed a plan to end Syrian violence. A spokesman for U.N. envoy Kofi Annan said the plan includes a cease-fire by Syrian government forces and a daily two-hour stop to the fighting to evacuate the injured. (Associated Press)
— But the fighting continued on Tuesday, as intense clashes played out between Syrian forces and rebel fighters along the border with Lebanon. (Time)
— Video of Toulouse killings sent to al-Jazeera. The Qatar-based news station received a USB memory stick that contained 25 minutes of video, as well as a letter claiming responsibility for the killings. The postal stamp was dated last Wednesday. (Guardian)