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Monday June 28, 2010

Supreme Court Strikes Down Gun Ban As Kagan Nomination Hearings Begin

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan on Capitol Hill in Washington during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP)

As the Senate opens hearings on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, the court issued its final decisions of the year. The Supreme Court came down on the side of gun rights, ruling that the Second Amendment restrains the government’s ability to significantly limit “the right to keep and bear arms.” In a 5-4 vote, the justices also signaled that less severe restrictions could survive legal challenges. The ideologically split court also ruled that a law school can legally deny recognition to a Christian student group that won’t let gays join. The court turned away an appeal from the Christian Legal Society, which sued to get funding and recognition from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law. Jonathan Turley, George Washington University law professor, brings us the latest.

Devan Tatlow is wating for a bone marrow match. (Matchdevan.com)

Mother Searches For Bone Marrow Match For Multi-Racial Son, Reflects On Challenges

The number of mixed race families is increasing in the U.S., one unintended consequence is that people of mixed race have a difficult time finding bone marrow matches. Devan Tatlow was one and a half years old when he was diagnosed with acute Promyelocytic Leukemia, a rare child cancer, we speak with his mother Indira Lakshmanan about how she’s been trying to find a bone marrow match to help her son. We also speak with Dr. Joseph Antin, chief of the Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., on Capitol Hill in Washington in May 2010. (AP)

Senator Robert Byrd Dies At 92

Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, a fiery orator versed in the classics and a hard-charging power broker who steered billions of federal dollars to the state of his Depression-era upbringing, died Monday. He was 92. Byrd, a Democrat, was the longest-serving senator in history, holding his seat for more than 50 years. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a fellow West Virginian in the Senate, said it was his “greatest privilege” to serve with Byrd. We speak to a West Virginia Public Radio correspondent Cecelia Mason.

Study Shows Potentially-Harmful ‘BPA’ Chemical In Most Canned Food And Drink

Manufacturers, responding to consumer demand and the law in some states, have removed the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) from baby bottles and sippy cups. But a recent study by the National Workgroup for Safe Markets finds the hormone-like chemical in most cans it tested, including the highest level of BPA ever detected, in one can of Del Monte green beans. We speak with BPA researcher Laura Vandenberg of Tufts University, who reviewed the study.

What Are You Listening To This Summer?

Here and Now literary critic and self-confessed, drooling, fanatic rock fan Steve Almond tells us what’s tickling his ears this summer. Steve Almond is the author of “Rock and Roll Saved My Life” and his picks include songs by Head Like a Kite, Damien Jurado and Nicole Reynolds.

Music From The Show

  • Kar Kar Madison, “Boubacar Traore”
  • Art Blakey, “C.O.R.E.”
  • Tito Puente, “Royal T”
  • Sigur Ros, “Nybatteri”
  • Head Like a Kite, “We’re Always on the Wrong Side of Sunrise”
  • Drew Smith’s Lonely Choir, “Silver Pictures”
  • Damien Jurado, “Kansas City”
  • Dan Bern, “The Fifth Beatle”
  • Nicole Reynolds, “June”
  • Drew Smith’s Lonely Choir, “Are You Lonely”
  • Robert B. Pierce

    Hello, Robin:

    During the discussion today on denying funding to college groups that bar membership to certain individuals, I heard the term “Christian” used to describe the group in question. In fact that group is a conservative Protestant one, and their co-option of the term “Christian” is a insult to other Protestants, not to mention members of Catholic and Orthodox groups, many of whom are more “Christian” than Bible-thumpers.

    Please consider being the first journalist to cease using “Christian” in this incorrect sense. You will then be the vanguard in the movement to perfect the English language!

    Thanks for listening.

  • Carol Haagensen

    Thanks for the BPA segment, I really thought it was just tomatoes that were of concern. As a consumer about to go to stop and shop, I will plunk down the extra money for the eden organics ones. If I am going to risk my health I’m going to do it skydiving or something fun, not by eating canned beans.

  • http://www.marrow.org Jennifer Grady

    Thank you for running this very informative piece on marrow and cord blood donation. For those of your listeners who would like to view a list of hospitals in our area that collect cord blood to be added to the national cord blood bank, here is a link:

    http://marrow.org/HELP/Donate_Cord_Blood_Share_Life/How_to_Donate_Cord_Blood/CB_Participating_Hospitals/nmdp_cord_blood_hospitals.pl?src=Where_Cord

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

April 22 Comment

What Do We Have To Teach Plato?

Philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein discusses her new book "Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away."

April 22 20 Comments

Children’s Literature: Apartheid Or Just A General Lack of Color?

African-American children's book authors Walter Dean Myers and his son Christopher Myers weigh in.

April 21 Comment

Remembering Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter

We remember the boxing champion, who was twice wrongly convicted of murder, with his longtime friend and defender.

April 21 2 Comments

‘Wait Wait’ Host Peter Sagal Runs Boston Marathon As Guide

For the second year in a row, the host of NPR's "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me" is running with a legally blind athlete.