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Wake Up To Politics - October 5, 2015

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Monday, October 5, 2015
400 Days until Election Day 2016
1 Days until the Iowa Caucuses
37 Days until the Next Republican Debate
22 Days Until the 1st Democratic DebateIt's Monday, September 15, 2015, I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com. To learn more about WUTP and subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or like me on Twitter and Facebook. More ways to engage with WUTP at the bottom.

Court Report

  • Supreme Court Term Begins If it’s the first Monday in October, it’s the opening of a new Supreme Court term!
  • “The Nine” don their robes for the first time since June, marking the beginning of a term that could include a number of cases delving into hot-button issues.
  • These issues include:
  • Affirmative Action – a suit by Abigail Fisher, a white student, who charges that her denied admission to the University of Texas was discrimination. The case, which the Court has heard before, challenges the school’s affirmative action program, which weighs race in acceptance.
  • Redistricting – Another case emerging from Texas, Evenwel v. Abbott is a challenge to the state drawing state legislative district lines by apportionment of population, rather than eligible voters. If the Court rules in favor of Evenwel, more power will be held by districts with less children, and immigrants.
  • Public-Sector Unions – Should public-sector unions be allowed to force all employees they represent to pay dues, even if they are not members of the union? Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association tackles that very issue, with a suit by California schoolteachers claiming their First Amendment rights are violated by being forced to pay union fees.
  • Abortion – And, for the first time in a decade, the highest court in the land could wrestle with the controversial issue of abortion. The Court has not yet announced if it will hear this case, a challenge to Texas restrictions on abortion clinics.
  • Each one of these cases will have significant impacts on the future of the country – whether it be by diminishing unions, ending affirmative action, or opening abortion clinics – and could also change the course of the 2016 election.

Capitol Hill News

  • Election for Speaker Heats Up The sleepy race to replace John Boehner as Speaker of the House got more exciting this weekend, as a third candidate entered the race.
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, announced Sunday that he was entering the race for Speaker. In his announcement, Chaffetz challenged the frontrunner, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as a weak communicator, especially in light of comments this week linking the Benghazi committee to Hillary Clinton’s poor poll numbers.
  • “We need somebody who’s out there who is actually going out there and making the case to the American people, talking to the Senate about what we need to do, and going on the national television shows and winning that argument,” Chaffetz said on “Fox News Sunday”. “We don’t seem to win the argument, and that’s a problem.”
  • Chaffetz also touched on the worries harbored by many House Republicans of simply promoting the current leadership team – and allowing McCarthy to move up the Speakership, Majority Whip Steve Scalise to take his spot as Leader, and then to give Scalise’s post to his deputy whip.
  • But it appears that Chaffetz, the party’s top watchdog of the Obama Administration, just does not have the votes. McCarthy is much more popular within the Republican Conference, and Chaffetz’s entrance into the race could just split the anti-McCarthy votes between him and Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL), who is also running.
  • However, the Utahn is looking ahead past the GOP vote for Speaker – when the conference will nominate a candidate Thursday – to the floor vote later this month. Both parties nominate a candidate, and conventional wisdom holds that the candidate offered by the majority party wins. Assuming that all 246 House Republicans vote for their party’s nominee. If just 28 defect and vote against McCarthy, the likely GOP nominee, the race for Speaker is thrown into disarray, creating an opening for Chaffetz or another upstart Republican.

Today's Tidbit: the Intersec

  • “Saturday Night Live” premiered its 41st season this weekend, and Saturday’s episode did not lack for political comedy.
  • The episode’s “cold open” featured a message from Donald and Melania Trump, but an appearance from Hillary Clinton about 30 minutes into the show grabbed much more attention.
  • The Real Hillary Clinton appeared in a sketch playing a bartender named Val, giving advice to a fake Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, played by SNL’s Kate McKinnon. The sketch included the Real Clinton delivering a Trump impression (“Uh, you’re all losers”), a cameo by Bill Clinton (Darrell Hammond), who quickly left the bar after seeing “Val”, exclaiming “My God, they’re multiplying,” and a duet of “Lean on Me” by McKinnon and Clinton.
  • Finally, the episode also included a fake ad for Abilify, marketed as a drug to shake Republican candidates Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Jim Gilmore, and others into the reality that they will never be President.
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation, the Political Junkie podcast, and St. Louis Public Radio; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki, and read about Gabe in Politico, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light