The CNN Daily Mash-up is a roundup of some of the most interesting, surprising, curious, poignant or significant items to appear on CNN.com in the past 24 hours. We top it with a collection of the day's most striking photographs from around the world.
Your quote of the day comes from a Supreme Court decision you may have heard about. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, wrote in the opinion's pivotal paragraph:
The federal government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance. ... The federal government does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance.
CNN iReporter Jannet Walsh of Murdock, Minnesota, was both pleased and disappointed by different parts of the Supreme Court's health care ruling. She's unemployed and Catholic, and she questions whether religious institutions can be forced to provide access to birth control.
It's going to be great for people to get health care, but I still think we're going to wonder how we're going to pay for it. ... I'm left wanting to know more, and want someone to address those points.
The House of Representatives voted Thursday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt for refusing to turn over documents tied to the botched Fast and Furious gun-running sting - a discredited operation that has become a sharp point of contention between Democrats and Republicans in Washington.
The 255-67 vote marked the first time in American history that the head of the Justice Department has been held in contempt by Congress. Almost every House Republican backed the measure, along with nearly 20 Democrats.
A large number of Democrats - including members of the Congressional Black Caucus and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi - walked off the House floor in protest and refused to participate in the vote.
The criminal contempt charge refers the dispute to District of Columbia U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen, who will decide whether to file charges against Holder. Most legal analysts do not expect Machen - an Obama appointee who ultimately answers to Holder - to take any action.
House members are also expected to pass a civil contempt measure Thursday afternoon. The civil measure would allow the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to file a lawsuit asking the courts to examine the Justice Department's failure to produce certain subpoenaed documents, as well as the validity of the administration's recent assertion of executive privilege over the documents in question.
Legal experts contacted by CNN have said, based on recent precedent, that it could take years for the courts to reach any final decision.
Fast and Furious, a so-called "gun-walking" operation, allowed roughly 2,000 guns into Mexico with the goal of tracking them to Mexican drug cartels. Two guns found at the scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry's fatal shooting were linked to the operation. Guns from the operation have also been linked to an unknown number of Mexican civilians' deaths.FULL STORY
On June 28, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in a 5-4 ruling. In the hours after, CNN’s audience was incredibly active in expressing their opinions on the decision.
Some CNN commenters and iReport contributors had personal stories to share:
As a cancer survivor… my life would have been over without health insurance. It's a necessary evil, but without it, hospitals would be closing their doors, and people would be dying. And don't blame Obama or any other political force because the insurance monster has been around for a long, long, time ruling patients, doctors and hospitals.
If you own a vehicle you are required to have it insured. If you don't you pay fines...I don't see the big deal, if they make it affordable I would jump at the chance to insure my family. I work for an attorney, and since it is a small firm, he does not offer insurance.
I have 62 employees currently, and since I will be mandated to provide healthcare, I have two options now: Cut deeply into the pockets of the company, myself and its employees, or cut my staffing down to 49 people so as to not hit that 50 person benchmark for mandatory coverage. So 13 people are gone, or 62 (plus myself) take cuts in vacation and or pay raises. I have not made the decision yet, but I won't let my company and all of its employees take such a big hit.
As a person with a pre-existing condition that was hereditary, I am glad. Maybe [now] I can purchase insurance. No insurance company will insure me. I have to use my state Medicare-type program. I don't mind paying at all. I still pay for my own prescriptions to the tune of $200 a month. I had no choice a few months back when I had gotten extremely ill and had to go to a regular local hospital. I stayed overnight and the cost was $6,000. Not an Obama fan either!
Many readers pointed out the potential benefits of the law’s implementation:
Most of you that have a problem with health care reform have no issues paying your Social Security and Medicare taxes on your paycheck. In fact, I'm sure the majority is counting down the days until they can take advantage of the Social Security and Medicare they have paid into. How is this health care as a tax any different?
People against this law have chosen to limit where they get their information about this law. Currently, when a person who has no insurance requires emergency care, tax payers pay for it, and the [federal] debt mounts. Now, all least the coffers will be replenished by all people, and all people get health care, preventative health care to boot. Thank you, President Obama, and everyone who worked hard to make this happen for all Americans.
I don’t like being forced to pay for wars I don’t want.
I don’t like being forced to pay for roads I don’t drive on.
I don’t like being forced to pay for schools when I don’t have kids....
But I accept the fact that I have to pay for all of these things that create a better community for all of us to live in.
Editor's note: We're live blogging from the Supreme Court today as the nation waits to see how the justices will rule on the health care law. You can follow along below as CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears and Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin get the latest details live from the court as well as analysis when the opinion is delivered. Watch live coverage and analysis on CNN TV, CNN’s mobile apps and http://cnn.com/live.
[Updated at 12:23 p.m. ET] President Obama touted the benefits of the law he championed as he reacted to the Supreme Court's ruling.
"By this August, nearly 13 million of you will receive a rebate from your insurance company because it spent too much on things like administration and CEO bonuses and not enough on your healthcare,” Obama said.
Other benefits include lower drug costs for seniors as well as denying insurers the option to deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions. It also provides free preventative care in certain cases and issues credits to those who can’t afford their health insurance premiums.
Each state will decide its “own menu of options” and they're welcome to come up with ways to cover more people and improve costs, Obama said.
The president said he respects concerns about the bill and he understands that people are worried that it was politically driven, but he said it should be clear by now he didn’t push for the act because it was “good politics."
“I did it because I believed it was good for the American people,” he said.
[Updated at 12:16 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama on Thursday called the Supreme Court's decision upholding his signature health care law "a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law."
"They’ve reaffirmed a fundamental principle, that here in America, the wealthiest nation on Earth, no illness or accident should lead to any family’s financial ruin,” Obama said.
[Updated at 12:12 p.m. ET] Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minnesota, responded to the ruling by saying, "This is a turning point in American history. We will never be the same again with this denial of liberty interests. But also it is a black cloud pragmatically speaking on economic recovery. There will be no hope of economic recovery between now and the election. We have exhausted now our legal solutions to be able to rid the nation of Obamacare. Now, we have to look for a political solution."
[Updated at 11:57 a.m. ET] GOP presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney is speaking now regarding health care.
“I will act to repeal Obamacare” if elected president, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said. “Obamacare was bad law yesterday. It’s bad law today.”
He wet on to cite the economic impact of the healthcare law. It raises taxes and cuts Medicare by hundreds of millions of dollars, while adding trillions to the national debt. It “pushes those obligations onto coming generations.”
Romney said that in light of the Supreme Court decision, Americans must decide if they want more government and more deficits and if they want to lose their preferred insurance or if they want to “return to a time when the American people will have their own choice in healthcare.”
“This is a time of choice for the American people. Our mission is clear: If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we have to replace President Obama,” he said.
[Updated at 11:55 a.m. ET] Vicki Kennedy, the wife of late Sen. Edward Kennedy released the following statement regarding the health care ruling.
"I applaud the decision by the United States Supreme Court this morning, upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. We still have much work to do to implement the law, and I hope we can all come together now to complete that
work. The stakes are too high for us to do otherwise.
As my late husband Senator Edward Kennedy said: 'What we face is above all a moral issue; that at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.'"
[Updated at 11:49 a.m. ET] The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said it is for comprehensive healthcare reform, especially for the poor, but it opposes the Supreme Court decision for three reasons.
"First, ACA allows use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions and for plans that cover such abortions, contradicting longstanding federal policy. The risk we identified in this area has already materialized, particularly in the initial approval by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of “high risk” insurance pools that would have covered abortion.
Second, the Act fails to include necessary language to provide essential conscience protection, both within and beyond the abortion context. We have provided extensive analyses of ACA’s defects with respect to both abortion and conscience. The lack of statutory conscience protections applicable to ACA’s new mandates has been illustrated in dramatic fashion by HHS’s “preventive services” mandate, which forces religious and other employers to cover sterilization and contraception, including abortifacient drugs.
Third, ACA fails to treat immigrant workers and their families fairly. ACA leaves them worse off by not allowing them to purchase health coverage in the new exchanges created under the law, even if they use their own money. This undermines the Act’s stated goal of promoting access to basic life-affirming health care for everyone, especially for those most in need."
[Updated at 11:37 a.m. ET] Lots of reaction from the political world on this decision, which was seen as an issue that could sway the upcoming election.
But just as much as this is a political issue, the real impact is on everyday Americans.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule today on the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law. Once a ruling is issued, watch CNN.com Live for reaction and fallout to the decision.
Today's programming highlights...
9:00 am ET - Anti-health care law rally - The Supreme Court will be the place to be today because of the health care ruling. Before the ruling is announced, conservative groups opposed to the Affordable Care Act will stage rally outside the Court.
10:00 am ET (est.) - Health care ruling revealed
An Indiana man is demanding a direct apology from a Transportation Security Administration agent in Florida who, the man says, spilled his grandfather's ashes during an airport bag check - and then laughed off the incident.
And John Gross is also demanding that the TSA release any security surveillance tapes of the incident - tapes that the federal agency claims simply don't exist.
Gross, 30, was returning home from visiting family in Orlando, Florida, on June 19, carrying with him a portion of his grandfather's ashes that had been passed along by an uncle - a "real sentimental kind of guy," says Gross - when he approached TSA screeners. A female agent wearing blue latex gloves inspected the contents of his bag, says Gross, including the jar clearly labeled "Human Remains."
"I said, 'Please be careful, these are my grandpa's ashes,'" Gross told CNN Wednesday. But, he said, the agent proceeded to stick her finger in the jar then accidentally spilled its contents on the airport floor.
She then laughed, according to Gross - not an uproarious cackle, but a chuckle that he found offensive nonetheless.
"She thought it was funny," he said. "I wanted to smack her."FULL STORY