June 27th, 2008
04:55 PM ET

Will future of Supreme Court weigh on your vote for prez?


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There's no shortage of issues concerning Americans when it comes to their vote for president in November: the economy, skyrocketing gas prices, Iraq, health care, and more.

But perhaps as important as any of these is the future of the Supreme Court of the United States. In recent weeks, the high court has made some key and often close 5-4 decisions. These include the reversal of the handgun ban in Washington, outlawing the death penalty for child rapists... and upholding the rights of detainees at Guantanamo Bay to appeal in U-S courts.

All of this serves as a reminder that the next president – be it Barack Obama or John McCain – could have a significant role to play in the make-up of the court perhaps for decades to come.

The Boston Globe reports that legal analysts say the court will likely have at least one vacancy in the next administration, and it could well be more than that.

The oldest justice is 88 and two others are in their 70s. And since the court is now split between 4 liberal and 4 conservative members with Justice Anthony Kennedy often as the deciding vote – even one vacancy could mean a big change. One expert suggests McCain could have more influence to swing the court if he becomes president because two of the oldest justices – John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg – are part of the liberal bloc. Antonin Scalia is the only member of the conservative bloc who is older than 60.

Both Obama and McCain have attacked the other for the kind of justices they would appoint. But somehow despite the intensity of our politics, our Supreme Court has remained comprised of justices who are fair-minded and dedicated to upholding the law. Most of the time.

Here’s my question to you: How much will the future of the Supreme Court matter in your vote for president?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: 2008 Election • Supreme Court
June 27th, 2008
03:44 PM ET

How united are Obama and Clinton?

Click the Play Button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Today's rally with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Unity, New Hampshire, was the latest in a series of staged events designed to show that all is forgiven between two former rivals for the Democratic nomination. Like a children's fairy tale... if it doesn't have a happy ending, it won't sell.

Yesterday, Clinton praised Obama in front of two major interest groups that had supported her in the primaries. And the two Democrats appeared before a group of Clinton's top donors last night. Clinton told supporters that Democrats "are a family" and Obama hailed Clinton and her backers, for their passion. Both Obama and his wife Michelle gave the maximum $2,300 to help Clinton retire her debt.

But how close-knit is this family really? The fact is each is forced to rely on the other as the general election ramps up. Obama needs Clinton to help convince her supporters to vote for him in November. And Clinton needs help in paying down her campaign debt, plus she wants to know that she'll be treated as a top surrogate throughout the campaign and at the convention.

Fine, but there are sticking points. Aides describe the relationship as one that's "slowly thawing" with a lot of unanswered questions. As we told you in the Cafferty File yesterday – they're reportedly using a high-powered Washington attorney to negotiate some of these issues.

And then there's Bill. The former president and Obama have not spoken since Obama wrapped up the nomination. Wouldn't you think the last sitting Democratic president might want to talk to the party's presumptive nominee? There may be less here than meets the eye.

Here’s my question to you: How united do you think Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton really are?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • New Hampshire • Unity
June 27th, 2008
02:50 PM ET

How would you retire if you were Bill Gates?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Bill Gates is walking off into the sunset... well, kind of.

Today marks his last day as a full-time worker at Microsoft, the software giant he co-founded more than 30 years ago. At 52, Gates isn't totally retiring. He'll still put in one day a week at the company and will remain Microsoft's chairman and its largest shareholder.

But, Gates plans to spend more time working on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It's the richest philanthropy in the world and is focused on global health and education.

Not too shabby for the Harvard dropout, who was the richest person in the world for years. Gates was worth more than $100 billion in 1999, although he's "only" worth about half of that now because of the drop in Microsoft's shares along with donations to his foundation.

Gates leaves behind an amazing legacy – he's been known as the company's genius programmer, its technology guru, its primary decision maker and its ruthless leader. He figured out how to turn software into a moneymaking industry, and in the process it's safe to say he has changed the world forever.

Consider this: there are more than 1 billion copies of Microsoft Windows operating on PCs around the world.

It's probably safe to say you won't find Bill Gates living a run-of-the-mill retirement at some old-age home in Florida, playing shuffle board and dining on early bird specials.

Here’s my question to you: If you were Bill Gates, how would you spend your retirement?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Bill Gates