The First Amendment Defense Act v. RFRA, Dax Lopez, and the Latest Presidential Polls

Jan 22, 2016

The “First Amendment Defense act of Georgia” has been introduced in the Georgia State Senate. Though some think the bill moves the same sex marriage debate further to the right, its author, Sen. Greg Kirk, sees the bill as being more palatable than the previously passed in the Senate “Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)”. Is it? Will it gain any traction in the Senate and move on to the House? U.S. Senator David Perdue has blocked DeKalb County State Court Judge Dax Lopez from becoming Georgia’s first lifetime appointed Federal judge. Perdue expressed concern about Lopez’s involvement with the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, among other concerns. Georgia’s other senator, Johnny Isakson, says that Lopez deserves a hearing. How will Perdue’s action impact Republicans trying to make political inroads in the Latino community? On GPB’s Lawmakers, Republican State Sen. Fran Millar voiced the opinion that Georgia will eventually expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Governor Deal has thus far said no to Medicaid expansion under the ACA. Democrats in the Georgia General Assembly have made Medicaid expansion a priority this session. Will the idea gain any traction? In presidential politics, some Iowa polls show Texas senator Ted Cruz with a lead over GOP frontrunner Donald Trump with the caucuses just over a week away. Several establishment Republicans have recently spoken out against Cruz, including 1996 GOP nominee Bob Dole. Will Dole and others have an impact as Iowans go to the polls? What about the new negative ads being run by Trump and Cruz? And whither Marco Rubio? On the Democrat side, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders remain locked in a tight fight for Iowa’s delegates, with Clinton holding a slight lead in some polls. Clinton has begun airing an ad in Iowa that touts her experience and preparedness for the office. Bernie Sanders’ new ad features Simon and Garfunkel and touts a hopeful, optimistic theme. Will either ad sway voters? The panel weighs in on all of this and more!