Household income in America
May 31st, 2012
06:56 PM ET

Household income in America

By , CNNMoney

Who makes the big bucks in America?

Middle-aged white couples.

We all know that income is concentrated in the United States, but Sentier Research has crunched the data to show just who has the money.

Read more on CNNMoney's Economy blog

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Filed under: Economy • How we live
Opinion: Yale grad's inspiring life over too soon
Marina Keegan died in a car crash Saturday. Her life, Josh Levs says, is a lesson in the importance of reaching for dreams.
May 31st, 2012
04:38 PM ET

Opinion: Yale grad's inspiring life over too soon

By Joshua Levs, CNN

Editor's note: Josh Levs reports across all platforms for CNN. He lays out keys to achieving dreams in his TEDx Talk, "Breaking the system to achieve the impossible." Find him on Facebook or Twitter.

(CNN) - It's astounding how fast the words of a 22-year-old woman, her life suddenly cut short, have spread across the Internet and into the hearts and minds of people all over the world.

Marina Keegan, a budding writer, was once published by the New York Times and had a job lined up at the New Yorker. Also a playwright, she had a musical slated for a staging in August at the New York International Fringe Festival.

She wrote a moving essay in the Yale Daily News to inspire her fellow seniors as they graduated last week. She died in a car crash a few days later.

That column, in which she strives to remind her peers that "we have so much time," has taken on a tragic, powerful resonance.

Discussing the "immense and indefinable potential energy" many felt as freshmen, she wrote that it's important to remember "we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. ... We're so young. We can't, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it's all we have."

The loss of Keegan is heartbreaking for many reasons. One of them is that she surely would have been among the too few people in the world who chase their dreams and bring them to fruition.

Read Josh Levs' full commentary

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Filed under: Relationships • What we think • Women
Federal court strikes down key part of federal law banning same-sex marriage
The Defense of Marriage Act was deemed unconstitutional Thursday.
May 31st, 2012
12:09 PM ET

Federal court strikes down key part of federal law banning same-sex marriage

By Bill Mears, CNN

(CNN) - A key part of the law banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage was struck down as unconstitutional by a U.S. appeals court Thursday.

The Defense of Marriage Act - known as DOMA - defines marriage for federal purposes as unions exclusively between a man and woman.

At issue is whether the federal government can deny tax, health and pension benefits to same-sex couples in states where they can legally marry.

"If we are right in thinking that disparate impact on minority interests and federalism concerns both require somewhat more in this case than almost automatic deference to Congress' will, this statute fails that test," said the three judge panel.

Read the full story

May 31st, 2012
07:45 AM ET

Former attorney general: Economic policies will discourage Hispanics, not voter ID laws

Editor's note:  Alberto R. Gonzales is the former U.S. attorney general and counsel to President George W. Bush. He is currently the Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law at Belmont University, and counsel at the Nashville law firm of Waller Lansden.

By Alberto R. Gonzales, Special to CNN

The right to vote is a precious privilege.

It provides the opportunity for every citizen to equally affect the future of our government no matter their last name, ZIP code or skin color.

It was my job as attorney general to protect the sanctity of every vote.

Based on my experience, voter identification laws serve as an effective deterrent to fraudulent voting.

I know there are concerns that such laws discourage voting and hurt minorities.

NAACP president: Voter ID requirements are like Jim Crow voter oppression laws

However, we should not abandon our efforts against voter fraud.

Instead, those concerns are best addressed by vigorous enforcement of existing federal regulations and laws, such as the Voting Rights Act, which provide protections against government actions that adversely affect the voting rights of minorities.

I condemn laws that discriminate based on race, and I support reasonable voter identification laws.

At the end of the day, I want to see more Americans voting, and states able to easily facilitate the right to vote.

The Hispanic vote is important in this election and future elections, and from my view, it is not voter ID laws that will prevent them from voting for President Barack Obama but his economic policies.