A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

June 6, 2009

John Jay was the first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, serving from 1789 until 1795. He retired from the court in order to become the governor of New York.
Source: Columbia University

Obama and Islamic History

President Obama ticked off some accomplishments of the Islamic world during his speech in Cairo on June 4. Namely, he said:
Obama: It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed.
Was he right? Well, he was more careful in his language than when he claimed this winter that the U.S.

Guns A-Blazin’

We’ve updated our Ask FactCheck item on Sonia Sotomayor and gun rights yet again. This time it’s to reflect the fact that the National Rifle Association has filed a cert petition asking the Supreme Court to hear its case challenging Chicago’s gun laws (which it lost this week in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals). The NRA asks the court specifically to decide the question of whether or not the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments.

More “Birther” Nonsense: Obama’s 1981 Pakistan Trip

We continue to receive queries about claims and theories advanced by "birthers," who wish to believe that Barack Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the USA or that he somehow gave up his citizenship and thus is not qualified to hold the office he occupies. One is a claim, first advanced last year, that his trip to Pakistan in 1981 proves he must not have been a U.S. citizen because Americans were not permitted to travel there at the time.

June 5, 2009

The Supreme Court’s caseload has sharply increased in recent decades.  Whereas in 1945, there were only 1,460 cases on the docket, today that number is more than 10,000 per term.
Source: Supreme Court

Georgia Arms

 Q: Did the Obama administration shut down a Georgia ammunition supplier? Is it trying to create an ammo shortage?
A: Georgia Arms still is doing a booming business in reloaded military cartridges. The Pentagon quickly reversed a move to stop selling spent casings.

Obama: U.S. “One of the Largest Muslim Countries.” Not!

President Barack Obama claimed that the U.S. is "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world" in terms of population. That strains the facts mightily. The U.S. Muslim population probably doesn’t even rank in the top 50.
Obama’s remark came in a June 1 interview with French TV correspondent Laura Haim:

Obama: June 1: Now, the flip side is I think that the United States and the West generally, we have to educate ourselves more effectively on Islam.

June 4, 2009

The term of the Supreme Court begins on the first Monday of October and lasts until the preceding day the next year.
Source: Supreme Court

Virginia Myths and More

One thing for certain in the race for Virginia’s governorship is that Bob McDonnell is the GOP nominee. As for the Democrats, three candidates are still vying for the nomination. That means plenty of battles on the airwaves. And a few of the Democrats’ ads don’t pass the fact-checking test …

Mind-meld: Sotomayor and Conservative Luminaries

We’ve just updated our recent Ask FactCheck item on Sonia Sotomayor and the Second Amendment to reflect the latest news: A ruling by three judges on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreeing with her judgment that the amendment doesn’t apply to state and local governments.
The decision in National Rifle Association v. Chicago takes some of the air out of the argument, put forward by the NRA and others, that Sotomayor is anti-gun rights.