Sahil Kapur

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

Articles by Sahil

Appearing Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), called the Aurora shooter a "terrorist" -- in the apolitical sense of the word.

"I think the political will come. But at this point, you know, in a funny way, this guy is a terrorist," he said. “He wasn’t a terrorist in the sense of politics but for whatever twisted reasons that we can barely even imagine, he wanted to create terror. He wanted to put fear in people's lives."


Asked Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" whether there's an appetite to look at gun laws in the wake of the Aurora shootings, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper demurred.

"Well, I'm not sure there's any way in a free society to be able to do that kind of -- he was buying things in different places," he said. "Certainly we can -- I'm sure we will try -- to create some checks and balances on these things. But I mean this is a case of evil -- somebody who was an aberration of nature. If it wasn't one weapon it would have been another. I mean, he was diabolical."

He added: "We are certainly looking at that and trying to say ... how do we preserve our freedoms and all those things that define this country and yet try to prevent something like this from happening. Let me tell you, there's no easy answer. There isn't."

President Obama will travel to Aurora, Colo. on Sunday afternoon to visit families of victims of the recent shootings and local officials, the White House announced Saturday night.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) was at a loss for words when asked Sunday about what might have motivated the shooter who killed a dozen people and wounded many more in the Aurora, Colo. killings. 

"I am speechless," he said on CNN's "State of the Union." "Obviously this is a deeply troubled, twisted, delusional person. And I can't for the life of me, I don't -- I can't conceive of a motive."

He added: "I spent yesterday -- most of yesterday -- going from hospital to hospital and talking to families and, in some cases, talking to the wounded. It was amazing how buoyant the spirits were in many of these rooms, even with people who had suffered grievous wounds."

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) said Sunday that investigations are continuing in the wake of the horrific shooting in Aurora that left 12 dead and 58 injured, according to CNN.

"The investigation continues now that we've had access to the apartment of the suspect," he said on CNN's "State of the Union. "They've got a lot more information and they're going to continue to put together the case."

"I think they are learning more moment by moment," he continued, adding that he's been asked not to talk about the information law enforcement has gained.

Republican anger over President Obama's directive to grant states flexibility on implementing welfare reform has hit the campaign trail, and the White House is offering rankled Republicans a response: Get over it -- your own party's leaders, including Romney himself, asked for those waivers.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote a letter to Republicans (PDF) reminding them of their party's own prior support for state leniency in implementing welfare reform. She argued that in 2005, Republican governors wanted even more flexibility than Obama is now willing to grant.

Read More →

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) is attacking his challenger Denny Rehberg for the Montana congressman's role in reviving the contraception wars from earlier this spring, seeking to make it a campaign issue.

Rehberg, the chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee on health, voted to advance legislation Wednesday that includes a provision repealing President Obama's requirement that employer-provided health insurance plans offer birth control to female employees without co-pays. It passed the Rehberg-led panel on a party line vote.

"All women should have access to basic health care services, but Congressman Dennis Rehberg keeps trying to take it away," Dayna Swanson, Tester's deputy campaign manager, told TPM in a statement. "His priority is to protect tax breaks for fellow millionaires instead. Montana women cannot afford Congressman Rehberg's irresponsible decisions in the Senate."

Read More →

Justice Antonin Scalia denies that he has personally clashed with Chief Justice John Roberts over his decision to save the Affordable Care Act in a 5-4 vote.

"No, I haven't had a falling out with Justice Roberts," he told Piers Morgan in a CNN interview that aired Wednesday night. "Nothing like that."

Leaks from within the Supreme Court after the contentious decision suggest the other four conservative justices -- who co-wrote a dissenting opinion to invalidate 'Obamacare' in its entirety -- expected Roberts to be on their side. The anonymous leakers say Roberts switched his vote and left the conservatives feeling betrayed when he opted to side with the four liberals and uphold the individual mandate under Congress's taxing power.

Scalia's reaction? The leakers are full of it.

Read More →