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WHY IT MATTERS: Supreme Court

THE ISSUE: No one likes an even number on a court that makes decisions by majority vote. Yet that's just what the Supreme Court has been left with, eight justices, since the death of Antonin Scalia in February.
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WHY IT MATTERS: China

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WHY IT MATTERS: Income inequality

THE ISSUE: The rich keep getting richer while more Americans are getting left behind financially.
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WHY IT MATTERS: Voting rights

Who should be able to vote and how easy should it be? It's a question that goes to the core of democracy.
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WHY IT MATTERS: America and the world

How should America use its influence in a world where being a superpower doesn't get you what it once did? As instability and human tragedy in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria have shown, the U.S. alone cannot impose solutions or force the surrender of adversaries like the Islamic State group, which cannot be deterred by the threat of nuclear attack.

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