Edward Snowden Blows the Whistle on the NSA
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden captivated the world twice: First with his bombshell leaks to reporters that the NSA routinely snoops on innocent Americans, and then with his spy-novel-worthy flight from Hong Kong to Russia, eluding U.S. authorities who have charged him with espionage. (Click here to read Janet Reitman's in-depth RS feature on Snowden andjournalist Glenn Greenwald.)
Supreme Court Endorses Marriage Equality
In twin rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal marriage discrimination law – the "Defense of Marriage Act" or DOMA – and upheld a ruling that California's Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state, was unconstitutional, returning same-sex marriage to the Golden State.
FDA makes Plan B Available Over the Counter
Following years of moralizing, stalling and trying to slut-shame teenage girls by forcing them into awkward interactions with their local Rite Aid pharmacist, the Food and Drug Administration finally authorized over-the-counter sales of the morning-after birth control pill.
Senate Passes Comprehensive Immigration Reform
With a whopping 14 Republican votes, the Senate passed a blueprint for comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for America's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants. (The bill continues to languish in the House of Boehner.)
President Obama's Call to Action on Climate
Speaking at Georgetown, Obama delivered a stirring call to environmental activists, backing divestment from climate polluters: "Push your own communities to adopt smarter practices. Invest. Divest," Obama said. "Remind . . . everyone who represents you at every level of government that sheltering future generations against the ravages of climate change is a prerequisite for your vote."