Though Americans overall are lukewarm to the Supreme Court, a solid majority of Republicans give it a thumbs up, according to a new Gallup poll. It wasn't always that way. Rather, Republican enthusiasm for the court has spiked markedly since September, rising from 30 percent up to 51 percent in that short window.
The uptick comes after a spate of GOP-friendly rulings from the court. In the past few months, the justices have struck down caps on campaign contributions, ruled against President Obama's recess appointments, permitted prayers at town meetings, and, most notably, eroded ObamaCare's contraceptive mandate.
U.S. officials say that NATO's military commander Gen. Philip M. Breedlove is now in favor of providing lethal weapons to Ukrainian forces, and administration and military officials are starting to lean in that direction as well.
The White House has only provided aid in the form of items like night-vision goggles, first aid kits, and body armor, but Secretary of State John Kerry is open to discussing providing lethal aid during his visit to Kiev on Thursday, The New York Times reports. "Although our focus remains on pursuing a solution through diplomatic means, we are always evaluating other options that will help create space for a negotiated solution to the crisis," Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said.
The first touchdown of the Super Bowl belongs to the New England Patriots: Watch the video below to see quarterback Tom Brady connect with wide receiver Brandon LaFell to score. —Catherine Garcia
Idina Menzel started Super Bowl XLIX on the right note, with a stirring rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Watch her impressive performance in the video below. —Catherine Garcia
President Obama's forthcoming budget proposal will include a request for $478 billion for vast infrastructure improvements, to be funded with a 14 percent tax on $2 trillion in corporate earnings held abroad. The six-year plan is a more robust version of a policy Obama has proposed in the past. Obama is to unveil his budget on Monday.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Sunday stood by his harsh criticism of protesters who last week interrupted a Senate hearing with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
"I was outraged and I'm still outraged," McCain said on CNN, arguing that the protesters were physically threatening Kissinger. "I think they're terrible people that would do that to a 91-year-old man with a broken shoulder," he added.
Last week, McCain called protesters from the anti-war group Code Pink "low-life scum" after they brandished banners and handcuffs during the hearing. —Jon Terbush
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Sunday said homosexuality is a "lifestyle" choice, adding that while he disagreed with it personally, he was accepting of people with different beliefs.
"I don't drink alcohol, but gosh, a lot of my friends, maybe most of them, do," he said on CNN. "I don't use profanity, but believe me I've got a lot of friends who do. Some people really like classical music and ballet and opera. It's not my cup of tea."
Deflategate may have been a bunch of hot air.
The NFL's investigation into the New England Patriots' alleged ball tampering has determined that the footballs used in last month's AFC Championship were not as underinflated as previously believed, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. Though previous reports said 11 of 12 footballs were each underinflated by two pounds per square inch, the league actually found many to be only "a few ticks" under the minimum allowable PSI; only one was two pounds under the limit.
The Patriots denied tampering with the balls in any way, and team owner Robert Kraft demanded an apology from the NFL should it find no evidence of wrongdoing.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said Sunday that the U.S. had to be "prepared to put boots on the ground" in Syria and Iraq to battle ISIS. In an appearance on ABC's This Week, the potential 2016 candidate said that he did not consider it an "immediate plan," but that it should remain on the table.
Also Sunday, a Des Moines Register poll showed Walker leading a hypothetical GOP field in Iowa one year out from the Iowa caucuses. Walker declined to say Sunday if he was indeed preparing a White House run, though he said he "wouldn't bet against me on anything."
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday condemned the Islamic State's apparent killing of journalist Kenji Goto, calling it a "despicable and horrendous act of terrorism."
ISIS on Saturday released a video purporting to show Goto's decapitated body after its demand of a prisoner exchange went unmet. Though the video has yet to be authenticated, both Japan and the U.S. have released statements tacitly confirming it is real.
"To the terrorists, we will never, never forgive them for this act," Abe said.
As you may have heard, the Super Bowl is finally here. So ahead of the big game, Saturday Night Live showed what it would be like if the Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman hosted their own talk show. Incredibly, a special guest even got he media-averse Lynch (played by Kenan Thompson) to crack a smile and open up a little bit. — Jon Terbush