Zoeller’s growing profile
A Democratic state senator is wondering why Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller intervened in a court ruling that prohibited a New York town board from opening its meetings with overwhelmingly Christian prayers by a chaplain of the month.
Zoeller, a Republican, took the lead in a coalition of 18 states successfully petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to review the ruling. He said he expects Indiana will submit a friend-of-the-court brief urging the justices to overturn the New York decision and allow government meetings to be opened with prayer.
That seems a little over the top to me, said Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes. It shouldn’t be his bailiwick to defend cases from other states. He certainly has enough things going on in the state of Indiana.
Zoeller said federal court judges have asked states to offer their opinions on cases, and he is happy to provide an Indiana perspective.
The Indiana attorney general also is primary author of briefs submitted in support of California’s gay marriage ban and of a federal law defining marriage as the union between a man and a woman, where Zoeller insists he is arguing in defense of Indiana’s current marriage law and for the right of individual states to determine their own marriage rules.
His office also took the lead in the states’ challenge of the federal health care law, which was upheld by the Supreme Court last year.
The attorney general’s growing list of cases outside Indiana’s jurisdiction, all with the same general political viewpoint, suggests his sights extend beyond his current job.
Sun day comes early this week
Today is Don’t Fry Day, the day designated by a group of federal agencies to remind the public of the importance of preventing skin cancer.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in America. So, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention join forces on the Friday before Memorial Day – the kickoff for outdoor summer activities for many – to draw attention to the problem.
It is a reminder that it’s time to stock up on sunscreen and make a habit of wearing UV-blocking sunglasses while outdoors.
If current trends continue, one in five Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetime, and many of these skin cancers could be prevented by reducing UV exposure from the sun and indoor tanning devices, said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, in a news release. Of particular concern is the increase we are seeing in rates of melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer. In the United States, melanoma is one of the most common cancers among people ages 15 to 29 years.
The event comes just after the FDA announced its stricter rules for sunscreen labels.
The new rules mean only sunscreens that provide both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) protection and have a Sunscreen Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher can be labeled broad spectrum. The updated rules also require that any sunscreen claiming water resistance must remain effective for 40 to 80 minutes during swimming or sweating.
The new labels should help people protect themselves from sunburns while enjoying the sun. But the best way to prevent sunburns and skin cancer is to limit your exposure to the sun.