The Note's Must-Reads for Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Note's Must-Reads are a round-up of today's political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at

Compiled by ABC News' Jayce Henderson, Will Cantine and Jordan Mazza

WASHINGTON MUDSLIDE ABC News' Chris Good: " Obama Surveys Mudslide Damage, Praises Community Of Oso, Wash." After surveying mudslide damage from Marine One and meeting for an hour and fifteen minutes with victims' families behind closed doors, President Obama praised the community of Oso, Wash., as it recovers from the March 22 mudslide that so far has claimed 41 lives. "This is family, and these are folks who love this land, and it's easy to see why, because it's gorgeous, and there's a way of life that's represented," Obama said, speaking to first responders at a firehouse. A handmade sign hung above him reading "OSO STRONG." LINK

USA Today's Aamer Madhini: " Obama Tours Mudslide Devastation In Oso, Wash." President Obama visited the site of last month's deadly mudslide in Washington state Tuesday, telling the devastated community of Oso that the federal government would stand by it "every step of the way" as it recovers. "There are still families who are searching for loved ones, there are families who have lost everything, and it's going to be a difficult road ahead for them," Obama told emergency responders and recovery workers. "And that's why I wanted to come here. Just to let you know the country is thinking about all of you and has been throughout this tragedy. We're not going anywhere. We will be here as long as it takes." LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Colleen McCain Nelson: " Obama Surveys Washington Mudslide Devastation" President Barack Obama on Tuesday took a helicopter tour of the destruction wrought by a mudslide that killed at least 41 people last month, viewing the mountain area where the search for victims continues. Later, speaking at the Oso firehouse, he told first responders and local residents that he came to let them know that the rest of the country is thinking about them. Mr. Obama said he has instructed his team to make sure the community receives needed resources. LINK

The Hill's Justin Sink: " Obama Vows To Stand By Mudslide Victims" President Obama vowed that the nation would be "strong right alongside" the victims of the Oso, Wash. mudslide after touring the area where a hillside gave way last month and wiped out a small neighborhood, killing at least 41 people. "The country is thinking about all of you and have been throughout this tragedy," Obama said. "We're not going anywhere. We'll be here as long as it takes." Obama thanked first responders, federal officials, and lawmakers, saying they have been "relentless in making sure Oso has the resources they need." LINK

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION The New York Times' Adam Liptak: " Court Backs Michigan on Affirmative Action" In a fractured decision that revealed deep divisions over what role the judiciary should play in protecting racial and ethnic minorities, the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a Michigan constitutional amendment that bans affirmative action in admissions to the state's public universities. The 6-to-2 ruling effectively endorsed similar measures in seven other states. It may also encourage more states to enact measures banning the use of race in admissions or to consider race-neutral alternatives to ensure diversity. LINK

Bloomberg's Greg Stohr and Sophia Pearson: " Michigan Affirmative Action Ban Upheld by U.S. High Court" The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to affirmative action, upholding a voter-approved ban on racial preferences in admissions at Michigan's state-run universities in a decision that provides a blueprint for other states wishing to enact similar bars. The justices, voting 6-2, today said racial preferences were a legitimate subject to be put before the state's voters. A federal appeals court had said Michigan unconstitutionally stripped racial minorities of their rights. LINK

The Washington Times' Jeffrey Scott Shapiro: "Court's Affirmative Action Ruling: A Step Toward Respecting States' Rights" With its ruling upholding the right of Michigan voters to ban racial preferences in state university admissions, the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday took what legal scholars are saying one more step away from the concept of federal supremacy. The 6-2 decision reversed a 2012 ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that struck down the voter initiative on the grounds that it violated the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause, and carved out more power for the states over Washington in the process. LINK

RICK PERRY // ANDREW CUOMO DEBATE ABC News' Alexander Mallin: " Rick Perry Wants New York Jobs - And Debate With Andrew Cuomo" Gov. Rick Perry has made it clear that he's not afraid to mess with states outside of Texas to attract businesses, but now the former presidential candidate and potential 2016 contender is looking to brush up on his debate skills with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "A debate between the governors of two of the largest states in the country on policy issues such as taxes, government spending, education, regulations and legal reform would be beneficial to our states and our country as a whole," the Texas Republican said in an interview with an Albany news radio station today. LINK

The New York Daily News' Glenn Blain: " Texas Gov. Rick Perry Challenges Gov. Cuomo To Business Climate Debate" Texas Gov. Rick Perry got his business-poaching trip to New York underway Tuesday with a Texas-sized challenge to Cuomo. Perry, during an Albany radio appearance, challenged Cuomo to a public debate on which state - New York or Texas - had the better business climate. "I'd be more than happy to sit down and have a thoughtful conversation, a debate with Gov. Cuomo over the issues that face us as a state and talk about the economic policies and compare New York to Texas," Perry said. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " U.S. Troops Sent To Europe" LINK " Biden Shows Support For Ukraine On Trip To Kiev" LINK

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