The Note's Must-Reads for Wednesday, March 27, 2013

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, Amanda VanAllen and Carrie Halperin

PRESIDENT OBAMA AND ADMINISTRATION: The New York Daily News' Kristen Lee: " President Obama names veteran agent as first woman director of the Secret Service" President Obama appointed on Tuesday the first female director of the Secret Service - a 30-year veteran of the security agency who will take command as it recovers from an embarrassing prostitution scandal. Julia Pierson, 53, replaces Mark Sullivan, who was criticized for allowing a testosterone-fueled culture to erode discipline at the Secret Service. Pierson, who began her career as a police officer in Orlando and then a Special Agent in Miami, currently serves as the agency's chief of staff. LINK

USA Today's Aamer Madhani and Kevin Johnson: " Obama appoints first female head of Secret Service" President Obama named Julia Pierson, a longtime U.S. Secret Service agent, on Tuesday as the first female director of the agency, a pick that could mark a cultural shift for an agency that's reputation was tarnished by last year's prostitution scandal. The selection of Pierson, 53, who has been the service's chief of staff for more than four years, was lauded by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as "historic." LINK

SUPREME COURT: The Hill's Sam Baker: " Supreme Court justices may duck decision on same sex marriage" A conflicted Supreme Court on Tuesday suggested it will not issue a decision declaring gay marriage to be a constitutional right. During oral arguments in a case on California's ban on same-sex marriage, the justices appeared unlikely to revive the ban struck down by an appeals court. At the same time, they seemed equally unlikely to issue a broad ruling that would dramatically expand the ability of same-sex couples to marry in other states. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' David Savage and Noam Levey: " Supreme Court seems willing to restore gay marriage in California" The Supreme Court, hearing arguments on the emotionally charged issue of gay marriage for the first time, appeared willing Tuesday to restore marital rights to gays and lesbians in California but uncomfortable with legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. The justices sounded sharply divided as they considered Proposition 8, California's ban on gay marriage, and wary of going too far, too fast. None of them spoke up for a sweeping ruling that would require every state to change its marriage laws. LINK

The New York Times' Adam Liptak: " Justices Say Time May Be Wrong for Gay Marriage Case" As the Supreme Court on Tuesday weighed the momentous question of whether gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry, six justices questioned whether the case, arising from a California ban on same-sex marriages, was properly before the court and indicated that they might vote to dismiss it. LINK

CIA: The Washington Times' Greg Miller and Julie Tate: " CIA director faces a quandary over clandestine service appointment" As John Brennan moved into the CIA director's office this month, another high-level transition was taking place down the hall. A week earlier, a woman had been placed in charge of the CIA's clandestine service for the first time in the agency's history. She is a veteran officer with broad support inside the agency. LINK

OBAMACARE: The Washington Times' Dave Boyer: " Carney: Thank Clinton-era for Obamacare voter registration provision" The Obama administration isn't taking credit for a provision in the Affordable Care Act that encourages people to register to vote, although White House officials obviously favor the prescription. White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that including the voter-registration question on applications for health insurance coverage actually dates to a Clinton-era precedent. LINK

CONGRESS: Politico's James Hohmann: " With Tim Johnson retiring, Democrats face new challenge" Sen. Tim Johnson announced Tuesday that he will not run again next year, giving South Dakota its first open Senate seat since 1978 and adding another challenge to the Democrats' Senate majority. This is a prime Republican pickup opportunity in a state Mitt Romney carried by 18 percentage points, but Democrats have two strong candidates and promise a close election in a race that could also feature a divisive GOP primary. LINK

GUN CONTROL: ABC News' Arlette Saenz: " GOP Senators Threaten Filibuster on Guns" In the latest roadblock to passing gun legislation, three Republican senators have threatened to filibuster next month's proceedings on the gun debate. In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., warned that they might filibuster any legislation that restricts gun rights. LINK

ABORTION: The Wall Street Journal's Mark Peters: " North Dakota Adopts Strict Abortion Law" North Dakota's governor signed a law Tuesday banning abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy, putting in place the strictest limits on the procedure of any U.S. state. The law, which prohibits an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, is expected to face a court challenge from abortion-rights advocates who say it conflicts with U.S. Supreme Court rulings. LINK

ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT: Bloomberg' s Staff: " Billionaire Divorce Tale: How Harold Hamm Made $13B" Who is Harold Hamm? Bloomberg's Carol Massar goes to the Billionaire Oil Man's Oklahoma home town to see how he went from rags to riches. A nearly $13 billion dollar fortune that could be in jeopardy as he faces one of the most expensive divorce settlements in history. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS " Supreme Court Oral Arguments on Gay Marriage: Full Audio" LINK

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