–West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin is tapping his former general counsel, Carte Goodwin, to keep late Sen. Robert Byrd’s seat warm until the state can hold a special election (likely later this year). As The Fix explains, Manchin’s decision to appoint the 36-year-old Goodwin–who would be the chamber’s youngest member–is another sign that the governor will run for the seat himself.
–More than 20 media organizations file an amicus brief petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the free speech rights of the Westboro Baptist Church, the repulsive outfit that pickets service members’ funerals with hateful signs.
–Politico spotlights Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s ties to Capitol Hill.
–Ta-Nehisi Coates has a thought-provoking post about the Tea Party-NAACP squabble.
–TIME’s Bryan Walsh, who’s down in the Gulf, explains why the claims process could bedevil local residents.
–And Aaron Sorkin will adapt and direct a silver-screen version of Andrew Young’s “The Politician,” a look at John Edwards’ downfall through the lens of a former aide.