Posts Tagged ‘court



26
Jun
13

Rise and Shine

@petesouza: POTUS and FLOTUS wave from aboard AF1, en route to Africa

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Today:

EST

8:45 AM: The President and the First Family depart the White House

GMT

8:25PM: Arrive Dakar, Senegal

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Heather Gerken (Slate): Goodbye to the Crown Jewel of the Civil Rights Movement – People died to pass Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, but that didn’t save it at the Supreme Court.

…. To understand why Section 5 was special, you have to know a bit about its history. The brutal attacks on civil rights marchers crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge provided the push needed to pass the Voting Rights Act. When the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965, almost no African-Americans were registered to vote in the Deep South due to brutal repression and sickening legal chicanery.

Civil rights litigators and the Department of Justice were doing their best to help. They filed lawsuit after lawsuit to make it possible for blacks to register. But every time a court deemed one discriminatory practice illegal, local officials would switch to another. Literacy tests, poll taxes, burdensome registration requirements – these techniques were all used to prevent African-Americans from voting. Southern voting registrars would even resign from their positions as soon as a lawsuit was on the cusp of succeeding, thereby sending the case back to square one. The Voting Rights Act aimed to change all of this.

Section 5 was the most important and imaginative provision in the law….

More here

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President Barack Obama gives his second State of The Union Address before a joint session of Congress in Washington, DC.

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Sahil Kapur: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg penned the fierce dissent against the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision Tuesday to invalidate a key section of the Voting Rights Act, accusing the conservative justices of displaying “hubris” and a lack of sound reasoning. “[T]he Court’s opinion can hardly be described as an exemplar of restrained and moderate decision making,” wrote the leader of the court’s liberal wing. “Quite the opposite. Hubris is a fit word for today’s demolition of the VRA.”

Joined by the three other liberal-leaning justices, Ginsburg scolded the conservative majority and its rationale for throwing out Section 4 of the law — which contains the formula Congress has used to determine which states and local governments must receive federal pre-approval before changing their voting laws. “Congress approached the 2006 reauthorization of the VRA with great care and seriousness. The same cannot be said of the Court’s opinion today,” she wrote. “The Court makes no genuine attempt to engage with the massive legislative record that Congress assembled. Instead, it relies on increases in voter registration and turnout as if that were the whole story.” “Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet,” Ginsburg wrote.

More here

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Texas Tribune: The nation watched on Tuesday — and into Wednesday — as Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis and hundreds of impassioned reproductive rights advocates stalled proceedings and ultimately defeated controversial abortion legislation in a storm of screams and shouts as the clock struck midnight.

“I am overwhelmed, honestly,” Davis said after standing for nearly 13 hours to filibuster Senate Bill 5, the abortion legislation. The outpouring of support from protesters at the Capitol and across the nation, she said, “shows the determination and spirit of Texas women and people who care about Texas women.”

…. Republican senators made a last-ditch effort to approve SB 5, voting 19-10, but by then the clock had ticked past midnight. Under the terms of the state Constitution, the special session had ended, and the bill could not be signed, enrolled or sent to the governor.

… Conservative lawmakers tried every tool in the Senate rulebook to derail the filibuster. A “three strikes, you’re out” precedent in the Senate grants lawmakers two warnings about staying germane to the bill topic … Davis received the three strikes: two were on the germaneness of the discussion and one was related to Davis receiving assistance from another senator to put on a back brace….

More here

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25
Jun
13

Statement from the President

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12:30 ET: AG Holder delivers a statement on the Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act today

CBS

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25
Jun
13

‘A Dagger in the Heart’

@jeffzeleny Congressman John Lewis watches Voting Rights decision. He says he is “sad and dismayed.”

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Steve Benen here and the Washington Post

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AG Holder to deliver a statement on the Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act today at 12:30 ET

CBS

24
Jun
13

Today at the Supreme Court

Steve Benen: High court largely sidesteps affirmative action case in 7-1 ruling

One of the four biggest cases of the current Supreme Court term deals with the constitutionality of affirmative action in a case called Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. The ruling came down this morning, and in a 7-1 decision, the high court majority sent the case back to the lower court to be heard again.

More here

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NBC: Supreme Court raises bar for affirmative action in college admissions

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed affirmative action to survive in college admissions but imposed a tough legal standard, ruling that schools must prove there are “no workable race-neutral alternatives” to achieve diversity on campus.

While the ruling was not a sweeping pronouncement on the future of affirmative action, it amounts to a warning to colleges nationwide that the courts will treat race-conscious admissions policies with a high degree of skepticism.

More here

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24
Jun
13

Rise and Shine

Random Pic: President Obama talks with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew outside the Oval Office, May 1, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

11:45: The President meets with Secretary of the Treasury Lew

12:0: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

2:0: The President meets with CEOs, business owners and entrepreneurs to discuss the importance of commonsense immigration reform

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NYT: Within days, the Supreme Court is expected to issue a series of decisions that could transform three fundamental social institutions: marriage, education and voting.

The extraordinary run of blockbuster rulings due in the space of a single week will also reshape the meaning of legal equality and help define for decades to come one of the Constitution’s grandest commands: “the equal protection of the laws.”

If those words require only equal treatment from the government, the rulings are likely to be a mixed bag that will delight and disappoint liberals and conservatives in equal measure. Under that approach, same-sex couples who want to marry would be better off at the end of the term, while blacks and Hispanics could find it harder to get into college and to vote.

More here

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SCOTUS Blog: On Monday, June 24, we will begin live blogging at 9 a.m. ET.

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Michael Tomasky: Today begins one of the biggest weeks in the Supreme Court’s recent history. Certainly the biggest since it decided on Obamacare almost exactly a year ago, and I would say even bigger, because while that was a huge deal in a news sense, these decisions will drill right into the muscle and bone of our competing constitutional theories in this country—whether the Constitution is a living document that permits judges to use it to reach conclusions about changing social morality (the liberal view), or whether it should do no such thing and judges should never think about “outcomes” (the conservative one). The decisions should certainly focus liberals’ minds on what a crucial role the Court plays in shaping our lives, and the fact that we have four justices, two on each side, age 75 or older is a reminder of how the next president may well shape the nature and size of the Court’s majority for at least a generation to come, maybe two.

More here

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Time: Republicans used their majority to cut short debate and give preliminary approval early Monday to some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country as time was running out on the Texas Legislature’s special session.

Many members of the conservative majority had flyers on their desks that read “Psalm 139:13-14,” which reads in part, “You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Democrats gained strength from more than 800 demonstrators who packed the hallways of the Capitol carrying signs reading, “Stop the War on Women” to oppose Senate Bill 5. The measure would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, require doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and limit abortions to surgical centers.

More here – and more at ThinkProgress

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Excellent:

HealthCare.gov

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Steve Benen: Where in the world is Edward Snowden?” is proving to be a rather complicated question.

….. there was apparently some drama in Moscow’s airport this morning, when there was heavy security surrounding a flight to Havana. Journalists tracking Snowden’s whereabouts quickly bought tickets on the flight, only to discover once they were on board and the doors were shut that he would not be on the plane.

It is, incidentally, a 12-hour flight from Moscow to Havana, which those journalists are apparently taking for no reason. On the other hand, it’ll be a whole lot of frequent-flier miles for them.

….. All of this, by the way, is turning into quite an international media spectacle. The New York Times front-page report on Snowden’s whereabouts this morning featured reporting from ten journalists in five cities on two continents…. Who knew the Snowden story would become a full-employment initiative for reporters?

Full post here

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06
Apr
13

Misogynist!

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, President Obama’s Supreme Court appointments, with Justice Ruth Bader, Oct, 2010

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Surrounded by members of Congress, signing the Lilly Ledbetter Bill, Jan, 2009

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….. at a Homeland Security Council meeting with Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

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Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President

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Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor, 2009-2013

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Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, 2009-2013

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Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security Secretary

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Susan-Rice-Obama

Susan Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations

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Dr Regina Benjamin, Surgeon General

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