President Barack Obama signs a Presidential Memorandum establishing My Brother’s Keeper
President Barack Obama reacts as he is introduced to speak by Christian Champagne, 18, from Chicago at the unveiling of Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative at the White House. The program aims to improve opportunities for boys from minority groups.
Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton (parents of Trayvon Martin)
Mother Jones: On Thursday, Senator Dick Durbin held a hearing on the rash of restrictive voter ID laws being pushed by Republicans all over the country. Voting rights activists have argued the laws will reduce turnout among minorities and the poor.
Republicans’ huge midterm victory last November translated into increased control of state legislatures, which they’ve used to pass new, more onerous restrictions on voting, sometimes explicitly for the purpose of suppressing votes from Democratic-leaning constituencies. Judith Brown Dianis of the Advancement Project called the wave of restrictions the largest effort to suppress the vote “since Reconstruction”.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights has produced a map showing how many states are in the process of passing such laws (see above).
What the map doesn’t show is that five states, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio, and West Virginia, have actually curtailed early voting as well. As Ari Berman reported, some of these ban voting on “the Sunday before the election — a day when black churches historically mobilize their constituents.”