African American Voters Need to Channel Their Power in State Elections

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Rawn James, Jr.: Sure, there’s a black president, but the average voter is more affected by his/her state government.

Supreme Court Throws Voting Rights Act Under the Bus

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David Love: It is no understatement to say that the U.S. Supreme Court committed a crime of the highest proportion when it decided to gut the Voting Rights Act of 1965 a few days ago. The victory for gay marriage and against DOMA was bittersweet, given a disappointing voting rights decision in the same week.

So the Voting Rights Act Is Gutted: What Can Protect Minority Voters Now?

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Steven Hill: The most encouraging option for voting-rights advocates to pursue is automatic voter registration (sometimes known as universal voter registration).

Will Roberts Court Light a Fire in Gutting the Voting Rights Act?

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Tom Hall: The Roberts Court’s formal gutting of the 1965 Voting Rights Act will be announced later this spring, after the weather has warmed up, after the school year has ended. After young black men in cities around the nation will join their fathers, standing on line to apply for jobs they won’t be given.

Would Republican Cordray Filibuster Propel Elizabeth Warren?

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Brent Budowsky: Senate Republicans are on the brink of launching a filibuster against the nomination of Richard Cordray to lead the new consumer agency that will could propel Sen. Elizabeth Warren to a national stature from the Senate reminiscent of Robert F. Kennedy.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Plans Law to Fight Voter Suppression

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Charley James: The current draft of Jackson’s proposed law seems to take advantage of a little-noticed and seldom mentioned part of Bush v. Gore requiring state voter franchise laws apply equally to all.

Obama’s and America’s Remarkable Evolution on Gay Rights

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Peter Dreier: Historians will no doubt view President Barack Obama’s announcement Wednesday favoring same-sex marriage as an equally historic statement, parallel to those of FDR on workers’ rights and LBJ on civil rights.

Supreme Court Matters

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Andy Love: Elections do have consequences, as they say, and the electorate needs to understand that the consequences this time around couldn’t be more serious. If ever there was a time for the President to run against the Court, it is now.

Won’t You Come Home, Jim Crow?

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Tom Degan: The Republican party is at this very moment mounting a campaign that, if successful, will disenfranchise the voting rights of African Americans – and everyone else who tends to vote left-of-center – all across America. Isn’t that sweet?

California Tea Partiers Revved Up by Redistricting Reform

Justine Sharrock

Justine Sharrock: Some of the basic elements of the new redistricting process have proved helpful to well-organized and vocal groups on the right, civil rights activists say.

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We Draw the Lines: Not So Much

unai Montes Irueste

Unai Montes-Irueste: Unless these drafts are redrawn, California Latinos will be robbed of the Congressional and Legislative representation we deserve—despite the fact that these draft maps were drawn using the very same Census data that attributes 90% of California’s population growth between 2000 and 2010 to Latino youth and migrants.

Jim Crow, Yankee Republican Style

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Berry Craig: With Wisconsin Governor Walker’s blessing, Republican lawmakers are ramming home a bill that requires voters to show photo ID at the polls. Of course, the idea is to decrease the Democratic vote.

Health Care Reform: Compassion versus Freedom?

Nurse Iris Willams talks to Ella Mae Johnson .

John Delloro: State rights and individual freedom have an important place in our society but so does the values and beliefs informing the lives of Ella Mae, my father and I. Our narrative of community and compassion yearns and demands to be included in the larger story of America. Although the health care reform bill is imperfect, it communicates to us—“we are beginning to be heard.”

Voting Rights Act: Have We Changed So Much?

American Aparthied

A key provision of the Voting Rights Act (first adopted in 1965), provides that jurisdictions with a history of racial and ethnic discrimination must get prior federal approval before changing election laws. Many, but not all Southern states, and a scattering of states, counties, and municipalities elsewhere, remain subject to that stipulation. In June, the [...]

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