Civil Rights

Despite Protests, TX Passes Tough New Abortion Restrictions

Despite Protests, TX Passes Tough New Abortion Restrictions
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.
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Obama: Outlawing LGBT Discrimination 'on the Right Side of History'

Obama: Outlawing LGBT Discrimination 'on the Right Side of History'
President Obama signs an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Find video of his remarks on the flip.
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More CA Death Row Inmates Commit Suicide Than Receive Capital Punishment, as Judge Questions Constitutionality

More CA Death Row Inmates Commit Suicide Than Receive Capital Punishment, as Judge Questions Constitutionality
Last week, Judge Carney in the Central District of California wrote a refreshingly accessible, logical, and just opinion declaring California’s death penalty system unconstitutional. The court found that the excessive systemic delay between sentence and execution, combined with the infrequency of the punishment actually being administered, creates a system where “a sentence of death...is a sentence of life imprisonment with the remote possibility of death — a sentence no rational legislature or jury could ever impose.” But is it the end of capital punishment in the state?
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Widespread Constitutional Violations in Newark Police Department

Widespread Constitutional Violations in Newark Police Department
A U.S. Department of Justice investigation has found that the Newark Police Department violated citizens' constitutional rights and engaged in a pattern of excessive force, with such practices disproportionately affecting the city's black community.
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Republicans' Weird Obsession with Marriage Inequality Hurting Election Prospects

Republicans' Weird Obsession with Marriage Inequality Hurting Election Prospects
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers continues his obsession with trying to stop county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, despite repeated court rulings that strike down bans on same-sex marriage. Suthers has been rumored to be looking at running for Mayor of Colorado Springs in 2015, so perhaps he views his defense of a same-sex marriage ban as something that may help him with a highly-conservative Colorado Springs electorate.
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Detroit Suspends Water Shutoffs for 15 Days

Detroit Suspends Water Shutoffs for 15 Days
On Monday morning, the Detroit Water and Sewage Department (DWSD) announced that it will suspend water shutoffs for 15 days in order to allow struggling residents more time to make arrangements to pay their bill. A DWSD spokesperson said the move was unrelated to protests by at least a thousand people.
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Ag-Gag Laws Face Serious Constitutional Challenges

Ag-Gag Laws Face Serious Constitutional Challenges
The years-long fight between farm organizations and animal rights activists over laws prohibiting secretly filmed documentation of animal abuse is moving from state legislatures to federal courts as laws in Utah and Idaho face constitutional challenges.
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The NSA's Other Privacy Loophole

The NSA's Other Privacy Loophole
Last week, a former State Department civil servant named John Tye published an important op-ed in the Washington Post, explaining that the NSA has created a giant loophole in Americans' right to privacy. While we now know a good deal about the NSA's spying on American soil, Tye explains, the NSA's powers to conduct surveillance on foreign soil should trouble us even more.
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In America, Fighting for the Right to Fly While Brown

In America, Fighting for the Right to Fly While Brown
When Shoshana Hebshi boarded Frontier Flight 623 on September 11, 2011, she was heading home to Detroit Metro Airport from a visit to her sister in San Francisco. She couldn't have foreseen that being seated next to two other brown-skinned people would end up with her handcuffed, detained, and strip-searched by law enforcement.
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Federal Judge: Capital Punishment 'Cruel and Unusual'

Federal Judge: Capital Punishment 'Cruel and Unusual'
A California federal judge ruled this week that the state's death penalty, which has created long delays and uncertainty for inmates, violates California's ban on 'cruel and unusual' punishment, rendering capital punishment unconstitutional. The ACLU notes this is the first such ruling, but certainly won't be the last.
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