Civil Rights

The 2023 Legislature did a lot on election laws. Here’s a (nearly) comprehensive look.

BY: - May 24, 2023

The Minnesota Legislature passed three bills that affect election administration, and Gov. Tim Walz signed them all. I’ll try to focus on major changes to elections policy.  Broadly speaking, the bills expand the franchise, remove obstacles to voting, increase transparency, and reinforce the state’s rejection of any interference with the voting process. The lies surrounding […]

Appeals court judges embrace anti-abortion speculation

BY: and - May 18, 2023

America’s major medical institutions and drug policy scholars have roundly denounced as “pseudoscience” many of the claims brought by anti-abortion groups in a high-profile federal lawsuit asking the Food and Drug Administration to revoke its 23-year-old approval of mifepristone, one half of a two-drug regimen that has become the most common form of pregnancy termination […]

Three-judge panel in U.S. appeals court hears arguments in abortion pill case

BY: and - May 17, 2023

NEW ORLEANS — A federal appeals court panel quizzed lawyers during oral arguments Wednesday over a Texas judge’s decision that could end access to the abortion pill nationwide. Observers see the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals as a legal way station for the case, in which anti-abortion groups sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, […]

In bankruptcy’s wake, a Minnesota meatpacking plant’s visa workers face an uncertain future

BY: - May 17, 2023

Days after HyLife Foods filed its bankruptcy paperwork, workers anxiously awaited answers from management about its plans for the pork processing plant. The employees gathered in the plant’s cafeteria before their shifts on May 1 to listen to an executive read a list of what appeared to be frequently asked questions and corresponding answers about […]

Arguments on landmark abortion pill case to be heard Wednesday in appeals court

BY: - May 16, 2023

WASHINGTON — The lawsuit over access to the abortion pill goes before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Wednesday, the next step on a path that will likely end at the U.S. Supreme Court.  The three-judge panel will decide whether to keep, overturn, or alter a ruling from U.S. District Court […]

Former cop pleads guilty to assault, apologizes for ‘historical and institutional problem’ at MPD

BY: - May 10, 2023

Former Minneapolis police officer Justin Stetson pleaded guilty Wednesday to assaulting Jaleel Stallings in the aftermath of George Floyd's police murder.

Jaleel Stallings objects to plea deal for MPD officer charged with beating him 

BY: - May 8, 2023

Jaleel Stallings, who was beaten by Minneapolis police officers after he shot at them in self defense in 2020, is objecting to a plea agreement for the officer who did most of the beating.

Walz signs Democracy for the People Act elections bill. And, your weekly legislative roundup.

BY: - May 5, 2023

Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill into law (HF3) Friday that aims to expand and simplify voting and create more transparency around campaign money, among other provisions. The new law includes automatic voter registration, allows 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote and allows voters to choose to vote by mail permanently by getting on […]

Congressional Democrats urge reversal of district court ruling on mifepristone

BY: - May 2, 2023

WASHINGTON — More than 250 congressional Democrats have filed a brief urging an appeals court to reverse a Texas federal judge’s decision to suspend the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s two-decade-old approval of the abortion pill. In an emergency order, the U.S. Supreme Court in April issued a stay, meaning the abortion pill known as […]

A top GOP lawyer wants to crack down on the college vote. Some states already are.

BY: - May 1, 2023

A top Republican election lawyer recently caused a stir when she told GOP donors that the party should work to make it harder for college students to vote in key states. But the comments from Cleta Mitchell, who worked closely with then-President Donald Trump to try to overturn the 2020 election, are perhaps less surprising […]

Revived push for Equal Rights Amendment blocked by U.S. Senate Republicans

BY: - April 28, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate failed to advance a symbolic measure to enshrine in the Constitution equal protection on the basis of sex, a century after the idea began circulating among lawmakers. Senators on Thursday voted 51-47 to go forward with a bill that would lift Congress’ self-imposed 1982 deadline for three-fourths of states to […]

U.S. Senate Democrats denounce post-Dobbs landscape of state abortion bans, restrictions

BY: - April 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Democrats at a Wednesday hearing explored how nearly a year after the Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to an abortion, multiple states and conservative-backed lawsuits are restricting access to reproductive care. The chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, said the recent Texas lawsuit challenging […]