Civil Rights

A record-setting number of women will serve in state legislatures in 2023

BY: - December 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — A record number of women will soon serve in state legislatures, breaking the previous cap of female lawmakers by at least 69 seats and bringing total representation to more than 32%, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.  States will have at least 2,376 female lawmakers in 2023, including both women […]

Same-sex marriage protected under bill passed by U.S. Senate with GOP support

BY: - November 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would enshrine protections for same-sex and interracial marriages, codifying many of the rights that would disappear if the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn those landmark decisions the way it overturned the nationwide right to an abortion this summer.  The 61-36 bipartisan vote sends the bill […]

Minnesota seeks to end blood donation discrimination

BY: - November 21, 2022

Christopher Johns got into the habit of donating blood when he was in high school.  But after graduation and coming out as gay, he was surprised to learn that blood banks would refuse donations from him and other gay men who were sexually active. “I was very caught off guard by it,” he said. “I […]

COMMENTARY

Hennepin County prosecutor’s Brady memo falls short

BY: and - November 18, 2022

In our August commentary, we outlined a few basic steps to improve Brady disclosure, which is the constitutional requirement that prosecutors fully disclose all evidence relevant to the defense. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office’s recently released Brady policy does not pass constitutional muster and fails to take the steps needed to ensure justice for defendants […]

Bill protecting same-sex marriage gains bipartisan support in U.S. Senate

BY: - November 16, 2022

WASHINGTON —  The U.S. Senate cleared a key hurdle to passing a marriage equality bill Wednesday, garnering even more than the 60 senators from both political parties needed to move past a legislative filibuster.  The bill, which could win final passage in the Senate as soon as this week, would ensure same-sex and interracial couples […]

U.S. Senate Democrats make a last-ditch push for a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers

BY: - November 16, 2022

WASHINGTON —  Democratic U.S. senators have set a December deadline for passing bipartisan legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for more than 600,000 undocumented people who were brought into the country as children — but they don’t yet have enough Senate Republican votes to make it a reality. During a Wednesday press conference […]

Migrant women endured medical mistreatment at Georgia ICE facility, U.S. Senate report finds

BY: - November 16, 2022

WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. Senate on an investigation panel this week grilled federal immigration officials about a bipartisan report that detailed how migrant women at an immigration detention center in Georgia underwent questionable gynecological procedures. The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Permanent Investigations released an 18-month bipartisan report that found migrant women who were […]

U.S. district court strikes down use of Title 42 to expel migrants

BY: - November 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Tuesday blocked the government from continuing Title 42 —  a controversial pandemic-era health policy used by both the Trump and Biden administrations to expel nearly 2 million migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. The request to halt the use of Title 42 had been filed by immigrant advocacy groups and […]

Young Black and Latino voters seen as key in turning back midterm ‘red wave’

BY: - November 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — Young Black and Latino voters were critical in holding off the Republican “red wave” in several battleground states for U.S. Senate seats and in tight U.S. House races in the midterm elections, according to analyses by researchers and grassroot organizations.  Young, diverse voters between the ages of 18 and 29 had the second-highest […]

Election deniers lose attempts to control elections in critical battleground states

BY: - November 9, 2022

Several prominent Republican candidates who denied the results of the 2020 election lost their races on Tuesday, but other critical races featuring election deniers have not been called.  Going into Election Day, election deniers were on the ballot in around half of the races for governor and secretary of state and one-third of the races […]

Recreational marijuana use will be legal in 21 states after ballot measures pass

BY: - November 9, 2022

Advocates for marijuana liberalization saw mixed results as legalization ballot measures were counted Tuesday, with Maryland and Missouri voters approving recreational use for adults but Arkansas, South Dakota and North Dakota rejecting the proposal. Maryland and Missouri will bring the list of states where recreational marijuana use is legal to 21. Maryland’s referendum passed easily, […]

Concerns grow that voter intimidation could disrupt midterm elections

BY: - November 3, 2022

PHOENIX — The two outdoor ballot drop boxes in Maricopa County are both unassuming — secure metal boxes, about the size of blue mailboxes, located just outside county buildings. But in recent weeks, they’ve at times been monitored by volunteers with far-right organizations, prompted by former President Donald Trump’s claims of widespread fraud and misinformation […]