Civil Rights

Twenty states, D.C. join in opposing Texas lawsuit on emergency abortion care

BY: - August 16, 2022

WASHINGTON — Attorneys general from 20 states and the District of Columbia — including Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison — filed a brief in federal court on Tuesday, challenging Texas’ assertion that states shouldn’t have to comply with a federal law that protects doctors who end a pregnancy to save the patient’s life.  The brief […]

Cannabis legalization advocates turn THC customers into political allies

BY: - August 15, 2022

Now that Minnesota has legalized hemp-derived THC products as of July 1, proponents of full legalization are activating a new resource in the political battle over the green plant’s future: customers.  Josh Wilken-Simon, policy director of Minnesotans for Responsible Marijuana Regulation, said they estimate 700,000 Minnesotans are cannabis consumers. “Many of these folks aren’t politically […]

Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging Minnesota State Fair gun ban

BY: - August 13, 2022

A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit brought by gun rights activists challenging the Minnesota State Fair’s ban on guns, ruling the ban does not violate the activists’ Second Amendment rights. The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus and pair of gun rights activists — the Rev. Tim Christopher and Sarah Cade Hauptman — filed a […]

Inmates file suit after state orders them back to prison from COVID-19 release

BY: - August 9, 2022

Two inmates within the Minnesota correctional system filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the state’s Department of Corrections, seeking to stop the agency from ordering 18 inmates back into prison.  During the pandemic, the DOC released 158 inmates because of their susceptibility to COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions, through a conditional medical release program, which […]

Members of U.S. Senate committee consider bipartisan changes to Electoral Count Act

BY: - August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers and legal experts at a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday outlined the need to pass legislation clarifying an archaic election law so that the peaceful transfer of presidential power is ensured. The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, a bipartisan bill being pushed by 16 senators, was proposed after the […]

Election officials at U.S. Senate hearing describe threats, spread of misinformation

BY: - August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — Democrats on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday explored how to combat violent threats lodged against election officials, while Republicans questioned why the Department of Justice isn’t doing more to investigate threats against crisis pregnancy centers and Supreme Court justices. During a hearing on protecting election officials, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite […]

Biden to sign order on out-of-state abortion access

BY: - August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will sign an executive order Wednesday that aims to help pregnant patients cover the cost of travel to access abortion health care, a senior administrative official said. The executive order does not protect access to abortion, which was overturned in late June by the conservative majority of the Supreme Court […]

Experts warn of election ‘havoc’ across the U.S. if North Carolina case succeeds

BY: - July 28, 2022

WASHINGTON —  Legal experts on Thursday warned lawmakers on the U.S. House Administration Committee that if the U.S. Supreme Court upholds a North Carolina case that embraces a fringe election theory, it would undermine future elections across the country. “To be blunt, it would be extraordinary destabilizing,” said Carolyn Shapiro, a law professor at the […]

GOP support for same-sex marriage protections builds in U.S. Senate

BY: - July 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate appears on track to send President Joe Biden a bill in the coming weeks that would guarantee same-sex and interracial couples can marry, even if the Supreme Court overturns the landmark cases that enshrined those rights.  “I think we’re very close,” Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins said Tuesday of efforts […]

Voting sign in 4 languages

Election administration explained: Reconciliation

BY: - July 27, 2022

This is part of an occasional series on election administration. Read part 1, “Who does what?” Part 2, “Who can vote in Minnesota?” Part 3: “How and why polling places are computerized.” Part 4: “How absentee voting works.”  Election workers count. Not just in the figurative sense of mattering, but in the literal sense of one, two, three. […]

‘Defund the police’ slogan and anti-cop violence debated at U.S. Senate hearing

BY: - July 26, 2022

Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and law enforcement witnesses at a Tuesday hearing blamed recent violence against officers on anti-police rhetoric, while Democrats distanced themselves from the “defund the police” slogan and said an oversupply of guns made law enforcement jobs more dangerous. Republicans on the panel raised complaints about general attitudes toward […]

Tyson asks U.S. Supreme Court to shield it from COVID-19 lawsuits in Iowa courts

BY: - July 26, 2022

Faced with court rulings that say a Trump administration directive doesn’t protect Tyson Foods from liability caused by workers’ deaths due to COVID-19, the food giant is now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on the matter. Arguing that recent court rulings against the company will have “drastic consequences for the next national […]