Same old racist Republican shit in Texas – Overthrown…For now.
Jim Crow gets a pass under the Chumph.
Same old racist Republican shit in Texas – Overthrown…For now.
Jim Crow gets a pass under the Chumph.
DOJ has rejected the North Carolina anti-LGBT Law, and given the State 2 days to comply.
If the State does not comply, the Federal Government may immediately begin cutting off Federal funding, the first stage of which would be to cut off the $4.5 billion North Carolina gets in Educational money from the Federal Government. Besides that, the state would lose billions in Transportation funding, as well as funding from Labor, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services.
Lastly Military spending:
This shidt is getting ready to hurt!
North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2 breaks civil rights laws banning workplace discrimination based on sex, U.S. Justice Department officials said Wednesday.
The feds alerted Gov. Pat McCrory he has until Monday to address the violation of the U.S. Civil Rights Act “by confirming that the State will not comply with or implement HB2,” according to a letter obtained by The Charlotte Observer. DOJ officials said HB 2 is illegal under both the law’s workplace discrimination statutes and Title IX, which forbids discrimination in education based on gender.
The state law voided a Charlotte municipal ordinance allowing transgender people to use the restroom of the gender they identify with and prohibited other cities and counties from passing their own anti-discrimination statutes. HB 2 also restricts transgender people to the public bathrooms of the gender on their birth certificates. Protests by activists and businesses followed passage of the bill in March.
“The State is engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination against transgender state employees and both you, in your official capacity, and the State are engaging in a pattern or practice of resistance,” toward their civil rights, said the letter from DOJ Civil Rights Division principal deputy attorney general Vanita Gupta. The finding places hundreds of millions of dollars in federal education funds in jeopardy.
Another conservative idea from the extremist right which is a stupid idea has put Georgia in the headlights of major corporations in the state, and has opened the door to exodus of at least one corporation.
The NFL has decided it really doesn’t want a Superbowl in a state where it’s paying customers can be discriminated against because someone’s “religion” tells them they don’t have to deal with gays, minorities, or other religions based on whatever whack-job interpretations some back-alley ignorant arsed so called preacher comes up with.
Roger Goodell, chairman of the National Football League is on the cusp of becoming America’s newest gay icon.
Goodell, who has an openly gay brother, and the NFL, have emerged as staunch allies in gay rights advocates’ efforts to defeat HB 757, the controversial religious freedom bill that passed the Georgia legislature late last week.
HB 757 began the year as “the Pastor Protection Act,” a measure giving clergy the right to refuse to perform same-sex weddings. But after two trips through the Georgia state House and Senate, the bill now gives faith-based organizations the right to hire and fire people who violate their “sincerely held religious beliefs,” as well as the right to refuse to rent facilities for events they find “objectionable.”
The bill would also make it illegal to force an individual to attend a gay wedding.
With every expansion of the bill, Georgia legislators were warned by local business leaders not to do to Georgia what Indiana legislators did in 2015, when their own Religious Freedom Restoration Act led to an immediate nationwide backlash, including more than 400 million #BoycottIndiana tweets in the week the bill passed.
A year later, local tourism officials estimate the city lost at least 12 conventions and $60 million in direct business as a result.
Brandon Lorenz, communications director with the Human Rights Campaign, called Georgia’s HB 757 “an Indiana-style bill that blatantly promotes discrimination.”
“The Georgia legislature took a bad bill and made it worse.” Lorenz said. “This is a bill that has all kinds of avenues for harm and discrimination for Georgians.”
Along with LGBT advocates, major players in Georgia’s business community have ripped the legislation.
Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and Delta Airlines oppose it. Michael Dell, Richard Branson, and Jack Dorsey have all spoken out against it. SalesForce CEO Mark Benioff, who has 16,000 employees in Georgia, has warned he’ll pull as much of his business as possible out of the state, tweeting last week:
“Once again Georgia is trying to pass laws that make it legal to discriminate. When will this insanity end?”
But in a state where football is practiced like a religion, it has been the loud and unanimous objections of the sports community that has raised the greatest doubts about whether Gov. Nathan Deal will sign the bill.
In addition to the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Braves, who called the bill “detrimental to our community and bad for Georgia,” Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank warned the bill would have a “long-lasting negative impact on our state and the people of Georgia.”
“One of my bedrock values is ‘Include Everyone’ and it’s a principle we embrace and strive to live each and every day with my family and our associates, a vast majority of which live and work in Georgia,” he said.
Blank has taken the lead in the city’s efforts to bring the Super Bowl to the city, including with a new $1.7 billion Mercedes-Benz stadium already under construction in downtown Atlanta. But on Friday, Goodell and the NFL dropped a bomb on Atlanta’s hopes of hosting the 2019 or 2020 Super Bowls when it said the RFRA bill would endanger the city’s bids if Deal signs it into law.
Below is a map of “Economic Opportunity” broken into the MSAs in each state. Economic Opportunity is the measure of how likely it is for someone born in the lowest income and social class to be able to rise. Or to put it another way – the lower the Economic Opportunity, greater the chance that a poor person’s child will also be poor, and their children and their children.
Notice that isolated red spot right around ST. Louis, Mo – and including Ferguson?
Which areas have the highest populations on welfare and disability?
Just for fun, let’s look at the states with or without minimum wage laws…
Tell you Something?
Political Corruption Level in States – (Provided by London School of Economics)
State Incarceration Rates –
Which gets us the The New Jim Crow – Virtual Debtors Prisons and Bail Bond Extortion
Like the majority of the nearly 750,000 people stuck in local jails across the United States, Rebecca Snow was not held in the Ascension Parish jail in central Louisiana because she had been convicted of a crime. The 33-year-old mother of three, who was charged with two nonviolent misdemeanors in late August, simply could not afford to post bail.
If Snow had the $289 set for each charge, she could have gone home to her family instead of sitting in jail. Many others arrested in the parish are able to post bail and go home, but Snow didn’t have the extra cash: She relies on public assistance and is indigent, according to a civil rights complaint filed against the parish’s sheriff and top judge.
The US Supreme Court and the Justice Department have both said that incarcerating someone solely because they can’t afford to post cash bail is unconstitutional, but that was the policy in Ascension Parish until just a few weeks ago.
Ascension sheriff deputies would set bail during booking using a court-issued “schedule” that matched the alleged offense with a generic bail amount, and some arrestees waited days before seeing a judge who could hear a motion to reduce it, according to the complaint. No individual factors such as prior record or employment were considered, and even those arrested for minor crimes like traffic violations were not released without posting bail.
In early September, civil rights attorneys filed a class-action lawsuit challenging the bail scheme, with Snow as the lead plaintiff. A settlement was reached within weeks. Now those arrested for misdemeanors in Ascension Parish are released on their own recognizance unless they are charged with assault, drunk driving or a list of other crimes that generally involve putting other people in danger. A judge must promptly set an individualized bail for those who are jailed.
“[The defendants] don’t really have any arguments,” said Alec Karakatsanis, a cofounder of Equal Justice Under Law, which worked with civil rights lawyers from southern Louisiana to challenge Ascension’s bail policy. “It’s a terrible policy in addition to being illegal. It’s expensive and it ruins people’s lives and it devastates them.”
Nationally, jails have twice the admission rate of state and federal prisons, and 62 percent of those locked up have not been convicted of any crime and are legally presumed innocent, according to the Vera Institute of Justice. Three out of four people in jail are being held on nonviolent traffic, drug, property or public order charges. In most jurisdictions, poor people facing minor charges are forced to stay in jail or plead guilty to get out while those who have money on hand often go free.
Using the Constitution to Force Local Reforms
Since January, Karakatsanis and local partners have filed lawsuits challenging secured money bail programs in seven cities across the South, and so far defendants in six cities quickly settled and agreed to end the practice of requiring bail for nonviolent misdemeanors. The first lawsuit, filed against the City of Clanton, Alabama, attracted a statement of interest from the Justice Department declaring that jailing people solely because of their poverty violates the US Constitution’s equal protection clause and is simply “bad public policy.”
Suing individual officials and jurisdictions has proved to be an effective tactic for civil rights advocates who argue that many of the nation’s 3,000 jails have become modern-day debtors’ prisons. Attorneys like Karakatsanis are going from county to county to shut down illegal secured money bail and court fine collection schemesthat fill courthouse coffers and keep private collection companies and bail bondsmen in business while poor defendants, who often cannot afford child care or to miss even a day of work, are caged without being convicted.
“We are going from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and asking them to change, and if they don’t, we certainly sue them,” Karakatsanis told Truthout. He added that his group would be filing more lawsuits across the country.
By definition, bail is not a fine or a form of punishment. The purpose of bail is, in theory, to ensure that arrestees show up to court. If you are jailed and a bail is set, you may wait there for weeks, months or even years for your trial to start – or you can post bail, which will be refunded when you appear before a judge. In some parts of the country, if you don’t have the money, you can hire a bail bonds agent to post bail for a fee, usually at 10 percent of the bail amount. You don’t get that money back even if you are found not guilty. (In the few states that have outlawed for-profit bail bond agents, a secured bond may sometimes be paid at 10 percent of the set amount as well.)
Money bail tips the scales of justice in favor of those who have cash on hand. For arrestees who can’t afford to put money down on their own freedom, jail makes it much more difficult to escape the deep maze of the criminal legal system. The Vera Institute reports that even spending as few as two days in jail can reduce economic viability, promote future criminal behavior, degrade personal health and increase the chance that a defendant is incarcerated if found guilty.
Pretrial incarceration also increases the likelihood that people will take a plea deal, and some people plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit just to go home and avoid losing their jobs and contact with friends and family. That’s one reason why activists in Massachusetts, New York City and Chicago have organized community bail funds to free low-income people from jail. Since bail money is generally returned once defendants appear in court, these grassroots bail funds can extend the benefits of a recyclable resource to many people who would otherwise be left to defend themselves from a position of incarceration….Read the Rest Here…
Still wonder why it is so hard to get that Economic Opportunity in some places?
About time someone figured this one out. Charter Schools should be answerable to the same rules and measuring stick as Public Schools. People my age have little belief that the purpose of the Charters is in any way to improve the education of black children.
After nearly a year of deliberation, the state Supreme Court ruled 6-3 late Friday afternoon that charter schools are unconstitutional, creating chaos for hundreds of families whose children have already started classes.
The ruling — believed to be one of the first of its kind in the country — overturns the law voters narrowly approved in 2012 allowing publicly funded, but privately operated, schools.
Eight new charter schools are opening in Washington this fall, in addition to one that opened in Seattle last year…
In the ruling, Chief Justice Barbara Madsen wrote that charter schools aren’t “common schools” because they’re governed by appointed rather than elected boards.Therefore, “money that is dedicated to common schools is unconstitutionally diverted to charter schools,” Madsen wrote.
Justice Mary E. Fairhurst agreed with the majority that charter schools aren’t common schools, but argued in a partial dissenting opinion that the state “can constitutionally support charter schools through the general fund.”
She was joined by Justices Steven C. González and Sheryl Gordon McCloud.
The ruling is a victory for the coalition that filed the suit in July 2013, asking a judge to declare the law unconstitutional for “improperly diverting public-school funds to private organizations that are not subject to local voter control.”
The Washington Education Association was joined by the League of Women Voters of Washington, El Centro de la Raza, the Washington Association of School Administrators and several individual plaintiffs.
“The Supreme Court has affirmed what we’ve said all along — charter schools steal money from our existing classrooms, and voters have no say in how these charter schools spend taxpayer funding,” said Kim Mead, president of the Washington Education Association.
“To tell you the truth, I cried. It’s been a long hard fight,” said Melissa Westbrook, an education blogger who chaired the campaign opposing the charter-school law in 2012.
Joshua Halsey, executive director of the state charter-school commission, criticized the court’s timing.
“The court had this case in front of them since last October and waiting until students were attending public charter schools to issue their ruling is unconscionable,” Halsey said. “We are most concerned about the almost 1,000 students and families attending charter schools and making sure they understand what this ruling means regarding their public-school educational options.”
The state Attorney General’s Office said attorneys are reviewing the decision, but had no comment Friday.
David Postman, communications director for Gov. Jay Inslee, said the governor’s office is reviewing the court’s decision and will consult with the Attorney General’s Office.
“But until we have a thorough analysis, we can’t say what that means for schools operating today,” Postman said.
Under the 2012 law, up to 40 new charter schools could have opened in Washington over a five-year period.
In December 2013, King County Superior Court Judge Jean Rietschel struck down the part of the law that would have made charter schools eligible for state construction money, but essentially cleared the way for the state commission and the Spokane school district to authorize new schools. Spokane is the only school district with such authority.
All sides expected the case to reach the Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments last October.
Washington State Charter School Commission Chair Steve Sundquist said that commissioners anticipated a range of possible outcomes affecting funding, but didn’t draw up a plan to deal with a complete reversal.
“We were not expecting a ruling as deeply disappointing as this one,” Sundquist said.
He said the commission’s lawyer in the Attorney General’s Office will be meeting Saturday morning with other attorneys to discuss options.
The attorney for the plaintiffs, Paul Lawrence, doesn’t think there’s much more legal work to do on the issue. But he acknowledged that much has to be sorted out regarding the nine charter schools that are already up and running.
“The bottom line is that the initiative is unconstitutional so the charter schools that were authorized under the charter-school initiative can’t be publicly funded,” Lawrence said. “If there’s any avenue, it’s going to be through some act of the Legislature.”
In 2005, in response to a guy claiming to have won the Congressional Medal of Honor, who had not – the Rethugs passed a “feel good” law banning all such future false claims. This was a perfect exercise in making a lot of noise for the plastic patriot set, making a law to punish a minuscule population instead of Minorities. Of course – folks who have never read the Constitution don’t know how it works – so as usual, the Retugs overstepped their bounds.
The Supreme Court today struck down the Stolen Valor Actthat made it illegal to falsely claim to be the recipient of military honors and decorations, SCOTUSblog.com reports.
The court found that the statute violates the First Amendment.
The decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, says the law, as written, “seeks to control and suppress all false statements on this one subject in almost limitless times and settings without regard to whether the lie was made for the purpose of material gain.”
Kennedy writes that permitting the government to decree this kind of speech as a criminal offense “would endorse government authority to compile a list of subjects about which false statements are punishable.”
He notes, however, that Congress might be able to rewrite the law “to achieve the government’s objective in less burdensome ways.”
A Florida Republican law requiring all Welfare recipients to pass drug testing has been put on hold by a Federal Court. The law is unconstitutional, due to the fact that it violates personal protections against the government invading a citizen’s privacy without reasonable evidence of wrongdoing. Statistically, Republican legislators in the state are more likely to use drugs than welfare recipients.
So… In view of the legislators ability to royally screw everything up for everyone…
Why don’t they pass a law that all elected officials in the state are regularly tested?
A federal judge has temporarily blocked a controversial Florida law requiring all welfare applicants to be drug-tested.
U.S. District Court Judge Mary Scriven issued a temporary injunction Monday evening against enforcement of the law’s “suspicionless drug testing” of adults seeking federal welfare.
The law went into effect July 1, but a single father and the American Civil Liberties Union contend in a lawsuit that the new law is unconstitutional and violates Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
“Perhaps no greater public interest exists than protecting a citizen’s rights under the Constitution,” the judge wrote, quoting a 1997 Hawaii case.
Under the law, the Florida Department of Children and Family Services requires the drug tests of adults applying to the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. The aid recipients are responsible for the cost of the screening, which they recoup in their assistance if they qualify.
Those who fail the required drug testing may designate another individual to receive the benefits on behalf of their children, but they do not receive a refund for cost of the test.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has championed the law, saying it provides “personal accountability.” He added it was “unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction.”
Florida is not the first state to pass such legislation. Michigan passed a similar law that was found to be unconstitutional by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003 for violating the Fourth Amendment…
The GOP-controlled legislature passed the bill, and Scott signed it into law in May 2011.
“The governor obviously disagrees with the decision and he will evaluate his options regarding when to appeal,” said his deputy press secretary Jackie Schutz.
Since campaigning for governor, Scott has said that the drug-testing of welfare recipients “will help to prevent misuse of Florida tax dollars” and make sure the money goes to the children.
“Research shows higher drug use among individuals receiving government assistance, and drug abuse also forces children into welfare assistance,” Scott said while signing the bill into law.
The ACLU said the state’s own study found that of the 2,000 people who took the state drug test, only a small percentage tested positive.
“It shows that a little bit more than 2% of the welfare applicants tested positive for drugs where it’s about 8½% in the general public,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida.