Pushing back against insurers’ annual denial of nearly a quarter-billion healthcare claims or pre-authorization requests, activists rallied in more than a dozen U.S. cities on Wednesday to demand “an end to private health insurance industry greed so people can get the care they need when they need it.”
“The high court’s decision is a major victory for communities across the country that are fighting to hold Big Oil accountable and make them pay for the climate damages they knowingly caused,” said one advocate.
Campaigners and frontline communities celebrated Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear five appeals from major fossil fuel companies hoping to shift climate liability cases from state to federal court, where polluters are more likely to prevail.
“Big Oil companies have been desperate to avoid trials in state courts, where they will be forced to defend their climate lies in front of juries, and today the Supreme Court declined to bail them out,” said Center for Climate Integrity president Richard Wiles.
Attorney General Merrick Garland. Screenshot: CNBC
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday invited the Biden Justice Department to offer its position on a hugely consequential case in which oil giants are attempting to move climate liability lawsuits from state to federal courts, where they believe they would be more likely to prevail against efforts to make them pay for damaging the environment.
In Suncor Energy Inc. v. Board of County Commissioners of Boulder County, Suncor and ExxonMobil are urging the conservative-dominated Supreme Court to intervene after the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the fossil fuel companies’ argument that such climate liability cases belong in federal court. Continue reading →
The 1960s and 1970s were a golden age of infrastructure development in the U.S., with the expansion of the interstate system and widespread construction of new water treatment, wastewater and flood control systems reflecting national priorities in public health and national defense. But infrastructure requires maintenance, and, eventually, it has to be replaced.
That hasn’t been happening in many parts of the country. Increasingly, extreme heat and storms are putting roads, bridges, water systems and other infrastructure under stress. Continue reading →
Ever since the start of the pandemic, more and more public school students are using laptops, tablets or similar devices issued by their schools.
The percentage of teachers who reported their schools had provided their students with such devices doubled from 43% before the pandemic to 86% during the pandemic, a September 2021 report shows.
In one sense, it might be tempting to celebrate how schools are doing more to keep their students digitally connected during the pandemic. The problem is, schools are not just providing kids with computers to keep up with their schoolwork. Instead – in a trend that could easily be described as Orwellian – the vast majority of schools are also using those devices to keep tabs on what students are doing in their personal lives. Continue reading →
On average, U.S. public schools are more than 50 years old – and by and large they are not being properly maintained, updated or replaced. The American Society of Civil Engineers graded America’s public K-12 infrastructure a D+ in their 2021 Infrastructure Report Card, the same abysmal grade as in their prior 2017 report.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett during her Circuit Court confirmation hearing. Screenshot: C-SPAN
Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett—confirmed just ahead of President Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss in November—is being called to recuse herself from an upcoming decision regarding a potentially landmark climate case now pending.
“Barrett posing as an impartial judge in this hearing for climate accountability is about as safe as the Big Bad Wolf giving Little Red Riding Hood directions to Grandma’s house,” said Lindsay Meiman, U.S. communications manager at the climate action group 350.org. “We demand Barrett immediately recuse herself of any and all cases concerning climate and the fossil fuel industry, starting with the upcoming Baltimore vs. Big Oil hearing.” Continue reading →
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the city of Baltimore from rolling out a disturbing aerial surveillance program.
The ACLU filed the suit on behalf of a group of Baltimore community activists who have raised concerns about the introduction of a controversial technology known as wide-area aerial surveillance which involves stationing an aircraft equipped with ultra-high-resolution cameras over a city to track all visible pedestrians and vehicles within that city. Continue reading →
Many U.S. military members publicly disavowed President Trump’s decision to pardon Edward Gallagher, the former SEAL commando convicted of killing a teenage detainee in Iraq in 2017.
Gallagher’s alleged war crimes were nearly universally condemned up the chain of command, from enlisted men to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer. Indeed, it was Gallagher’s SEAL colleagues who reported the former commando’s actions.
This insistence on holding fellow service members accountable for bad behavior sharply differentiates the military from the police. Continue reading →
One tragic example: Extreme dehumanizing language was a strong contributor to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. As I have written, the Hutu majority used a popular radio station to continually refer to Tutsi tribal members, a minority in Rwanda, as “cockroaches.”