Tag Archives: Supreme Court

A brief history of Georgia’s runoff voting – and how this year’s contest between two Black men is a sign of progress

Former President Barack Obama raises hands with Stacey Abrams and U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock at a Oct. 28, 2022, campaign event in Georgia.
Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

 

Joshua Holzer, Westminster College

In the U.S., all elections are administered by the states. But not all states use the same rules.

Georgia uses a version of runoff voting, which entails two rounds of voting. Typically, if a candidate wins more than 50% of the votes in the first round, that candidate is declared the winner. If not, the two candidates with the most first-round votes face off in a second round of voting.

There’s historically been concern that such a runoff system disadvantages Black candidates. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney General John R. Dunne once argued that Georgia’s runoff voting system has had “a demonstrably chilling effect on the ability of Blacks to become candidates for public office.” Continue reading

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Native American children’s protection against adoption by non-Indian families is before the Supreme Court

Tehassi Hill, tribal chairman of the Oneida Nation, stands outside a U.S. appeals court in 2019 after arguments in case that has made its way to the Supreme Court.
AP Photo/Kevin McGill

 

Kirsten Matoy Carlson, Wayne State University

The Supreme Court is about to hear arguments about the constitutionality of a 1978 law enacted to protect Native American children in the U.S. and strengthen their families.

That law, the Indian Child Welfare Act, was originally passed by Congress in response to requests from tribal leaders and other advocates for Native Americans to stop states from removing Indian children from their families. Continue reading

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The US Christian Right groups actively involved in voter suppression

OPINION: Religious and anti-abortion groups are trying to restrict voting rights ahead of the midterm elections

By Annika Brockschmidt  Published 11-3-2022 by openDemocracy

Occupy Wall Street joined the NAACP as thousands marched in midtown Manhattan on December 10, 2011 to defend voting rights. Photo: Michael Fleshman/flickr/CC

Anyone who wants a future in today’s Republican Party must openly claim that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump, or at least dance around the question of electoral fraud enough to appease their dear leader.

Meanwhile, a coalition of conservative dark money groups with strong ties to the religious Right have made it their mission to curb voting rights in potentially election-deciding swing states. They are using allegations of Democratic voter fraud and ‘election integrity’ as tactics to engage in voter suppression. Continue reading

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Right-Wing Justices Appear Ready to Eviscerate Affirmative Action in College Admissions

“Killing affirmative action will have a devastating impact on Black, Hispanic, and Native students,” wrote one journalist, “and such a ruling would be totally unjustified by the text or history of the Constitution.”

By Kenny Stancil  Published 10-31-2022 by Common Dreams

Protesters gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as affirmative action cases involving Harvard and University of North Carolina admissions are heard by the court in Washington, D.C. on October 31, 2022. Photo: Maya Wiley/Twitter

During the course of roughly five hours of oral argument on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court’s far-right supermajority seemed open to rolling back decades of precedent allowing public and private colleges and universities to make race-conscious admissions decisions.

Referring to Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina—cases he contends were “manufactured to abolish affirmative action in higher education”—Slate‘s Mark Joseph Stern argued that “all six conservative justices are poised to declare that colleges’ consideration of race violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which applies equal protection standards to private institutions.” Continue reading

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Barrett Boots ‘Nothingburger’ Right-Wing Challenge to Biden Student Loan Cancellation

“Under any reading of precedent,” said one legal reporter, “the Republican activists who brought this lawsuit have absolutely no right to challenge a single dollar of debt forgiveness.”

By Brett Wilkins  Published 10-20-2022 by Common Dreams

Amy Coney Barrett during her confirmation hearing. Screenshot: C-SPAN

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Thursday rejected a challenge to the Biden administration’s student debt cancellation plan, a move anticipated by jurists and journalists alike.

Barrett declined to consider an appeal by Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL)—a conservative law firm that previously drew attention for investigating claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election and coming up empty—on behalf of Brown County Taxpayers Association, a right-wing advocacy group. Continue reading

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Governments are blocking abortion info online. Here’s how we’re fighting back

How rights group Women On Web is resisting digital attacks on reproductive rights

By Venny Ala-Siurua  Published 10-14-2022 by openDemocracy

 

Screenshot: Women on Web

More and more people are looking on the internet for information about sexual and reproductive health and accessing these services online. For young people, the internet is an important, if not the only, resource for this information. This is why criminalising and restricting abortion is not the only way to attack abortion rights today. Limiting or banning information about abortion or putting out deliberately confusing material can have a devastating impact on abortion access.

Since 2005, Women on Web, where I am the executive director, has used the internet and digital technology to break down the barriers. We have provided more than 100,000 safe medical abortion services. Our website offers comprehensive and easy-to-read information about abortion in 27 languages and our multinational helpdesk team has responded to more than a million emails in 16 different languages in the past 17 years. Continue reading

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Judge’s Ruling on Gun Serial Numbers Highlights ‘Deadly’ Impact of Right-Wing Supreme Court

“The Supreme Court’s Second Amendment jurisprudence has grown so radical that it now shields criminals trying to conceal their involvement in a violent crime,” said one observer.

By Julia Conley  Published 10-14-2022 by Common Dreams

High school students protest for gun law reform in Minneapolis on February 21, 2018. Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/CC

Legal experts said Friday that a federal judge’s ruling in West Virginia illustrates the danger posed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s right wing majority, which ruled this year in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen that restrictions on firearms must fall within the so-called “historical tradition” of gun laws.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin, who was appointed to the Southern District of West Virginia by former Democratic President Bill Clinton, ruled against a federal law prohibiting people from possessing firearms with serial numbers that have been “altered, obliterated, or removed.” Continue reading

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Groups Warn SCOTUS May Gut ‘Foundational’ Digital Rights Law

“Weakening Section 230 would be catastrophic—disproportionately silencing and endangering marginalized communities,” said one campaigner.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 10-4-2022 by Common Dreams

Rights advocates warn weakening Section 230 would disproportionately silence and endanger “marginalized communities including LGBTQ+ people, Black and Brown folks, sex workers, journalists, and human rights activists around the world.” Photo: Public domain

Digital rights advocates responded with alarm to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Monday decision to take up a case that could enable right-wing justices to gut Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

“Section 230 is a foundational and widely misunderstood law that protects human rights and free expression online,” said Fight for the Future director Evan Greer in a statement late Monday. Continue reading

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Supreme Court Gives Biden DOJ a Chance to Prove Its Commitment to Climate Justice

“Doubling down on the department’s Trump-era support of Big Oil would constitute a betrayal,” said one climate organization.

By Jake Johnson  Published 10=3-2022 by Common Dreams

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

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The Supreme Court is back in session, with new controversial cases that stand to change many Americans’ lives – here’s what to expect

The Supreme Court is set to start its latest term on Oct. 3, 2022.
Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

 

Morgan Marietta, UMass Lowell

Following a dramatic year of controversial rulings, the Supreme Court begins hearing new cases on Oct. 3, 2022, with a full agenda.

The court overturned abortion rights and expanded gun rights in June 2022 as the new conservative supermajority began to exert its influence.

Some of the court’s most important upcoming cases focus on the future of affirmative action, equal treatment of LGBTQ people, and the control of election laws. The court will hear the cases in the fall and then likely issue rulings in spring 2023. Continue reading

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