10-17-2019  10:53 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Merkley Introduces Legislation that Protects Access to Health Care for Those Who Cannot Afford Bail

Under current law, individuals in custody who have not been convicted of a crime are denied Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits

New County Hire Aims to Build Trust, Transparency Between Community and Public Safety Officials

Leneice Rice will serve as a liaison focused on documenting and reporting feedback from a community whose faith in law enforcement has been tested

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

Grocery Workers Union Ratifies Contract with Stores

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has agreed a three-year contract for stores in Oregon and Southwest Washington

NEWS BRIEFS

GFO Offers African Americans Help in Solving Family Mysteries

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is holding an African American Special Interest Group Saturday, Oct. 19 ...

Third Annual NAMC-WA Gala Features Leader on Minority Business Development

The topic of the Washington Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors' event was 'Community and Collaboration' ...

Building Bridges Event Aims to Strengthen Trust Between Communities

The 4th Annual Building Bridges of Understanding in Our Communities: Confronting Hate will be held in Tigard on...

The Black Man Project Kicks Off National Tour in Seattle

The first in a series of interactive conversations focused on Black men and vulnerability takes place in Seattle on October 25 ...

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Person with measles passed through Portland airport

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Multnomah County Health Department says a person who passed through the Portland International Airport on Saturday has become sick with measles.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the health department said people who were in the airport during that time may have been...

Court issues temporary stay on flavored vaping ban in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's Court of Appeals on Thursday put a halt to the state's ban on flavored vaping products two days after it took effect.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the temporary stay issued appears to apply only to tobacco-based vaping products, sold under the oversight of...

No. 22 Missouri ready to test road skills at Vanderbilt

No. 22 Missouri (5-1, 2-0 SEC) at Vanderbilt (1-5, 0-3), Saturday at 4 p.m. EDT (SEC Network).Line: Missouri by 20 1/2.Series record: Missouri 7-3-1.WHAT'S AT STAKE?Missouri can show they play as well on the road as at home coming off a five-game home stand. A win keeps them atop the SEC East....

Bryant bounces back to lead Missouri over Mississippi

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Last week, when he heard a pop in his left knee after being hit low, Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant briefly saw his college football career pass before his eyes. The injury wasn't as bad as it looked, and Bryant played like his old self in a 38-27 victory over...

OPINION

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Cummings recalled as powerful orator who took on White House

BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cumming, who died Thursday at age 68, was remembered as a moral voice of conscience in a divisive era — a leader who fought for civil rights and took on the White House as a prominent figure in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald...

Kessel scores twice, leads Coyotes past Predators 5-2

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Phil Kessel scored his first two goals for Arizona, and Christian Dvorak scored his third goal in two games as the Coyotes beat the Nashville Predators 5-2 on Thursday night.Arizona (3-2-1), 3-0-1 in its last four games, went 3 for 6 on the power play. Darcy Kuemper...

Kobach fires Kansas Senate campaign aide over hateful posts

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican Kris Kobach's campaign for the Senate in Kansas says it has fired an aide after learning he regularly posted hateful comments about Jews and racial minorities on a white nationalist website.The latest campaign finance report filed by Kobach's campaign shows it...

ENTERTAINMENT

Country artists bring tears, prayers to CMT awards show

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country music artists cried together and prayed together at an emotional CMT Artists of the Year awards show that reflected the tight-knit community of artists who supported each other through success and loss.Country singer Kane Brown, who was one of several artists...

'Spirited Away,' other Studio Ghibli films head to HBO Max

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The vast catalog of storied Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli is heading to the new HBO Max streaming service.Films such as "Princess Mononoke," ''My Neighbor Totoro" and Oscar-winner "Spirited Away" will be among the titles available to stream when HBO Max launches...

For Springsteen, 'Western Stars' made sense after book, play

NEW YORK (AP) — "Western Stars" was just the change of pace that Bruce Springsteen needed after baring his soul over the past few years.First, he shared his darkest secrets in his memoir, "Born to Run." Then he spent more than a year telling his story five nights a week in Springsteen on...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Astros power past Yanks for 3-1 ALCS lead, Verlander up next

NEW YORK (AP) — George Springer and Carlos Correa each hit three-run homers and the Houston Astros got...

Boris Johnson gets EU Brexit deal; next hurdle is Parliament

BRUSSELS (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's career of disdain for the European Union was a thing...

Trump, in Texas, bashes Democrats as 'crazy,' unpatriotic

DALLAS (AP) — President Donald Trump tried to turn impeachment rancor into a political rallying cry...

Protesters bar Haiti's president from visiting historic site

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti's embattled president was forced on Thursday to hold a private ceremony...

Pakistan blacklists, expels global journalists' group leader

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan blacklisted and expelled the Asia coordinator of global press freedom group the...

Silver: China asked for Rockets GM Daryl Morey to be fired

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Chinese officials wanted Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey to be fired...

McMenamins
Mark Sherman the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal law says states and localities with a history of discrimination cannot change any voting procedures without first getting approval from the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington. Yet Texas is asking the Supreme Court to allow the use of new, unapproved electoral districts in this year's voting for Congress and the state Legislature.

The outcome of the high court case, to be argued Monday afternoon, could be another blow to a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. In 2009, the justices raised doubts about whether Southern states still should need approval in advance of voting changes more than 40 years after the law was enacted.

The case also might help determine the balance of power in the House of Representatives in 2013, with Republicans in a stronger position if the court allows Texas to use electoral districts drawn by the GOP-dominated Legislature.

The complicated legal fight over Texas' political maps arises from the state's population gain of more than 4 million people, most of them Latino or African-American, in the 2010 census, and involves federal district courts in Texas and Washington, as well as the Supreme Court. It has come to a head now because Texas needs to be able to use some maps to hold elections this year.

The state has so far failed to persuade three judges in Washington, including two appointees of Republican President George W. Bush, to sign off on new political maps adopted by the Legislature. The justices jumped into the case at Texas' request after judges in San Antonio who are hearing a lawsuit filed by minority groups drew their own political lines for use in the 2012 elections.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican, said Monday "the judges disregarded the will and sovereign power of the state of Texas."

Texas Republicans were in complete control of the redistricting process that is required following the once-a-decade census. They faced the happy prospect of adding four new congressional seats by virtue of Texas' huge population gain since the last census in 2000. Texas will have 36 seats in the 435-member U.S. House next year.

Republican lawmakers in Austin, the Texas capital, did what majority parties in statehouses across the country do when given such an opportunity: They made the most of it, drawing maps for the state House and Senate, and the U.S. House aimed at maximizing Republican gains.

To do this they carefully distributed Democratic voters, including Latinos and African-Americans.

But Latino and African-American groups, as well as the Texas Democratic Party, complained that the result ran afoul of the Voting Rights Act's prohibition against diluting the ability of minorities who had suffered under official discrimination from electing representatives of their choice.

The opponents of the new maps had a powerful piece of evidence because Latinos and African-Americans accounted for nearly all the growth in Texas' population.

A divided court in San Antonio drew maps that differed from the Legislature's efforts, giving Democrats a chance to prevail in three or four more congressional districts. Republicans now represent 23 of the 32 current districts.

The narrow legal question for the Supreme Court is whether the judges in Texas went too far in crafting their own plans, unwilling to use the state's maps as starting points. If the court agrees with the state on this point, it then would have to decide what maps to use.

Even without the Washington court's approval, Texas says it should be able to use its own maps just for this year because time is running short before primary elections, already delayed from March to April 3.

But the minority groups, as well as the Obama administration, say such an outcome is strictly forbidden by the Voting Rights Act and would, in essence, eviscerate the law's most potent weapon, its Section 5 requirement of advance approval, also known as preclearance.

Pamela Karlan, a Stanford University law professor who is working with Latino and other minority groups that oppose the state maps, said a court ruling allowing the Texas maps to be used "would be a major retreat from the way Section 5 has operated up till now."

The 1965 law has been the government's chief weapon against racial discrimination at polling places for nearly a half-century. Section 5 requires all or parts of 16 states - mainly in the South and with a history of discrimination in voting - to get Justice Department or court approval before making changes in the way elections are conducted.

According to the Justice Department Web site, Section 5 currently applies to the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. It also covers certain counties in California, Florida, New York, North Carolina and South Dakota, as well as some local jurisdictions in Michigan and New Hampshire. Preclearance coverage has been triggered by past discrimination not only against blacks, but also against American Indians, Asian-Americans, Alaskan Natives and Hispanics.

In the 2009 case, also from Texas, the court avoided deciding whether the advance approval requirement is constitutional in an era marked by dramatic civil rights gains and the election of the first African-American president. That larger issue, Chief Justice John Roberts said, "is a difficult constitutional question we do not answer today."

The constitutional issue also is not directly raised in the current case, but lawsuits from Alabama and North Carolina that ask to strike down the provision could find their way to the Supreme Court. In the past four months, U.S. District Judge John Bates in Washington threw out both challenges to the law after finding that discrimination in voting continues to this day and that Congress properly passed legislation to address the problem.

Both rulings have been appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which has set a Jan. 19 argument for the Alabama case and Feb. 27 for the North Carolina case.

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