07-14-2020  6:02 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

I-5 Expansion Loses Support of Albina Vision, City

Gov. Brown says project must have support of local Black community 

Justice Department to Investigate Portland Protest Shooting

Donavan LaBella was standing with both arms in the air holding a large speaker across the street from the courthouse when a federal officer fired a less-lethal round at his head

Seattle Mayor, City Council at Odds Over 50% Police Cut

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says the City Council has failed to speak with the police chief or conduct sufficient research

OSU, UO Among 20 Universities Filing Federal Lawsuit in Oregon Over International Student Order

The lawsuit, filed today, seeks to protect the educational status of nearly 3,500 students attending OSU

NEWS BRIEFS

NNPA Livestreams With Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Val Demings

The audience has an opportunity to be an interactive part of the interview ...

Black Women Often Ignored By Social Justice Movements

‘Intersectional invisibility’ may lead to Black women’s exclusion, study finds ...

Deadline is July 15 to Pay Portland's $35 Arts Tax

The tax, approved by voters in 2012, supports arts education and grants ...

Oregon National Guard Completes Wildland Firefighter Training

The training was conducted using funds that were allocated to the Department of Defense by Congress to enable the National Guard to...

OSU Science Pub Focuses on Influence of Black Lives Matter

The influence of the Black Lives Matter movement will be the focus of a virtual Oregon State University Science Pub on July 13 ...

0 relief checks OK'd for people waiting for benefits

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon legislative committee on Tuesday unanimously approved the distribution of one-time 0 relief checks to people who are still waiting for unemployment benefits. But, when and how the payment program will operate is still a work in progress.The million...

Pause for phased reopening extended through July 28

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday that the statewide pause for counties looking to advance from their current stage of economic reopening will continue though at least July 28 and he warned there is a “significant risk” that parts of the economy...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

COMMENTARY: Real Table Talk

Chaplain Debbie Walker provides helpful insight for self-preservation, and care tips for your family, your neighbors, and your community circles ...

Commissioner Hardesty Responds To Federal Troop Actions Towards Protesters

This protester is still fighting for their life and I want to be clear: this should never have happened. ...

Recent Protests Show Need For More Government Collective Bargaining Transparency

Since taxpayers are ultimately responsible for funding government union contract agreements, they should be allowed to monitor the negotiation process ...

The Language of Vote Suppression

A specific kind of narrative framing is used to justify voter suppression methods and to cover up the racism that motivates their use. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Michael B. Jordan wants you to view a drive-in movie, on him

NEW YORK (AP) — For Michael B. Jordan, timing is everything. So when the SAG award winner marched in a Los Angeles Black Lives Matter protest last month demanding that Hollywood drastically increase its diversity in the executive ranks, it was a moment he felt prepared for.’I think...

Trump bristles at question about police killing Blacks

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump bristled at a reporter's question about police killing African Americans and defended the right to display the Confederate flag as he continued to play into racial divisions in a pair of interviews Tuesday.In one interview, Trump seemed taken aback...

North Carolina capitol city gets first Black councilwoman

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The city council in North Carolina’s capital city on Tuesday chose its first Black councilwoman to fill a seat vacated after a council member resigned.Stormie Denise Forte, 49, an attorney and community radio host, was chosen from among 54 candidates to fill the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Evening news programs outpace prime time television

NEW YORK (AP) — The broadcast networks might want to consider promoting David Muir, Lester Holt and Norah O'Donnell, at least in the summer months.ABC's Muir-hosted “World News Tonight” and NBC's “Nightly News” with Holt both averaged more viewers than any single...

Review: Handsome, broken Aussies connect in ‘Dirt Music’

Everyone is sad in the Australian indie “ Dirt Music,” a sprawling story about a small fishing town, an affair and the dark secrets that tie everyone together. But at least the Western Australia setting is pretty, and the people are, too. The film stars Kelly Macdonald as Georgie, a...

Times editor resigns, saying she was harassed for her ideas

NEW YORK (AP) — Bari Weiss, an opinion editor at The New York Times, quit her job on Tuesday with a public resignation letter that alleged harassment and a hostile work environment created by people who disagreed with her.Andrew Sullivan, another prominent journalist who expressed concern...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Timing of Carlson's vacation familiar to Fox News viewers

NEW YORK (AP) — Maybe the trout will be running this week for Fox News' Tucker Carlson.Either way, the...

'Mythbusters' star Grant Imahara dies from brain aneurysm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Grant Imahara, the longtime host of Discovery Channel’s...

Biden's [scripts/homepage/home.php] trillion climate plan aims to reframe debate

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden released a [scripts/homepage/home.php] trillion plan on Tuesday to boost investment in clean...

Russia seeks prison terms for 3 youth group members

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities on Tuesday demanded prison terms for three members of a youth group...

Small businesses worldwide fight for survival amid pandemic

Hour after hour in the dark, Chander Shekhar’s mind raced ahead to morning.More than three months had...

Indian leader's virus fund won't disclose donors, payments

NEW DELHI (AP) — Bejon Misra responded quickly to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal in...

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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