07-14-2020  10:00 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

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

Governor Kate Brown Announces New Requirements for Face Coverings, Limits on Social Get-Togethers

Effective Wednesday, July 15, face coverings to be required outdoors, social get-togethers indoors over 10 prohibited

Oregon Reports 332 New Coronavirus Cases, 2 Deaths

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, confirmed that Multnomah County is not ready to apply for Phase 2 of reopening

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 ...

Wedge wolf pack attacks 7 cattle in northeast Washington

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Wedge wolf pack in northeast Washington has attacked seven more cattle, bringing the number of depredations by the pack to nearly a dozen since May 11.The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife investigated and confirmed the depredations on Saturday at a private...

Seattle mayor, City Council at odds over 50% police cut

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan on Monday blasted the City Council's plan to cut the police department's budget by 50% and instead proposed transferring a list of functions like the 911 call center and parking enforcement out of the agency's budget.“We need to invest in...

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

Ethiopia enters 3rd week of internet shutdown after unrest

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Ethiopia is entering its third week without internet service for almost everyone after days of deadly unrest, as the government in Africa’s diplomatic and aviation hub says it’s trying to prevent speech that could further inflame ethnic tensions.The internet...

Philadelphia protesters sue city over tear gas, use of force

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Three class-action lawsuits filed in Philadelphia on Tuesday accuse the city of using military-level force that injured protesters and bystanders alike during peaceful protests against racial inequality and police brutality. One lawsuit accuses Philadelphia police of...

Video shows man vandalizing NYC 'Black Lives Matter' mural

NEW YORK (AP) — Surveillance photos and video of a man who was seen splashing red paint on the “Black Lives Matter” street mural in front of Trump Tower was released Tuesday by New York City police.The video shows a man in black shorts and a dark blue T-shirt pouring red paint...

ENTERTAINMENT

Sheriff: 'Glee’ star Naya Rivera saved son before drowning

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Glee” star Naya Rivera ’s 4-year-old son told investigators that his mother, whose body was found in a Southern California lake Monday, boosted him back on to the deck of their rented boat before he looked back and saw her disappearing under the...

Tom Bergeron, Erin Andrews exit 'Dancing With the Stars'

NEW YORK (AP) — The dance has ended for “Dancing With the Stars” hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews.ABC said in a statement that the show is looking to “embark on a new creative direction” and host Bergeron “departs the show with our sincerest thanks and...

Back to the '80s: Andrew McCarthy writing 'Brat Pack' book

NEW YORK (AP) — Actor-writer-director Andrew McCarthy, a 57-year-old father of three, keeps getting asked about his “Brat Pack” years in the 1980s. He is now ready to answer. Grand Central Publishing announced Tuesday that McCarthy's “Brat: An '80s Story” will...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Tom Bergeron, Erin Andrews exit 'Dancing With the Stars'

NEW YORK (AP) — The dance has ended for “Dancing With the Stars” hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin...

Biden proposes overhauling nation's energy sector by 2035

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden released a plan Tuesday aimed at combating climate change and spurring...

White House campaign to help jobless 'find something new'

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new White House-backed ad campaign aims to encourage people who are unemployed or...

Catalan leader demands investigation into Spain spying claim

MADRID (AP) — The speaker of the Catalan regional parliament demanded Tuesday that the Spanish government...

Armenia-Azerbaijan border fighting escalates, 16 killed

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Armenia and Azerbaijan forces fought Tuesday with heavy artillery and drones,...

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...

McMenamins
By Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press

By NEDRA PICKLER of The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – Appeals court judges are expressingconcern about whether to overrule Congress' determination that some southern states and other jurisdictions still must have federal election monitoring to protect minority voting rights.

Alabama's Shelby County is challenging a requirement under the Voting Rights Act that governments with a history of discrimination obtain federal approval to change even minor election procedures. An attorney for the county argued in federal appeals court in Washington that the South has changed and that extraordinary oversight is no longer needed.

But two of three judges on the panel hearing the case Jan. 19 pointed out Congress renewed the provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act in 2006 after finding that discrimination still exists. A lower court endorsed that finding.

"Why shouldn't we defer to the judgment of Congress?" asked Judge Thomas Griffith, the Senate's former top lawyer and a nominee of President George W. Bush. Judge David Tatel, a former civil rights attorney and appointee of President Bill Clinton, asked similar questions.

Griffith pointed out that lawmakers spent a considerable amount of time weighing evidence of continued racial discrimination and that the Constitution gives the legislature power over decisions that affect the 15th Amendment's protections of voting rights for racial minorities.

"But that can't be without limitation," responded Shelby County's attorney, Bert Rein. He said the numbers of blacks registered to vote and elected to office has increased dramatically since the act was first passed and said those who implemented discriminatory practices in the 1960s are no longer in charge. "The South has changed," he said.

The county, located just south of Birmingham in central Alabama, sued Attorney General Eric Holder in 2010 to stop the monitoring required under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The provision relies heavily on patterns of past discrimination to determine which state, county and local governments must obtain "preclearance" for election changes as minor as moving a polling place or redrawing school district lines. That clearance can come either from the Justice Department or from a federal court in Washington.

U.S. District Judge John Bates ruled against the county and upheld the law in September after reviewing 15,000 pages of congressional records and deciding that lawmakers were justified in finding that discrimination still existed in the covered jurisdictions.

The judge pointed to several examples of outright discrimination across the South since the 1980s, including legislators in Mississippi and Georgia using racial epithets during redistricting debates and reports of harassment of blacks at the polls in Texas and South Carolina.

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 under the act has been triggered by past discrimination not only against blacks, but also against American Indians, Asian-Americans, Alaskan Natives and Hispanics.

The same three-judge appellate panel, which also includes Ronald Reagan appointee Stephen Williams, is scheduled to hear another challenge to the law brought by North Carolina on Feb. 27.

Justice Department attorney Sarah Harrington argued that Section 5 has stopped discriminatory actions and said its protections are still needed. Although the Voting Rights Act has been called the most successful civil rights legislation in U.S. history, she said, "Things have not gotten better enough. There still continues to be a problem."

But Tatel reminded Harrington that the Supreme Court questioned in 2009 whether Southern states should still need advance approval of voting changes more than 40 years after the law was enacted. In that case, the justices avoided deciding whether the requirement is constitutional, which creates the possibility of the Shelby County or North Carolina cases reaching the high court.
Meanwhile in Wisconsin, a judge has delayed a decision on whether to let a lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's new voter identification law to proceed.  Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess on Thursday heard arguments from the League of Women Voters and attorneys representing Gov. Scott Walker and the state's elections board but did not rule.  Niess plans to be back in court to make a decision on March 9.The League of Women Voters say the law disenfranchises eligible voters. But supporters of the law say it helps prevent fraud.   The American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP's Milwaukee chapter have also filed lawsuits against the law. Those suits are still pending.   The law is scheduled to be in effect for the state's spring primary in February.

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