10-19-2019  5:25 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Washington State to Vote on Affirmative Action Referendum

More than two decades after voters banned affirmative action, the question of whether one's minority status should be considered in state employment, contracting, colleges admissions is back on the ballot

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

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 ...

Oregon panel recommends barring ICE from courthouse arrests

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Seeking to halt federal agents from arresting people in courthouses for immigration violations, a panel of judges in Oregon has asked the state's Supreme Court chief justice to impose a rule stating that no one should be subjected to arrest without a warrant.Several judges...

Washington state to vote on affirmative action referendum

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — More than two decades after Washington state voters banned affirmative action, the question of whether one's minority status should be considered as a contributing factor in state employment, contracting and admission to public colleges and universities is back on the...

No. 22 Missouri heads to Vandy, 1st road trip since opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Missouri coach Barry Odom knows only too well the dangers of going on the road and how a few mistakes can prove very costly.While some of his players my not remember that stunning loss at Wyoming to open this season, Odom hasn't forgotten."We're going to treat it just...

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....

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

Sharpton searches for the words to eulogize _ and galvanize

A life taken at the hands of police. A grieving family. A divided nation. A stirring eulogy by the Rev. Al Sharpton.The 65-year-old civil rights activist has become a constant of the Black Lives Matter era with his presence in the pulpit after police shootings of African Americans, showing up in...

Buttigieg removes attorney from fundraiser after backlash

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pete Buttigieg is returning campaign contributions from a former Chicago city attorney who led a vigorous effort to block the release of a video depicting the shooting of Laquan McDonald , a black teenager whose death at the hands of police stirred months of protest and...

Wisconsin students walk out to protest racial slur firing

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Students at a Wisconsin high school skipped class Friday and marched through the streets of the state capital to protest the firing of a black security guard who was terminated for repeating a racial slur while telling a student not to call him that word.Scores of...

ENTERTAINMENT

Adam Lambert: Happy to see more LGBTQ artists find success

NEW YORK (AP) — Adam Lambert, who rose on the music scene as the runner-up on "America Idol" in 2009, says he's happy to see more mainstream LGBTQ artists find major success."I think it's less taboo to be queer in the music industry now because there's so many cases you can point to like,...

Jane Fonda returns to civil disobedience for climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inspired by the climate activism of a Swedish teenager, Jane Fonda says she's returning to civil disobedience nearly a half-century after she was last arrested at a protest.Fonda, known for her opposition to the Vietnam War, was one of 17 climate protesters was arrested...

Naomi Wolf and publisher part ways amid delay of new book

NEW YORK (AP) — Naomi Wolf and her U.S. publisher have split up amid a dispute over her latest book, "Outrages."Wolf and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced separately Friday that they had "mutually and amicably agreed to part company" and that Houghton would not be releasing "Outrages."...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

LeMahieu, Hicks lift Yanks over Astros, close to 3-2 in ALCS

NEW YORK (AP) — James Paxton was filled with nerves, and so were New York Yankees fans, worried the season...

Asylum-seeking Mexicans are more prominent at US border

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) — Lizbeth Garcia tended to her 3-year-old son outside a tent pitched on a...

Trump outstripping Obama on pace of executive orders

WASHINGTON (AP) — It wasn't too long ago that Donald Trump derided presidential executive orders as "power...

Millions march in Iraq in annual Arbaeen Shiite pilgrimage

KARBALA, Iraq (AP) — Millions of pilgrims made their way on foot to the Iraqi city of Karbala on Saturday...

Officials: Blast at Afghan mosque kills 62 during prayers

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An explosion rocked a mosque in eastern Afghanistan as dozens of people gathered...

Failed raid against El Chapo's son leaves 8 dead in Mexico

CULIACAN, Mexico (AP) — Mexican security forces aborted an attempt to capture a son of imprisoned drug lord...

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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