07-06-2020  2:00 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Black Community Frustrated as Violence Mars Protests

Black leaders condemn violence from small group of mostly-white activists as Rose City Justice suspends nightly marches

Protester Dies After Car Hits Two on Closed Freeway

Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died and Taylor and Diaz Love of Portland were injured. The driver, Dawit Kelete has been arrested

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

Inslee Heckled Off Stage During Tri-Cities Appearance

Speaking outdoors in Eastern Washington, the governor was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers as he urged residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

NEWS BRIEFS

Trump Blows His Twitter Dog Whistle on America’s Fair Housing Policies in the Suburbs

The president could be Tweeting on unemployment or COVID-19 infections but instead pushes housing discrimination ...

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Awards Historic $100,000 Founders' Centennial Scholarship

Zeta celebrates 100 years with largest single recipient scholarship awarded by a historically Black Greek-lettered sorority or...

Nominations Being Accepted for the Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award

Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1994 to honor Multnomah County residents who have contributed outstanding...

Shatter, LLC Launches to Elevate Diverse Voices in Progressive Politics

A collaboration of leading female political strategists aims to fill a void in the world of political consulting ...

New Director Takes Helm at Oregon Black Pioneers

In its 27-year history, the organization has never had an executive director, and has expressed confidence and optimism in Zachary A....

Story of 2 families emerges after stone found in lake

EVELETH, Minn. (AP) — World War II veteran Laurie Rudolph Heikkila, a native of Embarrass, was laid to rest in the town’s East Pike Cemetery more than 30 years ago. A footstone there marks his grave.So, why did a grave marker engraved with his name emerge recently at the end of a...

Amid pandemic, fewer students seek federal aid for college

The number of high school seniors applying for U.S. federal college aid plunged in the weeks following the sudden closure of school buildings this spring — a time when students were cut off from school counselors, and families hit with financial setbacks were reconsidering plans for higher...

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

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

Banana Republic or Constitutional Democracy? The US Military May Decide

Will the military, when and if the chips are down, acts in accord with the Constitution and not out of loyalty to its commander-in-chief? ...

To Save Black Lives, and the Soul of Our Nation, Congress Must Act Boldly

For too long, Black people in America have been burdened with the unjust responsibility of keeping ourselves safe from police. ...

Racial Inequalities - Black America Has Solutions; White America Won't Approve Them

The problem is we have to secure approval of the solutions from the people who deny the problem's existence while reaping the benefits from it. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

'Lift Every Voice and Sing' hymn ignites hope across nation

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Black national anthem was born more than a century ago, but the popular hymn within the African American community called “Lift Every Voice and Sing” has resurrected a beacon of hope during nationwide protests.In recent weeks, countless rallies were held...

Damian Lillard emerges from shutdown ready for playoff push

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Grieving the death of a cousin and missing his mother, Damian Lillard struggled emotionally after the NBA shut down because of the coronavirus. But he also found inspiration in his activism for Black Lives Matter and his flourishing music career. The Trail Blazers were...

1 ad, 3 accents: How Democrats aim to win Latino votes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Spanish-language ads for Joe Biden used the same slogan to contrast him with President Donald Trump — “los cuentos no pagan las cuentas,” a play on words that roughly means “telling stories won't pay the bills.”But the narrator for the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Hugh Downs, genial presence on TV news and game shows, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Hugh Downs, the genial, versatile broadcaster who became one of television’s most familiar and welcome faces with more than 15,000 hours on news, game and talk shows, has died at age 99.Downs died of natural causes at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Wednesday, said...

Review: A master class by Catherine Deneuve in 'The Truth'

Family may be the great subject of Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, but he doesn't draw straightforward portraits. In Kore-eda's hands, family is more malleable. He tends to shift roles around like he's rearranging furniture, subtly remaking familiar dynamics until he has, without you knowing...

Union tells actors not to work on pandemic film 'Songbird'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The union that represents film actors told its members Thursday not to work on the upcoming pandemic thriller “Songbird,” saying the filmmakers have not been up-front about safety measures and had not signed the proper agreements for the movie that is among...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Czech volunteers develop functioning lung ventilator in days

PRAGUE (AP) — Tomas Kapler knew nothing about ventilators — he’s an online business...

Spaghetti Western movie composer Ennio Morricone dead at 91

ROME (AP) — Ocar-winning Italian composer Ennio Morricone, who created the coyote-howl theme for the iconic...

Amid pandemic, fewer students seek federal aid for college

The number of high school seniors applying for U.S. federal college aid plunged in the weeks following the sudden...

India bans TikTok, other Chinese apps amid border standoff

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian TikTok users awoke Tuesday to a notice from the popular short-video app saying the...

Thais bid addio to theater where they fell in love with film

BANGKOK (AP) — If Hollywood is where dreams are made, Bangkok’s Scala theater for the past 51 years...

US diplomat in Hong Kong says security law use a 'tragedy'

HONG KONG (AP) — The top American diplomat in Hong Kong said Monday that it is a “tragedy” to...

McMenamins
Bill Mears CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A federal civil rights law that has stood for generations needs to be modernized, the Supreme Court effectively ruled Tuesday.

In a 5-4 vote, justices limited the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965, which Congress passed during the height of America's volatile civil rights movement.

The court struck down a part of the law that uses a federal formula to determine which states and counties must undergo U.S. oversight of their voting procedures to prevent voter discrimination.

The ruling will make it tougher for the Obama administration to enforce the law, at least until Congress changes it.

Describing the ruling as a "setback," President Obama said in a statement that his "administration will continue to do everything in its power to ensure a fair and equal voting process."

Voting discrimination, he said, still exists, and the decision "upsets decades of well-established practices that help make sure voting is fair. And he called on Congress to "pass legislation to ensure every American has equal access to the polls."

The ruling said it's now up to Congress to revise the law to meet constitutional scrutiny.

"Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to the current conditions," said Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the court's decision for the majority.

Key details of the ruling include:

• Section 4, the part of the law that was struck down, is the coverage formula the federal government uses to determine which states and counties are subject to continued oversight. Roberts said that formula from 1972 was outdated and unworkable.

• Section 5 of the law effectively cannot be enforced, because it relies heavily on the coverage formula. Civil rights groups say Section 5 has been an important tool to protect minority voters from local governments that would set unfair, shifting barriers to the polls. Without it, they warn, the very power and effect of the entire Voting Rights Act would crumble. But opponents of the provision counter it should not be enforced in areas where it can be argued that racial discrimination no longer exists.

• Under Section 5, any changes in voting laws and procedures in those covered states -- including much of the South -- had to be "precleared" with Washington. Such changes could have included something as simple as moving a polling place temporarily across the street.

The case arrived at the Supreme Court because officials in Shelby County, Alabama, filed suit against the federal government. The suit said monitoring of voting procedures under the law was overly burdensome and unwarranted.

The most recent congressional action on the formula was in 2006, when lawmakers reauthorized it.

"Congress could have updated the coverage formula at that time, but did not do so," wrote Roberts. "Its failure leaves us today with no choice but to declare Section 4 unconstitutional. The formula in that section can no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdictions to preclearance."

The appeal presented the court and its shaky conservative majority with two of the most hotly debated issues in politics and constitutional law: race and federalism.

It was a major test of Washington's authority and the extent to which the federal government may consider vestiges of voting discrimination that may still linger, potentially keeping some minority voters disenfranchised.

In dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Congress reauthorized the Voting Rights Act seven years ago with "overwhelming bipartisan support."

"That determination of the body empowered to enforce the Civil Rights Amendments by appropriate legislation merits this court's utmost respect," she said. "In my judgment, the court errs egregiously by overriding Congress' decision."

She was supported by Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

The Obama administration had argued that states have gotten out of Section 5. In recent years, 31 cities and counties and Virginia successfully petitioned to be exempt from the preclearance requirements, though the rest of the state remains under federal oversight.

The Justice Department on Monday announced that Hanover County, north of Richmond, would also become exempt.

Shelby County, outside Birmingham, Alabama, did not make such a request and opposed Sections 4 and 5. It is 11% African-American, compared with 28% statewide.

Some conservative groups have argued that "ancient formulas" are being applied today, not to erase discrimination, but to benefit a particular political party. Some liberal activists counter that Section 5 and federal oversight are being demonized by many on the right for purely partisan gain, and to divide Americans again over race.

The case is Shelby County, AL v. Holder (12-96).

 

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