06-25-2022  1:09 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Abortion Remains Legal, Accessible in Oregon in Wake of Supreme Court Ruling

Decision has no effect on Oregon’s Reproductive Health Equity Act that guarantees right to receive abortion, health care providers’ right to provide it

Black Man Police Killed in Clackamas County ID'd, Police Say He Had Gun

The shooting is being investigated by the Oregon City and Lake Oswego police departments.

WA, OR Leaders Skeptical About Pausing Gas Taxes

President Joe Biden on Wednesday urged Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months and urged states to do the same at the local level.

Mother-Daughter Mental Health Professionals Launch Organization for Black Professional Women

Mo Better Wellness, Connection, and Facilitation will offer wellness events and consulting.

NEWS BRIEFS

Increased Emergency Snap Benefits Continue in July

Approximately 422,000 households will receive an estimated million in extra food benefits ...

Opacity of Performance: Takahiro Yamamoto Opens at PAM

The Portland Art Museum marks a return to live art inside its galleries with a dance installation by Takahiro Yamamoto, the museum’s...

Portland's First Black Book Festival Launches on Juneteenth Weekend

She’s bringing together the community through books! ...

Juneteenth Events

Juneteenth Oregon Celebration was founded 50 years ago by the late and beloved community leader Clara Peoples. View Juneteenth events...

Portland Public Schools Expands Weapons Ban

The action follows a bill the Oregon Legislature passed earlier this year giving schools the ability to prohibit concealed carry...

Inslee seeks abortion rights amendment to state constitution

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said he will push for a state constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights within his state's borders, as well as laws that will make it difficult for other states to investigate whether their own residents have visited Washington for...

Authorities warn Northwest swimmers to beware risky waters

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Authorities are warning recreationists to be wary of risky waterways as hot weather hits part of the Pacific Northwest. The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for most of northwest Oregon and southwest Washington state through Sunday, the...

OPINION

Quenn Tiye’s Kitchen

Centuries of indoctrination have ingrained into the minds of white and Black Americans that any aspect of Africanness is negative. ...

The Plan for Transforming Public Safety and Policing in the U.S.

Rising crime leaves communities feeling unsafe, however, police violence and killings of unarmed civilians demonstrate that pouring more money into more-of-the-same policing is not the answer. ...

What Is Afrofuturism? An English Professor Explains

Chambliss defines Afrofuturism as an intersection of speculation and liberation that’s inspired by the concerns of people of African descent. ...

Reflections on the Massacre of the Buffalo 10 & Racism

Former NY state senator and Buffalo native knew many of the people killed ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

LAPD officer who died was beaten in training, mother claims

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles police officer who died of neck injuries suffered during training had been beaten by fellow officers in an exercise meant to “simulate a mob,” according to a wrongful-death claim filed against the city by his mother. Houston Tipping, 32, was hurt...

Religious schools may face another hurdle to state tuition

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Religious schools got what they wanted when the Supreme Court allowed them to participate in a state tuition program. But the state attorney general said the ruling will be for naught unless the schools are willing to abide by the same antidiscrimination law as...

To some defenders, gun ruling could right a racial wrong

NEW YORK (AP) — When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down New York's tight restrictions on who can carry a handgun, condemnation erupted from liberal leaders and activists. But some public defenders, often allies of progressive activists, praised the court's ruling, saying...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: Austin Butler, Baz Luhrmann deliver a grand ‘Elvis’

The brief life of Elvis Presley is not something that fits neatly into a conventional biopic formula, though many have tried. It was, perhaps, always going to take a director as wild and visionary as Baz Luhrmann to do something that evokes the essence of the King’s 42 years. Luhrmann knows...

John Williams, 90, steps away from film, but not music

NEW YORK (AP) — After more than six decades of making bicycles soar, sending panicked swimmers to the shore and other spellbinding close encounters, John Williams is putting the final notes on what may be his last film score. “At the moment I’m working on ‘Indiana Jones 5,’...

Director James Burrows looks back on his career in new book

NEW YORK (AP) — James Burrows loves sitcoms, and he should. The 81-year-old has directed more than 1,000 episodes of TV sitcoms, including fan favorites such as “Friends,” “Cheers,” and Will & Grace." He's also directed the pilot episodes for “Frasier,” “Two and a Half Men,”...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Dems hope to harness outrage, sadness after abortion ruling

YARDLEY, Pa. (AP) — The shock quickly turned to sadness for Victoria Lowe. The 37-year-old...

Biden's mission in Europe: Shore up alliance against Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is out to sustain the global alliance punishing Russia for its invasion of...

Army Guard troops risk dismissal as vaccine deadline looms

WASHINGTON (AP) — Up to 40,000 Army National Guard soldiers across the country — or about 13% of the force —...

Turkish president: Sweden hasn't alleviated NATO concerns

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told Sweden's prime minister that he has not seen any...

Gabon and Togo admitted into Commonwealth group of nations

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — The African nations of Gabon and Togo have been admitted into the Commonwealth group of...

Groups in Spain and Morocco push for border deaths inquiry

MADRID (AP) — Human rights organizations in Spain and Morocco called on both countries to investigate the deaths...

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).

 

Jan. 6 Committe Hearings - Day 5

The next hearing will be held sometime in July; an exact date has not yet been announced.

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events