05-24-2018  2:48 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon says an "unlikely" string of events prompted its Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle.The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an employee of her husband...

Attorney general issues ballot title for assault weapons ban

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's attorney general has released a certified ballot title for an initiative that would restrict the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in the state.The title released Wednesday revises the draft caption following comments from the public and the...

Power outages temporarily halt flights at Sea-Tac Airport

SEATTLE (AP) — Officials say scattered power outages halted some flights on the south side of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.KOMO-TV reports airport spokesman Perry Cooper said after 12:30 p.m. Thursday that flights were slowly resuming.Airport officials said on Twitter that all power...

Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon says an "unlikely" string of events prompted its Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle.The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an employee of her husband...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

NFL's policy could mean a new playbook on protests this fall

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Now that the NFL is drawing the line against players kneeling during the national anthem, athletes protesting police brutality and racial inequality may need to find a new playbook.The question is whether they intend to escalate their protests in some way."The owners can...

Court: School can let trans students use bathroom of choice

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Pennsylvania school district can allow transgender students to continue using bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their sexual identity, a federal appeals court panel ruled Thursday.A three-judge panel heard extended arguments in the case before conferring...

Body camera video is latest setback for Milwaukee police

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Body camera video showing police using a stun gun on an NBA player over a parking violation is just the latest setback for efforts to improve the strained relationship between Milwaukee officers and the city's black population.The confrontation involving Milwaukee Bucks...

ENTERTAINMENT

Scenes cut from 'Show Dogs' over resemblance to sexual abuse

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two scenes are being cut from the family movie "Show Dogs" after complaints that they resemble real-life sexual abuse, the movie's distributor has announced.In the movie, a police dog goes undercover at a dog show to catch animal smugglers.In one scene, the dog is told to...

Stoner comedy pioneer Tommy Chong still toking, joking at 80

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yeah man, Tommy Chong says he always knew he'd live to see the day marijuana legalization would be sweeping America.He knew when he and partner Cheech Marin pioneered stoner comedy 50 years ago, a time when taunting the establishment with constant reminders that they...

Paltrow: Brad Pitt threatened Harvey Weinstein

NEW YORK (AP) — Gwyneth Paltrow says ex-boyfriend Brad Pitt threatened producer Harvey Weinstein after an alleged incident of sexual misconduct.The 45-year-old actress told "The Howard Stern Show" on Wednesday she was "blindsided." Paltrow claimed she was 22 when Weinstein placed his hands...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

MLB panel says baseballs getting extra lift, cause unknown

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseballs really have been getting extra lift since 2015, and it's not from the exaggerated...

Body camera video is latest setback for Milwaukee police

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Body camera video showing police using a stun gun on an NBA player over a parking...

Bus driver charged in crash that killed student, teacher

A school bus driver with a history of driver's license suspensions caused a fatal crash on a New Jersey highway...

Israel defense chief plans 2,500 new West Bank settler homes

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister said Thursday he will seek approval next week to fast-track...

Cyclone Mekunu pounds Yemen island on its path to Oman

SALALAH, Oman (AP) — Cyclone Mekunu roared over the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea on its way...

Saudi Arabia releases 3 women as other activists still held

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi authorities have released three prominent women's rights...

The Rev. Jesse Jackson

Judge Samuel Alito isn't what he claims to be. And he's a lot more of a threat than the pundit class suggests. Yes, he's anti-abortion, and will swing the balance of the Supreme Court if he is confirmed to take the place of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

But Alito is more than a threat to women's right to choose. He's the standard-bearer for the new conservative order, seeking a return to state's rights and corporate rights over the rights of Congress.

President Bush repeats his mantra that this is a nominee who will just interpret the law, not try to make the law. But if that were the case, the right-wing choir of commentators wouldn't be out singing hosannas in his name. In fact, Alito's record as a judge doesn't show deference to the legislature, the branch of government elected by the people. It reveals, instead, a judge quite willing to use his position on the bench to enforce his own views, striking down laws that don't meet his approval. Alito is a right-wing judicial activist masquerading as a man of judicial restraint. He is the proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing.

Over the past weeks, the nation has paid fitting tribute to Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement that she helped to spark. But even as he praised Parks, President Bush nominated for the Supreme Court a judge who would reverse much of what she fought for.

When Rosa sat on that bus, Southern states claimed that they had the right to enforce segregation — legal apartheid — on African Americans. They argued that neither the Congress nor the courts had any right to interfere in their internal affairs. When the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that "separate and equal" was unconstitutional, the leaders of segregation were outraged. They denounced the Supreme Court for "judicial activism," and campaigned to impeach Earl Warren, the chief justice nominated by Republican President Eisenhower. They blocked enforcement of the court's ruling and the laws of Congress. It took Parks' courage and the sacrifice and struggle of many to overcome this resistance.

Now, on the far right of American politics, comes a new movement proclaiming that the real Constitution has been "in exile" since the 1930s. They want to roll back not only the privacy doctrine on which women's right to choose rests, but the Warren Court's rulings and those of the Roosevelt court also. They would return the nation to the era of the Gilded Age, when unions were outlawed as a restraint on trade, when corporate regulation was routinely struck down as exceeding congressional power and when states' rights were exalted.

Alito is in that line. He voted to strike down a law passed by Congress restricting the transfer and possession of machine guns at gun shows. He argued that the Congress didn't have the power to regulate the sale of machine guns, without detailed findings — to be reviewed by the courts for adequacy — that there was a connection between the regulation of the transfer of machine guns and interstate commerce. I guess the judge assumed that terrorists with machine guns would just stay in one state, unlike everyone else in the country.

When it came to states' rights, there was no more fierce advocate than retiring Chief Justice Rehnquist. Yet, Alito makes Rehnquist look like a moderate. Alito ruled that the Congress had no right to require state governments to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act for their employees (and by implication with any act regulating their employees). His willingness to legislate from the bench was overturned by the Supreme Court in an opinion written by none other than Chief Justice Rehnquist.

Rosa Parks' legacy stands in contrast to Alito's record. This is a judge who rejected an African American defendant challenging a verdict by an all-White jury purged of Black jurors because of their race. Alito mocked statistical evidence that showed the prosecutions' systematic exclusion of African Americans from juries, suggesting it was as meaningless as the fact that a disproportionate number of presidents had been left-handed.

Any judge that could write that is dangerously blind to the history of this country and numb to the responsibility of the court.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. is founder and president of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.

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