HRC Commends Episcopal Church for Historic Vote Allowing Religious Weddings for Same-Sex Couples
Published Jul 2, 2015 - 10:19:01 AM
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, hailed the Episcopal Church for its vote today allowing clergy to preside over religious ceremonies for same-sex couples as of November 1.
United States Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Alleging Wrongful Deportation of 4 Year-Old U.S. Citizen
Published Jul 2, 2015 - 10:14:57 AM
After more than two years of litigation, the U.S. government has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by Leonel Ruiz on behalf of his minor daughter, E.R. The suit alleged that in 2011, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), unlawfully detained Mr. Ruiz’s then 4-year-old daughter—a U.S. citizen—when she arrived at Dulles Airport in Virginia, deprived her of any contact with her parents, and sent her back to Guatemala rather than allowing her to join her parents, who awaited her arrival in New York.
New Report: How Anti-Immigrant Organizations are Colluding with Enforcement Agents on the Ground
Published Jul 1, 2015 - 10:45:13 AM
On a press call today, representatives from the Center for a New Community (CNC), along with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Southern Borders Communities Coalition (SBCC) gathered to discuss the findings of a new report revealing a systemic pattern of behind-the-scenes collusion between the enforcement unions and the leaders of some of the most prominent anti-immigrant hate groups.
Federal Court Confirms That All Alabama Counties Must Stop Enforcing Unconstitutional Same-Sex Marriage Ban
Published Jul 1, 2015 - 10:02:29 AM
U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade today issued an order confirming that her injunction directing all Alabama probate judges to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples is now in effect and requires immediate compliance.
Complaint Highlights Serious Mental Health Impact of Family Detention on Children and Mothers
Published Jun 30, 2015 - 10:37:06 AM
The psychological harm caused when mothers and children seeking asylum in the U.S. are detained in jail-like facilities is the subject of a complaint filed today with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Women’s Refugee Commission, and the American Immigration Council. The complaint includes details of the harsh and detrimental impact of detention on ten case examples of mothers and children documented by mental health professionals after in-depth evaluations.
American Icon: House Bill Re-Introduced to Make Bison the National Mammal of the United States
Published Jun 30, 2015 - 8:57:33 AM
The Vote Bison Coalition applauded the introduction of legislation, H.R. 2908, in the U.S. House of Representatives to officially recognize bison as the National Mammal of the United States.
Immigrants Serenade Outside Federal Detention Facility in Houston, Demand "ICE Out Of Harris County"
Published Jun 30, 2015 - 8:47:32 AM
Early Monday morning, immigrant and civil rights groups serenaded individuals detained at the federal detention center in Houston and called for an end to Harris County’s “outdated” 287(g) deportation agreement with US Immigration Enforcement (ICE).
Girl Scouts returns $100,000 after donor demands that it 'not be used to support transgender girls'
Full story: Raw Story
U.S. Law Enforcement Ranks Anti-Government Extremism, not Radicalized Muslims, as Most Prevalent Terrorist Threat
Published Jun 29, 2015 - 6:50:38 PM
U.S. law enforcement agencies rank the threat of violence from anti-government extremists higher than the threat from radicalized Muslims, according to a report released Thursday by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security (TCTHS).
SPLC calls for congressional hearings on threat of domestic terrorism
Published Jun 29, 2015 - 6:45:23 PM
The SPLC today urged the homeland security committees of the U.S. House and Senate to conduct hearings on the threat of domestic terrorism in the wake of the Charleston church massacre.
Watchdog Renews Call for Governor to Remove Judge Who Shot Pigeons With Confederate Flag Proudly Displayed Next to Him
Published Jun 29, 2015 - 10:11:42 AM
An international watchdog group renewed its call for a Pennsylvania judge to immediately step down – or be removed from office by the Pennsylvania Governor – after the group published video of Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas judge Adolph Antanavage standing next the Confederate flag when he was blowing pigeons away at a canned shoot.
Supreme Court Finds Fault With Public Health Protections
Published Jun 29, 2015 - 8:08:45 AM
This morning in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court remanded the first-ever national limits on mercury and other toxic air pollution spewed by power plants. The rules will save between 4,000 and 11,000 lives each year by substantially reducing pollution from the dirtiest plants. Although EPA demonstrated that the health and environmental benefits of the standards far outweigh the costs to the industry, the Court found EPA should have considered industry’s costs earlier in the process, when it determined whether these emissions were worth controlling at all.
President Obama delivers Eulogy – FULL VIDEO
Published Jun 26, 2015 - 6:33:28 PM
President Obama delivers a eulogy for state Senator Clementa Pinckney, who was one of nine victims in the June 17, 2015, shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Nina Totenberg: Supreme Court Debrief: Same-Sex Marriage Legalized
Published Jun 26, 2015 - 3:28:47 PM
SCOTUS has struck down bans on gay marriage. Nina Totenberg (NPR legal affairs correspondent) has a few highlights. (Music by Podington Bear)
Greenpeace welcomes OSPAR's commitment to develop proposal for a marine protected area on the Arctic Ice High Seas in 2016
Published Jun 26, 2015 - 9:32:32 AM
Delegates of the North-East Atlantic's OSPAR Commission , who met this week, have today reached an agreement to coordinate work with the Arctic Council  towards further protection of OSPAR’s Region 1 (Arctic Waters).
Marriage equality ruling to spark new battles over 'religious freedom,' says AU
Published Jun 26, 2015 - 9:30:22 AM
Americans United for Separation of Church and State welcomes today’s Supreme Court ruling extending marriage equality nationwide but cautions that it will spark a sharp backlash from the Religious Right.
Victory! In Landmark Ruling Supreme Court Strikes Down Bans on Marriage for Same-sex Couples
Published Jun 26, 2015 - 7:29:25 AM
In an historic decision, the U.S. Supreme Court today declared that denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry violates the U.S. Constitution. The Court’s decision invalidates all state statutes and constitutional amendments barring same-sex couples from marriage. Lambda Legal was co-counsel in one of the landmark cases decided today. Lambda Legal Executive Director Kevin Cathcart and co-counsel Al Gerhardstein of Gerhardstein & Branch issued the following statements:
Most of America's poor have jobs, study finds
Published Jun 26, 2015 - 6:36:08 AM
The majority of the United States' poor aren't sitting on street corners. They're employed at low-paying jobs, struggling to support themselves and a family.
World Health Organization Determines That Major Herbicide, 2,4-D, May Cause Cancer
Published Jun 26, 2015 - 5:46:30 AM
On Tuesday, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) determined that the widely used herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) is “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B). The determination comes as Dow Chemical begins a limited roll-out of its “Enlist Weed Control System,” a package of “Enlist” corn or soybean seeds, which are genetically engineered to withstand 2,4-D and glyphosate, and a premix formulation of the two herbicides called “Enlist Duo.” Dow and USDA project these crops will increase agricultural use of 2,4-D by a massive three to seven times over current levels by 2020, depending on how widely Enlist crops are planted .
Sightline, Earthjustice Sue Obama Administration over Crude Oil Exports and Illegal Secrecy
Published Jun 25, 2015 - 11:05:23 AM
Earthjustice, on behalf of Sightline Institute, has filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration today in hopes of daylighting information behind crucial federal energy policy decisions.
Supreme Court Upholds Key Protections of Fair Housing Act
Published Jun 25, 2015 - 10:41:36 AM
In a 5-4 decision today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal Fair Housing Act prohibits not only intentional housing discrimination, but those housing decisions that have a “disparate impact” on a vulnerable population.
New Report: Recommendations to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Jails
Published Jun 25, 2015 - 10:27:51 AM
Today, the Brennan Center for Justice releases a new report recommending key reforms that police, prosecutors, judges and parole and probation officers can make to reduce racial disparity in our criminal justice system.
Rep. Grijalva Reflects on Tours of Two Family Detention Centers
Published Jun 25, 2015 - 10:04:17 AM
Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) released a statement today after traveling to San Antonio, Texas to tour two for-profit detention centers currently contracted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain women and children who are awaiting disposition of their final asylum claims.
Despite Armed Standoffs and Staff Evacuations, BLM Claims Least Assaults and Threats Since 1996
Published Jun 25, 2015 - 9:48:08 AM
Belying armed confrontations and staff evacuations, official records from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management say last year was especially peaceful, according to agency documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). In fact, the total of 15 threats and assaults BLM reports during 2014 is the lowest number of such incidents it has reported since 1996, one-fourth below the prior year and nearly 50% fewer than it reported a decade earlier.
Supreme Court Protects Affordable Care Act
Published Jun 25, 2015 - 7:28:49 AM
Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling affirming that federal tax subsidies to purchase health insurance are available in states that did not set up their own health insurance exchange is good news for low-income Americans and communities of color, policy experts at The Greenlining Institute said today.
Back From A Tour Of Detention Facilities, House Democrats Say Proposed DHS Changes May Not Be Enough
Published Jun 25, 2015 - 6:36:40 AM
In a press conference earlier today, a group of House Democrats welcomed news that DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson will make changes, including limiting detention times and lowering bond rates, to the family detention system.
Since 9/11 attack, more people have died in the U.S. from politically-motivated violence perpetrated by right-wing militants than by Muslim militants
Published Jun 24, 2015 - 4:24:21 PM
According to Political Research Associates (PRA), a human rights think tank based in Boston, the tragic events in South Carolina this week highlight persistent bias in news reporting, law enforcement, the judiciary, and our public discourse. A new report from PRA finds that in the nearly fourteen years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, more people have died in the U.S. from politically-motivated violence perpetrated by right-wing militants than by Muslim militants. Yet, our public discourse and public policies reflect our broader approach to criminality: Contrary to all evidence, real terrorists are presumed to be dark-skinned.
Two Years After Shelby County: Congress Must Restore Voting Rights Act, Says Brennan Center
Published Jun 24, 2015 - 10:51:06 AM
Senate and House leaders today introduced a new bill — the Voting Rights Advancement Act — to restore core Voting Rights Act protections, which the U.S. Supreme Court gutted in June 2013.
New Top Chemical Safety Board Lawyer Suing His Own Agency
Published Jun 24, 2015 - 10:03:39 AM
In a bizarre turn of events, the lawyer just named acting General Counsel of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is simultaneously suing the agency for hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to documents posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). This follows the abrupt placement of the General Counsel and Managing Director on indefinite administrative leave, one of several controversial moves this past week at the CSB.
Costs of War Project releases new reports on Afghanistan, Pakistan
Published Jun 24, 2015 - 8:12:37 AM
Afghan security forces, like their fellow citizens more generally, do not view the US-led war in Afghanistan as "their war."
This is a primary policy-relevant conclusion reached in one of two new reports issued today by the Costs of War Project at Brown's University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.