civil-rights

Senate Democrats pick fight over gun provisions in VAWA
Bipartisan talks broke down over renewing law aimed at curbing domestic violence

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar urged Republicans to stand up to the National Rifle Association after a dispute over gun provisions led to a breakdown in bipartisan talks over renewing the Violence Against Women Act. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats on Wednesday introduced the same Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill passed by the House, days after they say talks with Republicans about a compromise broke down over controversial gun provisions.  

The entire Democratic caucus has backed the bill, which has provisions restricting gun rights of certain convicts that helped spur the split with Senate Republicans. While promoting the measure during a news conference Wednesday, Democrats blamed the National Rifle Association’s sway in the chamber for the Republicans’ reluctance to back the bill.

Inside the unique tributes to Elijah Cummings
Political Theater, Episode 97

A portrait of the late Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings sits nearby as his body lies in state outside the House chamber on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The memorials for the late Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah E. Cummings illustrate the unique way the nation remembers figures like him, a tradition of grieving both in public and private in places important to the deceased. Longstanding rituals in the Capitol, and in also in his hometown of Baltimore, give his family, friends, colleagues and constituents a way to celebrate his life. 

From former presidents to high schoolers from Baltimore City College, Cummings’ funeral shows the unique way we grieve people like him.  

Pain and politics acknowledged at Cummings’ funeral
‘They were trying to tear him down,’ widow says of the president

Former President Barack Obama speaks during the funeral service for the late Rep. Elijah Cummings at the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore on Friday. (Julio Cortez-Pool/Getty Images)

The funeral of Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, simultaneously deeply personal and star-studded, was a celebration of his life, public service, moral vision and his beloved city of Baltimore.

Cummings’ home church in Charm City, the New Psalmist Baptist Church, was packed Friday for the nearly four-hour service for which he planned all the details. He selected a range of people to speak about him, including two former presidents, two daughters, one presidential candidate, mentors, mentees and his own pastor, among others.

With ‘lynching’ comment, Trump retreats to his racist comfort zone
Pouring gasoline on the embers of racial resentment has always been his go-to move

Victor Garlington holds up a photo of the 1913 lynching of his great uncle Richard Putt outside the South Carolina State House in July 2015. The president’s recent comparison of the impeachment probe to a lynching demonstrate that tribalism and division are all he cares about, Curtis writes. (John Moore/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — When Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley sent her 14-year-old son, Emmett, to visit relatives in Mississippi, she never thought he would return in a casket, a victim of a mother’s nightmare and America’s shame. A group of white men kidnapped, tortured, mutilated and murdered him that summer in 1955 for the “crime” of flirting with a white woman, who years later admitted to lying about their supposed interaction.

Mr. President, that’s a lynching.

Trump ‘lynching’ tweet just latest impeachment myth — from both sides
Inquiry has featured misleading statements thrust into ether by GOP and Dems, muddying probe

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House on Oct. 10. His comparison of the ongoing impeachment inquiry to a "lynching" drew bipartisan criticism. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — President Donald Trump’s comparison of his possible impeachment as a “lynching” set off a war of words Tuesday between his staunchest defenders and his fiercest critics. Accusations have flown back and forth during the nearly month-old inquiry, but they have not always rung accurate — or been even remotely true.

Trump’s “lynching” tweet is a prime example of the latter, with even some of his political allies making a rare break with a president who still has the support, according to multiple polls, of nearly 90 percent of Republican voters. But both sides have been guilty of pushing myths about how this impeachment is playing out and the nature of the constitutionally based process.

Democrats and Republicans criticize Trump after he calls impeachment a ‘lynching’
‘What the hell is wrong with you?’ Democratic Rep. Rush asks president

President Donald Trump makes remarks during the inaugural meeting of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council with Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy Joe Grogan, left, and council Executive Director Scott Turner in the Cabinet Room at the White House in April. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Conjuring memories of racially motivated murders and drawing an immediate bipartisan backlash, President Donald Trump on Tuesday described House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry as a “lynching.”

Trump made the statement in a morning tweet that began with a warning that “if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights.”

Capitol Ink | Elijah Cummings

Polling impeachment and remembering Elijah Cummings
CQ on Congress, Ep. 172

A memorial for the late House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., is seen in the committee’s Rayburn Building hearing room on. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Polls now show a majority of Americans favor impeaching President Donald Trump and removing him from office. Democratic pollster Brad Bannon explains how people should read the rush of new surveys coming in. We also remember Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Maryland Democrat who passed away this week, by reprising his 2017 interview with CQ Roll Call.

Elijah Cummings, a man of character and the best of Baltimore
Late Maryland lawmaker leaves an example of moral clarity and courage for others to follow

The late Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings was a fighter for justice and a leader with a sense of right and wrong, even when there was a price to pay, Curtis writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — In the summertime, Baltimore can be hot as blazes with humidity to match. Trying to cool off in a public pool would be quite an ordinary outing for an 11-year-old boy. But for young Elijah Cummings in 1962, it turned into a nightmare in the still largely segregated city. White adults and children resisting integration yelled, “Go back to where you came from” — sound familiar? — to children and, over the heads of a police line, threw rocks and bottles, one of which caught young Elijah in the face.

That day taught Cummings he had rights, he later said, and it made him determined to become a lawyer despite teachers who dismissed his dream as impossible. With strong parents and supporters such as his boss at a drug store, who paid his college admission fee, Cummings fulfilled that dream and so much more.

When celebrity luster gives cover to how America judges its own
Jessye Norman and Diahann Carroll remind us of the unfair burden placed on icons of color

People who hold up the late Jessye Norman, left, or Diahann Carroll as exemplifying America’s promise, that hard work will inevitably lead to reward, ignore the women’s own struggles , Curtis writes. (Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/Getty Images file photos)

OPINION — I am not one of those folks who see celebrities as larger-than-life icons to be worshipped and admired. Usually. But the recent deaths of Jessye Norman and Diahann Carroll hit me in the gut because those two amazing women were at once larger than life and so very real. The reactions to their accomplishments also illustrate an American or perhaps universal trait — the ability to compartmentalize, to place certain citizens of color or underrepresented citizens on a pedestal, at once a part of and apart from others of their race or gender or religion or orientation.

It allows negative judgment of entire groups to exist alongside denials of any racist or discriminatory intent. There are a lot of problems with that way of thinking. It places an unfair burden on the icons, a need to be less a human being than a flawless symbol. And it uses them as a rebuke to others who never managed to overcome society’s obstacles.