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Legal Affairs Archive

Congress Can Follow Colorado's Lead on Voting Rights | Commentary

When judicial historians look back, June 25, 2013, will be a tough day to explain. The 15th Amendment is clear: Americans have the right to vote; it may not be denied based on race; and Congress may enforce the amendment through legislation. So how did a narrow majority on the Supreme Court conclude that they should gut the Voting Rights Act?

Congress Must Act Now on the Voting Rights Act | Commentary

We should remember why the Voting Rights Act was enacted in the first place. For decades, states with minority populations systematically disenfranchised minorities, in particular African-Americans, by any number of egregious methods. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 provided a formula and a method for those states and localities that had the highest number of minorities and had been the worst offenders of voter disenfranchisement.

Congress Must Keep Liberty's Flame Alive | Wolfensberger

In this age of the Internet and high-tech surveillance, is individual liberty irrelevant, obsolete or just undervalued? The answer could well be all of the above, judging from tepid public and congressional reactions to recent government intrusions into individual privacy, speech, press and association rights.

We Can't Wait for Federal Workplace Protections | Commentary

Over the past two weeks, national conversations have picked up once again about the need for federal workplace protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

Congressional Inaction on Surveillance Prompted Leaks, Says Snowden

Edward Snowden, the man who publicly exposed several controversial National Security Agency programs, said Monday that he was inspired to leak the secrets because of spy agency leaders’ “lies” to Congress, and because congressional leaders did nothing about it.

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Rubio, Republicans Preparing Tougher Border Security Plan for Immigration Bill

Republicans are preparing a border security amendment to the bipartisan Senate immigration bill and plan to release it as early as next week.

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Snowden Has a Few Defenders on the Hill

Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old defense contractor who leaked details on the National Security Agency’s phone and data surveillance programs, faces numerous calls from powerful members of Congress for his prosecution. But a few not-so-powerful members think he should go free — and more are calling for changes in the law.

Don't Turn Your Back on Victims of Child Abuse | Commentary

In America, nearly five children die every day from abuse and neglect. Even more frightening, every 13 seconds, a child is abused. The effect of this abuse is felt not only by the victims and their families, but also in the communities in which they live. I know this because, as an Alabama district attorney, I saw the fallout each and every day.

House Immigration Group Claims Deal, but Labrador Drops Out to Pursue Separate Bill

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers has come to an agreement on immigration overhaul legislation, but one key Republican member will not sign off on it and will write his own proposal instead.

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House Republicans Probe Sebelius Fundraising Calls

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday that she made five phone calls in connection with Enroll America, a nonprofit helping with outreach and education for the health care law. Two of the calls were fundraising solicitations, she said.

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White House Conference Aims to Reduce the Stigma of Mental Illness

Efforts to increase awareness of mental-health issues and reduce the stigma associated with them got a boost Monday when the Obama administration hosted a national conference on mental health at the White House.

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Obama's D.C. Circuit Picks Likely to Prompt GOP Outcry

President Barack Obama Tuesday nominated a slate of judges to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, an aggressive move that is likely to spark swift resistance from Senate Republicans who say the court is underworked and does not need additional judges.

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Reid Raises Possibility of Using Nuclear Option to Speed Confirmation of Nominees

Senate Majority Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tangled over nominations for the second day in a row Thursday, with Reid raising the possibility of changing the filibuster rules on a simple majority vote to speed action.

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Old Objections Hang Over New Push for Media Shield Law

Bipartisan momentum is building for legislation that would give reporters new legal protections from government authorities who want them to reveal their confidential sources. But it’s far from clear whether the effort can overcome the objections that derailed similar bills in the Senate in 2007 and 2009.

Shining a Light on the Trafficking of Foster Youth | Commentary

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said it best earlier this month: “The incomprehensible evil of child trafficking has to be brought to a halt ... we cannot and must not let these children down.”

Gun Violence Takes a Toll on Law Enforcement | Commentary

Last week, law enforcement officers arrived in the nation’s capital by the thousands for National Police Week to honor the sacrifice of the 120 officers killed in the line of duty in 2012.

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Sponsors of Mental Health Bills Look for Way Forward

The decision to tie mental health legislation to the Senate gun package that was pulled from the floor last month has left supporters of those provisions in limbo.

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In AP Case, Little Evidence DOJ Broke the Law

Did the Justice Department break the law when it secretly reviewed the phone records of more than 20 Associated Press reporters and editors? Many legal experts aren’t ready to go that far.

Senate Immigration Bill Could Benefit Hiring of Immigrants Over U.S. Citizens

The current draft of the Senate’s immigration overhaul appears to give some employers a $3,000-a-year incentive to hire a newly legalized immigrant rather than an American citizen in order to avoid the new employer mandates in the health care law.

Has IRS Probe Re-Energized the Tea Party?

The tea party movement, after heating up to a roaring boil in the 2010 election cycle, diminished to a simmer over the past few years.

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