civil-rights

Opinion: Taking the Lessons of the Holy Season and MLK — but Not to Heart
Trump and others miss key parts of civil rights leader’s message

President Donald Trump’s proclamation honoring Martin Luther King Jr. missed his demand that America’s laws must work for everyone, Curtis writes. (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

Belief in the separation of church and state has turned out to be situational, depending on what issue you want the government to highlight or ignore — abortion rights or aid to the poor, criminal justice reform or same-sex marriage — and which faith you favor.

This is a time of year that challenges that not-so-bright line, no matter what side you fall on, when the occasional (or non) worshipper nevertheless is drawn by devotion, guilt or nostalgia to traditions that otherwise are pushed aside.

Opinion: It’s the Action of Youth That Shames Lawmakers
Amid the chaos of Washington, young marchers stepped up

Whether or not you agreed with the vision of the many young people who participated in the weekend’s “March for Our Lives” rallies across the world, at least they had one, Curtis writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It was partly partisan politics that drove protesters and counterprotesters in the global “March for Our Lives” on Saturday. Many who traveled to Washington or their town squares demanded action on school safety, gun control and more.

But to Washington lawmakers, of both parties and on either side of the gun issue, who just managed to pass a $1.3 trillion omnibus bill to keep the government running that same week and may not pass any other major legislation for the rest of the year, it was a rebuke.

All 22 Female Senators Demand Leadership Acts on Sexual Harassment Legislation
They want legislation passed in the House to come to the floor in the Senate

All 22 women members of the Senate want Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer to bring legislation on sexual harassment passed in the House to a vote in the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Women in the Senate are ramping up the pressure on chamber leadership to pass legislation to address the issue of sexual harassment and discrimination in congressional offices. 

All 22 female Republican and Democratic senators sent a letter Wednesday urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer to bring House-passed legislation on the issue to the floor for a vote. 

Judge Tosses Rep. Lujan Grisham’s Restraining Order Against Ex-Intern
Transgender intern claims she was discriminated against and fired

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., obtained a restraining order that was later thrown out against a former intern in her office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One day after Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham obtained a restraining order against a former intern who worked for her on Capitol Hill, another judge scrapped the order.

Lujan Grisham, who is vacating her seat in New Mexico’s 1st District to run for governor, said she was “fearful” of former intern Riley Del Rey, and said in court documents that she “believes Ms. Del Rey intends to cause her serious harm or her behavior will harm other people in public settings.”

The Never-Ending Crisis at the Indian Health Service
As the chronically under-funded agency struggles, American Indians are getting sicker and dying sooner

Patients wait at an Indian Health Service clinic on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. (Will Kincaid/AP)

The health disparities between American Indians and the rest of the United States population are stark. American Indians are 50 percent more likely than others to have a substance use disorder, 60 percent more likely to commit suicide, twice as likely to smoke, twice as likely to die during childbirth, three times more likely to die from diabetes and five times more likely to die from tuberculosis. They die on average five years sooner than other Americans.

The Trump administration has pledged to make tribal health care systems more effective. During one of his confirmation hearings, new Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told senators the administration would welcome opportunities to improve the $5 billion Indian Health Service, which provides care for 2.2 million American Indians. “It’s unacceptable for us to not be providing high-quality service,” Azar said.

Opinion: When Americans Dream, Is This What They Have in Mind?
A land of opportunity — but not always equal opportunity

A dry-land farmer and his family on the Flathead Reservation near Niarada, Montana, in 1921. (U.S. National Archives)

The “American Dream” may be a problematic concept, but everyone in this country and around the world knows exactly what it means. And truth be told, everyone wants to believe it: If you are determined and work hard enough, smart enough and long enough, you can achieve anything in this land of unlimited opportunity.

Yes, the history of this country, from its founding on, has proved that the dream is not complete. Ask Native Americans, who have a more than convincing argument to counter the oft-told story of American goodness and greatness. Ask enslaved African-Americans and their ancestors who fought and died for rights enshrined in authentically American documents. Ask the Americans whose family members toiled in factories and on farms for little more than subsistence.

A Dozen Democrats Will Skip Trump’s State of the Union Address
Cohen says president is ‘unworthy of the podium, the position and the power’

Reps. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., left, and Danny Davis, D-Ill., right, will not attend President Donald Trump's State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated Jan. 30 2:10 p.m. | Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen on Tuesday was the 12th Democratic member of Congress to announce that he would boycott President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.

“I’ve spent 38 years in elected public office, helping make government work and speaking out against corruption because I believe, as President John F. Kennedy believed, that politics is an honorable profession,” Cohen said in a statement. “The current President is the antithesis of that sensibility: a man who appears determined to tear government down, harm the most vulnerable, benefit the rich and destroy foundational institutions such as the Department of Justice and the FBI.”

ACLU Challenges Lawmakers Who Block People on Social Media
Reps. Gosar, Lewis among group’s targets

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., is the defendant in a lawsuit for blocking a constituent on social media. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging Democrats and Republicans for blocking constituent social media, citing constitutional free speech protections.

The group has assumed the case of a woman who filed suit against Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar last September for blocking her access to his Facebook page.

Women’s March Will Go On, Shutdown or Not
National Park Service has a contingency plan if it comes to that

Protesters march down Independence Avenue in Washington during the Women's March on Washington the day after Inauguration Day last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The 2018 Women’s March in Washington will move forward as planned on Saturday despite a looming government shutdown.

An estimated 5,500 marchers will gather at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool at 11 a.m. for a series of speeches before winding their way east down Constitution Avenue and north to the White House gates to advocate for women’s inclusion in the political process.

Opinion: Forgetting What It Means to Be an American
Selective memory of president and supporters imperils the country

What President Donald Trump and his supporters choose to remember is selective and troubling, Curtis writes. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The 2004 romantic comedy “50 First Dates” offered a novel, though somewhat implausible, premise — and I don’t mean that Drew Barrymore would find Adam Sandler irresistible. The heroine of the tale, afflicted with short-term memory loss, woke up each morning with a clean slate, thinking it was the same day, with no recollection of anything that happened the day before.

Who knew the president of the United States, most members of a political party and White House staff would suffer from the same condition?