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Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) should know better.
That's the argument of a group of over 200 students, faculty and alumni of Yale Law School and Yale Divinity School, who wrote a letter to Coons on Monday asking him to change his surprising vote against Debo Adegbile, President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. Coons got his J.D. from Yale Law and an M.A.R. from Yale Divinity School in 1992.
Coons voted against Adegbile because Adegbile's former organization helped with an appellate case involving Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer over 30 years ago. Because of constitutional issues with jury instructions, Abu-Jamal's death sentence was downgraded to life in prison.
"As students, professors and practitioners, your vote alarmed us," the group wrote to Coons. "It signaled a lack of respect for the fundamental American legal principle that all parties have a right to zealous representation, and sent a message that young people considering public service careers should avoid work on behalf of unpopular or marginalized communities and clients."
Posted by cal04 | Mon Mar 17, 2014, 10:47 PM (2 replies)
Youth activists held a rally on Sunday outside of the White House demanding President Obama stop construction of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would carry tar sands south across the country from Alberta, Canada to Texas.
About 1,000 were expect to turn out for the protest, many of them university students. An estimated 300 people locked themselves to the White House fence before being arrested by security. The protest comes just days after a report from the State Department’s Inspector General found that there was no conflict of interest in the fact that the contractor hired to write a Environmental Impact Statement on the pipeline also worked for major oil companies involved in its construction.
Rally organizers peg the number arrested at around 400. Buses were brought in to cart away those who’d been arrested:
Here’s a look at some photos from the protest:
Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/02/3350081/photos-keystone-protest-arrests/
Keystone XL Pipeline Protestors Create ‘Human Oil Spill’
Associated Press Susan Walsh
Read more: Keystone XL Pipeline Protestors Create ‘Human Oil Spill’
Today more than 1,000 youth from across the country marched to the White House from Georgetown University—where President Obama laid out his “climate test”—to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. Once at the White House, hundreds of youth were arrested while participating in a nonviolent civil disobedience sit-in. This protest was the largest youth act of civil disobedience at the White House in a generation.
Co-founder and Communications Director, 350.org
I just came back from the White House, where the police are still arresting the hundreds of students who are taking part in what will likely be the largest act of youth civil disobedience at the White House in a generation.
This is XL Dissent: a massive surge of protest against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and a powerful show of solidarity with all communities who are fighting the fossil fuel industry and confronting the impacts of the climate crisis.
Breaking: 400+ Youth Arrested at White House Protesting Keystone XL Pipeline
Today more than 1,200 youth from across the country marched to the White House from Georgetown University—where President Obama laid out his “climate test”—to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. Once at the White House, more than 400 youth were arrested while participating in a nonviolent civil disobedience sit-in. This protest was the largest youth act of civil disobedience at the White House in a generation.
Posted by cal04 | Sun Mar 2, 2014, 03:00 PM (50 replies)
Nine Colorado gay couples have filed a lawsuit in Denver District Court seeking to overturn Colorado's Constitutional ban on gay marriages.
Currently Colorado permits civil unions but the state Constitution bans gay marriage. The lawsuit filed Wednesday names Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver City Clerk Debra Johnson as defendants.
"Colorado law creates two classes of citizens: those free to marry the person they love, and those denied that fundamental right," the suit says. "Same-sex couples in Colorado are relegated to a second-class level of citizenship that denies their relationships the full panoply of rights enjoyed by married opposite-sex couples."
Even same-sex couples who have been validly married in other states are stripped of their marital status when they enter the state of Colorado, the suit says.
Posted by cal04 | Wed Feb 19, 2014, 02:48 PM (3 replies)
Source: Huffington Post
The Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler will once again seek to set rules that make sure broadband providers do not discriminate or block any content on the Internet, a senior FCC official said on Wednesday.
The FCC will not appeal a U.S. court decision last month that rejected a previous version of these rules because of the way the FCC had classified broadband providers, the official said.
But the court said the commission does have the authority to regulate broadband access under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the FCC will use that authority to review how it can bring back non-discrimination and no-blocking regulations while complying with the court order.
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/19/fcc-net-neutrality_n_4815957.html
During a press call Wednesday, a senior agency official said Wheeler will not be attempting to reclassify Internet providers, nor will the FCC appeal the court’s decision.
Instead, Wheeler will start a new process and seek public comment to create rules that keep providers from blocking and slowing access to websites, the official said.
Wheeler will look to the agency’s Data Roaming Order — a set of 2011 rules that requires wireless companies to offer data roaming arrangements to each other on “commercially reasonable terms and conditions” — which a federal court upheld after Verizon Wireless challenged the rules, according to the official.
The FCC will also enhance the net-neutrality rules’ transparency provision, which requires Internet providers to be transparent about how they manage network traffic and was upheld by the federal court earlier this year.
Wheeler seems to have seized what he's called the court's "invitation" to act boldly under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act, which gives the FCC authority to regulate broadband infrastructure deployment. Under the FCC's reading of that statute, the agency can make rules on Web traffic discrimination because of the relationship between the free flow of information and the expansion of new technologies and services.
As it considers rewriting the net neutrality rules to more explicitly rely on Section 706, the FCC will simultaneously keep open the possibility of "reclassifying" broadband providers. Such a step would allow the FCC to regulate ISPs just like it does phone companies, and policy watchers say reclassification would grant the FCC unambiguous authority to regulate broadband providers with a blanket ban on traffic discrimination. Keeping reclassification on the table effectively gives the FCC a nuclear option to use as a deterrent against companies that want to prioritize Internet traffic.
A senior FCC official also hinted Wednesday that the commission would be using its Section 706 authority to investigate state-level laws banning the rollout of city-built broadband networks. Many cities, such as Longmont, Colo., and Chattanooga, Tenn., have tried to construct their versions of Google Fiber and to run them like public utilities — much to the frustration of incumbent cable companies and other large Internet providers that view the upstarts as potential competitors.
Posted by cal04 | Wed Feb 19, 2014, 11:56 AM (25 replies)
Source: Huffington Post
A federal judge ruled the state of Virginia's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, Attorney General Mark Herring announced via his Twitter account on Thursday.
A judge has ruled Virginia's ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen made the ruling late Thursday night.
Attorney General Mark Herring has said he will not defend the ban, saying it is in violation of the U.S. constitution.
Mike Valerio is following this breaking news and will have more information in our online newscast at 11 and on NBC12 News at 11:30 after the Olympics.
*ALERT* Equality marches forward in VA: Federal judge declares state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. Issues stay pending appeal.
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/13/virginia-gay-marriage_n_4785530.html?&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000067
Important to note: Injunction in VA #SSM case is stayed pending appeal meaning the ban will remain in effect while appeals are heard.
From ruling: "We have arrived upon another moment in history when We the People becomes more inclusive, and our freedom more perfect."
From ruling: "VA's Marriage Laws unconstitutionally deny VA's gay and lesbian citizens the fundamental freedom to choose to marry."
"VA law that bars same-sex marriage or prohibits VA's recognition of lawful same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions unconstitutional."
From ruling: "Laws deny Plaintiffs their rights to due process & equal protection guaranteed under the 14th Amendment of US Constitution."
From ruling: "Court stays execution of this injunction pending the final disposition of any appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals."
Posted by cal04 | Thu Feb 13, 2014, 10:24 PM (32 replies)
While pressing lawmakers in Washington to pass legislation raising the federal minimum wage, President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address Tuesday night to call upon states and cities around the country to raise their wage floors in lieu of action by Congress.
"To every mayor, governor and state legislator in America, I say: You don’t have to wait for Congress to act," Obama said. "Americans will support you if you take this on."
The president's speech acknowledged a simple fact of the minimum wage debate: While the GOP-controlled House of Representatives has so far refused to raise the minimum wage, more and more local governments around the country are passing such raises on their own -- and they're often doing it with public support that crosses party lines.
"This will help families. It will give businesses customers with more money to spend. It doesn’t involve any new bureaucratic program," Obama said. "So join the rest of the country. Say yes. Give America a raise."
Posted by cal04 | Tue Jan 28, 2014, 11:18 PM (9 replies)
President Obama will vow to pursue a populist economic agenda with or without the help of lawmakers in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
Obama will say he will not “stand still,” but will act on his own if he cannot work with Congress.
“What I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class, and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class,” Obama will tell the assembled members of Congress, according to excerpts of his speech provided by the White House.
“Some require Congressional action, and I’m eager to work with all of you. But America does not stand still – and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Obama: US 'does not stand still' and 'neither will I'
Posted by cal04 | Tue Jan 28, 2014, 07:12 PM (3 replies)
Honoring the women who came before - celebrating 41 years of right to legal abortion
Posted by cal04 | Wed Jan 22, 2014, 11:56 AM (5 replies)
U.S. Sen Bernie Sanders (I-VT) asked the National Security Agency in a letter Friday if it had spied on members of Congress.
Sanders cited recent revelations that the NSA has collected information on American citizens, actions that he called "clearly unconstitutional," and spied on foreign leaders.
"I am writing today to ask you one very simple question. Has the NSA spied, or is the NSA spying, on members of Congress or other American elected officials?" he wrote in the letter to NSA director Keith Alexander.
Sanders said "spying" would include collecting so-called "metadata" -- which includes date and times of phone calls, along with length and duration -- as well as the content of Internet history and emails.
Posted by cal04 | Fri Jan 3, 2014, 01:49 PM (18 replies)
Perceptions about health reform are in an interesting place. Just about everyone on the right is still living in October, the annus horribilis of Obamacare (yes, I know it was just a month, and I don’t care), and is waiting to move in for the kill after the whole thing collapses. Meanwhile, a funny thing has been happening: enrollments surged this month, to such an extent that the original expectation of 7 million people signed up via the exchanges by the end of March no longer looks crazy.
OK, the usual caveats: we don’t know how many of the people signing up via the exchanges are replacing existing policies, and we don’t know how much trouble there will be when people start trying to use their new insurance. On the other hand, we know that there are a substantial number of people buying ACA-compliant policies directly from insurers, who don’t show up in the numbers yet.
And while 7 million has become the number to match or beat, the truth is that it doesn’t matter too much if “only” 6 million sign up via the exchanges, plus millions more who are signed up under expanded Medicaid. Even a slightly disappointing first year will still offer enough people benefits to make reform politically irreversible.
At this point, we have more than 2 million signed up via the exchanges and more than 4 million added to Medicaid. Both numbers will grow a lot over the next three months. This is pretty close to the end game.
Posted by cal04 | Mon Dec 30, 2013, 02:28 PM (3 replies)