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Capitol report: Unique laws taking effect

This is the first in a series of this Capitol Report, where I will highlight some of the unique laws passed by the 83rd Legislature, most of which took effect Sept. 1.

Black vote divided in NYC mayor’s race

Four years after overwhelming support from Black voters nearly carried Bill Thompson to an improbable upset of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the lone African American candidate for mayor is facing a stiff challenge for their support this time around.

Dallas City Council discuss budget issues

Budget issues for the city of Dallas, the Trinity River Corridor Project, plastic bag litter in the area, and financing janitorial services and event set-up services were the topics discussed at the Dallas City Council briefing meeting held Aug. 21 ...

‘Stop-and-frisk’ policy declared unconstitutional

The stop-and-frisk policy practiced by the New York City police department was little more than “indirect racial profiling,” according to a federal judge who ruled that police routinely violated the Fourth and 14th Amendment rights of Blacks and Latinos.

Private struggle of Jesse Jackson Jr. revealed

When the story broke that former Congressman Jesse L. Jackson Jr., D-Ill., had used political donations as his own piggy bank, many people were surprised. Even though prosecutors said Jackson spent thousands between August 2005 and April 2012 at restaurants, ...

Department of Justice gets smart on crime

In a stunning turn in criminal justice policy, Attorney General Eric Holder announced steps the Justice Department will take to address overpopulation in federal prisons by changing mandatory minimum-sentencing guidelines and pushing non-violent drug offenders into rehab programs instead of ...

Down, but not out

The Voting Rights Act is down, but not out, and civil rights leaders joined President Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. at the White House July 29 to discuss renewed efforts in the fight against voter discrimination.

Voting Rights Act and Texas

Local politicians in North Texas are happy with the recent decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to pursue legal action against the state of Texas, requiring the state to receive preclearance before making any changes to its voting laws.

Protecting the vote

Fulfilling a pledge to aggressively protect the voting rights of people of color in the wake of the Supreme Court striking down a key section of the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has announced that the ...

On the issues of race in society today, Supreme Court is out of touch

In its decision June 24, on affirmative action, the Supreme Court punted. It reviewed the University of Texas’ affirmative action program – in which race is admittedly “a factor of a factor of a factor” in admission, one of many ...

The Supreme Court has invalidated Section 4 of the VRA

Rep. Helen Giddings, D-Dallas, is alarmed and disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision released June 25 invalidating Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act.

Supreme Court guts Section 5 of VRA by 5-4 decision

With surgical precision, today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Shelby v. Holder challenge to the Voting Rights Act effectively removed a vital organ while leaving most limbs and features in place.

Supreme Court decision has big implications for Texas voters

On June 25, the United States Supreme Court handed down a devastating decision regarding voting rights: Shelby County v. Holder. The 5-4 decision struck down an important part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which for almost 50 years ...

Election of Kevin Johnson to head Black mayors group ‘invalid’

After accepting a determination by the attorney for the National Conference of Blacks Mayors that the organization’s May 30 election in Atlanta was invalid, more than half of the board members in good standing have written to Sacramento Mayor Kevin ...

Innocence clinic held at UNT

In the past 24 years, more than 2,000 people in the United States have been falsely convicted of a crime, according to the National Registry of Exonerations.