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Voting Rights Act

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NEWS
June 26, 2009 | CHRISTINE M. FLOWERS
'WHERE is my vote?" screamed the protesters in the streets of Tehran. Bloodied opponents of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made their disenfranchisement public and demanded that the world pay attention. And we did, using the magic of the Internet, logging on to Twitter and YouTube, and sharing, in real time, the agony of the Iranian people. We watched, horrified, as one young woman was murdered by government thugs and we witnessed the beatings of countless others. Votes are precious currency.
NEWS
June 27, 2013 | By Robert Barnes, Washington Post
WASHINGTON - A divided Supreme Court on Tuesday invalidated a crucial component of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, ruling that Congress has not taken into account the nation's racial progress when singling out certain states for federal oversight. The vote was 5-4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and the other conservative members of the court in the majority. The court did not strike down the law itself or the provision that calls for special scrutiny of states with a history of discrimination.
NEWS
June 18, 2006
The 1965 Voting Rights Act was a landmark of American history. But it's not time to relegate this law to high-school history books. It's still needed. Much progress has been made in the last 41 years, but some American voters still need protection from subtle racial and ethnic discrimination. Congress enacted this law under the determined prodding of President Lyndon Johnson, who had been electrified into action by the televised reports of Alabama civil rights demonstrators being beaten by a white mob while attempting to march from Selma to Montgomery.
NEWS
August 2, 2006 | By Claude Lewis
Claude Lewis is a longtime Philadelphia journalist A recent Internet hoax has Camille Cosby, wife of famed comedian Bill Cosby, making a speech in which she declared that by 2007, black Americans could lose their voting rights because the 1965 Voting Rights Act was set to expire next year. E-mail with this misinformation spread across the country like a virus out of control. An e-chain letter said: "Does anyone realize that African Americans are the only group of people who require permission under the United States Constitution to vote?"
NEWS
July 19, 2006
The U.S. Senate needs to renew the Voting Rights Act. As he often is these days, Pennsylvania's senior senator, Republican Arlen Specter, is in position to help to make the right thing happen. The Judiciary Committee chairman says he'll begin moving a renewal bill today through the panel. Despite overwhelming approval by the House last week, reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act is not a certainty in the Senate. Some Southern senators, including John Cornyn (R., Texas)
NEWS
May 5, 2009
Conservative wailing about an overly activist U.S. Supreme Court is part of the backdrop as President Obama considers who should replace retiring Justice David H. Souter. Obama, a former constitutional law professor, should know that judicial activism is in the eye of the beholder. People don't mind an activist court so much when they expect a ruling in their favor. Take the case now before the court challenging the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The judicial-restraint crowd isn't raising sand, but the justices certainly appeared to cross the line into activism by even agreeing to hear the case.
NEWS
January 3, 2001 | By Frank Davies, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
Responding to what they called "election chicanery" in Florida, several civil rights groups announced plans yesterday to push a broad agenda of election revisions, from strictly enforcing the Voting Rights Act to allowing ex-convicts to vote and abolishing the Electoral College. "We must legislate an effective voting-rights reform package so that the chicanery that happened Nov. 7 never happens again," said Walter Fauntroy, a former Washington, D.C., congressional delegate and a veteran of the civil rights movement who recalled watching President Lyndon B. Johnson sign the Voting Rights Act in 1965.
NEWS
June 26, 2013 | BY WILL BUNCH, Daily News Staff Writer bunchw@phillynews.com, 215-854-2957
THEY'RE CALLING yesterday's landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on voting rights "the end of the civil-rights era," maybe even the end of the Civil War that raged a century ago. What the experts can't agree on is whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. Supporters of the 5-4 ruling from the high court's conservative majority say tough standards that applied to certain states and localities - mostly in the old Confederacy - are a relic of a different era, before high minority voting rates and a black president.
NEWS
September 5, 1998
Perhaps you've heard the news that has rocked some segments of black America. If not, be advised: The Voting Rights Act expires in 2007! Unless Congress renews it, black people will lose their precious right to vote! In this moment of anguish, in the face of this threat to one of our fundamental freedoms, there's only one thing I can say to worried black Americans: Get a grip. It's just a stupid rumor, folks. Been ricocheting around the Internet for a year or more. In the first place, black voting rights are guaranteed not by the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but by the 15th Amendment of 1870.
NEWS
September 25, 2010
WASHINGTON - A former Justice Department official testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that his superiors told lawyers they were not interested in pursuing Voting Rights Act accusations against two members of the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia. The department denies the allegations. The commission is looking into the handling of accusations of attempted voter intimidation in the 2008 election. - AP
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
July 13, 2016
By George Kohl The vision of our founders was of a government of, by, and for the people. And history tells the story of how our democracy has grown, from the days when only white, male property owners had rights to embracing African Americans and women as full voting participants. Today there's an extreme attack on our democracy, one that threatens to transform the government into one of, by, and for corporations and the 1 percent. Too many Americans believe the system is rigged, that politicians don't listen to the people.
NEWS
May 27, 2016 | By Christine Flowers
MOVEMENTS ARE difficult to manage, because they're messy. Unlike weddings, which usually are planned to cover every detail, including which relatives get confined to social Siberia and what shade of hideous is forced upon the bridesmaids, social revolutions are unpredictable. Take, for example, feminism. At the beginning, it all seemed fairly benign. Give us the vote, admit us to school, stop treating us as marital property or slightly demented Miss Havishams. Common decency, which some call equality, is what we demand.
NEWS
March 30, 2016
It's bad enough that an outrage was perpetrated last week against the voters of Maricopa County, Ariz. It would be far worse if we ignored the warning that the disenfranchisement of thousands of its citizens offers our nation. In November, one of the most contentious campaigns in our history could end in a catastrophe for our democracy. A major culprit would be the U.S. Supreme Court, and specifically the conservative majority that gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013. The facts of what happened in Arizona's presidential primary are gradually penetrating the nation's consciousness.
NEWS
January 19, 2016 | BY JENICE M. ARMSTRONG, Staff Writer
I FOUND MYSELF reflecting last week on the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. My husband and I were driving home from Florida and we had made a detour to Birmingham, Ala., a place neither of us knew much about. We were fresh off a relaxing 11-day Caribbean cruise and not at all looking for a history lesson but found ourselves immersed in one as we climbed the steps to the 16th Street Baptist Church, known worldwide for the heinous bombing by the Ku Klux Klan that killed four little black girls back in 1963.
NEWS
December 26, 2015
The Republican Party is having a "Come to Jesus" moment, as the old folks used to say when I was growing up in Alabama. The expression refers to when someone has to make a decision that could change his life forever. The decision facing Republicans is whether to choose Donald Trump or a similar ultra-conservative as their standard bearer, or scratch their way back to the middle ground, where the 2016 presidential election is likely to be decided. The most liberal congressman in Alabama when I was a child was a Republican, John Buchanan, whose Sixth District constituency included Birmingham.
NEWS
November 7, 2015
ISSUE | ELECTION DAY The right to vote is priceless If the ancestors of the vast majority of Philadelphians were alive today, they'd be ashamed that a city company gave a $10,000 prize to some "lucky voter" on Tuesday ("South Philly woman gets $10k prize for voting," Philly.com, Wednesday). Most Philadelphians fall into at least one of these categories: a woman, an African American, a Catholic, a Jew, someone age 18 to 21, a tenant, or a descendant of someone not allowed a vote in his or her native country.
NEWS
August 10, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
In the context of events outside professional football, accusations that racism played a role in Eagles coach Chip Kelly's decisions to trade several black players are understandable, though not believable. In recent months, this country has seen evidence of the unequal treatment African Americans face at the hands of police, at times resulting in death. It has heard charged rhetoric in defense of an odious emblem embraced by racist groups, the Confederate battle flag. Meanwhile, schemes persist to further erode protections provided to blacks by the Voting Rights Act. With such evidence of racial discord playing in the background, Kelly traded running back LeSean McCoy in March and cornerback Brandon Boykin last week, only to have them echo wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who suggested after being traded last year that race played a role in Kelly's decision.
NEWS
July 16, 2015 | BY JOE BRANDT, Daily News Staff Writer brandtj@phillynews.com, 215-854-4890
IF PRESIDENT OBAMA had been on time to the NAACP Convention in Philly yesterday, you might've heard some thoughts on voting rights from a few Texas folks who helped strike down the state's voter-ID law. A panel discussion on such laws and the group's voting-rights initiatives was cut to a short speech from Texas NAACP President Gary Bledsoe on the same stage where Obama appeared about an hour later. The commander in chief was tied up with calls related to the Iran nuclear deal, announced yesterday.
NEWS
July 15, 2015 | By Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writer
The NAACP's national leader said Monday that the group was strong as ever and vowed that it would fight with renewed intensity on behalf of African Americans to defend freedoms under attack decades after the height of the civil rights movement. In a rousing keynote speech at the NAACP's national convention in Philadelphia, Cornell William Brooks urged members to emulate the bravery of previous generations who risked their lives with demonstrations and marches to bring about change.
NEWS
July 10, 2015 | BY WILL BUNCH, Daily News Staff Writer bunchw@phillynews.com, 215-854-2957
WHAT A DIFFERENCE 11 years makes. The last time the NAACP held its national convention in Philadelphia, in 2004, then-President George W. Bush turned down an invitation to speak - a spokesman complained of "rather hostile political comments" - and one of the highlights was a speech by Bill Cosby, hailed as "a philanthropist and a role model. " As the leading civil-rights organization returns tomorrow to the Pennsylvania Convention Center to launch its five-day 106th annual convention, the NAACP is making plans to welcome President Obama - as the nation's first black president sees rising approval numbers near the end of his second term - but it's highly doubtful that the scandal-scarred Cosby name will even come up. There will be plenty of other things to talk about.
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