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by David H. Gans, Director of the Human and Civil Rights Program at the Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC)
On March 27, 1876 – 133 years ago today – the Supreme Court decided United States v. Cruikshank, one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in American history. The Court annulled the convictions of three men growing out of a massacre in Colfax, Louisiana, in which a white mob killed almost 300 African Americans who were defending a local courthouse, many after the freedmen had surrendered.
ACS and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund will co-sponsor a lunchtime panel discussion, entitled In Pursuit of Democracy: Congress, Courts and New Challenges to the Voting Rights Act, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. next Thursday. The panel will focus on the current Supreme Court case Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder, in which CAC filed an amicus brief yesterday.
- “Thirty-one Republican senators voted against [Elena Kagan’s] nomination as solicitor general. That could tempt Obama to ignore the minority's views when it comes to picking a Supreme Court justice.” The editors of the LA Times reflect upon the Kagan confirmation progress, and remind Senate Republicans that “bipartisanship is a two-way street.”
Next month, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in one of the most significant cases of this term, Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder (NAMUDNO), in which a tiny utility district in Texas is challenging Congress’s 2006 decision to reauthorize the critical “pre-clearance” provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of our country’s most important civil rights laws.
In the highly publicized case of Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal (08-22), the Supreme Court has denied a March 3 motion filed after oral argument by Massey Coal, requesting permission to file a new brief containing what Massey characterizes as evidence that Justice Brent Benjamin of the West Virginia Supreme Court is not biased toward the company.
Courtesy of SCOTUSBlog:
- “[I]sn't it also the case that when you reverse, rewrite, or undermine every rule and standard you've ever laid out for measuring the fitness of a presidential nominee, you become ridiculous—period?” Dahlia Lithwick has a pointed piece in Slate criticizing Republican Senators for their hypocrisy in their treatment of President Obama’s nominees.
Next Wednesday, the Center for American Progress will host a film screening and panel discussion entitled “Protecting America from Unsafe Drugs and Medical Devices: Federal Preemption or Consumer Protection?”