Civil Rights & Immigration

WASHINGTON, DC - Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) asks questions during a House Appropriations Committee hearing (Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)

LGBTQ project funding in two states stripped by U.S. House Republicans from spending bill 

BY: - July 19, 2023

WASHINGTON — In a tense meeting marked by Democratic charges of hatred and bigotry, Republicans on the U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted Tuesday to strip funding for three LGBTQ community projects, just weeks after they included the money in the annual transportation and housing spending bill. At one point, Rep. Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican […]

The Federal Building in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

ACLU observer says a federal jury’s ruling is a bad sign for civil rights

BY: - July 18, 2023

On Friday, a jury of eight sided with the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) in its decision to arrest Jarrett English, a long-time community organizer, who was standing with community members protesting the killing of 23-year-old Syville Smith by an MPD officer. “It’s one of those things,” says English. In his view,  the ruling showed that […]

The Federal Building in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Federal trial begins involving charge of ‘unlawful’ arrest by Milwaukee police

BY: - July 12, 2023

A jury of eight began hearing arguments and evidence in a federal trial on Monday, stemming from a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Wisconsin against the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD). In 2016, officers arrested Jarrett English while he was working as an ACLU legal observer, filming police interactions with residents […]

Diversity, equity and inclusion practitioners push back on attempts to demonize their work

BY: - July 6, 2023

As educators and government leaders trying to address the impact of deeply embedded racism come under political fire, professionals who are engaged in that work say that it has been distorted and politicized. Attacks on what has become known as diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work have been ongoing for several years, but in Wisconsin […]

A child waves an American flag during a Fourth of July celebration with frontline workers and military families, Sunday, July 4, 2021, on the South Lawn of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Chandler West)

How the right’s phony patriotism is destroying America

BY: - July 4, 2023

In his book “Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America,” best-selling author Kurt Andersen connects the marketing of nostalgia for an idealized American past to the organized campaign led by big business over the last four decades to destroy unions, public schools, progressive taxation and the middle class. Andersen’s highly readable history provides some bracing context […]

Lorie Smith, the owner of 303 Creative, a website design company in Colorado, speaks with supporters outside of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on Dec. 5, 2022, in Washington, DC. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in her favor Friday. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Colorado designer does not have to make websites for same-sex couples, Supreme Court rules

BY: - June 30, 2023

This story was updated on Friday, June 30 at 12:52 p.m. Colorado cannot compel a website designer to create custom sites for same-sex couples, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in an opinion released Friday. The 6-3 ruling, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, came in 303 Creative v. Elenis. Plaintiff Lorie Smith argued the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, […]

Protestors near the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., after a ruling by the court striking down the use of affirmative action in college acceptance decisions, on Thursday, June 29, 2023. (Jennifer Shutt/States Newsroom)

‘This is not a normal court,’ says Biden as GOP opponents praise affirmative action ruling

BY: - June 29, 2023

WASHINGTON — Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision that effectively scrambles the role affirmative action plays in the college admissions process cannot let the country slide “backwards,” President Joe Biden said just hours after the majority justices released their opinion. Meanwhile, Republicans seeking to challenge him in 2024 praised the decision. Issues of race and higher […]

Aerial over the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Spring

US Supreme Court strikes down use of affirmative action in college admissions

BY: and - June 29, 2023

Updated on Thursday, June 29 at 2:18 p.m. WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that two prominent universities’ consideration of race in acceptances violated the U.S. Constitution, effectively reshaping the role of affirmative action in the college admissions process throughout higher education. In a 6-3 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for […]

Faith groups marshal support for LGBTQ rights, challenge discrimination based on religion

BY: - June 29, 2023

As a teenager the Rev. Tim Schaefer went with his pastor father to a denomination assembly where delegates made the rules for member churches to follow.  Several pieces of church legislation on the body’s agenda that year targeted LGBTQ people. “And the debate got incredibly heated. Slurs were thrown around. The language was harsh. There […]

US Supreme Court turns down push by states to challenge Biden deportation policy

BY: - June 24, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overwhelmingly ruled that Texas and Louisiana lacked the legal standing to challenge the Biden administration’s deportation guidelines, granting a win to the White House on immigration policy. The states objected to the White House’s directive to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to prioritize arresting and deporting […]

The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. (Jim Small | Arizona Mirror)

Ruling in Alabama case could boost suits increasing Black voters’ power in other states

BY: - June 12, 2023

In one sense, the Supreme Court’s surprise ruling striking down Alabama’s 2022 congressional maps maintains the legal status quo. By 5-4, the justices rejected the state’s attempt to restrict the ability of the Voting Rights Act to block gerrymanders that suppress the power of minority voters. But that dramatically understates the impact of the case, […]

The U.S. Supreme Court is shown June 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. up close reading Equal Justice Under Law

U.S. Supreme Court rules Alabama’s congressional maps violate Voting Rights Act

BY: - June 8, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday upheld a lower court ruling that Alabama’s 2022 congressional maps violated the Voting Rights Act, a ruling that preserves a major part of the Voting Rights Act and could lead to new congressional maps in Alabama. A three-judge panel in January 2022 ruled that maps approved by the Alabama Legislature […]