civil-rights

Jones’ Bill Would Declassify, Release Civil Rights Cold Cases
Alabama Democratic senator says bill would help public circumvent problems with Freedom of Information Act

Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., introduced a bill Tuesday that would make public a trove of documents related to unsolved civil rights cases from decades past. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Doug Jones introduced a new bill Tuesday to create a panel to systematically review, declassify, and release government documents and information related to unsolved criminal civil rights cases from decades ago.

Executive branch officials process Freedom of Information Act requests to see documents related to such cases too slowly, Jones’ office argued in a news release Tuesday, and the scope of what they hand over when they finally do can often be too narrow.

Democrats Will Make Fairer Districts, Democrats Say
But historically, gerrymandering isn’t just a Republican issue

People demonstrate against partisan gerrymandering outside the Supreme Court last October. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats say there’s one easy way to create more equitable and fair districts throughout the country: Elect more Democrats.

“More Democrats in office will give us fairer lines,” Sabrina Singh, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, said in an interview before the Supreme Court kicked back two cases on partisan gerrymandering to the lower courts on procedural grounds. 

What Lawmakers Do When They Leave After Harassment Allegations
Six have left so far this Congress

Former Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., here at a news conference in December 2016, resigned his seat last October amid revelations of an extramarital affair. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Six members of Congress have left office in the past few months after allegations ranging from firing female staffers who rejected sexual advances to pressuring a lover to get an abortion.

While their resignations mean they no longer have a vote in Congress, that doesn’t mean their careers are over. Former lawmakers are moving forward by flying under the radar, grabbing the sides of a lectern or sticking with politics.

Trump Nominee Has Blasted Lawmakers, Mormons, Immigrants
Mortensen wrote for ‘nativist hate group,’ Southern Poverty Law Center says

President Trump’s expected nominee for a State Department post has been harshly critical of Arizona’s two GOP senators, John McCain (left) and Jeff Flake. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Civil rights groups are calling on senators to reject President Donald Trump’s intention to put a former foreign service officer who has harshly criticized immigrants — along with U.S. religious leaders and key GOP lawmakers — into a State Department role overseeing refugees and migrants.

The White House announced its intention to nominate Ronald Mortensen to be assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration on Friday afternoon, as much of Washington and the country was starting a holiday weekend. But several influential immigration advocacy groups noticed — and quickly urged the Senate to block the nomination.

Women on the Verge of a Breakthrough on House Appropriations
One-two punch on the panel would be the first since women led the House Beauty Shop Committee

Texas Rep. Kay Granger is one of five Republicans — and the only Republican woman — competing for the top spot on the Appropriations Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House of Representatives hasn’t had two women lead a committee since the Select Committee on the House Beauty Shop was eliminated in 1977.

All of that could change in January.

Opinion: A Not Entirely Unexpected Campaign Roadblock for Women of Color
Will suburban white women embrace them?

Stacey Abrams takes the stage in Atlanta on Tuesday to declare victory in the Georgia Democratic gubernatorial primary. If elected, she would become the first African-American female governor in the country. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

The women of color who are still standing in an electoral slog that ends in November know their road to continued success will be hard. This is the United States, and the fact that they are still pioneers for getting this far in 2018 is not just news-making but also a little depressing.

It is also true that they can’t always count on the support of some of the same feminists they may have joined — in marches, #MeToo protests and the ballot box.

Foster Youth Come to Capitol Hill, Share Experiences in the System
Foster Youth Shadow Day is in its seventh year in Washington

Megan Simon, 26, of Los Angeles, talks with Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., in the Rayburn subway on Foster Youth Shadow Day on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Karen Bass had a busy day ahead of her in the House on Wednesday: a morning meeting with House Democrats, pressing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on a few points during his Foreign Affairs hearing, and introducing a speaker on the House floor.

While the day wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for the California Democrat, it was for Megan Simon, a 26-year-old former foster child shadowing the lawmaker for the day.

Rep. Espaillat Files Complaint Against Lawyer Who Unleashed Racially Charged Rant
Man in video identified as 42-year-old Aaron Schlossberg

Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., filed a grievance against lawyer Aaron Schlossberg on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat filed an official grievance through the state court system against a man who was filmed this week going on a racially charged rant in a Midtown Manhattan lunch market.

The video, in which the man berates two workers at the market for speaking Spanish and taking his money through the “welfare” system before threatening to call U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to deport them, has since gone viral.

Opinion: What Is the Cost When the Language of Politics Devolves?
Normalization of racially charged words is dangerous

A Trump supporter holds signs attacking Muslims and the Black Lives Matter movement behind a line of community relations police offers prior to the start of a rally by President Donald Trump on Aug. 22 in Phoenix. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

The words Americans now say, listen to and ignore in the world of politics once would have been publicly, if not privately, unacceptable — even in the world of sports.

Don’t believe me?

All the Voter ID Laws in May Primary States, Explained
Primary season ramps up, state requirement vary to cast ballot

Voting signs are posted at the early voting polls at One Judiciary Square in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More states in recent years enacted voter ID laws requiring people to provide some form of proof that they are who they say they are before casting a ballot. Courts across the nation continue to judge, while Republicans say these laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud and Democrats argue the laws create barriers to voting and disenfranchise minority voters.

Either way, if you plan to vote this May, here’s what you need to bring: