Civil Rights

U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost, a Florida Democrat, introduced the “Fight Book Bans Act” at a press conference on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. (Samantha Dietel/States Newsroom)

Florida congressman proposes federal funding to help schools fight book bans

BY: - December 6, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost unveiled legislation Tuesday to combat a nationwide surge in book bans. Frost, a Florida Democrat, is pushing the “Fight Book Bans Act,” which he discussed at a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol alongside fellow House Democrats and advocacy groups. Frost’s bill would provide funding for school districts so […]

Federal panel allows 4th Arkansas congressional redistricting lawsuit to continue

BY: - December 6, 2023

A federal three-judge panel late Tuesday declined to dismiss a challenge to Arkansas’ new congressional district map — a surprise decision given the same panel had dismissed a similar lawsuit earlier this year.  The order didn’t include the panel’s reasoning, but an explanation will be filed “in due course,” Judge D.P. Marshall Jr. wrote.  The […]

President Joe Biden prepares to sign an executive order in the Rose Garden of the White House in April 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Students, advocates frustrated with Biden administration’s slow response on Title IX changes

BY: - December 6, 2023

Democrats in Congress, students, and LGBTQ+ advocacy groups are growing frustrated with the Biden administration’s slow pace to finalize proposed updates to Title IX, the federal civil rights law prohibiting sex discrimination in schools. More than 60 House Democrats sent a recent letter to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, calling on the agency to act. […]

A white man stands in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building.

Edward Blum’s crusade against affirmative action used legal strategy of civil rights activists

BY: - December 4, 2023

Few people have been more associated with rolling back modern-day civil rights laws than Edward Blum, the former stockbroker who has successfully challenged many affirmative action and voting rights laws. Blum has no formal legal training. He, in fact, refers to himself as an “amateur litigator.” Yet, he was instrumental in engineering several legal cases […]

Activists at a June 2014 rally in Washington, DC, marking the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder which held a section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is unconstitutional. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Dismissal of Arkansas voting rights suit threatens democracy

BY: - December 4, 2023

On the Monday before Thanksgiving, a federal appeals court inflicted a likely fatal wound to the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965. In a 2-1 ruling, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tossed aside decades of precedent and ruled that citizens can’t challenge racial gerrymandering through the VRA. Only the U.S. Attorney General can […]

Some Louisiana schools will receive posters with the motto “In God We Trust” written in Arabic to be placed in classrooms to comply with a new Louisiana law. (Image courtesy of Chaz Stevens)

Louisiana’s ‘In God We Trust’ law tests limits of religion in public schools

BY: - October 30, 2023

When Louisiana passed a law in August 2023 requiring public schools to post “In God We Trust” in every classroom – from elementary school to college – the author of the bill claimed to be following a long-held tradition of displaying the national motto, most notably on U.S. currency. But even under recent Supreme Court […]

Anti-democratic moves by state lawmakers raise fears for 2024 election

BY: - September 22, 2023

In Wisconsin, Republican lawmakers are threatening to impeach both the state’s election administrator, who is highly regarded nationally, and a state Supreme Court justice despite a ruling by the state’s judicial commission that the justice had done nothing wrong — effectively nullifying a recent statewide election she won, Democrats say. In North Carolina, a bill […]

A protester raises a fist beside a large transgender pride flag at the Kentucky State Capitol. (Sarah Ladd/Kentucky Lantern)

Arkansas AG Griffin asks full appeals court to reverse ruling on transgender care for minors

BY: - September 7, 2023

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin on Thursday asked the full 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis to hear his appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that struck down the state’s ban on gender-affirming health care for transgender minors. Act 626 of 2021, known as the Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act, prohibited […]

Federal court blocks Alabama’s congressional map, orders new lines drawn

BY: and - September 5, 2023

A three-judge federal panel Tuesday ruled that a new Alabama congressional map failed to address Voting Rights Act violations and ordered a third party to draw new lines. In a 217-page opinion in the case, known as Allen v. Milligan, U.S. Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus and U.S. District Judges Anna Manasco and Terry Moorer sharply […]

Kansas reporter sues Marion police chief, alleging retaliation in newsroom raid

BY: - September 5, 2023

TOPEKA — Police Chief Gideon Cody arrived at the Marion County Record and handed a copy of a search warrant to Deb Gruver, the veteran reporter who had questioned him about alleged misconduct at his previous job. As Gruver read the search warrant, she told Cody she needed to call her publisher and editor, Eric […]

Alabama transgender medicine ban: Attorneys want full rehearing on federal court ruling

BY: - August 29, 2023

Attorneys representing transgender youth challenging Alabama’s ban on medication used in gender-affirming care want a full federal appeals circuit to consider the case. GLBTQ Lawyers and Defenders (GLAD), part of the legal team representing the plaintiffs, said in a statement Monday that the request for an en banc hearing, coming a week after a three-judge […]

Image of crowd of transgender and cisgender people

Federal appeals court lifts injunction against Alabama’s ban on medicine for transgender youth

BY: - August 21, 2023

A federal panel Monday allowed Alabama’s ban on medical care for transgender youth to go into effect, reversing an injunction a lower court judge issued last year. “The plaintiffs have not presented any authority that supports the existence of a constitutional right to ‘treat [one’s] children with transitioning medications subject to medically accepted standards,’” said […]