Supreme Court Will Not Review Affirmative Action Contracting Case
On November 17, the US Supreme Court announced that it would let stand a decision of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals approving of Denver's use of race and gender based affirmative action in city construction contracts. Justices Scalia and Rehnquist dissented from the Court's decision not to review Concrete Works of Colorado v. City and County of Denver.
The Denver program targets businesses that are 51% minority or women owned and controlled and which either certify that they have been the victim of discrimination or were formed after 1996. For city or county contracts, prime contractors must show that they requested bids from program members and that they did not refuse a low bid from a qualified program member. A business owned by a white male challenged these requirements, even though the requirements do not guarantee contracts for program members.
For the US Supreme Court to take a case, four justices must vote in favor of review. Justices Kennedy and Thomas, who usually do not support affirmative action, chose not to join the dissent or, apparently, to vote that the case be reviewed by the full court.
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .