Anti-Affirmative Action Measures on November Ballots in AZ, CO, and NE
Anti-affirmative action measures will be on the state-wide ballots in Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska this November. These measures call themselves civil rights initiatives but would effectively end affirmative action programs in these states. The deceptive wording borrows the language of civil rights and may trick millions of Americans primed to vote for any civil rights initiative, as Kimberle Crenshaw describes in a Winter 2008 article in Ms. Magazine.
The American Civil Right Institute, an organization founded by Ward Connerly and Dusty Rhodes, has been involved in disassembling affirmative action across the nation through ballot initiatives like these for more than a decade and has provided significant financial and organizing assistance to the campaigns. The group's combined effort in Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska is called "Super Tuesday for Equal Rights."
In Arizona, Proposition 104 states that "The state shall not discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting." If passed, the measure could become an amendment to the constitution and would dissolve affirmative action as currently practiced in Arizona. John McCain announced that he supports the initiative, reversing his previous statements that rejected the idea of banning affirmative action programs, reports ABC News.
Colorado's Amendment 46 would block preferential treatment practices in public employment, public education and public contracting. Signature collectors were accused of targeting black communities and engaging in misleading signature collection practices in an April New York Times article. The article states that several dozen Coloradans were tricked into signing petitions after being asked if they supported ending discrimination."
In Nebraska, a measure called the Civil Rights Initiative has been proposed and would amend the Nebraska Constitution if enacted. This measure is currently awaiting certification for the November ballot. It would prohibit discrimination and preferential treatment practices based on race, effectively ending affirmative action practices in Nebraska.
Anti-affirmative action measures were proposed but will not be on the ballot in Oklahoma and Missouri.
Media Resources: AZ Secretary of State, CO Secretary of State; Ms. Magazine, Winter 2008; New York Times 4/1/2008; ABC 7/27/2008; Nebraska CRI
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. . . .