A legal challenge of the proposed anti-affirmative action ballot initiative in Arizona was filed Monday. The challenge was filed by Protect Arizona's Freedom, a coalition of community leaders, organizations, and volunteers. The lawsuit questions "the validity of over 100,000 signatures based on evidence of 13 categories of fraudulent and illegal signature-gathering tactics." If the lawsuit is successful, the measure will be removed from the November ballot.
The signature campaign to place the measure on the ballot was initiated and largely funded by Ward Connerly, a Republican businessman from California. The American Civil Rights Institute, an organization founded by 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.
Krysten Sinema, Chair of Protect Arizona's Freedom, stated in a press release: "Once Arizonans understood the consequences and the terrible tactics brought into our state by Connerly's out of state team, hundreds – in fact, just under 1,000 – stepped up to volunteer to find the evidence needed to derail Connerly."
If approved, the measure would ban affirmative action and threaten equal opportunity programs including, Sinema said, "Arizona State University's Women in Science & Engineering Program, the Governor’s Commission to Prevent Violence Against Women, the City of Phoenix' Teen Parents Program, the Summer Bridge Program helping Native American students prepare for academic challenges and a host of others."
Similar measures, also initiated by Connerly, will be on the ballot in Colorado and Nebraska. Anti-affirmative action measures were proposed but will not be on the ballot in Oklahoma and Missouri.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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. . . .