President Clinton's Press Secretary, Mike McCurry, announced on December 20th that the Department of Justice will intervene on behalf of opponents of the anti-affirmative action California Proposition 209. McCurry said that the President, who strongly opposes Prop 209, and lawyers for the Department of Justice examined the Constitutional issues involved in the proposition thoroughly before deciding to intervene. The department now contends, along with opponents of the Prop 209, who have brought suit against it, that it denies women and people of color opportunities available to other groups, such as veterans. The department is basing its case mainly on a 1982 Supreme Court ruling in Washington vs. Seattle School District in which the Court struck down a local ordinance limiting school busing. The Court ruled that the ordinance made it harder for African-Americans to petition the government for remedies against discrimination. Though the President opposed Prop 209, he did not want to act against the voters of California unless he had a Constitutionally sound basis; McCurry said, "the president as the chief constitutional officer has to act."
Media Resources: The Associated Press - December 20, 1996
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .