U.S. Supreme Court May Hear Affirmative Action Case
Affirmative action in higher education could come before the U.S. Supreme Court this summer, as a case brought by the conservative Center for Individual Rights reaches the bench on Thursday. The case challenges the University of Michigan law school’s admission policy, and centers on the Court’s decision in Bakke, in which Justice Powell ruled that an institution could use race as a “plus factor” in admissions. Recent high court cases on affirmative action have narrowed the scope of programs intended to reverse past discrimination against women and people of color. If the Court decides to hear this case and ultimately overturns affirmative action in Michigan’s policy, it could put an end to similar affirmative action programs.
The Bush Administration could be asked to give its opinion in the case, in the form of a brief written by the Solicitor General – possibly the yet-to-be-confirmed Ted Olson. Although Olson could recuse himself, it is disconcerting that Olson volunteered to help the Center for Individual Rights argue a 1996 case, and won that case (Hopwood v. Univ. of Texas) which ended programs to boost minority enrollment in state universities in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
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. . . .