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.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .