Supreme Court Urged to Dismiss Challenge to Affirmative Action
U.S. Solicitor-General Ted Olson argued yesterday that the U.S. Supreme Court should dismiss Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Mineta, a case challenging affirmative action in federal contracting, or uphold the affirmative action policy as constitutional. Olsonís argument came as a surprise to many familiar with the Solicitor-Generalís anti-affirmative action stance. In his brief to the Court, Olson asserted that Adarand had not demonstrated that it had been adversely affected by affirmative action.
Adarand Constructors, Inc. originally filed a lawsuit when the company lost a guardrail construction bid to a Latino-owned company despite Adarandís ability to make a lower bid for the job. The Supreme Court responded in a 1995 ruling that narrowed the scope of federal affirmative action programs. The Department of Transportation revised its program, which a federal appeals court ruled met the Supreme Courtís standards for constitutionality. Adarand, however, has challenged the revised policy, claiming reverse discrimination.
Media Resources: New York Times, 11/01/01; Associated Press, 11/01/01
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. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .