Supreme Court Will Not Review Affirmative Action Contracting Case
On November 17, the US Supreme Court announced that it would let stand a decision of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals approving of Denver's use of race and gender based affirmative action in city construction contracts. Justices Scalia and Rehnquist dissented from the Court's decision not to review Concrete Works of Colorado v. City and County of Denver.
The Denver program targets businesses that are 51% minority or women owned and controlled and which either certify that they have been the victim of discrimination or were formed after 1996. For city or county contracts, prime contractors must show that they requested bids from program members and that they did not refuse a low bid from a qualified program member. A business owned by a white male challenged these requirements, even though the requirements do not guarantee contracts for program members.
For the US Supreme Court to take a case, four justices must vote in favor of review. Justices Kennedy and Thomas, who usually do not support affirmative action, chose not to join the dissent or, apparently, to vote that the case be reviewed by the full court.
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. . . .