Perry continues his ‘War on Women’

Over a hundred Republican lawmakers attended Rick Perry’s signing ceremony for sweeping new abortion restrictions today that could close nearly all of the clinics in Texas.

The new law bans abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy and it also dictates when abortion-inducing drugs can be taken. Additionally, the law also requires that abortion clinic doctors must have hospital admitting privileges, and abortions are now restricted solely to surgical centres — a requirement me by only five of Texas’ 42 abortion clinics.… [Read more]

‘Nuclear Option’ Held at Bay; It’s Politics, Folks

Yesterday, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) posted this ‘nuclear option surrender’ message over Twitter.

What had Cruz so disgusted with his party — specifically party leadership — was that under Mitch McConnell’s (R-Kentucky) leadership, Senate Republicans negotiated with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) to give up the filibuster for executive nominations. Under terms of the deal struck, the Democrats will not use the so-called “nuclear option,” which would have allowed for a majority of 51 votes rather than a ‘super majority’ of 60 and the Republicans will finally allow President Obama to fill a number of positions the GOP has obstructed.… [Read more]

Fix it, don’t scrap it!

When Illinois Democrat Senator Dick Durbin said that it’s time to change President Obama’s healthcare reform law, Obamacare, it riled up a few feathers on the right. Durbin, who is the number two Democrat in the Senate, was asked if he’s concerned about the recent announcement that Obamacare’s employer mandate would be delayed for one year.… [Read more]

It’s not easy being Harry Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nevada) is facing a dilemma. Congress returned to session today after the Fourth of July holiday weekend and Mr. Reid is looking at a full roster of outstanding issues. An immigration reform bill, which was passed by the Senate, must now pass the House of Representatives. The nation’s college students who use federally-backed loans to finance their education were dealt a blow when, on July 1st, student loan interest rates were allowed to double to 6.8 percent.… [Read more]

Monday deadline: Student loan rates set to double

The President has said it. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) first stand-alone piece of legislation says it. Students around the nation have said it. The ‘tax man‘ and numerous economists have said it. But Congress doesn’t seem to get it, so let’s repeat it.

Without congressional and presidential action prior to Monday, interest rates on student loan will double.… [Read more]

The road to citizenship begins…

It has been a long time coming; partisan politics have had their say but, at the end, the Senate is pushing forward on sweeping immigration reform. With a 68-32 vote as the final procedural test — in which 14 members of the Republican party joined 52 Democrats and 2 Independents in a vote of ‘yes’ — more than the 60 votes needed to clear the hurdle to proceed to the next step was achieved.… [Read more]

Prop. 8: Same Sex Marriage Legal (again) in California

The federal ban on recognising same-sex marriages is dead.

Earlier today the US Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional. In another critical human and civil rights decision the high court  issued its ruling on Prop 8, California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. In a vote of 5-4,  the court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal once again in the state of California.… [Read more]

Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) End: Unconstitutional!

The US Supreme Court has voted on a crucial human rights case:  in determining the constitutionality and legality of gay marriage and the federal government’s National Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) the Court decided that DOMA is unconstitutional. The Court struck down in a 5-4 decision the federal provision that denies benefits to legally married gay couples.… [Read more]

Climate Change Address

Forty three years ago Congress unanimously passed the Clean Air Act which was subsequently signed into law by a Republican president. Six years ago the Supreme Court declared that greenhouse gases are a pollutant. Fast-forward to the present day.

How fitting that on such a hot day, repeatedly wiping his brow in the summer sun, President Obama delivered a speech on climate change policy.… [Read more]

SCOTUS and Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act: It’s Up to Congress

The Supreme Court has decided to halt use of a key part of the landmark Voting Rights Act. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the voting rights decision and, effectively, the Court is leaving the decision about voting rights up to Congress by saying that legislators can draft another, more modern formula for voting rights. This action is a blow to all of those people who have defended the right to vote through this Act since at least 1965.… [Read more]