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Arizona businesses with vaccine mandates would face $500K lawsuits under GOP proposal

Arizonan businesses would be on the hook for half a million dollars in damages if they refuse a religious exemption from an employee who later experiences significant injury as a result of getting vaccinated under a proposal advancing in the GOP-controlled legislature. ... Read more»

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Biden administration opens civil rights probes of 5 GOP-led states banning school mask mandates

Federal education officials have launched civil rights investigations in five Republican-led states that have prohibited school districts from mandating mask-wearing.... Read more»

U.S. House Dems unveil new voting rights bill named for John Lewis

Democrats announced Tuesday the introduction of legislation to protect voting rights across the country by re-establishing a preclearance formula that would require some states that want to make changes to their voting laws to receive permission from the Justice Department first.... Read more»

House Dems to unveil revamped voting rights bill named for the late John Lewis

House Democrats plan to unveil the John Lewis Voting Rights and Advancement Act - named after the late Georgia civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis - on Aug. 6, the same date that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson.... Read more»

Critics: $5.7 million in private funds for Arizona's ballot 'audit' taints results

Cyber Ninjas, hired by Arizona Senate President Karen Fann to 'audit' Maricopa County’s 2020 elections, said this week that its work was funded by $5.7 million in donations from conservative groups, a revelation that raised as many questions as it answered for critics. ... Read more»2

Analysis

As the Taliban surges across Afghanistan, al-Qaeda is poised for a swift return

Even before the US military completes the final steps of its troop withdrawal, the Taliban is surging, threatening not only the gains made in the past two decades, at the cost of tens of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars, but also global stability.... Read more»

'504 plan' disability protection favors students at Arizona’s wealthier, whiter schools

Federal civil rights protection currently exist that are designed to give students with disabilities who don’t qualify for special education but have conditions that still interfere with learning equal access to public education, but getting the plans in Arizona isn’t always easy or equitable.... Read more»

Justice Dep't to increase legal staff amid surge in restrictive voting laws

The Department of Justice announced that it is doubling its enforcement attorneys who will work to protect voting rights, as Republicans in state legislatures introduce and pass restrictive voting laws, such as limiting ballot boxes and requiring voter identification.... Read more»

Class action lawsuit filed against City of Phoenix, police chief for mass arrests

Twenty three people rounded up and arrested for unfounded felony rioting charges following a May 30, 2020 protest in downtown Phoenix filed a federal class action lawsuit, alleging a conspiracy that included the “mass arrests of 124 individuals, and the use of a manufactured, cut-and-paste probable cause statement to support false felony charges.”... Read more»

Federal contempt charge likely for Maricopa Sheriff Penzone

Maricopa Sheriff Paul Penzone - a Democrat who succeeded Trump-pardoned Republican Joe Arpaio - is not complying with a court order to overhaul how the department investigates officer misconduct, a federal judge said Thursday, signaling he will find Penzone in contempt.... Read more»

Attempts to ban teaching on 'critical race theory' multiply across the U.S.

From statehouses to Congress, Republicans have launched into a fight against the teaching of “critical race theory,” which just a year ago was a niche academic term.... Read more»

Arizona's Korematsu Day remembers WWII Japanese internment camps

Nearly eight decades after the United States forced Japanese Americans into prison camps during World War II, Arizona designated Jan. 30 as Fred T. Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution to recognize the efforts of a man who turned his pain into a lifetime of activism for equity and inclusion.... Read more»

Az schools chief rejects GOP request to defund school district for '1619 Project' lessons

The Arizona Department of Education won’t act on a request from a Republican state lawmaker to take funding away from a Phoenix school district that serves low-income students because it adopted curriculum from “The 1619 Project,” which examines the legacy of slavery in the U.S. ... Read more»

House passes LGBTQ rights bill; critics say it tramples religious rights

The House voted Thursday to expand civil rights protections to include sexual orientation, gender identity and pregnancy, a move supporters said will grant those groups “the full equality under the law they deserve,” and a measure critics say will trample on religious freedom and individual rights.... Read more»

Guest opinion

MLK and ignorance of history

In retrospect, inducting Martin Luther King Jr. into the Pantheon of American Heroes may have been a mistake and a disservice to what he fought for. Unfortunately, to make King an icon, we have had to make him non-controversial. We had to hollow him out, enabling anyone to fill that vessel with whatever supports their agenda. This is unfortunate, because his struggle continues.... Read more»

Analysis

Election officials prepare for voter intimidation threat

Election officials across the country have begun reviewing security plans at early and Election Day voting sites, strengthening ties with local law enforcement and training poll workers to prepare for voter intimidation tactics.... Read more»

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