Secret Money Floods Judicial Elections AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, M.P. King, Pool Members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court take their chairs before hearing a case at the state Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin. John Paul Stevens called it right. Discomfiting figures from the latest round of state judicial races bear out that grim forecast. The same seamy money game that defines races for political office post-Citizens United—unlimited spending by special interests and barrels of secret money—has also invaded contests for the courthouse. So far in 2016, seven states—Arkansas, Idaho, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin, and West Virginia—have held a state supreme court race in which at least one television ad was broadcast. The upshot: a deepening threat to judicial integrity and to the nation’s core principle of fair and impartial courts. Even before Citizens United and its progeny, wealthy interests with business before the courts were pushing judicial campaigns over the top. Advertisement PinIt
New Analysis: 2016 Judicial Elections See Secret Money and Heightened Outside Spending Politicized and High-Dollar Races Threaten Fair and Impartial Courts In an election season that has seen an unprecedented blockade of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, it’s easy to overlook troubling developments for judicial selection at the state court level, where 95 percent of all cases are heard. In total, 39 states hold elections to choose all or some of their judges. This November, 27 states will hold elections for seats on their highest courts. Early indicators suggest that several of these races will be dominated by special interest spending, a large portion of it secret money from groups that do not disclose their donors, according to an analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice of seven supreme court elections and primaries that were completed earlier in 2016. The likely upshot: greater negative campaigning, and voters, litigants, and potentially even judges in the dark about possible conflicts of interest. States to Watch in 2016
How False Narratives of Margaret Sanger Are Being Used to Shame Black Women - Rewire In the wake of the attacks by the Center for Medical Progress, Planned Parenthood’s origins and its founder, Margaret Sanger, have once again become the center of conversations regarding Black women and abortion. And since anti-choice fanatics seem utterly incapable of making an honest argument in support of their position that Black women should be forced into childbirth rather than permitted to make their own decisions about what to do with their bodies, they resort to lies, misinformation, and half-truths about Sanger and the organization she founded. Anti-choicers wield misattributed and often outright false quotes about Sanger as weapons to shame Black women for exercising their right to choose, and even more nonsensically, to shame them for supporting Planned Parenthood. “Margaret Sanger was a racist and a eugenicist! She wanted to exterminate the Black race!” Such is the clarion call of these anti-choicers. Appreciate our work? Rewire is a non-profit independent media publication.
10 Ways Local Police Are Spying on Your Community – Medium The proliferation in local police departments’ use of surveillance technology, which in most places has occurred without any community input or control, presents significant threats to civil rights and civil liberties that disproportionately impact communities of color and low-income communities. Here is a list of costly and invasive surveillance technologies that might be recording you, your family, and your neighbors right now: 1.) Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras CCTV allows the police to monitor us any time we are in a public space, even if they have no reason for doing so. 2.) The device mimics a cell phone communications tower, causing your cell phone to communicate with it. 3.) Although the devices are sold as toll-payment devices, they are frequently used for non-toll purposes without the badge holder’s knowledge or permission. 4.) 5.) 6.) The mobile technology uses x-ray radiation to see what no human eye can, including through clothing and car exteriors. 7.) 8.) 9.)
Essay: Anatomy of the Deep State Rome lived upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face. Industry is the only true source of wealth, and there was no industry in Rome. By day the Ostia road was crowded with carts and muleteers, carrying to the great city the silks and spices of the East, the marble of Asia Minor, the timber of the Atlas, the grain of Africa and Egypt; and the carts brought out nothing but loads of dung. That was their return cargo. — The Martyrdom of Man by Winwood Reade (1871) There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. During the last five years, the news media have been flooded with pundits decrying the broken politics of Washington. These are not isolated instances of a contradiction; they have been so pervasive that they tend to be disregarded as background noise. Photo: Dale Robbins
What Anti-Trump Protesters Can Learn From the Suffragettes These 10 women had just been released from a 60-day sentence in a Washington workhouse following a picket at the White House, Washington DC. This demonstration was to demand that the remaining eight women in prison should be treated as political prisoners rather than criminals. Their leader, Alice Paul, had received a seven-month sentence in solitary confinement for disobeying prison rules. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) This post originally appeared at The Huffington Post. Many Americans will be traveling to Washington, DC next week to protest against Donald Trump on his inauguration day. Today’s activists can learn valuable lessons from the first protest outside the White House that took place 100 years ago on Jan. 10, 1917. The NWP suffragists, who traveled to Washington from all over the country, called their protest “silent sentinels.” The NWP was persistent. The NWP was persistent. Alice Paul was the leader of the NWP and the silent sentinels.
You Are Not Equal. I’m Sorry. – Medium Say Thank You Say thank you. Say thank you to the women who gave you a voice. Say thank you to the women who were arrested and imprisoned and beaten and gassed for you to have a voice. Say thank you to the women who refused to back down, to the women who fought tirelessly to give you a voice. Say thank you to the women who put their lives on hold, who –lucky for you — did not have “better things to do” than to march and protest and rally for your voice. Thank Susan B. Thank Elizabeth Stanton for your right to work. Thank Maud Wood Park for your prenatal care and your identity outside of your husband. Thank Rose Schneiderman for your humane working conditions. Thank Eleanor Roosevelt and Molly Dewson for your ability to work in politics and affect policy. Thank Margaret Sanger for your legal birth control. Thank Carol Downer for your reproductive healthcare rights. Thank Margaret Fuller for your equal education. You are not equal. You still don’t have full rights over your own body. I get it.
Employees who decline genetic testing could face penalties under proposed bill (luchschen/iStock) Employers could impose hefty penalties on employees who decline to participate in genetic testing as part of workplace wellness programs if a bill approved by a U.S. House committee this week becomes law. In general, employers don't have that power under existing federal laws, which protect genetic privacy and nondiscrimination. Such programs — which offer workers a variety of carrots and sticks to monitor and improve their health, such as lowering cholesterol — have become increasingly popular with companies. [Obamacare revision clears two House committees as Trump, others tried to tamp down backlash] The bill is under review by other House committees and still must be considered by the Senate. Congress passed GINA to prohibit discrimination by health insurers and employers based on the information that people carry in their genes. [Rich Americans seem to have found a way to avoid paying a key Obamacare tax] Read more: