Tuesday, April 3, 2012

News From The Leadership Conference - A Civil & Human Rights Group

Stay on top of the latest civil and human rights issues in the legal and political arenas. The Leadership Conference reports make it easy!  They cover it all!

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Latest News

Arizona’s "Blatantly Unconstitutional" Law. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center, joined by 105 local and national civil rights and faith groups, this week filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that Arizona’s S.B. 1070, an anti-immigration bill, and copycat bills passed in other states, fundamentally conflict with federal law and would have an unprecedented negative impact on the lives of American citizens and lawful permanent residents, as well as many others living in the U.S. legally. “S.B. 1070 and its copycats turn American justice on its head,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference. “These laws presume everyone is guilty, contradicting the fundamental American presumption that those accused are innocent until proven otherwise.” Summing up the groups’ argument, Mary Bauer, legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said the "bottom line is that these laws are blatantly unconstitutional.”


Rebuild America Act Introduced. The Leadership Conference this week welcomed the introduction of the Rebuild America Act. Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference, highlighted the bill’s focus on investing in education and the workforce. “With our nation facing steep competition in a global economy, lingering high unemployment, and persistent inequalities in our education system, the proposed bill could not have come at a better time,” Zirkin said.


Fixing a Bad Ruling on Age Discrimination. A New York Times editorial this week applauded Senators Tom Harkin, D. Iowa, and Charles Grassley, R. Iowa, for introducing bipartisan legislation to reverse a 2009 Supreme Court ruling that made it unduly difficult for an individual to prove discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. The plaintiff in the original case that the Court overturned, Jack Gross, had won a lawsuit against his employer, which had demoted all employees over the age 50 during a restructuring. As The Times pointed out, the Court’s ruling in Gross has had broader implications for civil rights enforcement. “Citing language nearly identical to the age-discrimination law in other civil rights statutes, some courts have also applied the ultra tough standard to cases involving disabilities and retaliation claims involving alleged discrimination based on race, sex, national origin and religion,” The Times said.


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