A North Carolina Senate committee passed new extreme restrictionson voting right on Tuesday. NC conservatives amended House Bill 589, which would prevent hundreds of thousands from voting because of strict photo-identification requirements, changes to early voting and voting registration.
The measure outlaws counties from extending voting time by one hour on election day, usually done to accommodate large crowds of voters. Pre-registration for 16 and 17 year-olds and same-day registration are also prohibited under the bill. The bill would also shorten early voting by one week, from 14 days to only eight days. In North Carolina's last election, around57% of voting was done during early voting.
Policy coordinator for the state NAACP, Jamie Phillips, stated, "No one is being fooled. This bill was crafted to make voting disproportionately harder for certain groups."
These extreme voter suppression measures come after the Supreme Court ruled a key provision of the Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional earlier this month.
Media Resources: Maddow Blog 7/23/2013; The Nation, 7/23/2013; WRAL, 7/22/2013
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .