Compiled by Jaimie Woo, a Summer 2012 Leadership Conference Education Fund Intern.
The New York Times
Arizona sheriff, Joseph M. Arpaio, who calls himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” is facing a lawsuit by the Justice Department and a federal civil rights trial based on his alleged discriminatory policing. Arpaio is being accused of singling out Latinos, including citizens and legal immigrants, for stops, questioning, and detention during large-scale operations. These lawsuits arose from a class-action lawsuit by plaintiffs representing every Latino pulled over by Arpaio since 2007. Although he asserted, “We do not arrest people because of the color of their skin,” court analyses of notes, news releases, and transcripts of messages left on a hot line Arpaio set up to collect tips about suspected illegal immigrant activity, proved otherwise. Stanley Young, a lawyer for six of the plaintiffs, highlighted inconsistencies between what he has said and written about immigrants and his statements in court. In particular, Arpaio previously expressed that being compared to the Ku Klux Klan was “an honor, it means you’re doing something.”
The Washington Post
Last month’s Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act may leave millions of more people without access to insurance, according to analysts at the Congressional Budget Office. They expect that some states will refuse to expand their Medicaid programs, or delay expansion until 2014. Although this would allow people who earn between 100 percent and 138 percent of the poverty level to receive government subsidies to help them buy private insurance on new exchanges, those living under the full poverty level could be left out. As a result, 3 million would be without health insurance.
Angela Couloumbis and Bob Warner
Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other advocates seek to block the requirement that Pennsylvanians show photo identification at the polls, on the ground that the law will disenfranchise thousands of voters. The ACLU is suing on behalf of 10 Pennsylvanians who contend that the photo-ID requirement violates the state constitution. Their strategy includes voters, many who are older or who have disabilities, sharing how difficult it will be for them to acquire suitable ID by November 6. Although the state maintains these regulations are intended to prevent voter fraud, the ACLU asserts that the state “cannot pinpoint any instance of the kind of voter-impersonation fraud the new law aims to prevent.” In order to appease voters, the state is issuing a special voting card that would require less paperwork to obtain. However, Secretary of the Commonwealth, Carol Aichele, acknowledged that transportation for voters remains “an issue.” Further, the Department of State recently announced that as many as 9.2 percent of the state’s 8.2 million voters lacked required ID to vote.