While we wait for April the Giraffe to give birth, let me tell you again about a lot of the good that happened this week (4/1/17).
- The Judge in Hawaii extended the order to stop the travel ban, and issued a preliminary injunction against the implementation.
- Protests against fascism and dictators spread to Russia. In a rare show of force, thousands of Russians took to the streets of Moscow and other cities in the biggest anti-government protests in years risking arrest and imprisonment.
- Daniel Ramirez Medina, who spent more than six weeks in immigration detention despite his DACA status was released from custody pending deportation proceedings.
- The Maryland legislature voted to ban fracking and sent it to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who publicly supports the ban. A number of horrible bills in Tennessee failed to pass at the end of this legislative session. This included a measure that would have dramatically relaxed Tennessee’s gun laws, a bill legally recognizing only marriages between one man and one woman, and this year’s version of the bathroom bill.
- The Spokane Valley and Spokane City Councils in Washington state approved anti-discrimination resolutions. Columbus City Council in Ohio voted to ban conversion therapy for minors. Columbus follows other cities like Cincinnati and Toledo that have passed similar ordinances. A reminder that a lot of good can be accomplished at your local level.
- The Supreme Court continued a trend toward limiting capital punishment, rejecting Texas’ approach to deciding which intellectually disabled people must be spared the death penalty. Justice RBG said Texas had failed to keep up with current medical consensus, relied too heavily on I.Q. scores and took account of factors rooted in stereotypes.
- Prairie dogs won bigly this week (along with other endangered animals). The 10th Circuit held that the ban on the unauthorized destruction endangered wildlife is a “cornerstone” of the Endangered Species Act and that “Congress had a rational basis to believe that regulation of the killing of the Utah prairie dog on non federal land is an essential part of the ESA’s broader regulatory scheme, which, in the aggregate, substantially affects interstate commerce.” A coalition of environmental groups, including the NRDC and the Sierra Club challenged the federal permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, arguing that additional environmental scrutiny is needed because the initial environmental review is inadequate and outdated. Your donations hard at work.
- A federal judge in Kentucky ruled that a suit against the creepy tweeter for inciting the use of violence against protesters when he told supporters at a campaign rally a year ago to “get ’em out of here” can proceed. The Judge wrote that because violence had broken out at a prior Trump rally and that known hate group members were in the Louisville crowd, Trump’s ordering the removal of an African-American woman was “particularly reckless.” Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute sued the Dept. of Homeland Security over their delay in responding to their Freedom of Information request regarding data on how often electronic devices were searched at border crossings, complaints about the practice, and government training materials.
- Jan Rader was appointed the Chief of the Huntington Fire Department becoming the first female fire chief in the state of West Virginia. Meanwhile, a Michigan lawyer, Andrew Shirvell was disbarred in a misconduct case related to his public hostility for a gay student leader at the University of Michigan.
- The PAC “Run For Something” founded by former Clinton Campaign staffers post-election announced that 8,000 people have contacted them since they formed expressing an interest in running for office and Emily’s List announced that 10,000 women have reached out to them for information on seeking office. Now that is something that gives me great hope for our future. Check out Sister District which can help you connect to those in nearby red districts that need help.
My one and only plea for this week, work hard and email, call, fax, and protest to stop the upcoming appointment of Gorsuch. We stopped Trumpcare, we can stop this too. Resistbot is a great FREE and easy to use fax tool. Just Text “Resist” to 50409 and see how effective it is. Brought to you by Jodi Harawitz. Feel free to share.