civil rights

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DOE Uses 'Contested' Definition of Anti-Semitism to Revisit Case

Department taking new look at 2011 discrimination claims against Jewish students at Rutgers

(Newser) - In a move the New York Times says supports a "hotly contested definition of anti-Semitism," the Department of Education has announced it's vacating a 2014 ruling by the Obama administration and reopening a case against Rutgers University brought by a conservative Zionist group. The case, per Haaretz ... More »

Suit: I Tried to Help My Unconscious Customer, Got Arrested

Eatery owner sues NYPD, says he was arrested for being 'business owner while black'

(Newser) - The NYPD has been accused of "testilying" in the past, and now a Harlem restaurant owner and two of his workers are suing over an incident last year. Clyde Pemberton, who owns the high-end MIST Harlem, says in his lawsuit that he was arrested June 1, 2017, for being... More »

Lawsuit: 22 Girls Were Strip-Searched in Choir Class

A Fifth Circuit court of appeals sends the case to court

(Newser) - The mothers of two girls who were allegedly strip-searched in a Houston middle school will get their day in court after all, KTRK reports. The two moms say their girls' civil rights were violated when nurses at Lanier Middle School looked under the clothing of 22 female students for $50... More »

Judge Affirms 5-Year Sentence for Casting Illegal Vote

'Prison is a lot closer for her today,' Crystal Mason’s lawyer says

(Newser) - Civil rights advocates see this as a tale of two voters. Crystal Mason, who is black, was sentenced to five years in prison for casting a ballot in Tarrant County, Texas, in 2016 while being a felon under supervision. Terri Lynn Rote, who is white, was sentenced to two years’... More »

Salt Lake City DA Wants FBI on Arrested Nurse Case

Alex Wubbels' civil rights may have been violated under 'color of law,' he says

(Newser) - The FBI has apparently gotten involved in the case of a Utah nurse arrested for not allowing a police officer to draw blood from a patient. Per KSL , Salt Lake City DA Sim Gill has reported he submitted a formal request to the agency to see if Alex Wubbels' civil... More »

Feds Open Civil Rights Inquiry Into Va. Attack

Man charged with murder after car attack kills woman amid clashes in Charlottesville

(Newser) - US officials have opened a civil rights investigation into the deadly car attack that took place amid clashes of white nationalists and counter-demonstrators , reports the AP . The investigation was announced late Saturday by the US Attorney's Office for the Western District of Virginia and the FBI's Richmond field... More »

DOJ to Go After Colleges That Discriminate Against Whites

Civil rights division will lead new project around affirmative action

(Newser) - The Justice Department's civil rights division is being directed toward a new project defending the rights of white college students, according to internal documents. A division document seen by the New York Times seeks lawyers for "investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and... More »

A 2nd Trump Move Has Ticked Off LGBT Supporters

Justice Department argues against protection for gay workers under 1964 law

(Newser) - On Wednesday, President Trump angered the LGBT community by banning transgender people from the military. But his administration made a second, lower-profile move the same day that has similarly angered the gay community. As BuzzFeed reports, the Justice Department filed a legal brief arguing that a federal civil rights law... More »

Dept. of Ed Official: I'm Sorry for 'Flippant' Remarks on Rape

Civil rights chief said 90% of accusations 'fall into the category of 'we were both drunk''

(Newser) - The Education Department's civil rights chief says she's sorry for making "flippant" remarks attributing 90% of campus sexual assault claims to both parties being drunk. Wednesday's apology by Candice Jackson, acting assistant secretary for civil rights, came on the eve of a series of meetings that... More »

Education Dept Makes Big Change to Civil Rights Investigations

An internal memo rolls back Obama-era mandates

(Newser) - Under new head Betsy DeVos, the Department of Education will be easing up on investigations into civil rights complaints—investigations that were greatly expanded under President Obama, the New York Times reports. According to ProPublica , new guidelines were issued in a June 8 internal memo to replace Obama-era mandates. Under... More »

Ex-Cop Pleading Guilty in Walter Scott Shooting

Michael Slager will plead guilty to federal civil rights charges

(Newser) - The former South Carolina police officer who fatally shot Walter Scott, an unarmed black motorist he had pulled over for a broken taillight, will plead guilty in the federal civil rights case against him Tuesday. In return, the state will drop a pending murder charge against him, the AP reports.... More »

Students on Hunt for Murdered African Americans

The Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project is archiving data on thousands of lynchings

(Newser) - From the end of Reconstruction following the Civil War through the Civil Rights movement into the 1960s, thousands of African Americans were killed by mobs, sometimes kidnapped from jails, sometimes hung from trees, sometimes mutilated, sometimes all of the above. Now a project called the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice... More »

Queen Was Only Woman on Canadian Money—Until Now

Viola Desmond, 'Rosa Parks of Canada,' to appear on $10 bill in 2018

(Newser) - Only one woman currently appears on Canadian currency, but Queen Elizabeth II is about to get a partner. Starting in 2018, civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond—aka the "Rosa Parks of Canada"—will have her mug on the country's $10 bill, the Toronto Star reports. The Globe ... More »

A 1941 Army Base Lynching Remains Unsolved

Pvt. Felix Hall was found hanging from a tree at Fort Benning

(Newser) - On the morning of Feb. 12, 1941, Army Pvt. Felix Hall went to his job at a sawmill near Fort Benning where he was stationed. After his shift ended, he told friends he was going to the Post Exchange, the only place on the segregated Georgia base where a black... More »

Family Seeks Pardon for 'Back to Africa' Founder

Marcus Garvey was convicted of mail fraud

(Newser) - The family of Marcus Garvey is asking President Obama to pardon the black nationalist, founder of the early 20th century “Back to Africa” movement, NBC News reports. Dr. Julius Garvey, 82, used what would have been his father’s 129th birthday on Wednesday to launch a campaign to clear... More »

Family Sues Middle School Over Boy's 'Terrorist' Confession

$25M suit alleges East Islip forced Muslim boy into it

(Newser) - A 12-year-old Pakistani-American Muslim boy with special needs confessed earlier this year to being a member of ISIS and plotting to blow up the school fence, and now his family is suing the school district in East Islip, NY, alleging that officials there forced a false confession and violated his... More »

Klansman Behind 1963 Bombing to Stay in Prison

Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr., 78, denied parole

(Newser) - The lone surviving Ku Klux Klansman imprisoned for killing four black girls in a church bombing in 1963 will remain behind bars after Alabama's parole board heeded the victims' families Wednesday and refused an early release. The board rejected parole for Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr., 78, who has served... More »

All 'Mississippi Burning' Leads Exhausted

State AG closes case after 52 years

(Newser) - Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood closed the book on one of the most explosive murder cases in American history Monday, saying all leads have been exhausted and there is "nothing else that can be done" in the 1964 "Mississippi Burning" killings. "The FBI, my office, and other... More »

$30M Lawsuit: My Murder Confession at 14 Was Coerced

Lawrence Montoya says his civil rights were violated

(Newser) - Lawrence Rubin Montoya was 14 years old when a jury found him guilty of killing a Denver schoolteacher in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2000. Sentenced to life in prison, Montoya served more than 13 years before his conviction was overturned and he was released in 2014. Now Montoya,... More »

It's Deadline Day for NC Response on Bathroom Law

DOJ had warned Gov. McCrory to come up with a way to 'remedy the situation'

(Newser) - Monday's the day that the Justice Department has demanded to hear back from North Carolina on whether the state is going to enforce its contentious public restroom law , Reuters reports. The feds had warned the state via a trio of letters last week that the law—which requires transgender... More »

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