News Roundup for Thursday
July 29 2010
A step forward in Arizona, Congress moves to end cocaine sentencing disparities, both parties fight for the hearts and minds of small businesses, and a new report by the College Board aims to increase the number of college grads nationwide—This is today's roundup.
A big victory for civil rights groups was handed down yesterday, as Judge Susan Bolton, federal judge for the district of Arizona, blocked the most draconian provisions of Arizona’s “Papers, Please” law, SB 1070, which is scheduled to go into effect today. According to the Los Angeles Times, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton in Phoenix issued a temporary injunction against parts of the law that would require police to determine the status of people they lawfully stopped and suspected were in the country illegally. Bolton also forbade Arizona from making it a state crime to not carry immigration documents, and struck down two other provisions as an unconstitutional attempt by Arizona to undermine the federal government's efforts to enforce immigration policy. The injunction is temporary, and the threat to the civil rights of Arizona residents remains an undue burden to the community.
In other news, Congress moves to end the long-standing disparities between sentencing for powder cocaine and crack cocaine, a cheaper version of the same narcotic. The New York Times reports that the House of Representative has passed a bill that will reduce the disparities between mandatory federal sentences for powder and crack cocaine violations, which have mostly affected minorities, particularly Blacks and Latinos. These sentencing changes could save the federal prison system $42 million over five years.
With the November midterm election elections less than 100 days away, both parties are fighting over the hearts and minds of small businesses, with the Senate stuck in the middle. At issue is whether or not President Obama’s small business tax credit plan will pass through the Senate, with the GOP claiming that the real solution would be to extend the Bush tax cuts for the highest earners, according to The Washington Post.
And finally, a new report by the College Board, a nonprofit group, outlines ten recommendations to boost American competitiveness in educational attainment. According to USA Today:
The report, developed over two years by a commission studying access, admissions and success in higher education, outlines 10 recommendations aimed at boosting the percentage of young adults with at least an associate degree from 40.4% today to 55% by 2025.
One of the report’s recommendations is to enact an effective strategy to eliminate disparities between underrepresented minorities and White Americans.
To see the full list of recommendations, click here.