Unfinished Business

Civil Rights News: Candidates Address Women’s Issues; Judicial Vacancy Crisis Continues; Expanded Early Voting Stands in Ohio

Compiled by Freddi Goldstein, a Fall 2012 intern at The Leadership Conference Education Fund

Women’s Issues Help Shape Presidential Debate
New York Times
By Nia-Malika Henderson

Last night’s “Town Hall” debate between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney placed women’s issues as an important factor in the upcoming election. Both candidates spoke about equal pay for women and access to contraception. Romney spoke of his experience including women in his cabinet as governor of Massachusetts while the President talked about his signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Recent polls show that the gap between Obama and Romney is decreasing when it comes to women voters.

Politics and the Courts
The New York Times

Come November 6, there will be more judgeship vacancies than the day President Obama took office. The gap is largely the result of Republican-led filibustering in Congress and an unprecedented amount of time between when a nomination goes to Congress and when it is voted on. With 32 positions currently considered “judicial emergencies,” the next President will have many federal judgeships to fill and an opportunity to shape the ideology of the court. As The Times writes, “In the next Congress, the Senate should ensure every nominee an up-or-down vote within 90 days. ”

Win for Obama Camp on Ohio Early Voting
Washington Post

On Tuesday the Supreme Court decided it would not stay a lower court’s decision that all voters would be allowed to vote early. Ohio had wanted to limit early voting to members of the military but it is now ruled that if early voting exists at all, it exists for everyone.