Unfinished Business

Civil Rights News: Defending Food Stamps; Support of Maryland’s Dream act; OH Voting Lawsuit

Compiled by David Seidman

“On the backs of the hungry”
Politico (Opinion)
Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Rep. George Miller
In a Monday opinion piece, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D. Conn., and Rep. George Miller, D. Calif., accused House Republicans of “balancing the budget on the backs of hungry children and families” while “locking millions of Americans out of the American Dream.” Speaking in defense of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – the program formerly known as food stamps – Reps. DeLauro and Miller criticized House Republicans for proposing $16.5 billion worth of cuts to food aid programs for America’s neediest families. More than 46 million Americans, including 16 million children, live in poverty. The representatives said that the budget cuts would eliminate free school meals for 280,000 children, adversely impacting struggling families, as well as children’s ability to succeed academically. DeLauro and Miller also criticized House Republicans for simultaneously advancing a budget that would give “an average of $160,000 in tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires.”

Marchers show support for Maryland’s Dream Act
By Ted Trautman
Washington Post
On Sunday, hundreds of undocumented students and their supporters marched in Silver Plaza to show their support for Maryland’s Dream Act. The act, which would extend in-state college tuition to undocumented students who attended a Maryland high school and whose parents filed tax returns, will be voted on by Maryland residents in November. The rally was organized by Casa de Maryland and featured students like Sati, a 19-year-old undocumented immigrant who hopes to become a neuroscientist but says he can only do so with tuition assistance. The bill, which was just cleared for referendum by the state’s court of appeals, has broad support from Governor Martin O’Malley and others.

In Ohio and elsewhere, battles over state voting laws head to court
By Robert Barnes
Washington Post
Last week, a federal court in Ohio began hearing arguments in a lawsuit alleging that Ohio’s procedures to handle provisional ballots – those cast by people with voting irregularities and which are subject to election board review – violated the law. Filed by the Advancement Project and Service Employees International Union, the lawsuit is the most recent in a long series of voting rights cases in the fiercely contested swing state. This specific lawsuit challenges the disqualification of provisional ballots when the error was made due to poll workers’ faulty instructions. In addition to Ohio, state-specific voting cases have been brought or argued in Colorado, Florida and Pennsylvania.