Unfinished Business

Civil Rights News: Judge Blocks PA Voter ID Law; Voter ID Laws Weakened Nation-Wide, not Eliminated; Int’l Corporations & Human Rights

Compiled by Freddi Goldstein, a Fall 2012 Leadership Conference Intern

Temporary Voter Relief in Pennsylvania
The New York Times

Pennsylvania Common Wealth Court Judge Robert Simpson took one step forward toward dismantling Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Laws on Tuesday but, according to this New York Times Editorial, the step may not be big enough. Judge Simpson ruled that photo ID laws would not be enforced during November’s election, leaving many feeling that Judge Simpson missed the mark by simply blocking the laws rather than overturning them.

Voter ID Rules Fail Court Tests across Country
The New York Times
By Ethan Bronner

With only a month to go until Election Day, most voter ID laws have been challenged and subsequently enjoined, blocked or weakened. However, states like Kansas, Indiana, Georgia and Tennessee, where strict voter ID laws still exist, cannot be forgotten. Even states like Pennsylvania that have blocked voter ID laws still pose risks. Penda D. Hair, co-director of Advancement Project, comments in this article that the ruling is a band-aid, not a solution.

Justice Under the Law of Nations
The New York Times

The Supreme Court Case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum began with opening arguments on Monday. The case asks whether American courts can hear cases of extreme human rights abuses brought by non-citizens against multinational corporations that do business in the United States. This could have serious consequences regarding corporate accountability.