Why Civil Rights Vets Keep Pressing On

The first in a series celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The civil rights struggles of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s were largely led by youth and college students, many who were members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee or the NAACP Student Council. Now in their 70s, 80s and even 90s, some view their civil rights mission as a life’s work with no retirement in the plan. “I still have an interest in my people, …

Illinois House Candidates Lock Horns on Medicare, Social Security

The candidates in a battleground congressional district in Illinois disagreed about the impact for Social Security and Medicare of a Republican-passed plan crafted by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) during an Oct. 21 radio debate sponsored by AARP. Democratic challenger Ann Callis said that Ryan’s budget blueprint would open the door to privatizing Social Security and move Medicare to a “defined contribution” system. She has criticized her opponent, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), for supporting a plan that she says …

Why More Americans Are Voting Early

President Barack Obama voted in his former Chicago neighborhood on October 20 — more than two weeks before Election Day. “I’m so glad I can early-vote,” he said as he cast his ballot. “It’s so exciting. I love voting.” More than 2.6 million American already have joined him, according to official data. Election Day, in fact, has become Election Month. Political campaigns remain in full swing across the nation. Candidates continue to debate each other and run costly advertising campaigns. …

Supreme Court Upholds Texas Voter ID Law

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court has permitted Texas to enforce its controversial voter ID law in the Nov. 4 election. The court, in an unsigned order issued Oct. 18, left in place the Oct. 14 decision of a federal appeals court to delay the implementation of U.S. District Court judge’s reversal of the state’s 2011 law. The judge had cited possible discrimination against older voters. Early voting in Texas began Oct. 20. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined by …

Arkansas High Court Throws Out Voter ID Law

The Arkansas Supreme Court has unanimously overturned the state’s voter identification law as a violation of the state Constitution’s four criteria for voting. The Oct. 15 ruling resolved, at least temporarily, a clash between Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, who vetoed the measure, and the Republican-controlled legislature, which overrode his veto. The four standards specified by the state Constitution — U.S. and Arkansas citizenship, 18 years of age and lawful voter registration — “simply do not include any proof-of-identity requirement,” Justice Donald Corbin wrote …

Arkansas Senate Candidates Brawl Over Medicare, Social Security

In their final scheduled debate, Arkansas’ two major-party candidates for the U.S. Senate vigorously slashed each other on Social Security and Medicare issues. “The game plans for both men were plain as day — [Rep. Tom] Cotton repeatedly tied [Sen. Mark] Pryor to President Obama, while Pryor said Cotton was beholden to big-money interests who didn’t share the same goals as Arkansans,” a visiting newspaper columnist wrote of the Oct. 14 exchange in Fayetteville. In contrast to recent Senate debates in other …