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    ‘Department of Justice’

    News Round-Up: Friday, January 17, 2014

    Friday, January 17th, 2014

    President Obama addresses the nation on NSA spying programs; the $1.1T spending bill will head to the White House; and a harsh Pennsylvania voter ID law is struck down by a state court judge. Meanwhile, FLOTUS turns 50 and fabulous!; Kim K flashes new photos of baby North; and the 2014 Sundance Film Festival commences.

    - Maura


    Obama calls for significant changes in collection of phone records of U.S. citizens, http://rtvote.com/1adj0Ug 
    Addressing the nation Friday morning from the Department of Justice, President Obama called for new reforms to NSA spying programs on U.S. citizens. After a six-month controversy, the president has ordered significant changes to the way the NSA collects & uses telephone records of U.S. citizens. He also advocated to end eavesdropping on many foreign leaders and allies of our country in order to rebuild their trust in the U.S. intelligence community.

    With Senate’s OK, $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill Heads to Obama,http://rtvote.com/1hywNEt
    The massive $1.1 trillion spending bill will now head to President Obama’s desk for a signature. The bill will prevent any gaps in government funding and provide a less harsh effect on automatic spending cuts. The Senate voted 72-26 to pass the spending legislation and reduce the likelihood of a government shutdown, at least for the upcoming election season.

    Putin: Gay people will be safe at Olympics if they ‘leave kids alone’http://rtvote.com/KnCoRK
    During a question and answer session Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, offered a statement that was apparently meant to be a reassuring answer for visitors to the Games. After being asked about Russia’s attitude toward gays, a controversial subject surround the upcoming events, Putin said that “one can feel calm and at ease. Just leave the kids alone.” Unfortunately Mr. Putin, I don’t think that’s the reassuring answer that most people were hoping for…

    Members of Congress Introduce New Fix For Voting Rights Act,http://rtvote.com/1m9ngUq
    Last summer the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, when they released their ruling to the Shelby County v. Holder case. This ruling made it much easier for states with a history of discriminatory voting laws to enact new restrictive laws without federal supervision. Yesterday, the first bi-partisan solution was offered when legislation was introduced to help strengthen the Voting Rights Act.

    Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Struck Down, http://rtvote.com/19zLsPB
    Judge Bernard L. McGinley, a state court judge, struck down a controversial voter ID law in Pennsylvania Friday morning. After a twelve-day trial last summer debating the law, Judge McGinley ruled that the law placed an unreasonable burden on people trying to exercise their fundamental right to vote. 


    Kim Kardashian Shares New Pics of Baby North West, Talks Summer Wedding With Kanye West, http://rtvote.com/1avSIqX

    Michelle Obama Proudly Shows Off Her AARP Card on 50th Birthday,http://rtvote.com/1fFFqzJ

    Drake, Nina Dobrev, and More Degrassi Alums: Where are they now?,http://rtvote.com/1adbmcs

    Melissa McCarthy Returning to Host Saturday Night Live on February 1,http://rtvote.com/1jbj4GI

    Sundance 2014: Miles Teller Talks Divergent, Getting Naked in That Awkward Moment and His Rock Band Past, http://rtvote.com/KnzLzi

    Michelle Obama Turns 50! Let’s Look Back at FLOTUS’ Best Fashions So Far, http://rtvote.com/1jbjKvL

    Bio: Maura graduated from the University of Dayton in 2011 with a BA in International Studies and French. During the course of her studies she was elected Student Body Vice President where she worked to make student activity funding more affordable & fair to the campus community. Following graduation, Maura joined the 2012 Obama Campaign as grassroots Field Organizer in Ohio (the battleground of all battleground states). She now continues her passion of engaging and building political power for young people with Rock the Vote.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    THE DOJ Dukes it Out for North Carolina Voters

    Monday, September 30th, 2013

    North Carolina’s Voter ID legislation now faces a lawsuit from the Department of Justice (DOJ). The state’s new voting law, implemented after June when the Supreme Court lifted NC’s preclearance requirement on voting laws and procedures, has become increasingly restrictive in terms of acceptable forms of voter identification at the polls. The new election law also eliminates the first week of the early voting period, bans same-day voter registration during that time, ends pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, and abolishes the option of provisional ballots.

    The DOJ argues that these conditions are clear violations of the Voting Rights Act because they intentionally discriminate against certain races and age groups. Voter ID supporters assert that such laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud, but it’s pretty hard to see how cutting down on voting time will prevent fraud.

    Making it harder for Americans – and only certain Americans at that! – to register, vote, and participate doesn’t sound all too democratic, now does it?


    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    News Round-Up: Friday, June 22, 2012

    Friday, June 22nd, 2012

    Taliban siege a resort hotel, killing 20; the DOJ sues polygamous towns in Arizona and Utah; and a park ranger falls to his death on Mt. Rainier. In other news, Twitter faced outages yesterday, and LeBron James and the Heat win the NBA finals.

    Maureen + Caitlin


    Taliban Attack at Resort Hotel Near Kabul Kills 20, http://nyti.ms/Nh0jgx
    Seven Taliban militants killed 20 people in their 11-hour raid of the popular resort destination of Qargha Lake, which is on the outskirts of Kabul. The Taliban killed at least 15 civilians and took scores of hostages during the siege. The Taliban said that Afghans drank alcohol at the resort and partook in prostitution and dancing—acts that “are illegal and strictly prohibited in Islam,” according to a Taliban spokesperson. All of the Taliban gunmen were shot dead.

    Justice Dept. Sues Arizona, Utah Polygamous Towns, http://abcn.ws/LFSaUs
    The U.S. Department of Justice is filing a lawsuit against authorities in Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona. The DOJ says these towns have ignored the rights of residents who aren’t followers of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The feds accused city leaders and law enforcement of denying housing and municipal services to residents, as well as allowing members of the dominant religious sect to destroy their crops and property.

    Ranger plunges to death on Mount Rainier, http://bit.ly/MbzKh3
    Nick Hall, a park ranger in Mount Rainier National Park, fell to his death yesterday when he tried to rescue four injured climbers. Hall fell about 3,700 feet down the northeast side of the mountain as he was helping to prepare the other climbers for a helicopter to lift them to safety. The climbers from Waco, Texas, slipped down the Emmons Glacier; two were left dangling in a crevasse. They called for help with a cell phone. None of their injuries were life-threatening.

    Twitter suffers sustained outage in hacker attack, http://reut.rs/MopnCV
    Twitter suffered two service outages within a few hours of each other yesterday. UgNazi, a hacker organization, has claimed responsibility for the disruptions. The service first went down between 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. PST. Then, about an hour later, the site went down again. The site also faced slow connection for much of the day.


    LeBron James and Miami Heat Throttle OKC Thunder to Win 2012 NBA Championship, http://bit.ly/LGAnuG

    Travolta sued for libel as gay claims resurface, http://reut.rs/MOJqct

    ‘Today Show’ Meredith Vieira REJECTS NBC Offer to Replace Ann, http://bit.ly/KZldkS

    Justin Bieber has no idea what the Sistine Chapel is, http://bit.ly/MzzZkG

    Maureen Dolan
    Bio: Maureen is the Marketing & Communications intern for Rock the Vote.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    News Round-Up: Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

    Arizona voters will vote on Gifford’s old seat; Italy is yet another EU country on the brink of economic disaster; and the DOJ will sue Florida over its voter purge. In other news, Siri is coming to the iPad, and the Los Angeles Kings win their first Stanley Cup.

    Maureen + Caitlin


    Gabrielle Giffords’ House seat: Final scramble underway, http://politi.co/LQinyl
    Arizona voters head to the polls today in a special election to succeed former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ seat. Giffords resigned in January, one year after being shot and nearly killed in a shooting spree. The shooting killed six and injured 13, including Democratic hopeful Ron Barber. According to an independent poll, Barber holds a 12-point lead over Tea Party-backed Jesse Kelly.

    Worry for Italy Quickly Replaces Relief for Spain, http://nyti.ms/KlrytS
    The euro zone isn’t out of hot water yet. Yesterday, Italian officials expressed concern that the recent $125 billion Spanish bailout would not be enough to stop the crisis from spreading—and that Italy could not support such a huge burden. Yesterday, Italy’s main stock index was the worst performing in Europe. Tension continues to build as Cyprus is reportedly considering a bailout, inspired by Spain’s.

    DOJ Plans To Sue Over Florida’s Voter Purge, http://bit.ly/KOSovT
    The Justice Department is planning to sue the state of Florida for purging voters from its rolls in violation of federal law. This process is illegal because it has not been cleared by either the Justice Department or a federal court, and because the purge is too close to Florida’s August primary. Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) still defends the purge and wil sue the government over it.


    In iOS 6, Siri Gets a Whole Lot Smarter — and Comes to the iPad, http://yhoo.it/LGiO27
    New updates will be available to Siri in iOS, with improvements in several categories like sports, dining, movies, and apps. Apple is also working with car manufacturers to include Eyes Free, a button that would allow drivers to use Siri but still keep hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Siri and these updates will also be available on the new iPad.

    Kings Rule! Los Angeles Powers Way to First Cup, http://bit.ly/LhDpa1

    Carrie Underwood Supports Gay Marriage, http://yhoo.it/Kqa1SB

    ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’: Philip Seymour Hoffman offered the role of Plutarch Heavensbee, http://bit.ly/KyhOJx

    Charlize Theron Shaves Her Head for ‘Mad Max,’ http://bit.ly/N8AwwK

    Maureen Dolan
    Bio: Maureen is the Marketing & Communications intern for Rock the Vote.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    War on Voting Update

    Monday, April 16th, 2012

    Here are some voting law updates from last week -

    Maine— In lieu of a voter ID law, a bill has passed that will allow the Secretary of State’s office to study Maine’s election process and the effects a voter ID law would have on the state.

    Virginia— Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has made the state’s voter ID law less stringent after it was ruled that the law would have to be cleared with the Department of Justice in accordance with the Voting Rights Act,  http://wapo.st/IZdk11.

    New Hampshire—New Hampshire’s legislature is still debating a voter ID bill and a domicile bill. The state’s DMV has asked that a study be conducted on voter fraud in New Hampshire and the impact voter ID and domicile laws would have on the state.

    (via Boston.com) RI giving out free voter ID cards ahead of primary: Rhode Island State officials are providing free IDs to voters who lack a driver’s license, U.S. passport, military ID or other government-issued identification so people will be able to vote in the April 24th primary, http://bo.st/HvpZoJ.

    South Carolina - Justice lawyers say that the South Carolina Voter ID law violates the Voting Rights and discriminates against minorities, http://usat.ly/IorwMS

    Pennsylvania –  The American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP are filing suit over Pennsylvania’s newly implemented Voter ID Law. Two Philadelphia Democrats are also preparing to introduce a bill that would repeal the voter ID law, http://bit.ly/IFAac0

    It also seems that Voter ID laws would preclude transgendered voters, http://bit.ly/HL1GGT.

    Sarah Wooten
    Bio: Sarah is a Legal Fellow working on projects pertaining to the War on Voting for Rock the Vote.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com