Federal Court Blocks Some of Alabama Immigration Law, but “Papers Please” Here to Stay (For Now)

By: Tuesday August 21, 2012 7:35 am

Federal courts have consistently trimmed back attempts by states to write their own immigration laws. The Supreme Court overturned much of the Arizona immigration law in June, and federal judges have done the same to parts of laws in several Southern states. We saw another example of this yeterday, when the 11th Circuit Court of [...]

Judge Shuts Down Debtor’s Prison in Alabama

By: Friday July 13, 2012 9:35 am

A couple weeks back, the New York Times shed some light on a growing trend of private probation companies ramping up fees on indigents who violate misdemeanors, kicking off a process that sends these people to jail for owing money. Meanwhile the fees would get layered on top of one another. It’s a 21st-century form [...]

Probation as a Revenue Scheme for Cash-Strapped States

By: Tuesday July 3, 2012 8:10 am

If you liked for-profit prisons pushing tougher sentencing and leading to a sharp increase in the warehousing of US citizens, then you’ll love for-profit probation: Three years ago, Gina Ray, who is now 31 and unemployed, was fined $179 for speeding. She failed to show up at court (she says the ticket bore the wrong [...]

Arizona Immigration Ruling Has Major Implications for Other States

By: Tuesday June 26, 2012 7:35 am

The Supreme Court ruling on the Arizona immigration law may have its greatest impact on how it affects copycat laws across the country. The harshest of the ones already passed, in Alabama, faces some challenges after the court ruling. The split decision left both sides of Alabama’s fierce immigration debate declaring victory and lawyers saying [...]

Bachus Propping Up Primary Campaign With Big Bank Cash

By: Tuesday March 13, 2012 10:00 am

In addition to Presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi today, there are primary elections for Congress as well. We saw in Ohio with Jean Schmidt that incumbents are in no way safe in what feels like an anti-incumbent environment. And a new SuperPAC devoted to beating incumbents has a few more races in their sights [...]

Alabama Backs Down on Trans-Vaginal Ultrasound, but Anti-Abortion Laws Elsewhere Persist

By: Tuesday February 28, 2012 8:15 am

I guess the Republican Party has decided to run on a platform of sticking a speculum inside of women, but they’re not entirely secure in that desire. Every time people find out about it, they back off. In Virginia, the trans-vaginal ultrasound bill was changed to a trans-abdominal ultrasound. The State Senate passed over a [...]

Wave of Ultrasound Bills About Humiliating Abortion Seekers

By: Monday February 27, 2012 9:35 am

And now for something I didn’t think in January I would have reason to update: the abortion bills across the country which mandate that the women receive an ultrasound before getting the legal medical procedure. When we last left Virginia, the thinking was that the Senate sponsor of the trans-vaginal ultrasound bill would not accept [...]

Alabama Immigration Bill Sponsors Firmly Against Changing Law

By: Monday February 20, 2012 9:35 am

Incredibly, some Hispanic immigrants are returning to Alabama, lured by the prospect of jobs in a thinned-out workforce, hoping that they are either smarter than their bretheren or the first wave benefiting from changes to the draconian law, and genuinely homesick for an area that represented opportunity for them. Courts have blocked some of the [...]

Chris Weitz-Directed Shorts Detail Alabama Immigration Law

By: Wednesday February 15, 2012 10:21 am

Oscar-nominated writer-director Chris Weitz is known for making popular fare like American Pie, About a Boy and Twilight: New Moon. But last year he made the independent feature A Better Life, which chronicles an undocumented gardener in East LA, as he tries to create better opportunities and a better life for his son. Star Demián [...]

Supremes to Take Up Arizona Immigration Law; Kagan to Recuse

By: Monday December 12, 2011 11:03 am

The Supreme Court announced they would take up the Arizona immigration law in this term, meaning that an important decision on federal-state powers will be decided by next year. However, they will make that ruling short-handed, because Elena Kagan, who was Solicitor General when the Justice Department initially sued Arizona to block the immigration rules, [...]

Alabama Governor Acknowledges Need to Change Harsh Immigration Law

By: Saturday December 10, 2011 9:21 am

In the couple months since Alabama passed HB 56, among the harshest immigration laws in the nation, they have: a) seen crops rot in the fields because farmers cannot find workers to pick the fruits and vegetables, which has cost the state potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue; b) threatened the water service [...]

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