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Trump Administration to Change Agencies' Civil Rights Efforts, and more in news today

by Countable | 5.30.17

It’s difficult to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in this country and to break through the clutter, so we’re here to make it easier. Here’s what we at Countable are reading today:

1.Trump administration plans to change civil rights efforts within federal agencies

The efforts to reduce the federal profile on civil rights reflects the consensus view within the Trump administration that Obama officials exceeded their authority in policing discrimination on the state and local level, sometimes pressuring targets of government scrutiny to adopt policies that were not warranted.

While these decisions have been roundly criticized by liberal activists, administration officials said that civil rights remains a priority for the Trump White House.

"The Trump administration has an unwavering commitment to the civil rights of all Americans," White House spokeswoman Kelly Love said in an emailed statement.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

2. U.S. Supreme Court to hear Ohio's bid to revive voter purge policy

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear Ohio's appeal of a lower court ruling that blocked the Republican-led state's policy of purging people from voter-registration lists if they do not regularly cast ballots because it violated federal law.

Civil liberties advocates who challenged Ohio's policy said it illegally erased voters from registration rolls and unlawfully disenfranchised minorities and poor people who tend to back Democratic candidates. The justices will review a U.S. appeals court ruling that Ohio's policy ran afoul of a 1993 law called the National Voter Registration Act, which Congress passed to make it easier for Americans to register to vote.

Read more at Reuters.

3. Four Senators to Watch in the Trump-Russia Investigation

They are a disparate foursome: the chamber’s leading Republican centrist, a minister who embraces public service as a calling, a seasoned dealmaker and a high-profile presidential contender.

These four Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Roy Blunt of Missouri and Marco Rubio of Florida — are emerging as a bloc integral to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The investigation is widely considered the premier inquiry, the one with the necessary jurisdiction and the best chance of producing a credible outcome. These four senators loom large as a crucial element in getting there.

Read more at the New York Times.

4. Meet the referee in the GOP effort to replace Obamacare

Washington is filled with people who talk much but affect little. Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough is the opposite — she intentionally stays out of the spotlight but wields enormous influence in proceedings on the Senate floor. As the Capitol Hill version of a referee in the contentious health-care debate, MacDonough will soon exercise broad authority in considering the fate of the House GOP health-care bill. She could also rule on a Senate version, if and when it materializes.

And when she finally makes a decision, it will be based on her best understanding of Senate rules and past precedent — not on whether she personally approves or disapproves of Obamacare or the effort to revamp it, say multiple friends and former co-workers.

Read more at the Washington Post.

5. Report: Trump to reverse Obama’s Cuba policy

The U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, a non-partisan group, said the Trump administration is preparing to announce the changes to Obama-era policies in a June speech in Miami, according to the Daily Caller.

The report cites two unnamed sources who said a bipartisan trio of lawmakers -- Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) -- pushed for the reversal.

Obama, who became the first U.S. president to visit Cuba in almost a century last year, put in motion a series of policies to thaw relations with the Communist island nation, which had been a strategic burden throughout the Cold War.

Read more at The Hill.

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(49)
  • Rae
    05/31/2017
    ···

    Stop Jeff sessions from taking us backwards to draconian times

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  • Aimee
    05/31/2017
    ···

    Dear GOP leaders when are you going to wake up and do your jobs? Start defending American values and the constitution! We are heading down a slippery slope if we move away from championing civil rights. The rise of hate crimes in America is very disturbing! This is not America! This is not making America great!!

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  • Ticktock
    05/31/2017
    ···

    Recently I read comments to the effect that J J Christian was just defending himself when he was attacked because of his ranting directed at the two young women. That the women should have removed themselves from the area with the assistance of their defenders to avoid any confrontation. This is a extremist right view of events. Those two women had as much right to be where they were and doing what they were doing as anyone else and they should not be forced to endure a any abuse or hide from anyone. This Administration is just as much to blame for the emergence and promotion of extremist right views as is any apologist who passively enables extreme right groups. I would expect AG Sessions to enable these extremist views. After all he has a history of supporting them himself. Everyone seems to be fearful of terrorism entering the US as immigrants. I'm more afraid of the American born enabled terrorist amongst us. The number of extreme right groups are growing and have been in the news multiple times but are getting a pass on their violence. If you want to know where Trump's support comes from look up the "Sovereign Citizen Movement". They are the terrorist that we should fear. Their already in the US.

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  • Patty
    05/31/2017
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    Please stand up to the Trump administrations plans to reduce civil rights enforcement throughout the federal government, from education to the justice department. This country is built on "all men created equal".

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  • David
    05/31/2017
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    This is beyond acceptable, it is repugnant. We need to remove all of you from office and hit a restart.

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  • Lee
    05/31/2017
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    Why are we going backwards? Why are the bullies running the government. This is 2017 not 1950? We need Congress to stand up against this unbelievable regression to past mistakes. This is not what the American people want.

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  • Norm
    05/31/2017
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    Representatives stay on top of this two faced american who will drag our country down. As Mr. Trump would say: "sad so sad." He's a crazy man at the helm.

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  • Connie
    05/31/2017
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    Obstruct anything that comes from this administration. Finish the investigations. Follow the money. Trump has committed at least 5 impeachable actions, but the GOP remain silent. The American people want Trump out of office. His horrible approval rating proves it. The GOP who remain silent will lose their jobs next election, guaranteed. We will vote for candidates who will get rid of Trump. People are fed up!

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  • Milan
    05/31/2017
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    Jeff sessions - you are an embarrassment and need to keep up with the times - we are not going backwards

    Like (7)
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  • Lori
    05/31/2017
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    Please stop Sessions from ruining America. We want JUSTICE FOR ALL, not just whites. (And I'm white.)

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  • quiveringforest
    05/31/2017
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    This is NOT what America is about. We are about GIVING people MORE RIGHTS, not taking rights away. We are for standing up against hate, NOT promoting it. We are about INCLUSIVENESS not divisiveness. Right now, America is really only free for cis-gender white men. Everyone else struggles. We need to work HARDER to make America great for ALL Americans.

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  • Nancy
    05/31/2017
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    Attorney General Jeff Sessions should resign due to the following: failure to disclose meetings with Russians, suggesting the firing of FBI Director James Comey and for his discriminatory history.

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  • Christine
    05/31/2017
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    Disgusting.

    Like (6)
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  • Dawn
    06/01/2017
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    Civil rights can't be left to the states! It is a national issue and word must come from on high to protect them!

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  • Antonice
    05/31/2017
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    What the heck kind of changes are they wanting to make for Civil Rights? So, their alleged "unwavering support" has been nonexistent. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is hell bent on taking us back to archaic times and the entire administration is filled with alt right men with bad hair. Trump refuses to denounce hate, which makes him complicit and, in fact incites MORE hate crimes. When he does come out with any type of statement, it seems forced, drab and not genuine. It took him almost THREE days to denounce the hate crime in Portland. That fool that stabbed those men, killed and injured his fellow white men, for defending those girls that were just riding the train and using the guise of free speech to spew anger and hate. You cannot be a damn hateful terrorist and patriot at the same time. It does NOT work that way!

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  • AlexRoseSc
    05/31/2017
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    Jeff Sessions in unfit; he needs to resign or else be removed by Congress in some other way. He is a threat to America in 2017. Please do the right thing, this is about our lives here.

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  • Shari
    05/31/2017
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    Take away all of Sessions civil rights!

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  • Sheila
    05/31/2017
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    Jeff Session is a criminal and should be a resident of one of his private for profit prisons! He is blatantly targeting women and people of color with his shameful drive to destroy civil rights act that thousands fought for and NEED to keep people like him from persecuting people based upon race, ethnicity, gender identity, sex, religion, etc. WE ARE NOT A WHITE NATION AND NEVER WILL BE! We are a beautiful melting pot of people from all walks of life all deserving of equal protections under the law. Jeff Sessions swore and oath to the Constitution and spends every damned day stomping all over it. GET HIM OUT OF THERE!!

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  • Bob
    06/01/2017
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    Jeff Sessions lied under oath about his secretive meetings with Russians, was forced to "amend" his testimony when that was revealed, and now -- now at least one more unreported meeting with the Russian spymaster has been uncovered. The AG does not have the character to resign, or even feel shame, so we must find a way to remove this embarrassment from office.

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  • Mary
    06/01/2017
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    Civil rights is must be respected. Sessions is a racist, also a liar- must go!

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