In The News

Laws Written by Men to Protect Women Deserve Scrutiny

History holds a lesson for the Supreme Court, the brief warns: Be skeptical of laws protecting women that are written by men.

The nation’s past is littered with such statutes, say the historians who filed the friend-of-the-court brief, and the motives were suspect.

Some protected women from “the embarrassment of hearing filthy evidence” as members of a jury, a sheltering instinct that resulted in female defendants being judged by panels composed only of men.

Some shielded women from having to work nights as pharmacists in hospitals — but not as low-wage custodians.

Voter ID Laws Hurt Everyone

Voter fraud is, for all intents and purposes, practically nonexistent. The best available research on the topic, by Loyola Law School professor Justin Levitt, found only 31 credible incidents of voter impersonation in an investigation of over 1 billion votes cast.

But that hasn't dampened Republican efforts to pass a spate of strict voter ID laws since 2008. And it hasn't hurt the public's overall enthusiasm for those laws, either.

Don't be Fooled: Rubio No Moderate

If you were in the market for a Republican candidate who could actually win in a general election, Marco Rubio’s third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses Monday was a sign of hope. Coming in just behind Ted Cruz and Donald Trump meant he’d done better than expected: he was having a surge, a moment, a comeback. In a Times column headlined, wishfully, “Donald Trump Isn’t Real,” David Brooks banished the pugnacious billionaire to the past tense (“Trump was unabashedly masculine, the lingua franca of pro wrestling”) and said of Ted Cruz, “His is a Tea Party wing in the G.O.P.

UN: Abortion is a Human Rights Issue

For the first time in history, the United Nations Human Rights Committee has punished a country for denying a citizen an abortion. Through this decision, the UN committee has deemed abortion a human right — and it should be. The ability to decide whether or not you become a parent is not a luxury, but a basic right we all deserve.

In this case, which began in 2001, a 17-year-old in Peru was denied a medically necessary abortion. The woman complained to the Human Rights Committee, which asked that Peru's government pay her reparations. She just received them.

Most in U.S. favor Access to Safer Guns

Nearly 6 in 10 Americans — including 42.8% of gun owners — say that if they were to buy a new firearm, they would choose one equipped with technology that prevents it from being fired by an unauthorized user, a new national survey has found.

The survey suggests an openness to so-called smart guns, personalized weapons and childproof firearms. Their development has been championed in recent years by the Obama administration as well as a range of physicians’ groups and public health advocates.

How Roe v Wade has Survived

Forty-three years ago, the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade. The landmark case established a woman's constitutional right to an abortion. Ever since then, anti-abortion politicians and activists have tried to chip away at Roe. States have passed more than 1,000 restrictions on the procedure and the Supreme Court has ruled on several other abortion cases, each time further limiting abortion access. 

The Worst -- and Weirdest -- Ways Politicians Tried to Limit Access to Abortion in 2015

2015 wasn’t a great year for reproductive rights.

Federal and state lawmakers introduced more than 400 bills and enacted 47 new laws intended to restrict access to reproductive health care — the most in any recent year. Considerably fewer bills sought to expand access — and only three of those became laws.

States Keep Passing Expanded Gun Rights 3 Years After Sandy Hook

The 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in which a mentally troubled young man killed 26 children and educators, served as a rallying cry for gun-control advocates across the nation.

But in the three years since, many states have moved in the opposite direction, embracing the National Rifle Association's axiom that more "good guys with guns" are needed to deter mass shootings.

JAC Statement on Donald Trump's Comments About Muslims on 12/2015

JAC strongly condemns the hateful comments made by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

We may differ on ideas and policies, but we must be united - Republicans and Democrats - to ensuring religious freedoms for all. Racial and religious bigotry has absolutely no place in our political arena and only serves to weaken the fabric of our country.

State Lawmakers Pass Nearly 50 Anti Choice Bills in 2015

State legislators approved nearly 50 bills restricting access to abortion over the last year, according to a report by the Center for Reproductive Rights.

A total of 16 states, mostly in the South, approved new legislation, ranging from new consent mandates to stricter protocols for abortion medications.

While not all became law — including at least 20 measures targeting Planned Parenthood — abortions rights activists are using the trend as a call to action.