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This week in wins: Supreme Court blocks racist ‘citizenship question’

The Supreme Court ruled blocked Trump from trying to rig elections for Republicans, at least for now.

By Emily Singer - June 28, 2019
Young people demonstrating for a fair 2020 census outside the Supreme Court
Young demonstrators gather at the Supreme Court as the justices finish the term with key decisions on gerrymandering and a census case involving an attempt by the Trump administration to ask everyone about their citizenship status in the 2020 census, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 27, 2019.

This week was marred by a haunting and tragic image of a father and daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande thanks to Trump’s draconian immigration policies.

And while that image should motivate every decent American to mobilize against the Trump administration, there were also positive developments this week to raise spirits.

Here is some good news for the week.

Supreme Court blocks racist ‘citizenship question’ — for now

The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census — something that experts said would cause a severe undercount in the decennial population survey that would ultimately disenfranchise Democrats.

The court blocked the question, in essence saying that the Trump administration’s rationale for the question — that it would help enforce the Voting Rights Act — was a lie.

The decision did give the Trump administration room to come up with a new rationale for adding the question. It’s difficult to imagine how they could do that successfully, however, given that damning new documents show the question was a nefarious plot by a GOP operative to rig elections to give Republicans more power.

Similarly, it’s not clear whether there is even time for the Trump administration to continue litigating the case for adding the question before it’s time for the Census to begin.

Federal law dictates that the Census be taken every 10 years on April 1.

So for now, those who celebrate free and fair elections can take a victory lap.

House passes bill giving back pay to federal workers hurt by Trump’s shutdown

The Democratic-controlled House continues to pass bills benefitting Americans.

On Tuesday, the House voted to provide back pay to low-wage federal contractors who were furloughed during Trump’s reckless 35-day shutdown this past winter.

The bill passed thanks to Democratic members in the House, as almost every single Republican in the chamber voted against the measure.

It’s more proof that House Democrats are working for the American people, while the Mitch McConnell-led Senate does nothing.

House Democrats pass election security bill

House Democrats were busy this week.

On Thursday, the House passed a bill that would provide funding to states to help create a paper trail for electronic voting machines in an effort to ensure no nefarious actors can alter election results.

The bill passed on a virtual party-line vote, with every Democrat voting for it, and all but one Republican voting against it.

Republicans clearly don’t care about free and fair elections — but luckily Democrats do.

Alabama blocked from banning a safe abortion procedure

An Alabama law that would criminalize dilation and evacuation — the safest and most common method of performing a second-trimester abortion — is officially dead after the Supreme Court refused to revive it, the Washington Post reported Friday.

Two lower courts had already ruled that the Alabama law violated the right to an abortion granted by the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Alabama had appealed the ruling, but the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal — effectively killing the law for good.

Planned Parenthood celebrated the win.

“This is an important victory for abortion access, and Planned Parenthood will continue to fight these and all attacks on abortion access across the country,” Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement.

Connecticut passes generous family and medical leave policy

Connecticut’s Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont signed a law on Tuesday that entitles Connecticut employees to up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for a newborn, adopted or foster child. Sick employees battling serious medical conditions are also eligible for the leave.

The benefits begin starting Jan. 1, 2022, when workers can collect a maximum of $780 a week in paid leave.

“It’s about time,” Lamont said, according to Governing magazine. “[This bill] means you can now take the time you need to care for a sick child, to care for a new child and do what you’ve got to do and you don’t need to choose between a job and someone you love.”

Come back next week for more good news.

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