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Hagel Calls for End to Overturning Convening Authority

Hagel Calls for End to Overturning Convening Authority

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has called for termination of the ability of a commanding officer to overturn a court martial conviction, called “convening authority.” In an internal memo to the secretaries of the military services and other military senior officials, Hagel said, “We must ensure that our military justice system is fair, provides justice, and enhances...
Florida House Committee Advances Anti-Abortion Bill

Florida House Committee Advances Anti-Abortion Bill

The Florida House Judiciary Committee narrowly passed a bill that could threatened abortion access to women of color in the state on Wednesday. HB 845 would ban abortion for sex-selection or race-selection purposes. It would also require the doctor performing an abortion to sign a legal affidavit saying they have no knowledge that the procedure was...
NC Lawmakers Propose State Religion Bill

NC Lawmakers Propose State Religion Bill

Republican lawmakers in North Carolina have proposed a bill that would give the state legislature the authority to establish a state religion and allow prayer in public institutions such as schools. House Joint Resolution 494 challenges the authority of the United States Constitution and the First Amendment, which guarantees the separation of church and state. The bill reads [PDF],...
French Senate to Consider Bill to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

French Senate to Consider Bill to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Debate is scheduled to begin today in the French Senate on a bill that would grant same-sex couples the right to marry and adopt children. The bill has already been passed in the National Assembly, the lower chamber of French parliament. The Roman Catholic Church has been very vocal in France against the measure, alongside other religious...
TN Bill Would Tie Student Performance to Welfare Benefits

TN Bill Would Tie Student Performance to Welfare Benefits

A bill that would cut welfare benefits if a recipient’s child does not perform satisfactorily in school has advanced in committee in both the Tennessee state House and state Senate. The bill would cut Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits for parents by 30% if a child does not show “satisfactory academic progress.” “Satisfactory...
MS Governor Pulls Board of Health Nomination of Anti-Abortion Activist

MS Governor Pulls Board of Health Nomination of Anti-Abortion Activist

Governor Phil Bryant (R) of Mississippi has rescinded his nomination of anti-abortion activist Terri Herring to the Mississippi Board of Health after media outlets questioned the legality of the nomination. Governor Bryant announced his nomination of Terri Herring to the state’s Board of Health last Wednesday. Bryant nominated her because she has “committed her life to women’s...
KS State Senate Poised to Pass Life at Fertilization Bill

KS State Senate Poised to Pass Life at Fertilization Bill

The Kansas state Senate gave first round approval to an anti-abortion bill that would define life as beginning at the point of fertilization with a voice vote yesterday. The final vote is expected to occur today. House Bill 2253 attacks abortion access on multiple fronts. HB 2253 requires that abortion providers supply women with a list of organizations...
ND Governor Signs Extreme Anti-Abortion Law to Close Only Clinic

ND Governor Signs Extreme Anti-Abortion Law to Close Only Clinic

North Dakota governor Jack Dalrymple (R-ND) just signed a series of three restrictive anti-abortion rights measures into state law. All three measures were passed by the Republican-controlled North Dakota House and Senate. The North Dakota legislature also passed a Personhood state constitutional amendment, which would ban the termination of a pregnancy from the moment of...
Proposition 8 Oral Arguments Heard in Supreme Court

Proposition 8 Oral Arguments Heard in Supreme Court

Today the Supreme Court heard oral arguments weighing the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the California ban on same sex marriage. The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case Hollingsworth, Dennis, et al. v. Perry, Kristin M., et al. Arguments lasted for approximately an hour and twenty minutes, at which point the Supreme Court Justicesappeared reluctant on making...
Brazil Doctors Urge Abortion Legalization

Brazil Doctors Urge Abortion Legalization

On Thursday, the Federal Council of Medicine in Brazil announced their support for legislative reform of the country’s current abortion laws. The proposed legislation being debated in the Brazilian Senate would legalize abortion within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It would also expand a current exception that allows abortion in only in the case of brain...