Reforming the Supreme Court, preserving diversity on campus, countering discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community, and more!
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*** SUMMER SCHEDULE AND HELP WANTED ***
Rogan’s List will be starting our summer schedule this week! We will update Monday through Thursday until Congress goes on recess at the end of July, and post Monday, Wednesday and Friday in August. We will return to our usual five-days-a-week list in September!
This means it’s a great time to join our team! We’re looking for a few new contributors to help us create this ever-popular resource. These are voluntary positions for all of us, but if you think you’d be a good addition to the squad and could help out on a regular basis, please send an email indicating why to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. Thanks! We look forward to hearing from you!
- FIGHT BACK AGAINST A HYPER-CONSERVATIVE SUPREME COURT
The Supreme Court closed its term with a series of devastating decisions gutting affirmative action, making it easier for business owners to discriminate against the LGBTQIA+ community and blocking President Biden’s student debt relief plan, building on their record of overturning years of precedent in favor of Republican positions. The verdict is clear: this is a hijacked Supreme Court, and we cannot let its outrages go unanswered. Let’s contact our members of Congress and let them know we want to see a significant and public effort for change, through a) a thorough investigation of the corruption allegations against Justices Thomas and Alito, including subpoenaing them, Leonard Leo and their benefactors to testify publicly; b) another push to pass Rep. Hank Johnson and Senator Chris Murphy’s proposed binding code of ethics and recusal for the justices, and most importantly c) their support for expanding the Court to rebalance it after the theft of multiple seats by the right. Let’s also encourage them to use all available tools, including the Supreme Court’s budget in the upcoming appropriations process, to make progress here.
- AFFIRMATIVE ACTION STRUCK DOWN
The Supreme Court striking down college affirmative action programs could lead to significant declines in Black and Hispanic enrollment at top schools, much as it did after the affirmative action ban in California. It will take a fight to avoid the worst of the damage. One step we can take is putting a stop to legacy admissions, which give a benefit to the children of alumni and donors and disproportionately benefit white people. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) will soon reintroduce their Fair College Admissions for Students Act to effectively ban these programs. Let’s reach out to our members of Congress and urge them to support this bill. Let’s also review this statement from former President Obama on the Supreme Court’s decision, which includes a list of organizations that help students of color get tertiary education, and contribute if we can.
- STAND UP FOR LGBTQIA+ INCLUSION IN THE ECONOMYIn a significant blow to LGBTQIA+ rights, the Supreme Court has ruled that businesses offering “expressive services” have a First Amendment right to refuse to serve same-sex couples if doing so is “against” their beliefs. Dissenting, Justice Sotomayor wrote, “in a free and democratic society, there can be no social castes…the ‘promise of freedom’ is an empty one if the Government is ‘powerless to assure that a dollar in the hands of [one person] will purchase the same thing as a dollar in the hands of a[nother].’” Just so. Let’s protect the LGBTQIA+ community from the psychological and physical harms of this discrimination, and make sure that LGBTQIA+ people can fully participate in our society. We can take steps like these and others to show that our businesses are LGBTQIA+-friendly; we can frequent LGBTQIA+-friendly businesses; and we can spread the word about organizations like StartOut and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, which expand economic opportunities for LGBTQIA+ people.
- RESTORE WATER BREAKS FOR WORKERS IN TEXAS
As Texas experiences a heat wave that makes it among the hottest places on earth, already killing more than a dozen people, Governor Greg Abbott signed into law a measure that will nullify local rules in Austin and Dallas protecting workers – including one mandating 10-minute water breaks for construction workers every four hours. This is a particular problem because neither state nor federal law requires them, and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have a national heat protection standard. Here are several things we can do: a) if we live in Texas, let’s tell our state legislators and Governor Abbott that this law is outrageous and we want laws that protect Texas workers from heat illness, including mandatory water breaks, and lend our support to the Workers Defense Project; b) let’s all of us tell our Members of Congress to pass federal legislation giving workers protection from extreme heat; c) let’s all of us contact OSHA (1-800-321-6742) and the White House and tell the Biden administration that it’s time for OSHA to establish and enforce standards for humane treatment of workers in extreme heat situations; d) and let’s sign this petition from the United Farm Workers urging them to issue emergency heat regulations immediately.
- FORCED ARBITRATION VS. IMPARTIAL JUSTICEConsumers and workers with legitimate disputes against businesses and employers increasingly find that they have signed away their rights to sue in impartial courts, and are instead limited to hearings before private arbitration forums that favor businesses. The Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act would end this practice in employment, consumer, and civil rights cases. Instead, the FAIR Act (introduced by Democrats) would allow consumers and workers with disputes to choose between arbitration or the court system. Let’s tell our US Senators to co-sponsor S.1376 and our US Representatives to co-sponsor H.R.2953.
- NC/ALL – STOP PARTY-SWITCHING REPS FROM BETRAYING VOTERS
North Carolina state rep Tricia Cotham was elected as a Democrat last November to represent a deep-blue district while pledging to support abortion rights and then switched parties, handing the GOP a supermajority in the state legislature and shortly thereafter joining them in voting to pass an abortion ban. This betrayal of voters and donors has outraged many in North Carolina, and Senator Michael Garrett (D-Greensboro) has responded by introducing the Voter Fraud Prevention Act (SB 748). This measure would require legislators who switch parties with more than six months left in their term to refund campaign contributions on request and vacate their seat, triggering a general election. For those of us in North Carolina, let’s contact our legislators and let them know we support this effort. For the rest of us, let’s reach out to our own legislators and ask them to secure similar protections in our states.
AND FINALLY, SOME GOOD NEWS
- LAST WEEK’S WINS
The battle for progress is long and wearing, making it all the more important to acknowledge and celebrate the wins when they happen. Here’s a summary of some of the best news from the last week from our stalwart ally Jessica Craven at Chop Wood, Carry Water, including renewable energy helping prevent blackouts in Texas, the administration putting zero-emissions busses on the road, and of course President Biden’s announcement of $42 billion for high-speed internet in the places that need it most.
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