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Bearing Arms: [New York Times] Articles in this series examine the gun industry’s influence and the wide availability of firearms in America. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Sep 29, 2013 - 242 comments

We are not here to lead a battle between the sexes

France's upper house of parliament, the Sénat has passed a women's equality bill, which aims to redress some of the persistent inequalities between men and women, in the sphere of pay, jobs and parental leave. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 18, 2013 - 38 comments

“It just got very, very old and all of us felt that we were whores."

More than half the population of small, rural Madras, Oregon (population: ~6059) and its surrounding community is served by one clinic: Madras Medical. At the beginning of 2006, the clinic's doctors and nurses decided to ban pharmaceutical reps from visiting their practice. No more free lunches. No more free drug samples. No more gifts. And yet.... "It's made us better doctors." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 27, 2013 - 40 comments

"Texas is heaven for men and dogs, but it’s hell for women and horses.”

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives. "In 2011 the Texas state legislature slashed family planning funds, passed a new sonogram law, and waged an all-out war on Planned Parenthood that has dramatically shifted the state’s public health priorities. In the eighteen months since then, the conflict has continued to simmer in the courts, on the campaign trail, and in at least one PR disaster. Meanwhile, what will happen to Texas women—and their fathers, brothers, sons, and husbands—remains very much unclear."
posted by zarq on Aug 12, 2013 - 35 comments

Trans Student Must Be Allowed to Use Girls' Restroom

In December 2012, school district officials informed the family of Coy Mathis, a girl who was assigned male at birth, that she would no longer be allowed to use the girls' bathrooms at school. The Mathis family filed suit. Today, they won. [more inside]
posted by not that girl on Jun 23, 2013 - 50 comments

Universities insufficiently reporting sexual assaults, critics say.

The University of Southern California, Dartmouth College, Swarthmore College, and the University of California, Berkeley are among higher education institutions facing recent scrutiny for their alleged failure to comply with Clery Act reporting requirements. [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on May 31, 2013 - 23 comments

Finding info on your state lawmakers has never been easier

Open States, the latest project of the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation, is an easy to navigate comprehensive database of activities from all state capitols that makes it easy to find your state lawmaker, review their votes, search for legislation, track bills and much more.
posted by joedan on Mar 2, 2013 - 7 comments

15 Quadrillion Dollars

The comment period for the DRAFT Wireless code [PDF] to address some cellular provider abuses is expiring soon (February 15th). Comments can be made here. Highlights of the draft code include: [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Feb 12, 2013 - 17 comments

The beginning of tyranny.

Last year, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's Law School released a report (pdf) detailing new, more restrictive state laws that affect voting rights and are likely to impact the outcome of the 2012 elections. The restrictions "fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities." On August 3rd, 2012, they updated their analysis with a pdf of passed and pending State government legislation. Their conclusion: after a century in which the United States "expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full electoral participation... that momentum [has] abruptly shifted." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 17, 2012 - 47 comments

“So if we continue voting like this in the (House of Commons), there’ll be no b-day for me this year?” tweeted NDP MP Hoang Mai.

It is still June 13 for the Parliament of Canada, where voting has continued overnight on the "omnibus budget bill" (previously), due to 159 separate amendment votes that have been forced by the opposition. None are likely to pass, but the arduous process is meant to function as a protest against legislation which many critics have argued goes far beyond the scope of a traditional budget. [more inside]
posted by mek on Jun 14, 2012 - 76 comments

THOMAS

Apparently, the USHOR Appropriations Committee feels uncomfortable about permitting convenient bulk access to THOMAS database of bills.
posted by jeffburdges on Jun 8, 2012 - 34 comments

Want to find out more about that relative on the 1940 census? Good luck.

It's getting harder to do genealogical research using the SSDI, and this bill might make it impossible. [more inside]
posted by pernoctalian on Apr 5, 2012 - 18 comments

"You don’t defeat terrorists by adopting their tactics" - Del. Bob Marshall

"The legislative goal of HB1160 is to codify in Virginia law noncompliance with...section 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA)." [more inside]
posted by dubold on Feb 23, 2012 - 36 comments

Good for Business; Kids Not So Much

The Failure of Corporate School Reform: schools and school systems desperate for funding often turn to businesses for help. According to some critics, the U.S. educational system has also adopted a corporate philosophy that is at odds with the historical notion of the "common school." Next up: "virtual education reform." A critic's claim: "controlled, rigid, anti-critical teaching results not in subjects with a greater capacity for economic productivity, but the opposite."
posted by mrgrimm on Dec 5, 2011 - 46 comments

ALEC Exposed

ALEC Exposed is a wiki site set up by The Center for Media and Democracy which posts and chronicles leaked documents including more than 800 model bills drafted and approved by corporations during ALEC meetings. The documents have been analyzed and marked-up for clarity. Journalists along with the general public are invited to download the documents and sift through the bills in order to help map the connections back to their own state legislation and legislators. [more inside]
posted by stagewhisper on Jul 14, 2011 - 22 comments

I can't breathe! If only there weren't so many smokers within three feet of me!

City of New York extends full smoking ban to public parks, beaches, and public concourses like Times Square. (slnyt). A surprisingly metafilteresque flamewar can be observed in the comments of the huffington post re-reportage.
posted by tehloki on Feb 2, 2011 - 211 comments

Vermont Challenging Corporate Personhood

One year after the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which, overturning over 100 years of precedent, opened a floodgate of corporate money into election campaigns, Virginia Lyons (D-VT), has introduced legislation (full text of bill not yet available, articles here and here) in the Vermont State Senate to amend the United States Constitution to explicitly state that corporations are not persons. This would overturn the controversial notion of corporate personhood which was established in the 1800s. Controversial not only for the unequal distribution of rights and responsibilities among humans and corporations, some, like Thom Hartmann (previously), have claimed that the notion of corporate personhood was established as an intentional misinterpretation of the decision as recorded by court reporter J.C. Bancroft Davis, former president of the Newburgh & New York Railway Co. [more inside]
posted by laminarial on Jan 24, 2011 - 102 comments

KORUS FTA

The Republic of Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement is the United States' first Free Trade Agreement with a major Asian economy, and its largest trade deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993. It has supporters and detractors.
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 6, 2010 - 49 comments

COICA still alive

The "Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act" (COICA) is back on the Judiciary Committee's schedule. This bill would create two blacklists (without due process) of domains which ISPs (in the USofA) would be forced to block, based on alleged copyright infringement. [more inside]
posted by morganw on Nov 15, 2010 - 42 comments

60th Anniversary of the European Convention of Human Rights

On November 4, 1950, the European Convention of Human Rights was signed in Rome. This site was created as part of the celebration, and apart from the text of the Convention itself it offers landmark judgements and other related information.
posted by rjs on Oct 24, 2010 - 7 comments

Executive Decarbonization

With the climate bill dead and blame portioned, Ezra Klein asks what happens when congress fails? He concludes that "regulations to reduce carbon emissions are alive and well. The Environmental Protection Agency can attack carbon as a pollutant, and the Obama administration's announcement that efforts to hamstring the EPA will be vetoed suggests that they mean to do exactly that." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 30, 2010 - 18 comments

I never broke the law, I AM THE LAW!

Prior to the G20 last weekend in Toronto, the Government of Ontario met in a closed session. Police Chief Bill Blair announced on Friday June 25th that, in this session, a law was passed giving police new powers to demand identification from -- and conduct unwarranted searches of -- anyone approaching within 5 metres of the security fence that had been erected around the downtown core. This law was enforced all weekend; there were more than 900 arrests. Now that the G20 has passed and the proceedings of the closed government session are coming to light, it's become apparent that the law never existed at all. Bill Blair has now acknowledged that he made the whole thing up to "keep the criminals out." [more inside]
posted by 256 on Jun 30, 2010 - 101 comments

Employment Rights for Domestic Workers In New York State

New York State is now poised to pass the nation's first laws mandating that domestic workers receive overtime pay, vacation and sick days and the right to a weekly day of rest. The legislation signed by the state Senate yesterday is based in part on the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which was conceived and lobbied for by Domestic Workers United, who estimate there are over 200,000 nannies, caregivers, and housekeepers in the New York Metropolitan area. Domestic Workers are currently exempt from most US employment laws and as a result remain unprotected by basic workplace guarantees that are given to most employees. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 3, 2010 - 111 comments

New (proposed) copyright law in Canada

The Canadian government has introduced new copyright legislation, which is supposed to strike a balance between the rights of authors and the rights of users. Internet guru Michael Geist weighs in.
posted by anothermug on Jun 2, 2010 - 28 comments

Abortion Not OK in OK

Provoking pro-choice advocates, Oklahoma passed two highly restrictive abortion laws on Tuesday. One (rtf file) requires doctors to show women an ultrasound of their fetus and point out its physical characteristics — even if the patient was impregnated through rape or incest. The second (rtf file) stipulates that doctors cannot be sued if they decide to lie to an expectant mother regarding her baby's birth defects. A third requires clinics to post signs telling patients they cannot be forced to have an abortion. The first law prompted an immediate lawsuit from Tulsa's only abortion clinic. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 30, 2010 - 169 comments

The public are right to think we are pretty pointless

The Digital Economy Bill has passed the UK House of Commons on its third reading, despite strong opposition in the chamber, from digital rights activist group ORG, and from the public. [more inside]
posted by motty on Apr 7, 2010 - 46 comments

Obama Told Me I Was Doing The Right Thing

A medical marijuana provider in California is mounting a novel defense after his marijuana farm was raided by Federal agents. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Dec 31, 2009 - 69 comments

Senate Sends Health Care Bill to Floor

The Senate votes to bring health care bill (text in an amendment) to floor, 60-39. Major concessions extracted by holdout senators. Other analysis here and here. Differences between this and the House bill.
posted by shivohum on Nov 22, 2009 - 74 comments

Health Care Has Passed

The House of Representatives just passed the health reform bill in a vote of 220-215.
posted by reenum on Nov 7, 2009 - 425 comments

Sen. Lamb is confident that the bill will be upheld, calling it "common-sense legislation"

On May 21, 2009, Oklahoma's governor signed the Statistical Reporting of Abortion Act (pdf). The act requires, as a condition of having the procedure done, that each woman fill out an "Individual Abortion Form" containing personal details, including age, county where abortion was performed, race, marital status, years of education, state of residence, number and result of previous pregnancies, and the reason for the abortion. [more inside]
posted by cereselle on Oct 15, 2009 - 131 comments

Crash-for-Clunkers

The US House of Representatives today passed a Cash-for-Clunkers bill, giving people up to $4,500 to trade in their old cars for newer, more efficient cars. Inspired by European and Chinese successes, the bill is naturally not without its detractors.
posted by spiderskull on Jun 9, 2009 - 63 comments

Taking back the catalytic converter.

Bob Barr and Ralph Nader support the Right to Repair Act of 2009 -- to protect the rights of consumers to diagnose, service, maintain, and repair their motor vehicles. [more inside]
posted by puckish on May 20, 2009 - 271 comments

Witness to a womb

Sixteen states already have laws [PDF] related to abortion ultrasounds . Eleven more states have recently introduced bills that demand that a woman who wants an abortion be forced to look at the ultrasound, while a doctor describes what she is seeing. All of these bills are because the legislators believe that adoption is the only choice a woman should make. This essay, On Living Pro-Lifer's Choice for Women, explores the difficulties faced by birth mothers who choose that path.
posted by dejah420 on Mar 17, 2009 - 505 comments

The 30-Second Senate Session

The 30-Second Senate Session: In order to prevent President Bush from making recess appointments, the U.S. Senate will technically stay open over the Thanksgiving holiday. The result? A U.S. Senate session that lasts, gavel-to-gavel, exactly 30 seconds.
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Nov 21, 2007 - 79 comments

The store clerk, who had talked with Curtis, referred to him as “The Cross-Dresser” ...

Closeted gay GOP elected official with an anti-gay voting record #756,394 --(Special Halloween Edition!) GOP Washington State Representative Richard Curtis says he’s not gay, but police reports and court records indicate the Republican lawmaker from southwestern Washington dressed up in women’s lingerie and met a Medical Lake man in a local erotic video store which led to consensual sex at a downtown hotel and a threat to expose Curtis’ activities publicly…. He resigned today.--Curtis is the third conservative lawmaker in just as many months to resign amid allegations of soliciting gay sex.
Bubbling up--and being sat on--by the DC Press Corps is a potentially devastating sexual scandal involving a leading Presidential candidate.
posted by amberglow on Oct 31, 2007 - 143 comments

What. The. F*ck. Clean Air Act (2005)?

The US Clean Air Act makes it illegal to sell highly environmentally-friendly cars in 42 states. Apparently.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Sep 4, 2007 - 42 comments

Mo' money, mo' legislation

Is there a link between donations given and bills passed? MAPLight.org aims to help you find out, giving you the ability to compare contributions with how legislators voted. [Via]
posted by djgh on Aug 15, 2007 - 38 comments

Im in ur congress, monitoring changes to ur legislation

Slashdot poster has brilliant legislative reform idea: "Source Control for Bills in Congress." What if sneaky changes to pending legislation showed up as soon as they were made instead of in ominously worded media reports months later?
posted by grobstein on Mar 7, 2007 - 62 comments

Food for thought

The new war on hunger. No strangers to controversy, the Food Not Bombs Network generated further discord while distributing meals to others. In the course of its work, FNB's food lines often neglect the issue(s) of sanitation disposal. In response, Legislation has been swiftly drafted to correct problem; feeding the destitute in public gathering areas has since become a criminal offense in a number of cities.
posted by Smart Dalek on Jul 27, 2006 - 37 comments

U.S. Crackdown on internet gambling intensifies

Foreign owner of internet gambling site arrested as he attempted to change planes in Dallas. The Department of Justice announced his indictment on 22 counts and caused stock prices to drop rapidly on publicly traded gambling issues. A cynic might suppose that the arrest was related to his outspoken role as a critic of the pending anti-gambling legislation. The proposed legislation is clarified on the Daily Show
posted by Lame_username on Jul 18, 2006 - 57 comments

I bet you look real purty in a burka, baby...

The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (S. 1955) has passed out of committee and is now slated for a floor vote. The bill is ostensibly designed to save small employers money and extend health insurance options to employees who hadn’t had them. What it is actually likely to do is end basic health insurance coverage for women (and diabetics); birth control, regularly taken prescriptions, cancer screenings, maternity care, and more. Women in every state will lose benefits. S. 1955 would allow insurance plans to ignore important state laws that protect patients, directly affecting more than 90 million Americans. [more inside]
posted by dejah420 on May 2, 2006 - 42 comments

Information wants to be free.

Wikipedia wrangling once more: the entire German edition was shut down this week over the contents of a single entry. The parents of the article's subject, a German hacker who died in 1998 under mysterious circumstances, are displeased with his real name being disclosed in the encyclopedia. It is now back online; however, the future of the family's efforts is currently unclear, not only due to the German order's debatable validity in the US - but also because the order was, initially at least, mistakenly addressed to St. Petersburg, Russia, instead of St. Petersburg, Florida.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jan 20, 2006 - 18 comments

There Oughta Be a Law

Make Your Own Law Psst, Newsfilter
Assemblyman Jimmy Meng wants his Flushing, New York constituents to submit their best ideas for new legislation. The best proposal will be introduced as a bill in Albany.
posted by fenriq on Oct 8, 2005 - 26 comments

What do you mean the EPA timed out?

A bill, quietly up for debate before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and backed by the Whitehouse, proposes to improve the performance of the Executive branch of the US Government by requiring that all Governmental agencies be given a 10 year shelf life at the end of which time they must be reinstated by a Presidentially appointed "Sunset Committee" or fade into the history books.
posted by Pollomacho on Sep 26, 2005 - 45 comments

Time to Take Out the Trash

Draft legislation was published today that proposes that fifteen parcels in the National Park System be sold off for "purposes of commercial and residential development." Many of the parcels are in Alaska, but one is Theodore Roosevelt Island park, developed to honor one of our country's most recognizable environmentalists. It seems the Onion gives us the news from the future once again...Way to go, DCist for breaking the story!
posted by chinese_fashion on Sep 23, 2005 - 14 comments

"Justifying or glorifying terrorism" becomes illegal in UK

"Justifying or glorifying terrorism anywhere" will become an offence in the UK under hastily-drafted new legislation. Will the police arrest historians who celebrate the French Resistance and the Warsaw Uprising, or Americans who claim that it's okay to bomb Cuban airliners? What form of words could you suggest for the legislation to use, that would define "terrorism" to include al-Qaeda and the pro-Aristide fighters in Haiti, but exclude the Miami-based ex-Cubans?
posted by cleardawn on Aug 6, 2005 - 117 comments

Cloture for Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005

A Senate bill to overhaul federal bankruptcy laws, a top priority of retailers, auto lenders and banks, cleared a key hurdle Tuesday afternoon. Sixty-nine senators -- nine more than needed -- voted for "cloture," a procedural move that limits debate. Republican leaders hope to push the bill to a final vote by the end of the week. Earlier, the Senate turned back a controversial, abortion-related amendment that has scuttled previous efforts to pass bankruptcy legislation. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 was first introduced in 1998 as The Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Act.
posted by airguitar on Mar 8, 2005 - 63 comments

Forget screwing in lightbulbs...

How many lawmakers does it take to declare war? Used to be 218 of the 435. Now, in a time of crisis, it's potentially less than 12. This is something that has been looked at before. Is this the best possible solution?
posted by rocket_skates on Jan 10, 2005 - 30 comments

Taking the Long View

Only in 1967 did Loving v. Virginia overturn vigorously-enforced laws against interracial marriage in these 15 states--Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Only in 1964 did the Civil Rights Act overturn laws against equal access to voting, public accommodation, and public education. Only in 1963 did the Equal Pay Act mandate that men and women be paid the same wage for the same work at the same job. History isn't a superhighway, leading us in straight lines toward utopia. We fall back and we move forward, but over the past fifty years, the United States has become considerably more inclusive and equality of access to opportunity has widened. Take a look at this article from the Atlantic Monthly in 1956--1956!--if you don't believe me.
posted by Sidhedevil on Nov 4, 2004 - 190 comments

INDUCE vomiting

Orrin Hatch thinks of the children. As a convenient lever for shutting down P2P networks.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders on Jun 23, 2004 - 13 comments

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