July 15: Legal Hearings Begin Against S.B. 1070
Arguments against S.B.1070, Arizona's stringent law to stop illegal immigration, began Thursday in Phoenix, Arizona. Federal District Court Judge Susan Bolton is overseeing all the legal challenges. At least seven lawsuits have been filed, including two by Arizona police officers David Salgado and Martin H. Escobar, plus a suit by the Department of Justice. Additional cases will be heard July 22, and S.B. 1070 is to go into effect July 29th.
July 6: U.S.A. v. Arizona
The Justice Department has sued Gov. Jan Brewer and Arizona over its controversial immigration law. In a statement, Attorney General Eric Holder said: "Setting immigration policy and enforcing immigration laws is a national responsibility. Seeking to address the issue through a patchwork of state laws will only create more problems than it solves." A ruling on a temporary injunction is expected before the law takes effect at the end of July.
June 18: Justice Department vs. Arizona
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was "stunned and angered" by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's remarks that the Obama administration would go to court to stop Arizona's controversial SB1070 law . "It's outrageous and unacceptable," Brewer said. A senior Obama administration official told CNN they were planning to file a suit within a month. On May 9th, Attorney Eric Holder said he might consider a federal lawsuit for possible civil rights violations. SB1070 is scheduled take effect July 29th.
June 16: Prop. 8 final arguments
Prop. 8, California's November 2008 ballot measure prohibiting same-sex marriage, has final closing arguments in the federal court case challenging the prop's constitutionality Wednesday. The proposition was passed after same-sex marriage was legalized two years ago, and upheld by the California State Supreme Court. CNN's Dan Simon is at the San Francisco courthouse, and notes: "Whatever happens here is ultimately destined for the Supreme Court. While this ruling is significant, we'll see these arguments play out over next few years."
June 15: Oil explosion widow's words for President
Tuesday as oil executives spoke to congress. Sheila Clark, the widow of a worker killed in the oil explosion, told TheGrio what she would like to hear the President say in his address:"I would like to hear him to go into as much detail as he can. How the steps, the measures he's going to take to go about ... taking care of this and making sure that people are doing what they're supposed to be doing."
June 10: Border shooting
Thursday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Mark Qualia told CNN that the 15-year-old Mexican teenager shot and killed by a US Border Patrol Agent had been involved in human smuggling. A week ago, Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca was killed after allegedly throwing rocks, which agents consider a dangerous assault. This occurred several weeks after President Obama promised additional troops at the US-Mexico border. CNN Polls show Americans support increased border security, while critics say this incident is symbolic of a broken immigration system.
June 8: A woman's place
Republican women are key players in the midterm elections Tuesday. Former E-bay CEO Meg Whitman, is in a tight race in California's gubernatorial primary. Gilda Morales, who tracks statistics for the non-partisan Center for American Women and Politics, notes: "It is unprecedented the number of Republican women that what are running. It is the first time we are seeing a 1:1 ratio of Democrat and Republican women." Some observers credit Sarah Palin's example as a factor for this surge.
June 4: Report: Increased intermarriage in U.S.
14.6% of new marriages in the U.S. in 2008 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity. Friday, the Pew Research Center released a report detailing this record number. 30.8% of Asian-Americans and 25.5% of Hispanics "married out." 22% of African-American men married outside of their race, the most surprising find for Jeff Passel, one of the study's authors. He attributes the numbers to and increased acceptance of marrying outside one's race or ethnicity and the integration of schools and workplaces. Overall, whites marrying outside race or ethnicity doubled, while black intermarriage tripled.
June 2: Arizona governor takes on president
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is ready to take on President Obama. Brewer told John King she would say "We'll meet you in court" if the Department of Justice sued Arizona over SB1070. She meets with Obama on Thursday to discuss Arizona's controversial immigration reform law. Leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus asked Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano to end partnerships with Arizona police; organizations and cities have restricted business with Arizona, and musicians have banned performances. 57% of Americans support the law and some will march in Phoenix this Saturday.
June 1: Could the New Guard come to the Old South?
Artur Davis could be the first African-American Democratic gubernatorial nominee for Alabama on Tuesday. Davis, a former Harvard Law School classmate of President Obama, is noted for his similar campaign style which aims to reach voters beyond a black constituency. Some civil rights organizations support his opponent, Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, who is white. Davis told The New York Times that his goal was to build "the most diverse winning coalition a candidate for governor has ever put together in this state."
May 31: Vietnamese community challenged again
After Hurricane Katrina, the Vietnamese community of New Orleans was one of was one of the first groups to return. Now, the BP oil spill is challenging this community again. Vuong Ky-Son, Host of Radio-Free Vietnam in New Orleans, estimates that as many 20,000 Southeast Asians live in the area, and most are involved in industries impacted by the spill. Ky-Son described fisherman response: "Most of them are very anxious, because they have nothing to do and have no income. Most would get 15,000 - 20,000 during this season. Now, they are waiting, and applying for assistance for the government."
May 24: Tea Party Favorite Under Fire
Last week, Rand Paul, the Tea Party-backed eye doctor, won Kentucky's Republican Senate primary, and he also learned Rule #1 of public office: myopic philosophies rarely play well to the mainstream. Rand took issue with the 1964 Civil Rights Act's impact on private business and called the president's actions toward BP "un-American." CNN's Political Director Sam Feist explains: "He stayed true to Libertarian philosophy, but it is not always good politics." Rand later elaborated to Wolf Blitzer, other media clarified what his position meant, and opined why he probably isn't racist--or Libertarian.
May 20: Texas textbook controversy
The Texas State Board of Education has proposed changes to the social studies curriculum that would encourage students to learn about country western music rather than hip hop; refer to the slave trade as the "Atlantic triangular trade"; and learn the "unintended consequences" of affirmative action and Title IX. AC360 producer David Puente is on the ground and observes: "This is a very contentious debate -- people are voting along party lines." Critics have charged the largely conservative board with watering down history. Supporters allege it's correcting liberal textbooks. A final vote expected Friday. Beyond Texas implications?
May 19: Calderón on SB1070; MLK and Malcolm X
Mexican President Felipe Calderón commented Wednesday that Arizona's SB1070 allowed "our people to face discrimination." Later, the White House hosts the leader and his wife at a state dinner. One person who was not invited: Rep. Luis Gutierrez. He was arrested after leading a protest against the immigration law in a previous White House visit. ... Wednesday would have been Malcolm X's 85th birthday. In New York, a commemoration will feature the first public discussion about the three unpublished chapters originally excluded from his autobiography. His killer was recently paroled after 44 years.
May 18: Lakers coach protested
On Monday night, dozens protested LA Laker Coach Phil Jackson. In comments to ESPN, Jackson seem to support SB1070, Arizona's controversial law on immigration. Protesters called for Jackson to denounce the law. Jackson has released a statement in response, stating in part: "I have respect for those who oppose the new Arizona immigration law, but I am wary of putting entire sports organizations in the middle of political controversies."
May 17: 1st Arab-American as Miss USA
Rima Fakih is possibly the first Arab-American and Muslim winner of the Miss USA contest. The 24-year-old was born in Srifa, Lebanon, raised in New York and moved to Michigan in 2003. She attended the University of Michigan, and previously won the Miss Lebanon USA contest. She will represent the U.S. in the Miss Universe pageant on August 22. Barbara Aswad, professor emeritus of Middle East Studies at Wayne State University, said that the win "breaks many of the negative stereotypes Arab-Americans and Muslims have had to live through and suffer through, especially after 9/11."
May 14: Pitbull takes bite out of SB1070
Armando Christian Pérez, the popular rapper known as Pitbull, has canceled his Phoenix, Arizona concert to protest SB1070, a controversial Arizona law spotting illegal immigration. In a tweet to fans, and a post on his website he announced: "I am canceling my concert in Phoenix on May 31. How is the country we enjoy and love bcuz of its human rights, freedom, opportunity and that has been built by immigrants, now start 2 deny them? It is contradicting 2 everything the USA stands 4." He joins other artists speaking out against the law, including Shakira. CNN reporter Ines Ferre reports that nineteen cities have boycotted, or are considering boycotting the state in response to the law. Governor Jan Brewer has created a task force of local business and tourism leaders to address the loss of business. She told CNN affiliate KNXV: "I think the falsehood is that there's racial profiling. Racial profiling is illegal. You're not going to be asked for identification unless you've committed a crime."