Latest Southern Poverty Law Center News

Louis Sheldon, anti-gay Christian group founder, dies at 85

May. 29, 2020 6:52 PM EDT

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, who founded the Traditional Values Coalition, a lobbying group that was largely known for opposing homosexuality and gay rights, died Friday. He was 85. Sheldon, a former Anaheim resident, died in Southern California of a longstanding condition, son-in-law...

Justice Department defends Alabama absentee ballot rule

May. 26, 2020 6:29 PM EDT

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s requirement to have witnesses sign an absentee ballot is not a violation of the Voting Rights Act, the U.S. Department of Justice argued in a brief Monday. The Justice Department filed the statement of interest in a lawsuit that contends Alabama’s election...

Prosecutor: Grand jury to weigh charges in Georgia shooting

May. 5, 2020 5:17 PM EDT

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia prosecutor said Tuesday that he wants a grand jury to decide if criminal charges are warranted in the death of a man shot after a pursuit by armed men who later told police they suspected him of being a burglar. Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was killed Feb. 23 in a neighborhood outside...

Lawsuit challenges Alabama voting rules during pandemic

May. 1, 2020 6:22 PM EDT

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A lawsuit filed Friday challenges Alabama’s election procedures by arguing that restrictions on absentee ballots and a lack of other voting methods jeopardize the health of voters — especially older voters, black voters, and voters with disabilities — during the...

Dr. Franklyn Rocha Cabrero, left, and Dr. Claudia Alvarez, center, and others protest conditions that detainees being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement face outside of the Broward Transitional Center, during the new coronavirus pandemic, Friday, May 1, 2020, in Pompano Beach, Fla. A Miami federal judge has ordered the release of some detainees from ICE custody at three South Florida detention centers due to conditions related to COVID-19. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Judge orders release of migrants in Florida as virus measure

May. 1, 2020 3:13 PM EDT

MIAMI (AP) — A federal judge ordered authorities to release hundreds of immigrants from three Florida detention centers to prevent a wider spread of the coronavirus and protect detainees with underlying conditions. U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Cooke issued an order late Thursday for the U.S....

Civil rights group demands federal probe of Georgia killing

Apr. 30, 2020 5:19 PM EDT

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A civil rights organization is demanding a federal investigation into the deadly shooting of a black man chased through a South Georgia neighborhood by two armed white men who thought he seemed suspicious. The February killing of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery appears to have been racially...

FILE - In this April 9, 2019 file photo, people protest against school vouchers in Nashville, Tenn.  Tennessee education officials remained largely in the dark on how parents misspent school voucher funds while using state-issued debit cards over the past school year, a review by The Associated Press has found.  The Tennessee voucher program is currently modest in scale but is set to expand under Republican leadership over the next year. Under the program, the state gives families of children with certain disabilities the option of removing their student from public school and then provided a state-issued debit card loaded with tax dollars to help cover their children's needs in the private sector. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

Judge weighs Tennessee voucher program arguments

Apr. 29, 2020 6:51 PM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee judge on Wednesday weighed a wide range of arguments surrounding the legal battle over the state's much-debated school voucher program, noting that she plans on making a decision soon to ensure parents have enough time to plan ahead for the 2020-21 school year. The...

FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 file photo, Washington state Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, gestures as he gives a speech in front of the liberty state flag at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., during a rally held by people advocating splitting Washington state into two separate states and questioning the legality of Washington's I-1639 gun-control measure. Prominent state lawmaker Shea says the coronavirus is a foreign bio-weapon and claims Marxists are using the pandemic to advance totalitarianism. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Far-right US politicians label lockdowns anti-constitutional

Apr. 14, 2020 11:54 PM EDT

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — In deeply conservative eastern Washington state, a prominent state lawmaker kicked out of his Republican Party caucus labels the coronavirus as a foreign bio-weapon, accuses Marxists of using the pandemic to advance totalitarianism and rails against lockdown restrictions imposed by...

This is an undated Mississippi booking photo provided by Department of Corrections shows Willie Nash. . The Mississippi Supreme Court confirmed Nash's 12-year prison sentence for carrying his mobile phone into a county jail cell,  on Jan. 9, 2020. The ruling on the 2018 sentencing is being slammed by some people as a brutal example of racial injustice. (Mississippi Department of Corrections via AP)

Mississippi court won't undo 12-year sentence for jail phone

Apr. 10, 2020 10:47 AM EDT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — An attorney says he will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the 12-year prison sentence given to an African American man in Mississippi for carrying his mobile phone into a jail cell after he was arrested on a misdemeanor charge. The Mississippi Supreme Court said Thursday that it...

Groups seek to block Tennessee school voucher implementation

Apr. 7, 2020 1:56 PM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — As Tennessee schools currently remain closed to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus, state officials are accepting applications for a new education voucher program that would allow eligible families to use public tax dollars on private tuition during the upcoming school...