Latest Southern Poverty Law Center News

Demonstrators are seen during a pro-gun rally, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Richmond, Va. Thousands of pro-gun supporters are expected at the rally to oppose gun control legislation like universal background checks that are being pushed by the newly elected Democratic legislature. (AP Photo/Sarah Rankin)

Pro-gun rally by thousands in Virginia ends peacefully

Jan. 20, 2020 10:56 PM EST

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Tens of thousands of gun-rights activists from around the country rallied peacefully at the Virginia Capitol on Monday to protest plans by the state's Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation — a move that has become a key flash point in the national debate over gun...

The Virginia state Capitol building is surrounded by fencing, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 in Richmond, Va., in preparation for Monday's rally by gun rights advocates. Gun-rights groups are asking a judge to block the Virginia governor's ban on firearms at a massive pro-gun rally scheduled for next week. Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday, Jan. 15, announced a state of emergency and banned all weapons from the rally at the Capitol.  (Dean Hoffmeyer/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

A look at expected participants in Virginia gun rally

Jan. 20, 2020 1:18 AM EST

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — State officials and U.S. hate-monitoring groups are warning about the potential for violence ahead of a gun-rights rally in Virginia that's expected to draw a mix of militias, firearms advocates and white supremacists to Richmond. Citing credible threats of violence, Gov. Ralph...

Fencing and magnetometers are set up around Capitol Square for the anticipated pro gun rally at the Virginia State Capitol Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A look at expected participants in Virginia gun rally

Jan. 19, 2020 3:00 PM EST

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — State officials and U.S. hate-monitoring groups are warning about the potential for violence ahead of a gun-rights rally in Virginia that's expected to draw a mix of militias, firearms advocates and white supremacists to Richmond. Citing credible threats of violence, Gov. Ralph...

FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019 file photo, Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at pre-legislative news conference in Tallahassee, Fla.  The 60-day Florida legislative session that begins Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020,  will have lawmakers considering everything from coconut patties to a state budget expected to exceed $90 billion. Lawmakers are also expected to address abortion rights, private gun sales and environmental issues such as the rise in sea level. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon, File)

Florida high court sides with governor on felon voter rights

Jan. 16, 2020 5:17 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court sided with Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday in a legal dispute over restoring voting rights to felons with unpaid fines — one of many clashes over the ballot box in a state that will play a crucial role in this year's presidential election. The court's...

Commission investigating Florida high school massacre sued

Jan. 15, 2020 6:26 PM EST

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Student and civil rights groups are suing the commission investigating the 2018 Florida high school massacre, saying it illegally adjourned a recent meeting before the public could speak and held the meeting at an inaccessible location. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed...

Prisoner advocates hold signs supporting inmate rights at a protest outside the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. The protesters called on the federal government to investigate Mississippi's prison system for possible civil rights violations. They say five deaths in recent days highlights deliberate violations of inmates' constitutional rights. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Legal group seeks federal inquiry into Mississippi prisons

Jan. 7, 2020 5:22 PM EST

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Prisoner advocates are calling on the federal government to investigate Mississippi’s prison system for possible civil rights violations, saying the violence of recent days highlights deliberate violations of inmates’ constitutional right to be free from cruel and...

Attorneys: Alabama making little progress in prison staffing

Jan. 4, 2020 12:29 AM EST

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama has made little progress in meeting a court order to dramatically increase the number of corrections officers working in state prisons, attorneys for state inmates told a federal judge Friday. Attorneys from the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote in a court filing in an...

Tina Turner mural defaced at North Carolina record store

Dec. 27, 2019 12:34 PM EST

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Employees at a record store in North Carolina say a mural of pop star Tina Turner has been defaced with a red swastika. The Citizen Times reported Thursday that the mural is outside Static Age Records in downtown Asheville. Store owner Jesse McSwain said someone unconnected to the...

FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2019, file photo, is the Migration Protection Protocols Immigration Hearing Facility, a new tent court facility made up of tents and portable pods along the Rio Grande in Laredo, Texas. Law groups representing immigrants say the immigration court system under the Trump administration has become a

Lawsuit says immigration courts are now deportation machines

Dec. 18, 2019 1:24 PM EST

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The immigration court system under the Trump administration has become a “deportation machine," two groups said in a lawsuit filed in federal court on Wednesday. The lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center in Washington, D.C., and Innovation Law Lab of Portland, Oregon,...

Southern Poverty Law Center employees vote to join union

Dec. 16, 2019 5:42 PM EST

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Employees of Southern Poverty Law Center civil rights organization the have voted to unionize, the SPLC announced Monday. The employees voted to join the Washington-Baltimore News Guild. The vote was 142-45, according to the SPLC union twitter account. Karen Baynes-Dunning,...