Latest Human rights and civil liberties News

Shelly Smith braids hair for Bridget Dunmore at her salon, Braid Heaven Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020 in Kansas City, Kan. Legislators in Kansas and Wisconsin are considering whether to revise their states' anti-discrimination laws to ban bias in housing, employment and public accommodations based on hairstyles

Midwestern states consider banning bias based on hairstyles

Jan. 28, 2020 5:44 PM EST

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Black female legislators in two predominantly white Midwestern states urged their Republican colleagues Tuesday to join a national push to outlaw discrimination based on hairstyles such as braids and dreadlocks. Legislative committees in Kansas and Wisconsin held separate hearings on...

Unite Here labor union staying neutral in Democratic primary

Jan. 28, 2020 5:29 PM EST

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Unite Here, the parent of the large Nevada union representing hotel and casino workers, announced Tuesday that it is not planning to endorse a candidate in the Democratic presidential primary. A statement on the decision released Tuesday did not indicate whether the Culinary Union, the...

FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2019 file photo, Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at pre-legislative news conference on in Tallahassee, Fla.  The state of Florida is asking a U.S. appellate court in Georgia to set aside an earlier judge's ruling that allowed some impoverished felons to regain access to the ballot box, despite owing fines and other legal debts.  The matter that will play out Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020 before the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals is far from inconsequential because of the razor-thin margins that sometimes decide election contests in Florida, a perennial battleground state.(AP Photo/Steve Cannon, File)

Appeals court weighs Florida law on felon voting rights

Jan. 28, 2020 5:27 PM EST

ATLANTA (AP) — Lawyers for the electoral battleground state of Florida asked a federal appeals court on Tuesday to set aside a ruling that allowed some felons to regain access to the ballot box despite owing fines and other legal debts. Florida Republicans, led by Gov. Ron DeSantis, argue that only felons...

Group clears 1st steps for anti-discrimination ballot drive

Jan. 28, 2020 4:41 PM EST

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A group organizing a Michigan ballot drive to protect LGBT people from discrimination says it will begin collecting signatures after state election officials approved the format and wording of the petition. The Fair and Equal Michigan campaign secured the optional approvals from the...

FILE — In this April 9, 2019 file photo is the California Department of Motor Vehicles office in the Arleta neighborhood of Los Angeles. The California DMV announced Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, that it has come to an agreement with soccer fan Jonathan Kotler who had sued the department claiming it had violated his First Amendment rights by rejecting a personalized license plate he said would celebrate his favorite team, but which the DMV said might be deemed offensive. The lawsuit said Kotler applied for a plate that would read COYW, an abbreviation of

California settles lawsuit with soccer fan over vanity plate

Jan. 28, 2020 4:41 PM EST

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California soccer fan has won in his attempt to honor his favorite soccer team with the vanity plate “COYW” -- an acronym for the slogan “Come On You Whites.” The state Department of Motor Vehicles initially said the tagline has offensive...

South Dakota governor renews push for 'riot boosting' laws

Jan. 28, 2020 4:20 PM EST

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem on Tuesday renewed her pitch for lawmakers to try again to pass laws against “riot boosting," despite opposition from Native American tribes who say Noem's proposal unfairly targets expected protests of the Keystone XL pipeline. Noem sent...

Man pleads in 2019 double slaying; Sentencing set for April

Jan. 28, 2020 3:38 PM EST

BOSSIER CITY, La. (AP) — A 23-year-old Louisiana man has agreed to a plea deal in the double slaying of a mother and daughter that was sparked by a dispute over custody of his children. Prosecutors said Frederick Dewayne Jackson was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder for January 2019 shooting of...

Bill revisited on protective orders for vulnerable adults

Jan. 28, 2020 3:28 PM EST

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire lawmaker submitted a revised bill Tuesday aimed at protecting vulnerable adults from abuse, exploitation and neglect, but opponents expressed concern that it still infringes on the Second Amendment rights of those who are accused. The Legislature passed a bill last...

FILE - In this March 12, 2019, file photo, Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace rallies protesters against gun control legislation at a gathering outside the New Mexico state Capitol in Santa Fe. Sheriffs across much of New Mexico are opposed to a legislative proposal from Democratic lawmakers to allow police or relatives to ask a court to temporarily take away guns from people who might harm themselves or others. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee, File)

Gun debate prompts weapons ban at New Mexico state Senate

Jan. 28, 2020 3:25 PM EST

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Lawmakers began discussing legislation Tuesday that would allow authorities to take guns away from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others. Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham are pushing for legislation. Hundreds of people filled the state Senate gallery,...

Senate makes tweaks to workplace conduct rules

Jan. 28, 2020 3:11 PM EST

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — While the Washington Senate will continue to automatically release full investigative reports on sexual harassment or discrimination by senators, other types of workplace complaints against lawmakers might not automatically be sent out by the secretary of the Senate, under an update...