Voting Rights Act of 1965 – 50th Anniversary


The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C.§§19731973aa-6) is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S.

Echoing the language of the 15th Amendment, the Act prohibits states from imposing any “voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure … to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.”Specifically Congress intended the Act to outlaw the practice of requiring otherwise qualified voters to pass literacy tests in order to register to vote, a principal means by which Southern states had prevented African-Americans from exercising the franchise. The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat, who had earlier signed the landmark; Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.

Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_Rights_Act

History of Federal Voting Rights Laws

PBO's Statement on Supreme Court's decision on Shelby vs Holder

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Where Tuesday’s Voting Rights Act ruling matters, in one map

June 25, 2013 at 11:37 By Dylan Matthews – washingtonpost

Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which outlines how the government is to determine which states, counties, towns, and other jurisdictions have to have their voting laws “precleared” by the Justice Department, is unconstitutional. But which jurisdictions currently face preclearance, and, barring Congressional action, are now freed from that requirement?

6:25:13 Supreme Court ruled that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional

For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/25/where-tuesdays-voting-rights-act-ruling-matters-in-one-map/

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Holder to black leaders: ‘Sacred’ right to vote under attack

5/30/12 11:28 AM EDT By JOSEPH WILLIAMS – POLITICO

Attorney General Eric Holder told a council of African American church leaders Wednesday that the “sacred” right to vote is under assault nationwide, with federal lawsuits and at least a dozen state laws that could weaken — or block — minority access to the ballot box this fall.

Forty-seven years after President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, “overt and subtle forms of discrimination still exists,” Holder said in a speech before the Council of Black Churches. The twin factors of lingering bias and systematic assaults from the right, he said, means that “for the first time in our [lifetimes], we are failing to live up to one of our most noble ideals” – the right to equal access to the vote.

The brief speech was a call to arms for the black church, which since the days of the civil rights movement has been active in fighting for equal voting right for minorities. Holder, who was warmly received by the audience, told them his office is “aggressively” taking on the task of protecting that right, including challenging several state lawsuits that would overturn key provisions of the Voting Rights Act involving redistricting in Southern states and strict new voter I’d laws that could keep minorities, the elderly and young people of all races from casting ballots in the 2012 election – which analysts expect will be decided by a narrow margin.

Ensuring that everyone who is qualified can vote “is one of our highest priorities,” Holder told the council, adding that during his watch the Justice Department has taken on more than 100 cases involving voting within the past year, “a record number.” Since President Bush re-authorized the Section 5 provision of the Voting Rights Act, which requires some Southern states to get federal approval before making broad changes to laws involving voting, “it has consistently come under attack by those who say it is no longer needed.”

Holder also rejected conservatives’ contention that making it easier to vote invites fraud, a key argument in calling for tougher voter I’d laws. Recalling that protesters and faith leaders faced violence and death to gain that right during the 1960s civil rights movement, Holder called on black churches to mobilize as an ally of the Justice Department, informing the larger community and pushing back against restrictive proposals.

“We have to honor the generations that took extraordinary risks” to guarantee equal access to the polls, Holder said. The nation has made tremendous progress, he added, but “this fight must go on.”

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Tribal leaders welcome Holder’s voting access plan

Tuesday, 10 June 2014 15:28 by RACHEL D’ORO, Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday his office will consult with tribes across the country to develop ways to increase voting access for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Holder said the goal is to require state and local election officials to place at least one polling site in a location chosen by tribal governments in parts of the nation that include tribal lands. Barriers to voting, he said, include English-only ballots and inaccessible polling places.

In Alaska, for example, the village of Kasigluk is separated into two parts by a river with no bridge. On election day, people on one side have just a few hours to vote before a ballot machine is taken by boat to the other side. Several other Alaska villages have been designated as permanent absentee voting areas, which is something allowed by regulation, according to Gail Fenumiai, director of the state Division of Elections.

In Montana, a voting rights lawsuit is pending from tribal members on the Crow, Northern Cheyenne and Fort Belknap reservations. They want county officials to set up satellite voting offices to make up for the long distances they must travel to reach courthouses for early voting or late registration.

“These conditions are not only unacceptable, they’re outrageous,” Holder said. “As a nation, we cannot — and we will not — simply stand by as the voices of Native Americans are shut out of the democratic process.”

After consulting with tribal leaders, his office will seek to work with Congress on a potential legislative proposal, Holder said.

For more: http://www.nativetimes.com/index.php/news/politics/10019-tribal-leaders-welcome-holder-s-voting-access-plan

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Republicans slam brakes on voting rights bill

8/01/15  By Mike Lillis –  TheHill

House Republican leaders are slamming the brakes on voting rights legislation, insisting that any movement on the issue go through a key Republican committee chairman who opposes the proposal.

House Democrats are pressing hard on GOP leaders to bring the new voter protections directly to the floor.

That would sidestep consideration in the House Judiciary Committee, where Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has rejected a bipartisan proposal to update the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA) in the wake of a 2013 Supreme Court decision that gutted a central provision of that law.Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other Republican leaders say the bill must go through Judiciary.“Speaker Boehner has said that he believes that the Voting Rights Act has been an effective tool in protecting a right that is fundamental to our democracy. That’s why we reauthorized the law for 25 years in 2006,” a Boehner spokesperson said Friday in an email. “He also believes that if members want to change the law, those discussions will have to begin at the Judiciary Committee.”That position effectively kills the legislation, as Goodlatte, after staging a hearing on the issue in 2013, has maintained that a congressional response is unnecessary because the Court left intact other parts of the VRA ensuring voters are protected –– a message his office reiterated on Friday.

The Voting Rights Act is alive and well and protecting the freedom to vote,” a Judiciary aide said in an email.

House Democrats believed that Republicans were open to moving the legislation directly to the floor.

Rep. Jim Clyburn (S.C.), the third-ranking House Democrat, said he spoke with Boehner last week, and that Boehner had made Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) “the point man” on the issue.

“He [Boehner] didn’t mention Judiciary to me,” Clyburn said Tuesday. “When I spoke to him, he mentioned Kevin McCarthy being the point person on this and, quite frankly, I’m assuming [he] is the person we would be dealing with.”

On Thursday, Clyburn amplified those remarks, saying he expects the discussion to proceed through McCarthy, though he hasn’t talked to the majority leader recently.

“He is still the point man, but I have not discussed it with him,” Clyburn said. “The Speaker led me to believe that he [McCarthy] would reach out to me when he wanted to talk.”

But McCarthy’s office on Friday disputed those claims, suggesting the only pathway supported by GOP leaders is through the Judiciary panel.

For more: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/249959-republicans-slam-brakes-on-voting-rights-bill

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US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1863-1963 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1964-2009 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

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President Obama is joined by Attorney General Loretta Lynch
and U.S. House of Representative John Lewis 
 in calling for the restoration of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

White House Tech Demo Day

WH Tech Demo Day 2015

The first-ever White House Demo Day will bring together entrepreneurs from all walks of life, from all across the country. And unlike a private-sector Demo Day, where entrepreneurs show off for funders, ours will “demo” individual success stories, highlighting the individual journeys of a diverse set of entrepreneurs—people whose stories show exactly why we need to grow the pie to make sure there’s opportunity for everyone in our innovation economy.
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Because if we’re going to keep our lead as the best place on the planet to start and scale the next big innovative idea into a world-changing company, we’ve got to make sure more startup hotbeds emerge in every corner of America, and that those underrepresented in entrepreneurship are being tapped to fully contribute their entrepreneurial talents.

Winners from every corner of the country. The Startup in a Day winners, like the entrepreneurs here at the White House today, are from all over the country. Urban and rural; coastal and central; from every region, including traditional entrepreneurial hotbeds and places where the next big thing will come from — because good ideas come from everywhere, we’re committed to supporting entrepreneurs everywhere. Congratulations to:

The 25 city winners: Anchorage, Alaska; Asheville, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Boise, Idaho; Boston, Massachusetts; Brookings, South Dakota; Burlington, Vermont; Champaign, Illinois; Jackson, Michigan; Long Beach, California; Memphis, Tennessee; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Oakland, California; Peoria, Illinois; Riverside, California; Rockland, Maine; Rocky Mount, North Carolina; Rutland City, Vermont; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; St. Louis, Missouri; Washington, District of Columbia; and Wilmington, Delaware.

The two Native American community winners: Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation; and Choctaw Nation (where President Obama recently visited to announce our ConnectHome initiative to bring high-speed broadband internet to low-income housing!) .

WH Tech Demo Day descriptionPBO Jan2015 Boise U statement
Tuesday, August 4th
President Obama hosts a WH Tech Demo Day
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Pres Obama Boosts Goal in Climate Rule With New Solar, Wind Push

#ActOnClimate banner

President Obama to Announce Historic Carbon Pollution Standards for Power Plants

The Clean Power Plan is a Landmark Action to Protect Public Health, Reduce Energy Bills for Households and Businesses, Create American Jobs, and Bring
Clean Power to Communities across the Country

Today at the White House, President Obama and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy will release the final Clean Power Plan, a historic step in the Obama Administration’s fight against climate change.

We have a moral obligation to leave our children a planet that’s not polluted or damaged. The effects of climate change are already being felt across the nation. In the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled, and climate change is putting those Americans at greater risk of landing in the hospital. Extreme weather events – from more severe droughts and wildfires in the West to record heat waves – and sea level rise are hitting communities across the country. In fact, 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all occurred in the first 15 years of this century and last year was the warmest year ever. The most vulnerable among us – including children, older adults, people with heart or lung disease, and people living in poverty – are most at risk from the impacts of climate change. Taking action now is critical.

The Clean Power Plan establishes the first-ever national standards to limit carbon pollution from power plants. We already set limits that protect public health by reducing soot and other toxic emissions, but until now, existing power plants, the largest source of carbon emissions in the United States, could release as much carbon pollution as they wanted.

The final Clean Power Plan sets flexible and achievable standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, 9 percent more ambitious than the proposal. By setting carbon pollution reduction goals for power plants and enabling states to develop tailored implementation plans to meet those goals, the Clean Power Plan is a strong, flexible framework that will:

  • Provide significant public health benefits – The Clean Power Plan, and other policies put in place to drive a cleaner energy sector, will reduce premature deaths from power plant emissions by nearly 90 percent in 2030 compared to 2005 and decrease the pollutants that contribute to the soot and smog and can lead to more asthma attacks in kids by more than 70 percent. The Clean Power Plan will also avoid up to 3,600 premature deaths, lead to 90,000 fewer asthma attacks in children, and prevent 300,000 missed work and school days.
  • Create tens of thousands of jobs while ensuring grid reliability;
  • Drive more aggressive investment in clean energy technologies than the proposed rule, resulting in 30 percent more renewable energy generation in 2030 and continuing to lower the costs of renewable energy.
  • Save the average American family nearly $85 on their annual energy bill in 2030, reducing enough energy to power 30 million homes, and save consumers a total of $155 billion from 2020-2030;
  • Give a head start to wind and solar deployment and prioritize the deployment of energy efficiency improvements in low-income communities that need it most early in the program through a Clean Energy Incentive Program; and
  • Continue American leadership on climate change by keeping us on track to meet the economy-wide emissions targets we have set, including the goal of reducing emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and to 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/08/03/fact-sheet-president-obama-announce-historic-carbon-pollution-standards

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PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ACTION PLAN ON CLIMATE CHANGE

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Monday, August 3, 2015
President Obama releases his Clean Power Plan
White House

#CleanPowerPlan     #ActOnClimate

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NAACP’s Justice March from Selma to Washington, DC

NAACP Justice March

From August 1 to September 16, America’s Journey for Justice–an historic 860-mile march from Selma, Alabama, to Washington, D.C.–will mobilize activists and advance a focused national advocacy agenda that protects the right of every American to a fair criminal justice system, uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, sustainable jobs with a living wage, and equitable public education.

Issue Focus by State:

Alabama – Economic Inequality
Georgia – Education Reform
South Carolina – Criminal Justice Reform
North Carolina – Voting Rights
Virginia – Youth Rally
Washington, D.C.

For more: http://www.naacp.org//ajfj https://youtu.be/P0IdrBgORKI?t=2m14s .

#JusticeSummer

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GOP House Kicks Duties Down the Road & Skips Town for Early Vacation

GOP Congress Vacation

GOP Repeal ObamaCare cartoon

SCORE CARD: Republicans Vote to Repeal Obamacare for 57th Time
SCORE CARD: Republicans Vote to Repeal Obamacare for 57th Time

7/26/15 House Republicans Vote to Repeal Obamacare for 57th Time  – Is this good use of YOUR taxpayer dollars??

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7/30/15 Statement by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest:

“You’ve often heard me stand at this podium and express some frustration about the tendency of House Republicans to wait until the last minute before doing something.  We had these conversations when we were talking about funding for the Department of Homeland Security, when we talked about the need to confirm the President’s nominee to be Attorney General, or when it came to making sure our intelligence professionals have the tools they need to keep us safe.  Time and again, Republicans have waited until the last minute, and in some cases, even past the last minute, before acting. Well the good news is that last night they finally agreed to do something ahead of schedule. Unfortunately, the thing that they decided to do is start their August recess. Now, setting aside that the so called August recess is poorly named – it starts at the end of July and ends in September. There you go – “District Work Period”. The real problem is that House Republicans have skipped town and started their vacation even though they have a lot of import work to do.

First, they left town without reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, this is actually work that they failed to do before their last vacation and it is the first time in history that the authorization for the bank has lapsed, even though it enjoys strong bi-partisan support. As a resort thousands of small and medium sized U.S. businesses will be spending the rest of the summer at a significant disadvantage as they try to do business overseas.

Second, House Republicans merely kicked the can down the road yet again on the Transportation Bill. These repeated short-term extensions, that they have used dozens of times, makes it very hard for officials to coordinate the planning for large, multi-year infrastructure projects when they are only being funded for one or two or three months at a time. That means that our economy and our workers are missing out.

Finally, despite having been in session since January, Republicans in congress will return in September without a path forward on a stalled budget process, even though the deadline to keep the government open will be a mere three weeks away. That’s right, Republican leaders who wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed [Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz] vowing to get congress moving again, and vowing to never shut down the government again, will be just a few weeks away from doing it for the second time in two years.

Meanwhile, Republican leaders steadfastly refuse to sit down to negotiate with Democrats who along with the President, have laid out a specific proposal and are ready to find common ground on these issues and most importantly make sure that we are focused on investing on our economy and national security. So I do hope that Republicans will do more than just relax during their 39-day vacation, because when they finally do show up again in September, there won’t be a whole lot of patience or sympathy for the claim that they don’t have time to do their job. “

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Medicare, Medicaid turns 50

Medicare Medicaid 50th


The Social Security Amendments of 1965Pub.L. 89–97, 79 Stat. 286, enacted July 30, 1965, was legislation in the United States whose most important provisions resulted in creation of two programs: Medicare and Medicaid. The legislation initially provided federal health insurance for the elderly (over 65) and for poor families.

History Many politicians were involved in drafting the final bill that was introduced to the United States Congress in March 1965. On July 30, 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson (D) signed the bill into law.

The concept of national health insurance began in the early 20th century in the United States and then came to prominence during the Truman administration. Between 1958 and 1964, controversy grew and a bill was drafted. The signing of the act, as part of Johnson’s Great Society, began an era with a greater emphasis on public health issues. Medicare and Medicaid became the United States’ first public health insurance programs. The legislation was vigorously opposed by the American Medical Association until it had been enacted, following which the AMA cooperated in its implementation.

In 1912 Theodore Roosevelt included social insurance for sickness in the platform of his Progressive Party (United States, 1912). Around 1915 the group American Association for Labor Legislation attempted to introduce a medical insurance bill to some state legislatures. These attempts were not successful, and as a result controversy about national insurance came about. National groups supporting the idea of government health insurance included the AFL-CIO, the American Nurses AssociationNational Association of Social Workers, and the Socialist Party USA. The most prominent opponent of national medical insurance was the American Medical Association (AMA); others included the American Hospital Association, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Life Insurance Association of People.

Previous administrations

In 1935, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) signed the Social Security Act, medical benefits were left out of the bill. The committee that Roosevelt appointed to study issues related to Social Security wanted to include health insurance in the bill. However, the committee was concerned that amending the bill to include health insurance would kill the entire bill. Harry Truman took on the idea of national medical care and tried to integrate it into his Fair Deal program. Truman’s attempts were also unsuccessful, though during his presidency the fight for national medical care became specific to the aged population.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_Act_of_1965

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Medicare, Medicaid turns 50

As part of the 50th anniversary celebration for these programs, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is collecting stories of how Medicare and Medicaid have made a difference for everyday Americans.

Please visit Medicare.gov/anniversary/share-your-story to share your Medicare or Medicaid story.

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Social Security Timeline: http://www.ssa.gov/history/1930.html

Learn more about Social Security: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/

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The 2015 White House Conference on Aging

THE 2015 WHITE HOUSE CONFERENCE ON AGING

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security. The White House held the Conference on Aging to discuss key programs as well as to look ahead to the issues that will help shape the landscape for older Americans for the next decade. In the past, conference processes were determined by statute with the form and structure directed by Congress through legislation authorizing the Older Americans Act. To date, Congress has not reauthorized the Older Americans Act, and the pending bill does not include a statutory requirement or framework for the 2015 conference.

THE ISSUES

The face of America is growing older and more diverse as the first baby boomers reached retirement age in 2011, accelerating a population surge in the number of Americans over the age of 65. Each day for the next 15 years, thousands more will reach retirement age, creating new opportunities for how we define what it means to be an older American. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging provided an opportunity to listen to older Americans and engage with the American public about strategies to continue to maximize the contributions of older Americans to our country.

* RETIREMENT SECURITY
* HEALTHY AGING
* LONG-TERM SERVICES AND SUPPORTS
* ELDER JUSTICE

Learn more: http://whitehouseconferenceonaging.gov/

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On the Horizon: The 2015 White House Conference on Aging

Cecilia Muñoz July 29, 2014 01:25 PM EDT

Today at the White House, I was delighted to host a roundtable discussion with leaders from across the aging community who came together to discuss the White House Conference on Aging, which will take place in 2015 – the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security.

Just yesterday, the Medicare Trustees released their annual report finding that, since their report last year, the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended by four additional years to 2030. When this Administration first took office, the Trust Fund was projected to go bankrupt more than a dozen years sooner, in 2017. The Trustees also project that – for the second year in a row – Part B premiums will not increase, allowing seniors to keep more of their Social Security cost-of-living increase.

Thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act, we have improved the affordability of the program, while at the same time helping Medicare work better for seniors. For example, we are closing the prescription drug coverage gap or “donut hole” to make medications more affordable for Medicare beneficiaries. Just today, we learned that 8.2 million seniors and people with disabilities saved $11.5 billion since 2010 – over $1,000 on average for people hitting the donut hole. Additionally, Medicare now provides coverage without cost-sharing for many preventive benefits to help keep older Americans healthy. The Affordable Care Act also responds to older Americans’ desire to remain independent in their communities by creating incentives for states to provide the services and supports that help people remain at home as they age.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/29/horizon-2015-white-house-conference-aging

No cuts Soc Security Medicare Medicaid sign

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Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 – Fifth Anniversary

Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 signing
Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 signing

The Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 is a law, signed into effect by President Obama, that expands the punitive abilities of tribal courts across the nation. The law allows tribal courts operating in Indian country to increase jail sentences handed down in criminal cases. This was a major step toward improving enforcement and justice in Indian country.

Before this law, tribal courts were limited in the scope of punishment they could hand down in criminal cases, giving them the impression of a lower, less serious court. They now possess the power under the Tribal Law and Order Act to pass increased sentences in order to incarcerate defendants longer.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribal_Law_and_Order_Act_of_2010

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The Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010: A Step Forward for Native Women

July 29, 2010 by Lynn Rosenthal, White House Advisor on Violence Against Women

The President just signed the Tribal Law and Order Act — an important step to help the Federal Government better address the unique public safety challenges that confront tribal communities.

According to a Department of Justice report, Native American women suffer from violent crime at a rate three and a half times greater than the national average. Astoundingly, one in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes. At the White House Tribal Nations Conference in November 2009, President Obama stated that this shocking figure “is an assault on our national conscience that we can no longer ignore.”

Last week, Congress took another important step to improve the lives of Native American women by passing the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010. The Act includes a strong emphasis on decreasing violence against women in Native communities, and is one of many steps this Administration strongly supports to address the challenges faced by Native women.

The stipulations in the Act that will benefit Native women reflect several Administration priorities. The Act will strengthen tribal law enforcement and the ability to prosecute and fight crime more effectively. The Indian Health Care Improvement Act will require that a standardized set of practices be put in place for victims of sexual assault in health facilities. Now, more women will get the care they need, both for healing and to aid in the prosecution of their perpetrators.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/07/29/tribal-law-and-order-act-2010-a-step-forward-native-women

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July 29, 2010

Remarks by the President Before Signing the Tribal Law and Order Act

East Room

4:58 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  Please have a seat.

I want to start, obviously, by thanking Lisa for her introduction and having the courage to share her story with all of us today.  It’s for every survivor like Lisa who has never gotten their day in court, and for every family that feels like justice is beyond reach, and for every tribal community struggling to keep its people safe, that I’ll be signing the Tribal Law and Order Act into law today.

And in doing so, I intend to send a clear message that all of our people — whether they live in our biggest cities or our most remote reservations — have the right to feel safe in their own communities, and to raise their children in peace, and enjoy the fullest protection of our laws.

As many of you know, I campaigned on this issue.  And during our last — during our tribal conference last year, I pledged my administration’s fullest support for this bill.  And I told Senator Dorgan last week that I intended to sign it in a ceremony here at the White House with all of you.  So today, I am proud to make good on my word.

Now, I’m told there’s a Seneca proverb that says “He who would do great things should not attempt them all alone.”  (Laughter.)  And that’s particularly true of this legislation, which is the product of tireless efforts by countless individuals across this country.  Congressional leaders like Senator Dorgan, Representative Herseth Sandlin, and others who are here today, and tribal leaders like Chairman Marcus Levings, President Theresa Two Bulls, President Diane Enos, Chief Chad Smith, Vice Chairman Jonathan Windy Boy — we are grateful to all of them for their extraordinary support.  And then we’ve got leaders in our administration like Attorney General Holder and Secretary Salazar, Kimberly Teehee, Jodi Gillette here at the White House who work tirelessly on this legislation.

And that’s nothing to say of all the dedicated judges and prosecutors and tribal and BIA law enforcement officers — some of whom are here today — who’ve supported these efforts.  And the determined survivors most of all, like Lisa, who even when it’s too late to undo what happened to them, still speak out to seek justice for others.

All of you come at this from different angles, but you’re united in support of this bill because you believe, like I do, that it is unconscionable that crime rates in Indian Country are more than twice the national average and up to 20 times the national average on some reservations.  And all of you believe, like I do, that when one in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes, that is an assault on our national conscience; it is an affront to our shared humanity; it is something that we cannot allow to continue.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-signing-tribal-law-and-order-act

Tribe passes enhanced sentencing law

August 23, 2012

Cherokee recently passed legislation during the August Session of Tribal Council which updated the Cherokee Criminal Code and finalized the full implementation of the enhanced sentencing authority granted by the federal Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010.  Cherokee Ordinance Number 182 was passed by Tribal Council on Aug. 2 and ratified by Principal Chief Michell Hicks on Aug. 16.  The Ordinance increased the maximum possible punishment of all felony-equivalent tribal crimes from one year to three years imprisonment and from a $5,000 to a $15,000 fine.

The Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 granted enhanced, felony-level sentencing authority to tribal courts by increasing the maximum possible punishment that a tribal court may hand down from one year of imprisonment and a $5,000 fine per offense to three years of imprisonment and a $15,000 fine per offense, with a provision for stacking up to three offenses in certain criminal cases which could result in a maximum possible punishment of nine years of imprisonment (25 U.S.C. § 1302).  Before tribes can enact legislation to implement this enhanced punishment, the federal law requires that the tribal courts have law-trained judges, provide defendants with the right to effective assistance of counsel and indigent defendants with court appointed counsel, and make the tribal laws publically available, among other things.  The Cherokee Court has met all of these requirements, even for many years prior to the enactment of the Tribal Law and Order Act.

For more: http://www.webcitation.org/6FmBkL7iB

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List of Native American Tribe Websites A-Z

Native American Tribes Websites A-Z

Map of  Indian Reservations in the Continental United States

 National Museum of the American Indian

US Department of the Interior: Indian Affairs

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US Govt & Indigenous Peoples Timeline 1819-2014 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

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