Welcome to This Week in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. This week, experts weigh in on the future of Roe in the Supreme Court, New York City mandates vaccines for private companies, two election workers who were targeted for defamation by right-wing media sue, and more.
New York City is first in the nation to impose a COVID vaccine mandate on private sector employers. Mayor Bill de Blasio said that specific rules will be announced on December 15th. The mandate will take effect on December 27th. According to Councilman Mark Levine, who chairs the city council’s health committee, there will be a weekly testing option.
Honolulu has shut down its largest water source in Oahu due to reports of contamination of a Navy well near Pearl Harbor. Records of fuel leaks at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in the past decade have forced Honolulu’s Board of Water Supply to shut down the Halawa Shaft, Oahu’s largest water source. Petroleum products were detected in the well water after residents near Pearl Harbor complained of fuel odors in their tap water. The Navy’s system provides water to about 93,000 residents living in and near Pearl Harbor.
Two Georgia election workers who were falsely accused of manipulating ballots by Trump allies and right-wing news sites are now suing for defamation. Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Shaye Moss, both of whom processed ballots in Atlanta during the 2020 election for the Fulton County elections board, are suing the right-wing conspiratorial website The Gateway Pundit. Stories published called the women “crooked Democrats” and claimed that they “pulled out suitcases full of ballots and began counting those ballots without election monitors in the room.” Investigations conducted by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office found that the two women did nothing wrong and were legally counting ballots.
According to a new poll, U.S. democracy is “failed” or “in trouble” among young voters. A poll released by Harvard’s Kennedy School found that among young Americans ages 18 to 29, only 24% agree that “democracy is working well,” whereas 64% disagree. 52% felt that the state of U.S. democracy could be described as “failed” or “in trouble.”
The Supreme Court’s questions during oral argument in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization have raised concerns about the future of women’s right to choose. Multiple legal experts and reporters, in their review of the case, expect that if Roe is not overturned, it will at least be severely impacted by the result of the case. It has also prompted more openness by Democratic senators on whether to make changes to the Supreme Court.
Intersex youth face a disproportionate risk of suicide, but new research shows that acceptance can reduce that risk by up to 55%. According to new research by the Trevor Project, LGBTQ youths who are also intersex are 48% more likely to consider suicide. However, those who had at least one parent who was accepting of their sexual orientations or gender identities had 55% and 45% lower odds, respectively, of having attempted suicide in the previous year.