Welcome to This Week in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
This week, Donald Trump visited the U.S.-Mexico border, arson attacks destroyed black churches, and uncertainty continued to surround the Mueller Report.
President Trump Visits the U.S.-Mexico Border. On Friday, the president visited Calexico, California, declared that “our country is full,” and continued to imply that he may close the border. (Washington Post)
Three Historically Black Churches Have Burned in One Louisiana Parish. In just ten days, three historically black churches have burned in a south Louisiana parish. Officials have commented on the commonality between the cases but identified no suspects. (NY Times)
Tennessee Social Justice Center Possibly Burned Down by White Power Movement. Last week, a fire destroyed the main office of Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tennessee. A symbol connected to the white power movement was found spray-painted in the parking lot. (NY Times)
The Mueller Report Is Not Yet Released, but Trump Continues to Cast Doubt on Its Legitimacy. The House Judiciary, Intelligence and Oversight committees are probing the president’s finances, policy, and campaign, while he continues to Tweet about “No Collusion.” President Trump also says he has not yet read the report. (Politico)
Trump Backs Down on Nomination for Head of ICE. President Trump rescinded the nomination of Ron Vitiello for leader of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, saying, “we’re going in a tougher direction.” (Washington Post)
The U.S. Department of Justice Finds Alabama Prisons Unconstitutional and Unsafe. After a two-year civil rights investigation, the Justice Department has issued a report saying that the state of Alabama violates the constitutional rights of incarcerated individuals through their failure to protect those in custody from violence and sexual abuse. (NPR)
The Mormon Church Will Now Allow the Baptism of Children of Same-Sex Couples. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the revocation of a controversial 2015 rule banning the children of people in same-sex marriages from Mormon rituals like baptisms and baby-naming ceremonies. (NY Times)
Several Women Come Forward about Joe Biden’s Physical Contact. Women are speaking out about encounters with the former vice president that made them uncomfortable. At a speech to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers conference, following the accusations, Biden joked about consent and said he was “…not sorry for anything that I have ever done…” (CNN)
The House of Representatives Sues the Trump Administration over Emergency Declaration. The House filed a lawsuit against members of the president’s administration in DC Federal Court asserting that the national emergency is in disregard of Congress’ will and challenging the president’s ability to access funds to build a border wall. (Politico)
Democratic Candidates Propose Eliminating the Electoral College. Disillusioned with our political system as it is, Democratic presidential candidates are proposing a range of reforms. (NPR)