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PFAW Statement on Frank Ricci Discrimination Cases

PFAW statement about the important role that employment discrimination laws play for all Americans and the Right's use of loaded terms like "reverse discrimination" to attack Judge Sotomayor over the decision in Ricci v. DeStefano.

Massachusetts Sues U.S. over DOMA

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts yesterday filed suit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA.) The suit challenges Section 3 of the act, which prevents same-sex couples legally married in Massachusetts from accessing federal benefits and protections automatically granted to others couples.

PFAW Names Activist Leader Michael B. Keegan New President

Michael B. Keegan, who has served as interim president since April and has been a board member for over 15 years, will become PFAW's new president.

Minnesota Supreme Court Rules for Franken

PFAW statement on the news that the Minnesota Supreme Court rejected Norm Coleman's challenge to the election results of the state's 2008 race for the United States Senate, making Al Franken the new senator-elect from Minnesota.

Supreme Court Strip Search Decision Supports Sotomayor Dissent

The Supreme Court today issued a ruling in the case Safford Unified School District v. April Redding declaring unconstitutional a school's strip search of a 13 year old girl but found that the individual officials involved were protected by qualified immunity. Debbie Liu, General Counsel at People For the American Way, issued the following statement: "The Court was correct in ruling that Savana Redding's Constitutional rights were violated when she was strip searched at school. Students don't lose their rights at the school house gate, and strip searching a teenage girl to look for ibuprofen is not a reasonable course of action."

The Ricci Ruling and the Sotomayor Nomination

In anticipation of a ruling by the Supreme Court in Ricci v. DeStefano today or Monday, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement: "Opponents of Judge Sotomayor have gone to great lengths to use the ruling of her panel in Ricci v. DeStefano against her, and they will surely ramp up their efforts if the Supreme Court overturns the Second Circuit. But the simple fact is that the Supreme Court's ruling, whatever it may be, will not reflect upon Sotomayor's jurisprudence."

An Open Letter to President Obama from People For the American Way

Today, PFAW President Michael B. Keegan issued an open letter to President Obama urging him to use his influence to advance the cause of LGBT equality and make good on his promises to help end discriminatory policies such as DOMA and Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Supreme Court Upholds Section 5 of Voting Rights Act

The Supreme Court today rejected a challenge to Section Five of the Voting Rights Act in the case Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder (NAMUDNO). People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:

"We are very pleased with the outcome of this case. The Court today preserved all aspects of the Voting Rights Act and its ability to ensure the full and equal right to vote which is at the core of our democracy.

Free speech, Irresponsible Speech, and the Climate of Intolerance in 2009

Shortly after anti-government terrorist Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City in April 1995, President Bill Clinton urged Americans to challenge those who use powerful political and media platforms to promote the kind of inflammatory falsehoods that poison public discourse, make civil conversation impossible, and can ultimately lead to violence. The reaction from right-wing leaders of the day was sadly predictable and by now familiar: they claimed that Clinton was seeking to "silence" voices of dissent, even though his speech affirmed that the First Amendment protects both the purveyors of irresponsible speech and those who challenge him.

PFAW Statement on Supreme Court's Age Discrimination Ruling

The Supreme Court today issued a split decision severely limiting the ability of victims of age discrimination to obtain justice under federal law. "This is an obvious example of blatant judicial activism from the ultra-conservative wing of the Supreme Court," said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President at People For the American Way. "The Court ignored the clear meaning of the law and simply rewrote it to achieve the policy result they wanted. This decision makes it far more difficult in the real world to prove discrimination. It's Lilly Ledbetter all over again."

Presidential Memorandum: "A Very Small Step in the Right Direction"

In reponse to President Obama signing a memorandum granting a limited number of benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees and reiterating his pledge to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan said,

PFAW Calls for DHS to Publish "Rightwing Extremism" Report

The murders of Dr. George Tiller in Kansas and Stephen T. Johns at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum reiterate the need for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to finalize and publish its "Rightwing Extremism" report.

Nomination on Track, Sotomayor Hearings Set to Begin July 13th

In response to the announcement of the confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan had the following statement: "Today's announcement is a clear sign that Judge Sonia Sotomayor is on track to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor is an eminently qualified nominee, and the misguided efforts by some prominent Republicans and their right-wing allies to smear her have failed."

PFAW Statement on Assassination of George Tiller

Dr. George Tiller, a physician who has been targeted for years for his willingness to provide abortion procedures often in the most difficult circumstances, was assassinated today in his church in Kansas. People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan said, "I am deeply saddened by the killing of Dr. Tiller. He was a man who was dedicated to the belief that all women deserve access to safe reproductive health services including abortion. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his friends, and his community.

African American Ministers Urge Swift Confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor To the Supreme Court

Statement by African American Ministers in Action Chair Rev. Tim McDonald

In the days following President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace retiring Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court, the right-wing has hurled false, partisan-fueled attacks of incompetence and "reverse racism," as they strategize on how to oppose a nominee with more federal judicial experience than anyone currently serving on the Court. In response to President Obama's nomination of Judge Sotomayor, and the false right-wing attacks, Rev.

Rev. Byron Williams on Prop 8 and Marriage Equality on CNN's Campbell Brown

Rev. Byron Williams spoke about Prop 8 and marriage equality on May 27th 2009, on Campbell Brown's show on CNN. Williams is a member of African American Ministers In Action (AAMIA).

PFAW Statement on Nomination of Sonia Sotomayor

In reponse to the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan said, "President Obama has made a superb choice. Judge Sotomayor has one of the sharpest intellects on the federal bench. She's shown that she'll bring an open mind to the Court and rule on each case according to its particular merits. This nomination is good news for people who care about the future of our rights and liberties. Now it's up to our Senators to avoid the distraction of attacks from the far right and work for a smooth, fair confirmation process.

PFAW Statement on Rumsfeld and the Misuse of Religion

In response to recent media reportsthat Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld regularly delivered to President Bush top-secret intelligence briefings that featured Bible verses and photos of military personnel and equipment, People For the American Way President Michael Keegan said, "Public officials who portray U.S. policy as a conflict between faiths undermine an essential American principle of government of, by, and for all the people."

Groups Deliver More than 140,000 Petitions to Impeach Bybee

People For the American Way and MoveOn.org Political Action today delivered more than 140,000 petitions to House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers calling for the impeachment of Judge Jay Bybee for his role in trying to bend the law to justify the Bush administration's torture policies when he headed the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. After authoring memos explaining how prisoners could be tortured while skirting federal law, but before the memos became public, Bybee was confirmed to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Leading Progressive Advocacy Organizations Launch Search for New Leader

People For the American Way, one of the country's leading progressive advocacy organizations, has launched a wide-ranging national search for a new president and CEO, who will also oversee the affiliated People For the American Way Foundation. The new president will lead staff members engaged in research, education, communications, advocacy, organizing, and action to counter the agenda and political power of the radical right, strengthen progressive youth leadership, and help build an America that more fully reflects the nation's ideals.
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