The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Civil Rights Monitor - Winter 2007
Vol. 17, No.1
The Civil Rights Monitor is an annual publication that reports on civil rights issues pending before the three branches of government. The Monitor also provides a historical context within which to assess current civil rights issues. Previous issues of the Monitor are available online. Browse or search the archives
In this issue of the Civil Rights Monitor, we review legislative activities related to workers' rights, immigration, and extending federal hate crimes and employment protections to the gay and lesbian community; discuss developments in judicial nominations, civil rights enforcement and an important Supreme Court decision on school integration; and provide an update on ongoing affirmative action battles in the states. We also summarize Leadership Conference activities, including new initiatives on high school reform and on reducing poverty.
On the Hill
The Year in Judicial and Executive Nominations
The change in control of the Senate this year prompted the withdrawal of the presidentâ€™s most controversial judicial nominees. However, the administration resumed its efforts to appoint conservative ideologues to the federal bench.
D.C. Voting Rights: Closer than Ever
For a time, 2007 seemed to be the year that voting representation for the District of Columbia would become a reality.
Hate Crimes Bill Moves through Congress
This year, Congress closed a critical gap in current federal hate crimes law and expanded existing hate crimes coverage to include violence based on sexual orientation, gender, and disability.
Fighting to Preserve and Restore Workers' Rights
In 2007, a new Congress made economic justice an important part of its legislative agenda. But organized opposition by big business resulted in the thwarting of some of the workers' rights agenda.
The Immigration Reform Debate Continues
After the 2006 election shifted control of Congress to more progressive hands, civil and immigrant rights groups were more optimistic in early 2007 about the prospects for enacting comprehensive immigration reform. However, efforts to enact even piecemeal improvements to the nation's immigration system were ultimately thwarted.
Congress Begins Addressing Subprime Mortgage Fallout
An estimated 2.4 million subprime borrowers across the country will likely lose their homes to foreclosure in the next several years. In addition, a growing number of economists believe that the foreclosure crisis could drastically weaken the nation's economy.
Successes and Setbacks on ENDA
In a historic vote held against a backdrop of controversy, bipartisan legislation that would extend employment protections to gay, lesbian, and bisexual employees passed the House of Representatives on November 8, 2007.
Backlash against the REAL ID Act Grows
Enacted in 2005 with no hearings and little debate, by being slipped into an unrelated bill, the "REAL ID Act" finally garnered public attention in 2007, rendering the future of the controversial law uncertain.
Deja Vu at the FCC?
The last time the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) tried to relax rules on media ownership, its rulemaking proceeding proved to be the battleground for intense fights at the agency, Congress, and the courts. The agency's current media ownership rulemaking promises to produce more controversy.
In the Courts
Supreme Court Hands Down Major Decision on School Integration
On June 28, 2007, a sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the voluntary desegregation plans of school districts in Seattle and Louisville in a decision that will have far-reaching implications for the future of the nation's schools.
In the States
New Threats to Affirmative Action
The dust had hardly settled around the 2006 decision by Michigan voters to ban affirmative action programs in education, employment and contracting when supporters of affirmative action found themselves forced to combat similar attempts in other states.
Civil Rights Enforcement Takes Center Stage
In 2007, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund (LCCREF) launched a campaign to promote national awareness of the importance of vigorous enforcement of federal civil rights laws and Supreme Court decisions eroding access to the courts and effective remedies in civil rights cases.
Leadership Conference Steps Up Anti-Poverty Efforts
The Leadership Conference is developing a project designed to examine the intersection of race and poverty and, more broadly, to help the national civil rights community play a central role in the policy debates over how to reduce poverty in the United States.
New Civil Rights Partnership Calls Attention to Nation's High School Crisis
Ten of the nation's major civil rights and education organizations came together this year to launch the Campaign for High School Equity, a new initiative aimed at raising public awareness on the need for fundamental high school reform and providing access to quality high school education as a fundamental civil right for all children.
Why Americans Should Care about the Great Switch to DTV
On February 17, 2009, American television stations will switch their broadcasting from analog to digital. Approximately 21 million Americans will lose their television signal unless their television sets are connected to cable or satellite, have a built-in digital tuner, or are connected to a digital converter box.
President Clinton, John Hope Franklin, and Tammy Duckworth Are 2007 Hubert H. Humphrey Honorees
Former President William J. Clinton, scholar Dr. John Hope Franklin, and activist/veteran Tammy Duckworth were honored by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) at this year's Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award Dinner on May 10, 2007.