Friday, June 28, 2013

Stand with Wendy and Watch Paula, Trayvon, the Supreme Court and Texas

As a woman and certified news junkie, I’ve got to tell you… I am on overload this week.  There has been so much happening this week that it’s impacting my sleeping patterns.  I stayed awake with most of the nation to watch Wendy Davis stand up for women’s health.  Wendy Davis, prior to this week was a little known senator from Texas.  Her bold actions this week place her in the national arena.  Standing in her pink athletic shoes, this teen mom staged a filibuster for a bill known as SB5, that would have effectively shut down most clinics in the state that perform abortions.  Texas covers quite a bit of territory.  Women living in rural areas of the state, could be without access to the option of choosing abortion.  The fight is not over.  Governor Rick Perry has ordered a second special session to address the bill in part because Ms. Davis "...hasn't learned from her own example".  

Paula Deen continues to wade through her troubles.  It is important to understand that as a public figure everything you do and have done becomes fodder for the press.  In the past week Paula has seen a large part of her vast empire fall.  I will be watching along with the rest of the public to see how her journey unfolds.
The nation has all eyes on the Trayvon Martin trial.  The trial opened with "knock-knock" jokes!  It is my hope that the attorneys in this case take every opportunity to show the American public that the criminal justice system truly has the ability to be fair. 

As a proud native Texan, I have been keeping an eye on the affirmative action case of Fisher v. University of Texas.  In 2008 a young woman from the small town of Sugar Land, Texas filed a claim that the University of Texas at Austin discriminated against her after she was denied admission.  In its efforts to ensure diversity in the admissions process, race is one of the factors considered.  The Supreme Court sent the case back to the appeals court for further review.  Wouldn't it be great if we lived in a world where there was no need for government enforced equality?

This week I also witnessed something that I found to be of great concern.  In a 5-4 vote the Supreme Court effectively struck down the Voting Rights Act of 1965.   There are some who say that the time has come to remove the protections that the act provided.  There are others who have a sense of how the change will impact voters access to the polls.  Texas wasted no time in implementing a law that requires voters to show identification in order to cast their ballots.  There is no longer the need for states to have federal approval to redistrict maps.  This can be significant as we see the demographics changing and interest in voting increasing in the state.  Texas is losing its conservative grip on politics and partisan gerrymandering may now be seen as a last chance option.

I will be watching these and other stories in the headlines.  What are your thoughts on the stories making headlines?

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Photo courtesy of Outside The Beltway

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