In a little-noticed ruling amidst clamor over the healthcare decision, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an Arizona law requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote, holding it was preempted by the National Voting Registration Act (NVRA). The law was adopted as a "model" bill by the American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEC] in 2008. For the second time in one week, the conservative U.S. Supreme Court has curtailed ALEC's anti-immigrant agenda.
Though evidence suggests laws requiring photo ID at the polls will suppress votes from Democratic constituencies like students and people of color, voter ID supporters have long claimed the laws are merely a nonpartisan, common sense effort to promote "election integrity." But recent developments in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin show that Republicans are counting on voter ID laws to deliver the presidency to Mitt Romney in 2012.
The lead plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the National Federation for Independent Business (NFIB), is a highly partisan front group masquerading as the "nation's leading small business association," critics say. The nation's highest court is expected to rule on the federal health care law Thursday.
The corporate exodus from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is testament to the power of citizen activism in preserving our democracy. Over the past few months, in response to public pressure, 20 corporations and more than 50 legislators have severed ties with the right-wing organization that brings together politicians and corporations to vote, behind closed doors, on controversial "model" bills that are then introduced in statehouses across the land. While a coalition of clean government organizations has been working to drag ALEC out of the shadows, citizens across the country have also been showing up at ALEC meetings with clever protest signs, uploading ALEC-related videos on YouTube and even organizing a national day of occupy protests to draw attention to ALEC's corporate agenda.
The U.S. Supreme Court has invalidated provisions of Arizona's controversial SB 1070 immigration law, which had been approved as a "model" bill by corporations and legislators at an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) meeting before it was introduced in the Arizona legislature. The Court held that striking down the law's controversial "papers please" provision would be premature, but narrowed the provision's application and made clear that it could be challenged at a future date.
Dell Computers confirmed today that they will not be renewing their membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council Education (ALEC). Dell, whose ads in the early 2000s included the slogan "Dude, You're Getting a Dell," was a member of the ALEC Education Task Force and is the twentieth corporate member (and the twenty-fourth private sector member) to drop their ALEC membership in recent months.
Although Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker survived his June 5 recall election, Democrats won control of the senate when John Lehman (D) prevailed over incumbent Sen. Van Wanggaard (R) by a 1.2% margin. But as the Center for Media and Democracy predicted, Wisconsin Republicans are raising the spectre of "voter fraud" to cast doubt on Lehman's victory and justify Wanggaard's request for a recount -- which could return control of the Senate to Republicans.
Tucker Carlson's website, the "Daily Caller," recently posted a story claiming that a Florida state legislator had rebutted a purported claim by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) "drafted" Florida's "Stand Your Ground" (SYG)/"Castle Doctrine" law.
Two months after it was first announced, the "I Stand With ALEC" website supporting the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has finally gone live -- and it is underwhelming.
For the past year, ALEC has been under intense public scrutiny, starting in July 2011 when the Center for Media and Democracy launched ALECexposed.org. Since then, Common Cause has filed complaints with the IRS challenging ALEC's charitable status, groups like People for the American Way and Progress Now! have helped produce reports about ALEC's influence in individual states, Color of Change has been privately and publicly urging corporations to leave ALEC because of the ALEC agenda's negative impact on the African American community, and labor unions and shareholder groups have put increasing pressure on publicly traded companies to drop their ALEC membership. CMD has continued its investigation of ALEC, its operations, and its members through reporting on PRWatch.org, and documented ALEC's role in ratifying as a "model" bill the Stand Your Ground law cited initially to protect Trayvon Martin's killer from arrest or prosecution.