Tag Archives: voter ID laws

Know Your Rights …

reblogged – Gotta wonder,  what has changed 8 years later

What does placing your signature on the Miranda Waiver Really Mean?

by jeanfandrews

Deaf suspects are asked routinely to sign the Miranda Warning Waiver affirming they waive their rights. What does this mean? For the police and detective this means that the deaf person understands the six statements of the Miranda and read it with comprehension. When they sign their name on the waiver, this means they waiver their rights to remain silent, seek an attorney before questioning and so on. However, the deaf person may sign their name and have a different view. A deaf defendant who may read at the third grade or below may not be able to read the Miranda. They may put their signature on the document simply to appear cooperative. How can the detective determine if the deaf person understands the Miranda Warning? One way is to have a sign language interpreter present. This rarely happens. Typically, police and detectives relay on written communication and lipreading which are rarely effective for deaf defendants whose primary language is American Sign Language (ASL). Two viewpoints–one from the detective or police and one from the deaf defendants. The police and detectives run the risk of having their interrogation and confessions of the defendant thrown out of court or suppressed if they fail to provide for a sign language interpreter. This is not only Federal law but is found in many state statutes as well. What is the answer? More education for detectives and police about the difficulties deaf adults have in comprehending the Miranda.

Voting rights are still under attack … a reminder repost

chriscoonsIt’s hard to believe: voting rights are still under attack.In this past election, millions waited hours to vote and faced confusing voter ID laws that made it difficult to exercise their most fundamental right.

As shameful as that is, it could get worse. The Supreme Court is considering whether to strike a critical component of the Voting Rights Act – a landmark law that protects the right to vote for all.

In Shelby County v. Holder, the Court heard arguments challenging the constitutionality of requiring jurisdictions with a history of racially-based voting discrimination to “pre-clear” changes to their voting laws. Opponents are calling it unconstitutional because it only requires pre-clearance in areas with deep, historical discrimination patterns.

Quite simply, they’re wrong. We need to let the Supreme Court – and Congress – know that we want the Voting Rights Act protected.


We can only move this nation forward when we move it forward together, and we can only do that when every citizen is assured of the opportunity to participate in our democracy. That assurance is the right to vote.

The pre-clearance requirement has proved incredibly successful in preventing covered jurisdictions from attempting to pass discriminatory voting laws.

Judging by the long lines we saw at some polling locations, the extremely gerrymandered districts and the ongoing state legislative efforts to tilt elections by restricting access to the ballot box, the Voting Rights Act is still necessary.

The Supreme Court should uphold the Voting Rights Act in its entirety.

It is incumbent on us to help make that clear.


We must take a stand.

Best– Chris

National Geographic

March 2013

PHOTO OF THE MONTH by Paul Nicklen, from the April 2013 feature story “When Push Comes to Shove.”

Picture of a manatee

Manatee, Florida

Manatees and tourists are both thriving in Kings Bay. Go underwater with these endangered giants and find out why increasing interactions with humans are presenting a problem.

What going on offense looks like

Watch Robert Reich explain why raising the minimum wage is one of the smartest things we can do for our economy:Click to see Robert Reich show why raising the minimum wage is a no-brainer.

Watch the video

Dear MoveOn member,

It was a big week—both good and bad—in the fight for a fair economy.

Here’s the bad stuff: President Obama again put devastating cuts to Social Security benefits on the negotiating table. Attorney General Eric Holder admitted that banks may be “too big to prosecute.” And Paul Ryan released his latest outlandish budget plan—full of giant tax breaks for corporations, a plan to voucherize Medicare, and attempts to slash millions from Medicaid.
But here’s the inspiring part. Nearly 8 million MoveOn members are doing really terrific work, together with our allies, to hold both Democrats and Republicans accountable and put an end to austerity economics.
Just in the past few days:
  • 250,000 MoveOn members joined with Reps. Grayson, Conyers, Ellison, and Grijalva and our friends at Social Security Works and The Other 98% to call for a one-sentence bill that would put an end to the sequester—and Rep. Grayson delivered the petition signatures directly to Speaker Boehner‘s office yesterday, with media watching closely.1
  • While Elizabeth Warren took bank regulators to the mat in Congress, 130,000 MoveOn members stood together with our allies at Campaign for a Fair Settlement to demand an end to “too big to jail” on Wall Street, and called for the Department of Justice to hold the banks that crashed the economy accountable.
And of course, day in and day out, MoveOn members are organizing in states around the country to push Republican governors to accept federal funding for Medicaid, challenge draconian local and state budget cuts, and stand up locally against the sequester.
So the fight for a fair economy has a lot of fronts. Right now, one simple thing you can do is to check out Robert Reich’s video and pass it along—to equip others with the information about how we can make our economy work better for working people, not just big banks and Republican lobbyists.
Please watch this video and share it with with friends and family and everyone you know.

Thanks for all you do.

–Anna, Manny, Jessica, David, and the rest of the team


1. “Sequestration 2013: Lawmakers, activists call for end of sequestration,” WJLA, March 14, 2013.