Civil Rights & Social Justice

Third Circuit considers whether Pa.’s vote-by-mail law runs afoul of federal election laws

BY: - February 20, 2024

A three-judge federal appeals court panel heard arguments on whether Pennsylvania's requirement to date mail-in ballots should be enforced.

Pa. Supreme Court will consider whether life without parole for second-degree murder is ‘cruel’

BY: - February 19, 2024

Pennsylvania is an outlier in sentencing people convicted of second-degree murder to  life in prison without the possibility of parole, advocates for ending the practice say.

Still haggling over Delaware’s unclaimed property windfall, Pa. Treasury faces class-action suit

BY: - February 16, 2024

Pennsylvania and 29 other states are negotiating a settlement after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Delaware wrongly kept unclaimed property.

‘The need is great’ for money to pay public defenders, Shapiro says after proposing $10M increase

BY: - February 12, 2024

Gov. Josh Shapiro said Monday it will take more than the $17.5 million he proposed in the next budget to adequately fund public defenders.

Despite rhetoric, both Trump and Biden have had limited power to change gun policy

BY: - February 9, 2024

Neither Trump nor Biden, political observers say, has had the opportunity to sign sweeping gun legislation or effectuate dramatic changes in gun policy. While Biden has taken some steps it remains to be seen whether they’ll have the desired effect.

Casey introducing bills to make it easier for people with disabilities to vote, run for office

BY: - February 7, 2024

The legislation includes three bills: One would improve accessibility to voting by establishing a new oversight office , one would make it easier to run for  and hold elected office by offering support to local communities to make the necessary accommodations, and one would ensure people with disabilities don't lose their federal disability benefits when they campaign for elected office. 

The ceiling of the main Rotunda inside Pennsylvania’s Capitol building. May 24, 2022. Harrisburg, Pa. (Photo by Amanda Berg, for the Capital-Star).

Pennsylvania Capitol police arrest protesters decrying state’s investments in Israel

BY: - February 5, 2024

Pennsylvania Capitol Police said 126 people were arrested and cited for trespassing Monday during a protest against the commonwealth’s investment in Israel bonds. Jewish Voice for Peace, one of the organizations behind the protest, said Pennsylvania’s investment of public money in bonds issued by the Development Corp. of Israel supports the military operation against Gaza […]

Justice Department settles discrimination claims against Pa. courts over opioid treatment

BY: - February 1, 2024

Pennsylvania's court system will pay $100,000 to six people the Justice Department said were victims of discrimination over drug treatment.

Shapiro among governors urging SCOTUS to rule in favor of medication abortion access

BY: - January 30, 2024

“I believe in women’s freedom to choose – and as long as I’m Governor, I will always defend freedom in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Shapiro said

Flashing lights on a police car

Fetterman joins lawmakers’ letter urging DOJ to stop funding so-called ‘predictive’ policing tools

BY: - January 29, 2024

The systems use flawed assumptions and simplistic models, according to a release from the lawmakers, and often over-predict crime in Black and Latino neighborhoods.

Pa. Supreme Court sets ‘high hurdle’ for commonwealth’s Medicaid abortion ban

BY: - January 29, 2024

The case was the subject of intense focus during last November’s election to fill a vacant seat on the state high court, with reproductive rights advocates pushing to solidify Democrats’ majority.

Pa. House Judiciary Committee debate on gun bills shows gulf between Democrats and GOP

BY: - January 19, 2024

House Democrats argued that GOP lawmakers are disconnected from the reality millions of Pennsylvania residents face.