Ian Millhiser

This Messed Up Case of Racism Won't Help Reinstate Your Faith in Mississippi

Cathryn Stout is a doctoral student at Saint Louis University researching a paper on how residents of Mississippi are working to combat negative stereotypes about their state. She may want to reconsider that paper topic, however, after her alleged encounter with three Mississippi police officers.

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Support For Marijuana Legalization Hits Historic High Of 58 Percent

Only two states, Colorado and Washington, allow the recreational use of marijuana, and marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Nevertheless, a new Gallup polls suggests that Washington and Colorado are at the forefront of a national trend. Fully 58 percent of Americans now support legalization:

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How Southern Slavery Turns White People Into Republicans 150 Years Later

White Southerners are one of the great outliers in American politics. President Obama polledsignificantly worse with white voters in the South than he did with whites in swing states. One survey of working class white voters found Obama only 4-8 points behind Romney in the majority of the country, while he polled 40 points behind Romney among Southern white working class voters. And a new study by political scientists Avidit Acharya, Matthew Blackwell and Maya Sen suggests that there may be a simple explanation for this divide — slavery.

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Creepy Christian Preacher Wanders Around Texas Town Armed With Assault Rifle to Protest Strictness of Texas Gun Laws

If you go shopping in Huntsville, Texas, you’re likely to run into a local preacher with an assault rifle slung across his back. Beginning last week, Pastor Terry Holcomb started posting videos of himselfwandering into local businesses with an AR-15 Bushmaster rifle — the same weapon used to kill 20 children and six adults in the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.

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Sorry, Oklahoma - Federal Court Says State Cannot Write Anti-Islamic Bigotry Into Its Constitution

On Thursday, a federal court permanently struck down an amendment to Oklahoma’s constitution that would have banned the non-existent practice of Oklahoma courts replacing American law with Islamic law, among other things. The unconstitutional amendment provided that “[t]he courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures.Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia law.” A federal appeals court previously upheld a temporary injunction blocking the Oklahoma amendment; Thursday’s decision holds that the injunction should be permanent.

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Cruel: Ohio Planned to Fight Dying Man's Last Wish All the Way to Court

John Arthur is dying. He is in the terminal stages of Lou Gehrig’s disease and has entered hospice care. Arthur is also gay, and in a 20 year relationship with a man named Jim Obergefell. Because the couple’s home state of Ohio will not allow them to marry, Arthur and Obergefell recently flew to Maryland together and were legally married on the tarmac — just weeks after the Supreme Court’s landmark marriage equality decision in United States v. Windsor. Arthur was unable to rise from his hospice bed.

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Breaking News: DOJ to Ask Court to Reinstate Voting Rights Act in Texas

Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Thursday the first step the Justice Department will take to restore the voting rights gutted by a Supreme Court decision neutering a key prong of the Voting Rights Act. In remarks prepared for the National Urban League’s annual conference, Holder announced that the Justice Department “will ask a federal court in Texas to subject the State of Texas to a preclearance regime similar to the one required by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act” — effectively restoring the safeguards against voter suppression in Texas that were stripped by the five Republican justices’ decision in Shelby County v. Holder.

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Virginia GOP Nominee For Attorney General Would Force Women To Report Their Miscarriages To Police -- Or Face 1 Year in Jail

If a woman in Virginia has a miscarriage without a doctor present, they must report it within 24 hours to the police or risk going to jail for a full year. At least, that’s what would have happened if a bill introduced by Virginia state Sen. Mark Obenshain (R) had become law.

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Republican Congressman: 'Abortion on Demand' Causes School Shootings

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is overturning Roe v. Wade. Or, at least, that’s what freshman Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) seemed to suggest in a speech earlier this month:

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Blatant GOP Voter Suppression: Ohio Republicans Try to Punish Colleges that Enable Students to Vote

In 1979, the Supreme Court affirmed a decision holding that state cannot place unique burdens on college student votes that do not apply to other members of the electorate. Nevertheless, Ohio Republicans now want to punish state universities that encourage students to cast a ballot. Under a budget amendment filed by Republicans in the Ohio House, state universities that provide documents enabling students to register to vote in their college town, rather than in the state where their parents reside, will be forbidden from charging those students out-of-state tuition. Thus, the amendment would effectively reduce the funding of state schools that assist their students in registering to vote.

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