Southern Poverty Law Center

Politics & Government
6:21 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Law Center Appeals Accountability Act Ruling

Credit guidestar.org

The Southern Poverty Law Center is taking its legal challenge of the Alabama Accountability Act to a federal appeals court.

The Montgomery-based group has asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review a federal judge's decision rejecting the law center's challenge of the state law.

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Alabama Prison Suit
4:29 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Groups Sue Over Alabama Prison Conditions

Two advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit against the Alabama prison system, claiming the state is failing to provide basic medical and mental health care to inmates.
Credit istockphoto

Two advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit against the Alabama prison system, claiming the state is failing to provide basic medical and mental health care to inmates.

Attorney Maria Morris of the Southern Poverty Law Center says a lack of adequate medical care is causing inmate suffering and even deaths.

The SPLC and the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Center filed the lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Montgomery on behalf of about 40 inmates.

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Alabama Prison Review
3:51 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Corrections Leader Refutes Claims In SPLC Report

Department Commissioner Kim Thomas says the state is proud of the health care it offers inmates and that care provided in state institutions is better than what's available to most uninsured Alabamians.
Credit Office of the Governor of Alabama

Alabama Department of Corrections officials are refuting a report by a human rights organization that criticizes health care in state prisons.

Department Commissioner Kim Thomas said in a statement Wednesday the state is proud of the health care it offers inmates and that care provided in state institutions is better than what's available to most uninsured Alabamians.

A report by the Southern Poverty Law Center said the state fails to give inmates a humane level of medical care and disabled prisoners face discrimination.

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Alabama Prison Review
4:05 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Study Begins On Alabama Prison Overhaul

Gov. Robert Bentley has announced an attempt to overhaul the state's severely overcrowded prison system.
Credit The Governor's Office

Gov. Robert Bentley has announced an attempt to overhaul the state's severely overcrowded prison system.

Bentley said Tuesday the state's prisons are filled to nearly twice their collective capacity. The Justice Reinvestment Initiative, a partnership between the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Department of Justice, will examine the system and suggest reforms.

The review comes after a series of stark criticisms. The Department of Justice has called conditions unconstitutional at Alabama's only prison for women.

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Immigration Law Payments
4:56 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Alabama Paying $580,000 Over Immigration Law

Alabama has agreed to pay another $230,000 to civil rights groups that sued over Alabama's immigration law.
Credit Florida Atlantic University

Alabama has agreed to pay another $230,000 to civil rights groups that sued over Alabama's immigration law.

The agreement announced Monday brings the total paid by the state government to $580,000. Monday's agreement stemmed from a 2011 suit over a portion of the law that barred business transactions between the state and anyone who could not prove citizenship. The law prevented some people from renewing their mobile home registration tags, but the suit ended the enforcement of that aspect of the law.

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Immigration-Scarlet Letter
3:45 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Judge Won't Dismiss Alabama Immigration Suit

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit challenging an Alabama immigration law that requires state officials to post on the Internet the names of people living in the state illegally who have run-ins with the law.

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit challenging an Alabama immigration law that requires state officials to post on the Internet the names of people living in the state illegally who have run-ins with the law.

The so-called "scarlet letter list" was part of Alabama's second immigration law that the Legislature enacted in 2012. The Southern Poverty Law Center and others challenged it in federal court on behalf of four residents from Mexico who got arrested for fishing without a state license.

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Extremist Groups-Report
9:41 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Ala-Based Group Finds Decline In Extremist Groups

The Southern Poverty Law Center says anti-government "Patriot" groups declined even more. It identifies 1,096 such organizations in the United States, down 19 percent from a year earlier.
Credit Southern Poverty Law Center

An Alabama group that monitors radical organizations says right-wing extremism is on the decline in the United States.

The liberal Southern Poverty Law Center says the number of hate groups dropped for the second year in a row in 2013, falling 7 percent to 939 last year.

The Montgomery-based legal agency says anti-government "Patriot" groups declined even more. It identifies 1,096 such organizations in the United States, down 19 percent from a year earlier.

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Private School Tax Credits
4:15 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Judge To Rule Soon On Private School Tax Credits

A federal judge says he will rule quickly on whether to throw out a lawsuit challenging Alabama's new tax credits for families that move their children from failing public schools.
Credit istockphoto

A federal judge says he will rule quickly on whether to throw out a lawsuit challenging Alabama's new tax credits for families that move their children from failing public schools.

U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins on Monday heard from attorneys for the Southern Poverty law Center, which has sued on behalf of eight children in poor, rural counties. He also heard from the attorney general's office, which wants the suit against the governor and other state officials dismissed.

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Private School Tax Credits
4:37 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Alabama AG Says Blocking Law Won't Help Students

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is telling a federal judge that blocking the new Alabama Accountability Act won't help students in failing public schools.
Credit LutherStrange.com

Alabama's attorney general is telling a federal judge that blocking the new Alabama Accountability Act won't help students in failing public schools.

Attorney General Luther Strange is trying to get U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of eight students in failing schools.

The suit challenges the law on equal protection grounds, saying the law's transfer provisions aren't open to the students because there aren't any non-failing public schools or private schools nearby that will accept transfers.

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Private School Tax Credits
5:10 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Alabama Seeks Dismissal Of School Transfer Suit

State attorneys are asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center seeking to block a new state law allowing students to transfer from failing schools.
Credit Alabama School Readiness Alliance

State attorneys are asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center seeking to block a new state law allowing students to transfer from failing schools.

The state attorney general's staff filed papers saying the plaintiffs lacked legal standing and failed to state a valid equal protection claim. In an order Monday, U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins set a schedule for each side to file briefs, with the last brief due on Oct. 21.

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Alabama Accountability Act
8:40 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Lawsuit Filed to Block Ala. Accountability Act

Maggie Martin/APR News

State lawmakers and education officials have filed a state lawsuit to have the Alabama Accountability Act ruled unconstitutional.

   The Montgomery Advertiser reported Wednesday (http://on.mgmadv.com/15yhreh) that the suit was filed on behalf of Democratic state Sen. Quinton Ross of Montgomery, Lowndes County schools Superintendent Daniel Boyd and Alabama Education Association president Anita Gibson.

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Private School Tax Credits
4:47 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Suit Challenges Ala. Private School Tax Credits

Gov. Robert Bentley says the Alabama Accountability Act gives failing schools the flexibility to make changes and improve. His remarks come after the SPLC filed a federal suit seeking to block the law.
yellowhammernews.com

Gov. Robert Bentley says the Alabama Accountability Act is designed to help students in all public schools.

The governor spoke out Monday after the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal court suit seeking to block the law. The suit says some impoverished students can't access part of the law providing tax credits for families that move their children from failing public schools to private schools.

Bentley says another portion of the law gives those failing schools the flexibility to make changes and improve.

Politics & Government
8:14 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Civil Rights Museum Offers Free Admission Thursday

The SPLC's Civil Rights Memorial Center is offering free admission Thursday, July 18 in honor of Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday.
gypsynester.com

The Southern Poverty Law Center's Civil Rights Memorial Center is offering a day of free admission in honor of former South African President Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday.

   Center officials said admission will be free Thursday on Mandela's birthday. Mandela has been hospitalized recently with a recurring lung infection.

   Activities at the center Thursday will include a screening of the documentary "Nelson Mandela: Journey to Freedom."

Business & Education
8:27 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Mobile Schools Settle Lawsuit Over Suspensions

The Mobile County school system is agreeing to not suspend students for minor infractions such as not tucking a shirt or being late to class.
Press-Register file/Victor Calhoun

The Mobile County school system has agreed not to suspend students for minor infractions such as not tucking a shirt in or being late to class.

   The agreement was part of a settlement of a lawsuit filed by the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center challenging the Mobile system's past practice of sometimes giving students lengthy suspensions for minor infractions.

   The settlement requires approval of the superintendent for a proposed suspension of longer than 20 school days.

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Extremist Groups
4:36 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Researchers Report Sharp Rise In 'Patriot' Groups

This graph from "The Year in Hate and Extremism" shows the rise in patriot and militia groups in the U.S. since 1995.
Credit Southern Poverty Law Center

A civil rights group that tracks extremist groups warns that President Obama's tenure and the gun control debate after the Connecticut school shooting have led to surging numbers of anti-government "patriot" groups.

The Southern Poverty Law Center on Tuesday reported the rising numbers as it released its annual report on extremist groups.

The number of patriot groups, one category of extremist organizations tracked by the center, has risen dramatically over the past four years, from 149 groups in 2008 to 1,360 today.

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