Civil Rights News: Health Care Mandate, Equal Opportunity, No Death Row in Ill., Expensive College Tuition

Appeals court upholds health-care law’s individual mandate
By Jerry Markon, Washington Post

“A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld the most contentious provision of the health-care overhaul law, ruling that Congress can require Americans to carry insurance coverage.”
“The health-care law seeks to extend medical coverage to 30 million uninsured Americans and make major changes in public and private health insurance. By far the most contested provision is the individual mandate, which requires most Americans to purchase at least a minimum level of health insurance starting in 2014 and imposes a tax penalty if they don’t.”

Federal court: Michigan ban on race in college admissions illegal
By David Ashenfelter and Dawson Bell, Detroit Free Press

A federal appeals court struck down a Michigan ban on affirmative action in college admissions, employment and contracting. This means that the issue is likely to be brought before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Illinois’ death row officially shuts down
San Francisco Chronicle

“Death row in Illinois is dead. On Friday, a ban that Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law in March took effect. It’s a quiet last chapter to the story of capital punishment in Illinois, which captured the attention of the world in 2000 when then-Gov. George Ryan imposed a moratorium. Ryan cleared death row entirely three years later.”

Tuition-hiking colleges have some explaining to do
By Mary Beth Marklein and Luke Kerr-Dineen, USA TODAY

“These are rankings no college wants to top. The Education Department today unveils a website on which it is publishing for the first time lists identifying the nation’s most expensive colleges.”
“We hope this information will encourage schools to continue in their efforts to make the costs of college more transparent,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Wednesday.

Compiled by Josh Chomet, a summer intern