The Supreme Court ruled Monday that lower courts did not apply a sufficiently high level of scrutiny to the University of Texas’ use of race in admissions decisions, sending the case back to one of those lower courts to be reconsidered. The decision will most likely have few immediate implications for affirmative action programs around the country, including in Texas. But it may represent the start of a new wave of challenges to the use of race in admissions decisions.
Planned Parenthood resolutions demand little not already done — The Advocate | The Louisiana Legislature passed resolutions this year urging state scrutiny of Planned Parenthood, in response to a $4 million, privately funded health clinic that will provide abortions, now under construction in New Orleans. But the group is already closely scrutinized and already in compliance, say state officials, who aren’t sure what the resolutions were meant to do. Of the resolution he sponsored, Metairie Sen. Danny Martiny tells The Advocate, “Do I believe that it was absolutely necessary? No.”
Too few dollars for too many projects —The Advocate | $23 million for the Audubon Nature Institute; $2.2 million for a Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame in Baton Rouge; $1.4 million for repairs at the Cabildo. State legislators submitted a construction budget requesting for $677 million in state funds to secure lines of credit for major construction projects. The state can only afford $350 million. “The overcommitment means [Gov. Bobby] Jindal will decide what moves forward,” The Advocate reports.
More than 300 candidates for local, state and national offices, many of them attorneys (and more than a few disbarred attorneys) owe more than $891,500 in fines for filing campaign finance reports late or not at all. Moreover, 25 political action committees (PACs) owe an additional $90,000, according to figures provided by the Louisiana Board of Ethics.
LouisianaVoice.com’s Tom Aswell says Jindal’s 2008 ethics reform law made this possible.
Since Hurricane Isaac damaged roughly 7,000 homes in St. John the Baptist Parish, contractor fraud has been rampant in LaPlace, according to Det. Michael Shard, who heads up the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office’s fraud investigations unit. Shard said that since August 2012, there have been more than 60 cases of contractor fraud in the parish, resulting in several arrests.
Tax dodgers’ report — Baltimore City Paper | Many American cities — even, say, medium-sized ones with chronic tax revenue shortfalls — are falling all over themselves handing out colossal tax breaks to any developer with a mixed use plan and a dubious “jobs created” number. See, for example, Baltimore, where the local alternative newsweekly has mapped out all the projects the public is currently subsidizing, complete with details on promised made and — where applicable — kept.
Scientists examine oil spill’s impact on oysters — The Houma Courier | Jerome La Peyre, a scientist who specializes in oyster diseases in the LSU AgCenter School of Animal Sciences, is studying the effect of oil by evaluating biomarkers that are used to assess oyster health. La Peyre’s research is part of a multi-national research initiative studying the impact of the oil spill. The work is being paid for by research money set aside by BP and administered independently through the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.
Obama is announcing major new climate plans Tuesday. This chart explains why. — Washington Post Wonkblog | I’m not a big fan of “this chart explains why” stories, either. Either the chart doesn’t explain everything or the chart explains something that no one needed explaining. This chart kind of has both of those problems. But this is an interesting factoid in the run-up to a major climate policy speech: “Over the past few years, U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions have been falling rapidly, thanks to the recession, improved energy-efficiency, and a shift from coal to natural gas. But those trends have bottomed out recently…”
Charles Maldonado is the editor of The Lens. He previously worked as The Lens' government accountability reporter, covering local politics and criminal justice. Prior to joining The Lens, he worked for...
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