Recent Stories

Police need to be removed from our schools

Black and Hispanic students get arrested far more often

THE MURDER of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer reflects a broader, deep-seated racism that infiltrates all levels of our society, including our schools. The racist notions of superiority, dominance, and control which led the white police officer to feel justified in kneeling on the neck of a black man long(...)

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Anti-union actions reflect racist attitudes

We believe economic justice equals racial justice

THE CIVIL RIGHTS movement did not end with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.  We are still in the midst of it. The work continues as we grapple with the legacy of our nation’s original sin of slavery. The Black Lives Matter movement is only the latest embodiment of our collective and(...)

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SJC off base on Baker’s emergency powers

Civil Defense Act cannot be used to fight a pandemic

DURING LAST WEEK’S Supreme Judicial Court hearing on the lawsuit challenging Gov. Charlie Baker’s COVID-19 emergency declaration and orders, several justices appeared receptive to the argument that the governor’s declaration was authorized by the Civil Defense Act of 1950.  It is difficult to imagine how any intellectually honest analysis could yield that result. Much of(...)

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Time for Beacon Hill to act on campus sexual assault bill

New DeVos regulations and COVID make state action more urgent than ever

FOUR YEARS AGO, a diverse coalition of student activists and victim service providers filed a bill with the Massachusetts Legislature to keep campus survivors safe given the impending threat of new federal Department of Education regulations under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. As of August 14, 2020, those regulations have now taken effect, allowing full cross-examination(...)

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SJC lobbies lawmakers on police reform

As conference committee members negotiate a final version of a police reform bill, the committee’s senators just got a powerful ally: The Supreme Judicial Court. The SJC on Thursday, in an unusual move, explicitly urged the Legislature to pass a provision that the Senate included in its bill mandating the collection of more racial data(...)

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SJC lobbies lawmakers on police reform

Urges passage of Senate provision on traffic stops

AS CONFERENCE COMMITTEE members negotiate a final version of a police reform bill, the committee’s senators just got a powerful ally: The Supreme Judicial Court. The SJC on Thursday, in an unusual move, explicitly urged the Legislature to pass a provision that the Senate included in its bill mandating the collection of more racial data(...)

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Districts coming up short on reporting school-based arrests

Major discrepancies arise between reported and actual data

A NUMBER of Massachusetts school districts are failing to adhere to data collection measures required by the 2018 Criminal Justice Reform Act, with some reporting no school-based arrests when their own records show a significant number of arrests. The discrepancies raise questions about the accuracy of data being gathered under the 2018 law, which reduced(...)

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Grappling with ‘driving while black,’ SJC offers help

Sets lower bar for proving racial profiling in traffic stops

THE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT on Thursday issued a ruling that will make it easier for defendants to prove they are the victim of illegal racial profiling when pulled over during a traffic stop. The decision, hailed as a major victory for advocates for racial justice, came on the same day the court released an opinion(...)

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COVID-19 vaccine unlikely to be a silver bullet

Experts rein in expectations; long process ahead

FOR MONTHS, a quarantine-weary, virus-ridden nation has been waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine. It’s become the endgame, the antidote to all the death and economic destruction the virus has caused. Massachusetts’s final reopening stage, referred to as the “new normal,” is predicated on having an effective treatment or vaccine.  But experts are beginning to rein(...)

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Senate leader sees $5b revenue downturn

Estimate comes as revenues up 3.1% in early part of fiscal year

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE DESPITE SIGNS that the state’s finances have not completely cratered during the pandemic, the Senate’s top budget official said this week he anticipates tax collections in fiscal 2021 to be down $5 billion from last year, and said lawmakers will need to dip “deeply” into the state’s $3.5 billion “rainy day”(...)

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