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Author: Wisconsin Examiner

Affirmative Action: Rightwing Supreme Court justices doubt legality of remedy for unlawful discrimination

The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority on October 31 questioned the legality of race-conscious policies in college admissions, as the justices weighed two cases that could upend the admissions process many colleges use to try to boost diversity on campus. At issue are two cases that challenge the lawfulness of affirmative action at Harvard University, the nation’s oldest private university, and the University of North Carolina, one of its oldest public universities. Depending on the scope of the court’s ruling, the outcome of these lawsuits could affect admissions at hundreds of colleges and universities across the country and even...

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Milwaukee Press Club holds panel discussion on the impact of Latino votes in the midterm election

The power Latino voters could demonstrate in the November 8 midterm elections was the topic of a panel discussion at a Milwaukee Press Club on October 26. The subject is a complex. Increasing economic prosperity, immigration reform and access to education are issues that continue to motivate Latino communities in Milwaukee. Yet there is also what some panelists called “the myth of the monolithic Latino voter.” A reductionist idea that casts one of the city’s most influential voting blocks in a one dimensional light. For panelist Paru Shah, an associate professor of political science at UW-Milwaukee, the complexity of...

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Costs of incarceration: Wisconsin inmates and their families feel the financial squeeze of rising inflation

Across the nation, prison commissaries are raising prices on items that many consider basic necessities, from deodorant to fresh fruit, not provided by the state department of corrections. The markups come as decades-high inflation is also squeezing inmates’ families, making it harder for them to help. It is a burden that families should not have to shoulder, advocates say, and a situation that some worry will lead to unrest or violence. Wanda Bertram, communications strategist for the Prison Policy Initiative, a think tank focused on policies in the criminal justice and legal system, said that by forcing prisoners and...

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Clash over crops: Lawmakers unwilling to make climate change a priority in order to help farmers

As lawmakers begin envisioning the next farm bill, some U.S. House Republicans are wary of making climate change a priority for farmers and ranchers. The pushback from Republicans at a September 20 hearing came as the Biden administration has tried to make significant new investments in climate change mitigation on farmland, last week announcing 70 pilot projects to support climate-friendly food production. Lawmakers must rewrite the sweeping farm bill every five years to set policy and funding for agriculture, conservation and nutrition programs. The next farm bill is due in 2023, and some environmental groups are eyeing it as...

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Infrastructure Upgrades: Logistical hurdles remain as hopes for offshore wind power become a reality

President Joe Biden’s administration laid out ambitious additional goals in September to boost offshore wind power generation, one of the American renewable energy industry’s emerging wide open frontiers. The federal announcements come as coastal states across the country are increasingly setting offshore wind energy targets, seeking to capture not just clean energy but the potentially big economic benefits of their ports serving as hubs for the vessels, blade manufacturing, cables and other infrastructure needed to get turbines more than 850 feet tall installed miles out at sea. But amid news releases touting megawatt targets and jobs, there’s been less...

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Wisconsin company gets bipartisan congressional help against Chinese manufacturer accused of stealing IP

A bipartisan congressional team has gone to bat for a small Wisconsin manufacturer that won a federal lawsuit against a Chinese furniture giant accused of stealing its intellectual property. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and U.S. Representatives Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah) and Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) joined in letters to three federal agencies urging action against Man Wah Holdings and its American subsidiary. Raffel Systems LLC in Germantown was awarded $106 million in damages in federal court in June after a jury found that Man Wah sold knockoffs of Raffel’s patented, lighted cup holder to be installed in furniture. In letters to...

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