Legislative and court updates for July 21, 2016

Recognizing civil rights sites will preserve heritage

justice-scales-and-gavelWASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) has praised committee approval of legislation that would create a national network of sites that were central to the Civil Rghts Movement.

“Memphis plays a crucial role in the civil rights movement, and the Mason Temple, the Church of God in Christ and the Lorraine Hotel are places that help us reflect on the progress we have made, along with the challenges that we still face,” he said. “I voted to create this network, because our children should grow up learning about this pivotal time in our country’s history. These and other sites significant to the civil rights movement should be recognized.”

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved the U.S. Civil Rights Network Act of 2015 on July 13. Alexander is a cosponsor of the legislation.

The act would create a national network facilitated by the National Park Service of existing federal, state, local and privately owned sites that have been found to be significant to the civil rights movement. Two sites in Memphis — the Mason Temple, Church of God in Christ, and the Lorraine Hotel — are on the tentative list of sites that could be included in the U.S. Civil Rights Network.

The legislation would allow the National Park Service to form partnerships with existing entities included within the U.S. Civil Rights Network to provide technical assistance on preservation and interpretation of the civil rights movement.

SCOTUS hopeful passes 125h day since nomination

At press time Tuesday, Merrick Garland was predicted to hit a milestone by Wednesday, reaching the longest time to be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court without Senate action.

Tuesday marked the 125th day since the federal appeals court nominated Garland with no senate action.

This length of inaction has not been seen since it took 125 days confirm the nomination of Justice Louis Brandeis, America’s first Jewish justice, in 1916.

Corker: Budget outlook is critical to U.S. success

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, released the following statement July 12 after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its 2016 Long-Term Budget Outlook.

“America faces many pressing issues, but the greatest long-term threat to our country is the inability to get our fiscal house in order,” said Corker. “… If we maintain the status quo and do not create solvency for important retirement and health care programs, our children and grandchildren will be faced with lower incomes, financial insecurity, and an unprecedented debt burden.”