Hill to Hall June 20–24

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June 20: Senators call for hearings over treatment of migrant children

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., along with 47 other Democratic and Independent U.S. senators, has published an open letter calling on the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold oversight hearings regarding the treatment of migrant children under the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, which they say has resulted in the forcible separation of hundreds of children from their families. The letter, addressed to Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, calls on the Senate to “seek answers from the [Trump] administration on the standards of care [in shelter facilities for children] including staffing ratios, credentials for contractors and background checks.”

June 20: Portland moves toward plastic straw ban

Portland City Council has voted in favor of a resolution instructing city officials to come up with a plan to reduce the use of “single-use non-recyclable plastics” and to ban plastic straws specifically. The vote passed 3-0 in the absence of Commissioners Dan Saltzman and Nick Fish.

June 21: Supreme Court decision restricts police access to cell phone location data

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has ruled warrantless police searches of historical cell phone location data unconstitutional. The court decided in favor of Timothy Carpenter, a man convicted of multiple counts of armed robbery after police linked him to crime scenes using location data from his phone. The decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, states that in order to obtain such data, police should generally have a court-approved search warrant.

June 22: Oregon to allow non-binary gender marker for students

Starting next school year, the Oregon Department of Education will allow students to identify themselves as neither male nor female in official school documentation, using the marker “X” rather than “F” or “M.” In 2017, Oregon became the first state to allow a non-specified gender option on driver’s licenses and ID cards.

 

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