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Daily News Flash with Robert Jensen on Reagan-Era Order As Basis for Obama Spying, Supreme Court Decision on Ohio Voting, and New California Sentencing Law

Uprising’s guest expert Robert Jensen, an author and a professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Newly released documents by the ACLU demonstrate that the Obama administration is relying on President Reagan’s spying protocol to justify mass surveillance. The documents were obtained in response to a Freedom of Information Act request and reveal the Reagan-era order, EO 12333, which the Intercept calls, “extraordinarily broad and …largely obscure.” The documents handed over to the ACLU are severely redacted but reveal enough about broad based legal justifications for data mining people’s private information. Click here for an article in the Intercept about this story.

The US Supreme Court decided late afternoon yesterday to block extended voting in the crucial swing state of Ohio. In a vote of 5-4, the justices decided that early voting and after-hours voting would not be allowed. Ohio still retains a 4 week period of early voting. The New York Times described the decision, which was strictly partisan, as one that “will disproportionately harm poorer and minority voters.” The Times also surmised that “Republicans are fighting to keep the electorate as small and white as possible.” Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

And finally California has adopted a Fair Sentencing Act, which aims to eliminate the disparities in sentencing between those convicted of possessing crack, and cocaine. Nationwide there are now 11 states left with laws in place that result in far longer sentences for crack possession, compared to cocaine, which impact communities of color. The Drug Policy Alliance hailed the law, which Gov. Jerry Brown just signed, as “actively dismantling institutional racism.” Click here for an Al Jazeera America article about the story.