Press Room | Facebook | Twitter | DONATE

Adam Waters

On August 3, President Obama announced that he was commuting the sentences of an additional 214 federal prisoners, marking the largest number of commutations in a single day in American history. In all, the President has now commuted 562 sentences as part of his ongoing effort to leverage his executive power to shorten unfair sentences and reduce the oversized federal prison population.

Of course, real and lasting criminal justice reform must involve significant policy change – Congress must act alongside the President to address mass incarceration and reduce the racial disparities...

Read More

Over the past several months, immigration has once again become a major topic of discussion in the public square and in Congress. Recognizing that something must be done to address the almost 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States, as well as the large number of Central American and Syrian refugees seeking resettlement here, activists and lawmakers have called for a variety of new policy measures. As with so many other hot political issues, however, there is tremendous disagreement about how to proceed on immigration reform.

In July, the Senate...

Read More

See the RAC’s previous coverage of the opioid crisis here and here.

In late July, President Obama signed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA) into law. CARA addresses the growing opioid abuse epidemic in the United States, which took more than 18,000 lives in 2014, a 16 percent increase from the previous year. Among a number of provisions, the new law will increase access to medication-assisted drug treatment for opioid addiction and expand the availability of naxolone for first responders dealing with opioid overdose situations.

While the President...

Read More

Voting rights signs at Capitol

Earlier this month, voting rights advocates won two important, if partial, victories in court cases challenging the constitutionality of voter ID laws in Wisconsin and Texas.

In Wisconsin, a district judge issued a preliminary injunction requiring the state to allow citizens who were unable to attain a valid form of photo identification to sign an affidavit to that effect and then cast their ballots. In the decision, the judge argued that “a safety net is needed for those voters who cannot obtain qualifying ID with reasonable effort.” The affidavit system will go into effect for...

Read More

Last month, the Supreme Court dealt a major blow when it split 4-4 over the constitutionality of the President’s proposed executive action to extend protections to certain groups of undocumented immigrants. The case, United States v. Texas, examined two programs: Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and an expansion in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Because the Supreme Court failed to reach a majority decision, the lower court’s injunction blocking the executive action was automatically upheld. As a result, nearly five million undocumented immigrants that would...

Read More