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Politics

With big business backing, GOP revamps appellate courts in Southern states

April 8, 2021 - The Texas legislature may consolidate the state's appeals courts, where Democrats have gained seats in recent elections — and watchdogs say the changes could violate the Voting Rights Act. The plan is being pushed by a big business group that has spent nearly $1 million to back GOP judicial candidates. A new West Virginia appeals court also had the support of big business.

Revisiting the Black power dream of North Carolina's Soul City

March 26, 2021 - Facing South recently spoke with Thomas Healy, author of "Soul City: Race, Equality, and the Lost Dream of an American Utopia." The book documents civil rights leader Floyd McKissick's pursuit of Black opportunity in the form of a Black-led model integrated community on a former slave plantation in Eastern North Carolina, and the lessons the quest and its failure holds for today.

Confronting the anti-civil rights filibuster

March 24, 2021 - U.S. senators are currently considering whether to eliminate, reform, or protect the filibuster. The parliamentary procedure that gives the minority outsized power has a long history of being used to undermine civil rights legislation — and it now threatens to derail a bold Democratic agenda that includes voting rights and other pro-democracy reforms.

The rural South lost 13 hospitals in 2020

March 17, 2021 - The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the ongoing loss of hospital beds in rural communities across the South. The greatest losses were in Tennessee — among the states that haven't expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The rate of rural hospital closures in non-expansion states is six times greater than in states that expanded the program.