WASHINGTON — Monday, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights, announced he will hold a hearing December 9th on "The State of Civil and Human Rights in the United States.”
Durbin's office says the hearing will examine the status of key civil and human rights issues, including criminal justice reform, voting rights, and police-community relations, his office said in a statement. Topics will include voting rights and the "militarization" of local police forces.
Following enactment of legislation like the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, bipartisan initiatives to protect civil and human rights have continued, including ongoing efforts to reform federal sentencing and restore federal voting rights for ex-offenders.
"Nonetheless, significant roadblocks remain," Durbin's statement said. "Racial disparities persist at many stages of the criminal justice system. Many states have enacted voting laws making it harder for minority and other voters to cast their ballots."
Durbin's office said this year’s events in Ferguson, Missouri have highlighted the continued need to reevaluate and reform police practices, including the militarization of state and local law enforcement. This hearing will explore how Congress and the Executive Branch can build on recent successes and address ongoing civil and human rights challenges.
The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights hearing on “The State of Civil and Human Rights in the United States” will commence on Tuesday, December 9th at 2:30 PM in Rm 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington D.C.
The Ranking Member of the Subcommittee is Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).