Tuesday July 16, 2019
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Supreme Court to hear petition against Article 370 today

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

A view of the Indian Supreme Court building is seen in New DelhiThe apex court will hear a petition filed by an NGO last year against Article 370 today. The Centre and the State will be putting forth their responses to the PIL that challenges Article 35A of the Indian Constitution.

Article 370 grants special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir, and Article 35A allows the state of Jammu and Kashmir to grant special privileges and rights to permanent residents.

The ruling parties in Jammu and Kashmir, the Bhartiya Janata Party and the Peoples Democratic Party, have contradictory views regarding the issue. While the BJP wants to abolish Article 370, depriving the state of its special status, the PDP wants to retain it.

The repealing of Article 370 can only be done with an amendment in the Constitution, which would require a two-third majority in the Parliament. The BJP, when it was in the opposition, had promised to abolish this legal provision.

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US: Supreme Court Blocks Administration’s Effort to Add Citizenship Question on Census

The citizenship question was meant to better enforce the Voting Rights Act

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US, Supreme Court, Citizenship
FILE - Demonstrators protest during a Fair Maps rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court, in Washington, U.S., March 26, 2019. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump responded Thursday to the Supreme Court’s decision to block his administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the upcoming U.S. census by saying he’d asked his lawyers whether there was a way to delay the nationwide head count.

In a tweet hours after the court announced its decision, Trump said it “seems totally ridiculous” that the government could not question people about their citizenship on the census, which takes place once every 10 years.

The Supreme Court ruled the administration’s explanation — that the citizenship question was meant to better enforce the Voting Rights Act — was “more of a distraction” from the issue than an explanation.

Opponents of the citizenship question say it would intimidate noncitizens into not answering the census, ultimately leaving them underrepresented in Congress.

US, Supreme Court, Citizenship
U.S. President Donald Trump responded Thursday to the Supreme Court’s decision to block his administration’s effort. Pixabay

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal justices in the 5-4 ruling.

 The nation’s highest court also announced Thursday that it was rejecting a request to intervene in states’ redistricting efforts.  Redrawing the boundaries of voting districts is meant to ensure proportional representation in state legislatures as the population grows and changes locations.

Republicans in the state of North Carolina and Democrats in the state of Maryland have been accused of redrawing the lines of voting districts to keep power in the hands of the ruling party.

The chief justices said manipulation of the electoral map, a practice known colloquially as gerrymandering, is a problem for state governments to solve, not the Supreme Court.

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Thursday was the final day of rulings by the Supreme Court before its summer break. (VOA)