On March 2nd, Congressman Ben Cline spoke about the reauthorization of the Debbie Smith Act. The Debbie Smith Act was passed in 2004, and distributes federal funds to law enforcement across the country to reduce backlogs of rape kits and DNA evidence from crime scenes to expedite the analyzation process of these pieces of evidence. The forensic process of rape kits and DNA has not changed but with more funding, they can be done faster. If this gets reauthorized, it will remain in effect for 5 years.
In early February, a bill was introduced that would change the court system for the city of Jackson, Mississippi, and it has been approved by the House. If this bill becomes law, citizens will no longer have the right to vote in their city’s judges and clerk, and instead, these positions would be appointed by state officials. These state officials, the Chief Justice and the Attorney General, are both white. The city of Jackson, on the other hand, turns out to be the city with the second highest percentage of black citizens in the United States. Since this change would basically strip black citizens of their right to vote in who will be making judiciary decisions in their city, some have begun to call it a step back to the time of Jim-Crow laws.
On Wednesday, March 1st, the German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, presented her ‘feminist foreign policy.’ This policy is aimed at supporting humanitarian efforts to advance women’s rights and other ‘marginalized groups’ worldwide, lobbying for more women to be involved in economic, peace, and political processes, and funding projects that tackle inequalities. Additionally, this policy created a new role called the “ambassador for feminist foreign policy.” The role of this position would be to further develop the guidelines related to the policy and ensure their implementation. Though the policy seems promising and could potentially bring change, there have been criticisms that claim the policy lacks real answers to feminist issues and that it is a largely preformative move.