President’s Day on Monday, February 19, 2024

In 1862, Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation declaring February 22 a day of celebration honoring George Washington. A federal holiday on February 22 was officially passed into law in 1879 for federal employees in Washington, D.C., and in 1885 the day became a paid holiday for all federal employees. Over time, it became a holiday for many state and business employees, too. 

The shift from Washington’s Birthday to Presidents’ Day occurred in the late 1960s, when Congress proposed a measure known as the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This Act included a provision to combine the celebration of Washington’s birthday and Lincoln’s birthday (February 12, 1809) on the third Monday in February. 

Since 1862, there has been a tradition in the United States Senate that George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address be read on his birthday. The address is a 6,000-word statement printed in Philadelphia’s American Daily Advertiser in which Washington sought to explain his decision not to run for a third term re-election.

Supreme Court of Ethics

The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued a code of ethics following months of financial scandals associated with Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas. The nonbinding code, signed by all nine justices, outlines five canons intended to guide their behavior, emphasizing integrity, impartiality, diligence, and the avoidance of impropriety and political activity.

The code itself is unremarkable. It is based on the American Bar Association’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct, which is used throughout the country. In structure and in content it is largely the same. It, however, is absent of specifics and teeth.

One Person/One Vote Initiative: Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote

Many Americans believe that we live in a democracy and that the presidential candidate with the most votes wins. Unfortunately, this is inaccurate. Although national, state, and local officials and initiatives are counted by direct popular vote, the president is elected by electoral votes. This indirect process is often referred to as the winner-take-all model. That is, the candidate who wins a majority of votes in almost every state in the Union is given the state’s electoral college votes, while votes cast for the losing candidate are canceled in 48 states.

All registered voters are eligible to vote by mail

To use the Online Absent Voter Ballot application tool below, you need to be registered to vote in Michigan and have a valid Michigan driver’s license or state ID. If you need to register to vote, click on “Registering To Vote.” If you don’t have a Michigan driver’s license or state ID but you are registered to vote, go to “Absentee Voting” for more info

The Road to Fascism

Critical Race Theory originated as a body of scholarship analyzing systematic racism. It alleges that racism is systemic and evident in all aspects of American society, including health care, housing, economics, education, clean water, and the criminal justice system. Over generations, this system has given white people enormous advantages while compounding disadvantages for Black people and other minorities.

Time is of the Essence: Bipartisanship in the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) process

Time is of the essence! Bipartisan calls from Congress are putting pressure on the State Department and the Biden administration to accelerate SIV processing. “These people have a bull’s eye and a target on their back from the moment we leave the country,” Rep. Michael McCaul, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned this month. “And if we abandon them, we are signing their death warrants.”

What is the Discussion about Critical Race Theory

Many Americans believe racism is the product of intentionally bad and biased individuals, but critical race theory alleges that racism is systemic and is inherent in much of the American way of life from health care to housing, economics to education, clean water to the criminal justice system and more. It is argued that those systems have been “constructed and protected over generations in ways that give white people advantages – sometimes in ways that are not obvious or deliberately insidious but nonetheless result in compounding disadvantages for Black people and other racial and ethnic minorities.”

Crisis at the Border – A PEG Exclusive

The situation at our country’s southern border continues to present immense challenges. Although the Biden administration has taken steps to reverse former President Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy, thousands of people are still struggling with food insecurity, unsanitary conditions, and the threat of violence in camps along the border. Additional problems are caused by recent policy and personnel changes that have created confusion and uncertainty at the border.
  The Biden administration is facing ongoing political pressure to decrease or halt the number of migrants at the US’s southern border, which hit a two-decade high for a single month in April, according to US Customs and Border Protection’s latest figures. Nearly half of the 178,622 migrants encountered at the US-Mexico border came from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras that month.

Legal entry into the United States

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a refugee is an alien who, generally, has experienced past persecution or has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.  Individuals who meet this definition may be considered for either refugee status under Section 207 of the INA if they are outside the United States, or asylum status under Section 208 of the INA, if they are already in the United States.