“Quick Takes” features brief summaries of recent news, opinion, and research related to race, privilege, and inequality, with a special focus on the history and legacy of slavery and race, which are at the heart of The Living Consequences.

Today’s “Quick Takes” includes items on remembering the Civil War, immigration laws in Arizona and New York, voting by felons, single black women, college debt and U.S. poverty.

Readers are encouraged to share these stories and to comment at the end of the post.

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Senator Ted Kennedy

It was announced overnight that Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts has died at the age of 77.

Much has been said about the legacy of Senator Kennedy, the “liberal lion of the Senate,” and much more will be said today and in the the future. As President Obama said in a statement released during the night, during his career “virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts.”

Here, I want to briefly highlight some of the ways in which Senator Kennedy has been a leading voice on civil rights for the last 45 years, repeatedly helping to redefine our understanding of the meaning of equality in areas such as race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, and disabilities.

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In a split decision, the U.S. Supreme Court today limited an important protection provided by federal voting rights law, ruling that election districts benefiting racial minorities are only protected if the minority in question comprises a majority of the entire voting-age population of the district.

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