5 Things You Need to Know Today Feb. 27: Rosa Parks Statue to Be Unveiled, Voting Rights Act Before SCOTUS

Five things you need to know today, Feb. 27:  Rosa Parks’ statue will be unveiled at the Capitol and the 1965 Voting Rights Act is being challenged before the Supreme Court.

300px Rosaparks 5 Things You Need to Know Today Feb. 27: Rosa Parks Statue to Be Unveiled, Voting Rights Act Before SCOTUS

5 Things You Need to Know Today Feb. 27: Rosa Parks Statue to Be Unveiled, Voting Rights Act Before SCOTUS (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1.  ROSA PARKS STATUE TO BE UNVEILED AT THE CAPITOL

Rosa Parks, who refused to move to the back of the bus, set off a chain of events that put this country on course to end segregation. Rosa Parks will become the first black woman to be honored with a full-length statue in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall. Ms. Parks’ statue joins a bust of black abolitionist Sojourner Truth, which sits in the Capitol Visitors Center.

President Barack Obama, Sen. Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner are among the dignitaries taking part in the unveiling Wednesday.

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2. VOTING RIGHTS ACT HEADS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT IN SHELBY COUNTY AL CASE

The U.S. Supreme Court justices will hear arguments Wednesday challenging a part of the Voting Rights Act that forces places with a history of discrimination, particularly in the Deep South, get advance approval, or preclearance, before they make any change in the way elections are held. The lawsuit from Shelby County, AL, says the “dire local conditions” that once justified strict federal oversight of elections no longer exist. In their eyes, we are in a post-racial America. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

NPR:  “Congress came up with the formula in 1965 to cover areas of the country that had a history of blatant, even violent discrimination in voting; but the formula has not been changed since 1975, and it still relies on election data from 1972. That’s the crux of the issue before the court now: whether times have changed so much that Congress, in reauthorizing the law in 2006 without updating the formula, violated the Constitution.

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3. POPE BENEDICT XVI MAKES FINAL PUBLIC APPEARANCE  

Pope Benedict XVI made his final public appearance as pope in St. Peter’s Square Wednesday morning ahead of his resignation which takes effect Feb. 28. The pope’s resignation comes as a scandal swirls over gay prelates and as a top Roman Catholic official stepped down after allegations of inappropriate conduct.

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4. SANTA CRUZ SHOOTING LEAVES SGT. LOREN BUTCH BUTLER, DET. ELIZABETH DEAD, SUSPECT JEREMY GOULET ALSO KILLED

A Santa Cruz shooting left two police officers dead and the suspect was also killed in a gunfight with police. Santa Cruz Sgt. Loren Butch Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler were killed when they went to the home of Jeremy Goulet to investigate a sexual assault accusation against him by a coworker at a coffee shop where he worked. An altercation ensued that led to the officers being killed. The suspect, who has a criminal history that includes a peeping charge, was killed by other police officers who reported to the scene.

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5. SHOOTING OCCURRED AT COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY IN SC

Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina was on lock-down Tuesday night after a shooting at a residence hall near campus, ABC News reports. One victim was hospitalized.

 5 Things You Need to Know Today Feb. 27: Rosa Parks Statue to Be Unveiled, Voting Rights Act Before SCOTUS
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 5 Things You Need to Know Today Feb. 27: Rosa Parks Statue to Be Unveiled, Voting Rights Act Before SCOTUS
Janet Shan is a freelance journalist, blogger and social media consultant. Janet specializes in political and social commentary, as well as business writing. She is the founder and managing editor of the Hinterland Gazette. She is putting the finishing touches on her new novel, a mystery based in the hills on Montego Bay, Jamaica.