Ferguson

Heard on the Hill This Week: The Saga of the Student Painting Heist
 

Throughout a week filled with heated confirmation hearings and a late-night vote-a-rama, one story continuously dogged Roll Call’s Heard on the Hill reporter Alex Gangitano: some lawmakers kept taking down a controversial student painting in the Cannon tunnel. Watch the video for a play-by-play from Gangitano.

Ryan Calls Ferguson Painting ‘Disgusting’ ]

Clay Returns Controversial Ferguson Painting to Capitol (Video)

After Ferguson Riots, Durbin Calls Hearing on Civil Rights

Protesters chant, "hands up, don't shoot," in front of the White House on Monday night following the announcement that Darren Wilson was not indicted in the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In the wake of renewed rioting in Ferguson, Mo., Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., announced Tuesday that he intends to hold a hearing on the state of civil and human rights in the United States.  

“Racial disparities persist at many stages of the criminal justice system. Many states have enacted voting laws making it harder for minority and other voters to cast their ballots,” Durbin said in a release announcing the hearing. “And this year’s events in Ferguson, Missouri have highlighted the continued need to reevaluate and reform police practices, including the militarization of state and local law enforcement. This hearing will explore how Congress and the Executive Branch can build on recent successes and address ongoing civil and human rights challenges.” The hearing is scheduled for Dec. 9 and will be held by the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights of which Durbin is chairman.  

Senate Will Review Militarization of Police in Defense Bill, Levin Says

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee will look into the program that provides Pentagon surplus to local police before the full Senate considers the next defense authorization.  

The Armed Services panel has already approved the fiscal 2015 defense programs bill for Senate floor consideration, and staff for Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., and ranking member James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., are working over the August recess to try and develop a defined universal set of amendments to set up for floor consideration.  

In Wake of Ferguson, New Focus on Civil Rights, Militarized Cops

Ferguson could convince Reid to resurrect nomination of an Obama assistant attorney general nominee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The nation's eyes were riveted on the searing images from Ferguson, Mo., Thursday, but the violent protests in that small St. Louis suburb have also unexpectedly pushed two policy debates closer to the front burner in Washington: Civil rights and the militarization of police.  

President Barack Obama called for restraint from both police and protesters, who have clashed  since the Aug. 9 police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man.