News in Brief: Female Voters Shifted GOP in Midterm Elections, and More

Female Voters Shifted GOP in Midterm Elections

House Democrats lost a significant portion of female support during the midterm elections this year, winning an overall 48 percent of the vote, while Republicans received 49 percent, according to The Los Angeles Times. The figure is particularly jarring in comparison to statistics from just four years ago, when Democrats had 55 percent of the female vote. Candidates even lost support from single women, typically one of the party’s most loyal demographics. The shift comes as a time when the number of women in Congress declined for the first time in more than 30 years.

California Unemployment Fund Faces $10.3 Billion Deficit

A 2001 legislative decision to raise benefits compounded by a high unemployment rate has left California with an estimated $10.3 billion unemployment insurance fund deficit, The Sacramento Bee reports. The Legislature nearly doubled benefits without raising taxes; over the past nine years, that decision has led to the state paying out almost $20.6 billion in benefits while only taking in $9.9 billion in taxes. Between looming deadlines to pay back federal loans and a seemingly unwavering unemployment rate, the fund deficit may grow to $13.4 billion next year, and California businesses may see their unemployment insurance taxes rise from an average $149 a year per employee to $196 by 2016.

Federal Judge Places Injunction on Oklahoma’s Sharia Law Ban

Talking Points Memo reports that a federal judge has temporarily blocked an amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution, which would prohibit courts from considering Sharia or international law. The ban on Sharia law passed as a ballot measure on November 2 and was scheduled to go into effect November 10. Muneer Awad, the head of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, brought the lawsuit against the amendment on the grounds that it violated First Amendment rights by creating an “official disapproval of his faith.” Another hearing will begin on November 22.