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January 7, 2013

New Mexico judge awards “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”-discharged service members back pay

  • 181 U.S. military veterans who were discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy will receive their full back pay following a judge’s ruling on a lawsuit filed by the ACLU in New Mexico.
  • $13,000 is the average amount that each former soldier, sailor, Marine or pilot will receive as a result of the lawsuit, which granted full back-pay to any member of the U.S. military discharged during or after November 2004.
  • $2.4M will be paid out in total by the Pentagon, which had originally halved the separation pay of any service member who was discharged under the old “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. source
19:29 // 1 year ago
June 14, 2012
The law is pretty clear you may not deny participation in a program like this – that is run by the state – based on the mission and the message of the organization. It’s a free speech issue.
ACLU of Georgia Executive Director Debbie Seagraves • In a statement, confirming that the local chapter of the ACLU was researching the facts behind the Ku Klux Klan’s recently denied attempt to adopt a highway in the northern part of the state. She went on to note that, based on comments made by authorities when the decision was announced, it seemed that “the decision makers of the state thought that this was OK: it’s viewpoint discrimination.” So, who is in the right on this one? source (viafollow)
16:03 // 2 years ago
May 8, 2012
North Carolina has passed Amendment 1, a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. This isn’t a change in policy as such for the Tar Heel State — gay and lesbian couples had already been barred from marriage, but not at the level of the state constitution. Moreover, there’s a slew of concern voiced by the ACLU, among others, that the broad phrasing of the amendment will have unforeseen impacts in all sorts of areas unrelated to marriage equality (domestic violence law, for example). North Carolina joins thirty other states with constitutional blocks against same-sex marriage. (Photo by hlkljgk)

North Carolina has passed Amendment 1, a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. This isn’t a change in policy as such for the Tar Heel State — gay and lesbian couples had already been barred from marriage, but not at the level of the state constitution. Moreover, there’s a slew of concern voiced by the ACLU, among others, that the broad phrasing of the amendment will have unforeseen impacts in all sorts of areas unrelated to marriage equality (domestic violence law, for example). North Carolina joins thirty other states with constitutional blocks against same-sex marriage. (Photo by hlkljgk)

22:09 // 2 years ago
March 22, 2012
11:32 // 2 years ago
December 6, 2011
manicchill:

Governor Scott Walker’s New Anti-Protest Strategy: First Amendment Fees
Governor Scott Walker(R-WI) is quickly learning that, when you take away people’s rights, they get angry. And when they get angry, sometimes they show up by the thousands and protest outside your office. For several months.
Well apparently Governor Walker has had enough, because a new set of protest regulations went into effect on December 1st in his state. And they’re not exactly protest-friendly…
The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports:

 Groups of four or more people must obtain permits for all activity and displays in state buildings and apply for those permits at least 72 hours in advance. The policy requires permits for 100 or more people outside the Capitol. The policy does provide some leeway for spontaneous gatherings triggered by unforeseen events.
 Groups holding demonstrations could be charged for the costs of having extra police on hand for the event. Costs associated with a counterprotest could be charged to that second group. The costs would be $50 per hour per Capitol Police officer - costs for police officers from outside agencies would depend on the costs billed to the state. The police could require an advance payment as a requirement for getting a permit and also could require liability insurance or a bond. 

The new rules, which many legal experts warned raise serious first amendment concerns, could also hold demonstrators liable for any/all damages and clean-up required as a result of the protest. The clean-up and repairs statute, Walker claims, is a result of protesters allegedly causing $7.5 million in damage to Wisconsin’s Capitol building.
Surprisingly, the Wisconsin chapter of the ACLU is not challenging, but remains skeptical, of the new laws. The potential damage to free speech protection is not lost on them either. 
As for the Administration, they claim to have reached out to the one of the groups of protesters who do still have a weekly presence, in an effort to make sure everybody’s on the same page.

One group that meets every weekday at the Capitol is the Solidarity Singers, a pro-labor chorus that has been singing in protest of Walker’s policies since last spring.
Department of Administration spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster said an agency lawyer had reached out to the leader of the Solidarity Singers, Chris Reeder, and would be meeting with him about the policy.
Reeder said his group has been willing to take its singing outside on days when other events such as blood drives are happening.
We believe what we’re doing is protected by the First Amendment,” Reeder said of the new policy.

While there doesn’t appear to be any major push-back at this time, it’s unclear if Wisconsinites approve of the new rules, or are too busy collecting signatures for the various Recall Walker campaigns to bother fighting back. If they’re successful, he’ll be gone in a few months anyways.

If you can’t beat ‘em, charge ‘em.

manicchill:

Governor Scott Walker’s New Anti-Protest Strategy: First Amendment Fees

Governor Scott Walker(R-WI) is quickly learning that, when you take away people’s rights, they get angry. And when they get angry, sometimes they show up by the thousands and protest outside your office. For several months.

Well apparently Governor Walker has had enough, because a new set of protest regulations went into effect on December 1st in his state. And they’re not exactly protest-friendly…

The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports:

 Groups of four or more people must obtain permits for all activity and displays in state buildings and apply for those permits at least 72 hours in advance. The policy requires permits for 100 or more people outside the Capitol. The policy does provide some leeway for spontaneous gatherings triggered by unforeseen events.

 Groups holding demonstrations could be charged for the costs of having extra police on hand for the event. Costs associated with a counterprotest could be charged to that second group. The costs would be $50 per hour per Capitol Police officer - costs for police officers from outside agencies would depend on the costs billed to the state. The police could require an advance payment as a requirement for getting a permit and also could require liability insurance or a bond. 

The new rules, which many legal experts warned raise serious first amendment concerns, could also hold demonstrators liable for any/all damages and clean-up required as a result of the protest. The clean-up and repairs statute, Walker claims, is a result of protesters allegedly causing $7.5 million in damage to Wisconsin’s Capitol building.

Surprisingly, the Wisconsin chapter of the ACLU is not challenging, but remains skeptical, of the new laws. The potential damage to free speech protection is not lost on them either. 

As for the Administration, they claim to have reached out to the one of the groups of protesters who do still have a weekly presence, in an effort to make sure everybody’s on the same page.

One group that meets every weekday at the Capitol is the Solidarity Singers, a pro-labor chorus that has been singing in protest of Walker’s policies since last spring.

Department of Administration spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster said an agency lawyer had reached out to the leader of the Solidarity Singers, Chris Reeder, and would be meeting with him about the policy.

Reeder said his group has been willing to take its singing outside on days when other events such as blood drives are happening.

We believe what we’re doing is protected by the First Amendment,” Reeder said of the new policy.

While there doesn’t appear to be any major push-back at this time, it’s unclear if Wisconsinites approve of the new rules, or are too busy collecting signatures for the various Recall Walker campaigns to bother fighting back. If they’re successful, he’ll be gone in a few months anyways.

If you can’t beat ‘em, charge ‘em.

(via manicchill)

10:38 // 2 years ago
July 20, 2011

App lets iPhone users see all of your drunken mistakes

A new iPhone app allows you to view real-time video feeds from inside local bars, so you can, in the words of the creators, “see what a venue looks like, to get a head count.” Cool idea, but that means that if you’re in one of said bars, everything you do is being streamed online—whether you know it or not. Bars that opt-in to this aren’t required to tell patrons that they’re being filmed, and the footage is accessible from the company’s website, so it’s not just limited to iPhone users. The creators defend the app’s integrity, saying that “the point of the product is not to make a stalker utility.” Which is a vapid defense, of course, because the intent behind a product has no bearing on the manner in which it’s capable of being used. We suspect Apple might pull this one before too long. source

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22:33 // 3 years ago
April 12, 2011

A win for breast cancer awareness in schools

  • NO school can’t ban anti-cancer “I (heart) boobies” bracelets source

» And for the ACLU, there was much rejoicing: The American Civil Liberties Union had taken on the case of two middle school girls suspended from school for wearing breast cancer awareness bracelets with “I (heart) boobies” written on them. In a preliminary ruling, federal judge Mary McLaughlin said they “can reasonably be viewed as speech designed to raise awareness of breast cancer and to reduce stigma associated with openly discussing breast health.”

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17:06 // 3 years ago
January 22, 2011
So far, the documents released by the government raise more questions than they answer, but they do confirm one troubling fact: that no senior officials have been held to account for the widespread abuse of detainees. Without real accountability for these abuses, we risk inviting more abuse in the future.
A statement from the ACLU • Regarding a series of documents they released detailing the deaths of 190 US detainees, some of which have been reported by the media, but others are new. A handful – around 25 to 30 – are what the ACLU describes as “unjustified homicide.” One disturbing finding – over 25 percent of the deaths listed were due to cardiac problems, which leads to questions over how detainees are being confined. For its part, the Department of Defense, uh, defends itself. ”Although there have been cases of individuals involved in misconduct,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Tanya Bradsher,  ”there is no evidence of systematic abuse by the United States military.” Food for thought? source (viafollow)
11:21 // 3 years ago