Skip Navigation
Photo of a man on a park bench

Groups Warn Local Officials on Laws Criminalizing Sleeping and Camping by the Homeless

The ACLU-WA and allies are pointing local officials statewide to an important Dept. of Justice brief. It explains that when there is insufficient shelter space, cities that prosecute homeless people for sleeping or camping in public places violate the Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. Read More »

Courts Should Review Harsh Sentences from Ill-Conceived Drug Laws

The War on Drugs has left thousands of people locked up under sentencing laws now widely viewed as discriminatory and not based in fact. An ACLU-WA brief is taking aim at the effects of an egregious Drug War policy: the lengthy sentences being served because of the government’s wrongheaded distinction between crack and powder cocaine, resulting in a 100:1 crack-powder disparity in sentences. Read More »
 
Image of a ballot box

Making History: Latino Voter Participation Increases under Yakima’s New District System

Yakima held its first election under the City Council district system created by an ACLU-WA lawsuit. Many people in new majority-Latino districts who didn’t vote in the last primary cast ballots this year – showing citizens will participate in elections when they have a meaningful opportunity to do so. Read More »
 
Lady Justice

Court Orders State to Stop Violating Rights of People with Mental Illness in Jail

Apr 3, 2015
A federal judge has rebuked the State of Washington and ordered it to provide competency services speedily to people with mental illness in jails. The ruling came in a suit on behalf of incarcerated pre-trial detainees who have sat for weeks and months awaiting court-ordered services. Read More »
 

Washington Supreme Court Rules Judges Can Use Age to Impose Lower Sentences for Youth

The WA Supreme Court has ruled that a judge can consider a defendant’s young age in imposing a sentence for a crime committed after his 18th birthday. The ruling affirmed what parents have known and scientists have confirmed: that the brain does not achieve full maturity until well past the age of 18. Read More »
 
Kevan Coffey and Margaret Chen

Woman Sues Public Hospital District to Ensure Access to Abortion

Feb 19, 2015
The ACLU of Washington has filed a lawsuit seeking to have Skagit Regional Health comply with Washington’s Reproductive Privacy Act (RPA).  The suit is part of a new statewide effort by the ACLU to ensure that all public hospitals are complying with the RPA. Read More »