ACLU - American Civil Liberties Union of Washington - All Feeds https://aclu-wa.org/all-feeds/rss.xml en Civil Liberties Bills Hang in the Balance as Legislature Goes into Overtime https://aclu-wa.org/civil-liberties-bills-hang-balance-legislature-goes-overtime <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Civil Liberties Bills Hang in the Balance as Legislature Goes into Overtime</strong></p> <p>Unable to agree on a budget, Washington legislators have gone into special session. That means measures which failed to pass during the regular session are again alive for consideration.</p> <p>Several priority ACLU-WA bills are hanging in the balance. Most notable are the Washington Voting Rights Act, reasonable regulations for government use of aerial drones, and reform of the state’s unfair system for imposing and collecting court-imposed debts (aka LFOs).&nbsp; And enmeshed in the budget negotiations themselves is a short-sighted effort to raid marijuana revenues that were earmarked for specific purposes when voters approved I-502.</p> <p>Bills that have passed so far include some valuable victories for civil liberties. These include measures establishing the nation’s strongest regulations on the use of cell phone simulators (known as Stingrays) for surveillance, restrictions on the practices of isolating and restraining students, and required training in crisis intervention for law enforcement officers. However, the ACLU-WA is urging the governor to veto other bills that would worsen problems in the state’s already troubled mental health crisis systems.</p> <p><strong>SURVEILLANCE</strong></p> <p><strong>Restricting Stingrays – HB 1440<br /></strong><strong>Support<br /></strong><strong>Status</strong>: Passed House &amp; Senate, signed into law by Governor</p> <p>With unanimous votes in both houses, legislators approved a bill restricting government use of cell site simulators better known as Stingrays. The measure requires that law enforcement demonstrate to a judge probable cause of suspected criminal activity prior to using the surveillance device. The new law also limits retention of data, requiring that any incidental information collected about innocent bystanders not be used and be deleted promptly.</p> <p>A Stingray tricks all cell phones within its range into thinking it is a legitimate cell phone tower and forces them to connect by masquerading as the strongest nearby cell signal. Even if a particular phone or person is the target, a Stingray will collect sensitive information from all other phones in the area that connect to it – compromising the privacy of a large number of people.</p> <p>Last year <em>The News Tribune</em> revealed that &nbsp;Pierce County law enforcement had been using a Stingray, without prior public awareness or debate or judges being aware of what it actually was. Accordingly, the bill includes provisions to ensure judges are educated about the nature of these devices.</p> <p><strong>Regulating Government Drones – HB 1639<br /></strong><strong>Support<br /></strong><strong>Status: </strong>Passed the House &amp; Senate, but has not yet advanced to Governor</p> <p>Unmanned aerial drones can be useful to police in search-and-rescue operations and hostage situations.&nbsp; But they also give government unprecedented capabilities to engage in extensive, relatively cheap surveillance. Washington has no regulations on how the government may use drones and lacks protections for individual privacy.</p> <p>The ACLU-WA supports legislation that would require local or state government approval <span style="text-decoration: underline;">before</span> an agency acquires drones.&nbsp; Law enforcement would be able to use drones during emergencies, for routine regulatory enforcement, and for missions that don’t involve collecting personal information, but otherwise would need a warrant. Agencies would have to report how and for what purposes they are using drones.</p> <p>The measure addresses concerns raised by Gov. Inslee when he vetoed a drone regulation bill last year. After this session’s measure passed both houses with strong bipartisan support but in slightly different forms, it stalled in the House during the concurrence process. We have strong hopes that it will advance during the special session and be signed by the Governor.</p> <p><strong>VOTING RIGHTS</strong></p> <p><strong>Strengthening Voting Rights – HB 1745<br /></strong><strong>Support<br /></strong><strong>Status: </strong>Passed the House, did not pass from Senate Rules Committee</p> <p>In a healthy democracy, all voices need to be heard.&nbsp; But in some jurisdictions in Washington, outdated election systems prevent all communities from being represented in local government. While the federal Voting Rights Act has been an important tool for defending voting rights, Washington needs its own, more flexible law.</p> <p>The Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA) empowers local governments to take the lead in fixing election systems that exclude some communities from having a voice in local government. It provides a roadmap, data, and timetables for jurisdictions to avoid litigation, and provides a fair process for when litigation becomes necessary. Its adoption would strengthen local democracy and makes governments more accountable.</p> <p>The ACLU-WA and allies continue to press for its passage during the special session. A dramatic illustration of its importance has come from Yakima, which has rung up nearly $1 million in legal costs &nbsp;in opposing the ACLU-WA’s lawsuit (see page 7) brought under the federal law.</p> <p><strong>MENTAL HEALTH<br /><br /></strong><strong>Mental Health</strong> <strong>Policies</strong> – <strong>HB 1450, SB 5177, SB 5269, SB 5649<br /></strong><strong>Opposed</strong></p> <p>Our state’s mental health crisis systems are already unable to provide treatment to all the people who need it. The legislature should not pass measures that would worsen matters by putting additional strain on these systems. Instead, legislators should focus on providing resources to comply with court rulings (see page 3) and on long-term solutions – investing in community-based prevention, intervention, and recovery services.</p> <p>The ACLU is urging the Governor to veto three bills which have passed the legislature. <strong>SB 5269</strong> (known as Joel’s Law) would result in even more people being involuntarily committed at a time when this system is heavily overloaded, by allowing judges to override the commitment decisions of medical professionals and order commitments.</p> <p><strong>HB 1450</strong> would create a new commitment standard for assisted outpatient mental health treatment (AOT), despite studies showing voluntary treatment is as effective as forced treatment. Adding coercion could also backfire by causing individuals not to seek treatment for fear they’ll be put under court order.&nbsp; Any system that attempts to force people into treatment , based on a prediction that they might eventually meet commitment standards, is constitutionally suspect.</p> <p><strong>SB 5649</strong> takes a wrong-headed approach to the state’s duty to ensure that an adequate number of certified evaluation and treatment beds are available for the needs of patients experiencing a mental health crisis. The bill could undermine an important Washington Supreme Court ruling supporting patient rights by allowing the Dept. of Social and Health Services – an agency that has violated individuals’ constitutional rights for years – to determine what an adequate threshold is for certifying a bed.</p> <p>Another pending bill, <strong>SB 5177</strong>, could potentially authorize the use of jails for competency restoration services. Jails are not hospitals, are not designed as therapeutic environments, and are not equipped to manage mental illness or keep those with mental illness from being victimized by the general population of inmates. Trying to turn the punitive environment of a jail into a therapeutic one will be expensive at best and futile at worst.</p> <p><strong>Crisis Intervention Training – SB 5311<br /></strong><strong>Support<br /></strong><strong>Status: </strong>Passed House &amp; Senate, signed into law by Governor</p> <p>The bill requires law enforcement officers in Washington state to receive crisis intervention training (CIT).&nbsp;The training teaches officers how to identify individuals who are suffering from delusions and other mental health crises, and gives them techniques to safely and effectively communicate with such individuals. The training also enables officers to identify situations where a referral to mental health service providers would be more effective than an arrest.</p> <p>According to the state's police academy, jurisdictions that have used crisis intervention training have seen a reduction in officer-involved shootings..&nbsp;And it saves taxpayer dollars by addressing the root causes of public disturbances that would otherwise lead to repeated arrests and court appearances.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>STUDENT RIGHTS<br /><br /></strong><strong>Restricting Isolation of Students – HB 1240<br /></strong><strong>Support<br /></strong><strong>Status</strong>: Passed House &amp; Senate, sent to Governor</p> <p>The practice of physically restraining or forcibly secluding students for misbehavior can harm children and alienate them from school. The legislation bars restraining or isolating students –&nbsp; including special-needs children – except in emergencies, when serious harms to another are imminent, or if parents explicitly agree to it. The measure’s passage means public schools must focus on other interventions to deal with disruptive students. The bill also strengthens requirements for schools to track and report on the use of restraint and isolation.</p> <p><strong>CRIMINAL JUSTICE</strong></p> <p><strong>Ending Debtors’ Prisons – HB 1390<br /></strong><strong>Support<br /></strong><strong>Status: </strong>Passed House, did not advance to Senate floor</p> <p>The state’s current system for Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs) is unfair, burdensome, and unproductive. The ACLU-WA supports legislation to reform the system that will promote public safety by assisting the successful re-entry of individuals and will prioritize restitution to crime victims and their families.</p> <p>LFOs are fees, fines, costs, and restitution imposed by courts on top of criminal sentences.&nbsp; Interest accrues on this debt at 12% a year, even while a person is incarcerated.&nbsp; As a result, people with limited finances remain tethered to the criminal justice system for years.&nbsp;</p> <p>Individuals who have otherwise served their sentences can be arrested and jailed for not paying LFOs. While this sanction is supposed to be reserved for willful refusal to pay, all too often courts lock up people who simply are unable to pay – creating &nbsp;modern-day debtors’ prisons. Further, restitution to victims is not prioritized:&nbsp; Some courts take their share of LFO payments first, to fund their own collection systems, before any money is allotted to the restitution of victims of crime and their families.</p> <p>Legislation to make the LFO system fairer passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support, only to be seriously harmed by adverse amendments adopted in committee in the Senate. We are continuing to work for passage of a true reform bill.</p> <p><strong>Replacing the Death Penalty – HB 1739, SB 5639<br /></strong><strong>Support<br /></strong><strong>Status: </strong>Had hearing in House Judiciary Committee, did not advance</p> <p>Our criminal justice system should treat all people equally. Yet the death penalty is applied unevenly in our state, depending on a defendant’s race and the county in which the crime was committed. Further, scientific studies have shown that the capital punishment does not deter crime more than long sentences. And pursuing the death penalty has not proven to be effective: since its reinstatement in in Washington in 1981, nearly 80 percent of death sentences have been overturned in cases that reached final disposition.</p> <p>The risk of executing an innocent person means that the death penalty system must have safeguards, and these are costly. Capital cases require additional resources for investigation, case preparation, jury selection, trial, sentencing, and appellate review. A rigorous study by Seattle University criminologists recently found that the average total costs to the justice system related to pursuit of the death penalty were over $1 million more per case than in similar non-death penalty cases.</p> <p>The death penalty has failed Washington as a public policy. Instead of trying to fix an unfixable system, the legislature should replace it with a life sentence with no possibility of parole. The sentence should include a work requirement so restitution can go to victims’ families.</p> <p><strong>DRUG POLICY</strong></p> <p><strong>Marijuana Revenues – SSB 6062/SSB 5077, 2SHB 2136/SHB 1106<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /></span></strong><strong>Oppose<br /></strong><strong>Status: </strong>Pending in budget negotiations<strong>&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Short-sighted budget proposals from both houses would divert tax revenues from marijuana away from their earmarks under Initiative 502, the voter-approved measure that legalized marijuana for adults. Diverting these funds would directly contradict the will of Washington voters, who made it clear in passing I-502 that they wanted a well-regulated and public health-oriented approach to marijuana policy.</p> <p>Several dozen leading experts in substance abuse prevention, treatment, and public health are urging legislators not to raid the earmarked revenues to cover budget shortfalls. The earmarked funds provide needed resources for substance abuse prevention and treatment programming, drug education for youth and adults, community health care services, academic research, and evaluation.&nbsp; The impacts of the new law are supposed to be robustly evaluated by the state, to ensure the legislature has solid data for future decisions about marijuana.</p> <p>The legislature already has passed a bill (SB 5052) that folds medical marijuana – which had been approved by voter initiative in 1998 – into the state’s new marijuana system established by I-502. The measure enables medical marijuana patients to purchase medical-grade products at legal marijuana stores and to participate in small cooperative grows of up to four patients. Patients who join a new voluntary registry will be allowed to possess three times as much marijuana as is allowed under 502 and can grow up to six plants at home; those who don’t join the registry can grow up to four plants. The ACLU-WA supported the idea of creating a single legal marijuana system, though we preferred a more patient-friendly bill proposed by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles.</p> <p><strong>OTHER BILLS</strong></p> <p><strong>Protecting Patients and Providers ( HB 1787, SB 5770): </strong>Increasing numbers of health systems in Washington are governed by religious doctrine that prohibits or limits the information, referrals, and services a health provider may provide to a patient. The ACLU-WA supports legislation to protect the patient-provider relationship, to ensure access to lawful, medically appropriate services. Unfortunately, the bill did not receive a hearing.</p> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:24:42 +0000 jflodin 6999 at https://aclu-wa.org Court Orders New System of Districts for Yakima Elections https://aclu-wa.org/news/court-orders-new-system-districts-yakima-elections <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p align="center"><strong>Ruling Provides for Seven Single-Member Districts, as Proposed by ACLU</strong></p> <p>The U.S. District Court for Eastern Washington today issued an order requiring Yakima to implement a plan for seven single-member districts for City Council elections. The action followed a 2014 ruling that the city’s election at-large election system unlawfully diluted the votes of Yakima’s Latino residents. The decision came in a lawsuit by the ACLU of Washington challenging Yakima’s system for violating the federal Voting Rights Act. &nbsp;</p> <p>“We are very pleased with this ruling. The district system the court has accepted will help ensure that the Latino community in Yakima will have a meaningful voice in City Council elections,” said ACLU-WA Executive Director Kathleen Taylor. “Latino voters now will have a chance for their interests to be represented on the council and have more of a say in how city services are distributed. This will strengthen democracy in Yakima.”</p> <p>The lawsuit (<em>Montes v. City of Yakima</em>) was filed in 2012 on behalf of Yakima residents Mateo Arteaga, a university administrator, and Rogelio Montes, a student at Yakima Valley College. Plaintiffs contended that the city’s at-large voting system deprives Latinos of the right to elect representatives of their choosing to the Yakima City Council. The seven members of the City Council have been all elected at-large, with every voting resident of the city casting their vote for each council member whether they live in the council member’s district or not.&nbsp; This has caused the Latino community’s voting strength to be impermissibly diluted. &nbsp;</p> <p>No Latino has ever been elected to the City Council in the 37-year history of the current system – despite the fact that Latinos account for approximately one-third of the City’s voting-age population and approximately one-quarter of its citizen voting-age population.</p> <p>In August 2014, the court found that Yakima election system for City Council violates Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act. Section 2 prohibits cities from using voting practices or procedures which result in “a denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.” The court ruled that Yakima’s system dilutes Latino votes and that “… City Council elections are not ‘equally open to participation’ by members of the Latino minority.”&nbsp;</p> <p>According to the ACLU of Washington, although Voting Rights Act lawsuits have forced reforms in many cities’ election systems across the country, this case is the first such vote dilution suit in Washington state.</p> <p>After the August 2014 ruling, both the Plaintiffs and the City of Yakima submitted plans to remedy the voting rights violation. In today’s ruling adopting the Plaintiffs’ proposal, the district court noted that Plaintiffs’ remedial plan avoided “concentrating the Latino population into a single geographic district” and corrected the voting rights violation.</p> <p>Attorneys representing the plaintiffs are ACLU-WA staff attorneys Sarah Dunne and La Rond Baker, Laughlin McDonald of the ACLU Voting Rights Project, Joaquin Avila of the Law Firm of Joaquin Avila, and ACLU cooperating attorneys Kevin Hamilton, Abha Khanna, and Ben Stafford of the firm Perkins Coie, LLC.</p> </div> </div> </div> Voting Rights Montes v. City of Yakima Tue, 17 Feb 2015 23:44:25 +0000 7012 at https://aclu-wa.org Woman Sues Public Hospital District to Ensure Access to Abortion https://aclu-wa.org/news/woman-sues-public-hospital-district-ensure-access-abortion <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>ACLU Seeks Statewide Compliance with Reproductive Privacy Act</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">The ACLU of Washington today filed a lawsuit seeking to have Skagit Regional Health comply with Washington’s Reproductive Privacy Act (RPA). &nbsp;The suit is part of a new statewide effort by the ACLU to ensure that all public hospitals are complying with the RPA. The ACLU also has sent letters to three other public hospital districts in Mason County, Jefferson County, and Whidbey Island that it believes are not following the law, and is assessing all other hospital districts around the state for compliance with the RPA.</p> <p>“The right of women to choose or to refuse to have an abortion is fundamental and has long been recognized under Washington law. We want to ensure that all women in our state can access the full range of reproductive health care at public health facilities in their communities,” said Kathleen Taylor, Executive Director of the ACLU of Washington.</p> <p>Skagit Regional Health is a public hospital district that owns and operates a hospital and clinics.</p> <p>According to the lawsuit, as a government health facility that provides maternity care, it is required by state law to also provide abortion care but does not comply with the law. Filed in Skagit County Superior Court, the suit seeks a court ruling to enforce the state law.</p> <p>The plaintiff in the lawsuit, Ms. Kevan Coffey, is a licensed nurse practitioner and doctoral student in Nursing who resides in Mount Vernon. “As a woman and a health care provider, I care deeply about reproductive health issues. I want to make sure that women throughout Washington have access to the full range of reproductive health care services,” she said. “And I personally want to have all options, including abortion, available to me.”</p> <p>The Reproductive Privacy Act was enacted by the people of Washington in 1991 by way of the statewide approval of Initiative 120. It protects the right of women to make their own reproductive decisions, including the rights to choose or refuse to terminate their pregnancies, and to choose or refuse birth control.&nbsp; The Act says clearly that if a government entity provides maternity care services, it must also provide abortion services. Skagit Regional Health provides a wide array of maternity care services yet does not provide medication abortions and rarely provides surgical abortions.</p> <p>Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, expressed support for the lawsuit, “Washington has long supported a woman’s right to access an abortion, and in 1991 the voters strengthened those protections by a statewide initiative. It is important that all public hospitals follow the law.”</p> <p>Judy Kimelman, MD, OB/GYN and Washington State Legislative Chair of the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said, "Women need to have access to the full range of reproductive care, including termination of pregnancy at the same institution where they obtain other health care. Women should not be discriminated against and forced to seek care elsewhere. Added barriers limit women’s ability to make decisions about their care and inevitably limit access to care. Women should be able to go to the providers that they have developed a relationship with to get the full range of reproductive health care while making such personal decisions about their health.”</p> </div> </div> </div> Women's Rights Abortion Coffey v. Public Health District No. 1 Thu, 19 Feb 2015 18:10:03 +0000 jflodin 7017 at https://aclu-wa.org Court Orders State to Stop Violating Rights of People with Mental Illness in Jail https://aclu-wa.org/news/court-orders-state-stop-violating-rights-people-mental-illness-jail <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>“Defendants have demonstrated a long history of failing to adequately protect the constitutional rights of Plaintiffs and class members, and have acknowledged that this failure is indefensible.”</em></p> <p>-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman</em><strong><em>&nbsp;</em></strong></p> <p>In a strongly worded opinion, the U.S. District Court in Seattle today ordered the State of Washington to cease violating constitutional rights and provide timely competency services to pre-trial detainees incarcerated in jails. The ruling came in the remedy phase of a lawsuit (<em>A.B. v. DSHS</em>) filed on behalf of individuals with mental illness who have been warehoused in jail for weeks and months while awaiting these court-ordered services. Representing the plaintiffs are the ACLU of Washington, Disability Rights Washington, the Public Defender Association, and Carney Gillespie Isitt PLLP.</p> <p>The court ruled on December 22, 2014 that persistent delays in providing the services to people in state criminal cases violates their constitutional due process rights. The court today ordered the State to provide in-jail competency evaluations within seven days of the signing of a court order calling for an evaluation. And it must admit persons ordered to receive competency restoration services into a state hospital within seven days of a court order calling for the services.</p> <p>The Court noted that, “Defendants have demonstrated a consistent pattern of intentionally disregarding court orders … and have established a de facto policy of ignoring court orders which conflict with their internal policies.” Accordingly, so as to ensure compliance with the order, the Court will appoint a monitor to oversee its implementation.</p> <p>“The Court has made it crystal clear that the state cannot deny basic human rights to mentally ill people in jail. And the government cannot keep ignoring the Constitution and subjecting pre-trial detainees ordered to receive competency services to prolonged incarceration in city and county jails,” said La Rond Baker of the ACLU of Washington.</p> <p>“Constitutional rights are not subject to available funds.&nbsp; The state’s excuses that they have lacked funding or resources to provide competency services to vulnerable individuals waiting in jail will no longer be tolerated,” said Emily Cooper of Disability Rights Washington.</p> <p>“It will be a great relief for defense lawyers to know that they can request competency services and their clients won’t be waiting weeks or months for those services,” said Anita Khandelwal of the Public Defender Association.</p> <p>“Often people with disabilities who are in local jails receive little or no mental health treatment. They are isolated with no direct human contact, in a cell with no toilet or furniture for 23-24 hours a day, and all while the symptoms of their disabilities get worse. Every human being deserves better,” said Chris Carney of Carney Gillespie Isitt PLLP.</p> <p>Under state law, whenever there is reason to doubt that an individual with mental disabilities is competent to stand trial, the trial court is to order an evaluation to determine their competency. The law charges Eastern State Hospital (ESH) and Western State Hospital (WSH) with evaluating and treating these individuals. If their competency is restored, their criminal cases may proceed; if it is not restored, the criminal charges are dismissed. During the evaluation and restoration periods, speedy trial rights are automatically waived, and the criminal proceedings are stayed.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the state has failed to perform these services on a timely basis. Stays of criminal proceedings pending evaluation and restoration of competency often last for months. As a result, individuals with mental health disabilities have languished in city and county jails without appropriate mental health treatment while awaiting transport to ESH or WSH.</p> <p>Warehousing these vulnerable people in jail is harmful. The delays cause individuals to experience needless deterioration in their mental health as they sit in jails – frequently in solitary confinement for 22 to 23 hours a day – for weeks and months on end. Jail disciplinary systems can further exacerbate mental health conditions. People often end up spending more time waiting in jail than they would if they had pleaded guilty.</p> </div> </div> </div> Criminal Justice Incarceration A.B. v. DSHS Fri, 03 Apr 2015 18:24:43 +0000 jflodin 7043 at https://aclu-wa.org Innovative LEAD Program Is Showing Success https://aclu-wa.org/news/innovative-lead-program-showing-success <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Local Leaders Announce Results of Evaluation of Pre-Booking Diversion Program for Drug and Prostitution Suspects</strong></p> <p>SEATTLE – A unique coalition of government officials, law enforcement agencies, and community leaders announced today that the innovative LEAD program, operating in Seattle and King County, is successfully reducing recidivism rates for people who participate in it. That is the finding of a report on LEAD released today (available at <a href="http://leadkingcounty.org/lead-evaluation/" title="http://leadkingcounty.org/lead-evaluation/">http://leadkingcounty.org/lead-evaluation/</a>), the first part of a three-part evaluation being conducted by researchers at the University of Washington.</p> <p>In LEAD, instead of arresting low-level drug and prostitution suspects and prosecuting them, law enforcement officers divert them to community-based services – including housing, healthcare, job training, treatment and mental health support. In contrast to most criminal justice system approaches, LEAD uses harm reduction principles. Case managers set goals with participants that are meaningful to them and reduce the harmful impact of their behaviors on themselves and others. Over time, many choose to work toward abstinence.</p> <p>Using rigorous methods, including a control group of individuals who were arrested and prosecuted as usual, the evaluation showed that LEAD significantly reduced recidivism. People in LEAD were 58% less likely than people in the control group to be arrested. The evaluation findings are explained in greater detail and illustrated in the Summary of “LEAD Program Evaluation: Recidivism Report” at the end of this press release.</p> <p>The evaluation was funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. LEAD social services and case management have been funded by the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the RiverStyx Foundation, the Vital Projects Fund, the Massena Foundation and the City of Seattle.</p> <p>“LEAD has shown promise as an alternative to jail for low-level drug crimes. Bringing service providers, police, prosecutors and defenders to the table in a collaborative manner works. We are seeing results, and re-investing in the program will touch more of the people who need it most,” said Mayor Ed Murray.</p> <p>“LEAD has shown us a way to move past the failed War on Drugs and change the racial disproportionality in drug enforcement, without ignoring the harm to health and safety caused by untreated mental illness and addiction,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Now the rest of the nation is looking to King County and Seattle as a model for breaking the cycle.”</p> <p>“As a downtown resident, I see the impact of drug addiction every day. Seattle Police enforcement efforts emphasize prevention and intervention principles not just because they are effective but because they are humane. Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion exemplifies this and is a key partner as we move forward together to address disorder in our downtown core,” said Chief Kathleen O’Toole, Seattle Police Department.</p> <p>“This report confirms on paper what my deputies have seen on the street,” said King County Sheriff John Urquhart. “Solutions that address the underlying issues of non-violent crime are much more effective at changing behavior than traditional incarceration.”</p> <p>“We all knew intuitively that LEAD produces better outcomes than jail. It is good to have the first of many studies prove that to be so,” said King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg.</p> <p>“While many of us have criticized the War on Drugs, it's incumbent on us to identify ways to respond to legitimate community concerns about drug activity in a less harmful fashion. LEAD is a more effective answer to those community needs than limiting ourselves to a punishment-based approach,” said Pete Holmes, Seattle City Attorney.</p> <p>LEAD was developed with the community to address open-air drug markets in Seattle and King County and launched in October 2011 in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. It has subsequently expanded to other parts of downtown Seattle and the Skyway neighborhood in King County, and is now being replicated in other jurisdictions nationally. The primary goal of the LEAD program is to improve public safety and public order, and to reduce the criminal behavior of people who participate in the program.</p> <p>“The criminal justice system is the most expensive and ineffective way we could possibly design to try to help people change their behavior. But communities worry about giving up the arrest and punish approach if they feel there is no alternative. This evaluation shows that there is a less harmful way that does a better job of meeting community needs for order and safety,” said Lisa Daugaard, Policy Director at the Public Defender Association.</p> <p>“Plato spoke about a republic that honors the core ideals of democracy and the power bestowed upon guardians to bear that responsibility. It is our mission to protect the public, and to restore and respect the people we have the opportunity to serve. It is with gratitude and concern for the human condition that we believe in LEAD, believe in the humanity of LEAD and realize that serious problems take serious people to serve those human beings who do not pose an immediate threat to the community. We’ve seen first-hand that LEAD is a significant partnership in re-entry,” said Officer Leslie Mills, Field Supervisor NW Community Response Unit.</p> <p>“Our traditional means of managing our criminal justice system has resulted in many individuals obtaining a criminal record via a revolving door. LEAD’s approach will give those individuals an opportunity to make things right for themselves and those surrounding them helping them to contribute to society in a positive way. There are many individuals to thank in seeing LEAD go to where it is today, in particular Ms. Lisa Daugaard along with the officers of SPD. I am committed to supporting and helping in any way possible to see LEAD practices making Seattle a better place for all,” said David Watkins, General Manager at Inn at the Market.</p> <p>“LEAD is working – people who are abusing drugs are being connected with the services and treatment and committing fewer crimes. Dedicating more resources to this program will help provide a long-lasting impact for those who need it and for our community,” said Downtown Seattle Association President and CEO Jon Scholes. “This type of a multi-faceted approach to criminal activity demonstrates a willingness to find a better, more effective approach to reducing drug use on our streets.”</p> <p>“It's very exciting to see a Housing First approach being applied to engaging addicted people who are living on the street. It's well-established that people are more able to reduce behaviors that harm themselves or trouble others when they are housed, not while they're homeless. Cycling people through jail and court is actually counterproductive in many cases, as it can interrupt services and cause people to lose housing,” said Paul Lambros, Executive Director of Plymouth Housing Group.</p> <p>LEAD is governed by a Policy Coordinating Group which is made up of a diverse set of stakeholders, including representatives from the Seattle Office of the Mayor; King County Executive Office; Seattle City Council; King County Council; Seattle City Attorney’s Office; King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office; Seattle Police Department; King County Sheriff’s Office; Washington State Department of Corrections; Community Advisory Boards; the Public Defender Association; and the ACLU of Washington. “One of the main reasons for LEAD’s success is that an unlikely group of stakeholders, including law enforcement, elected officials, advocates, service providers, and the community, have come together to find a pragmatic alternative to the failed War on Drugs,” said Mark Cooke, a Campaign Policy Director at the ACLU of Washington.</p> </div> </div> </div> Drug Policy Harm Reduction Wed, 08 Apr 2015 23:31:20 +0000 jflodin 7051 at https://aclu-wa.org SECOND CHANCES PROJECT STAFF ATTORNEY https://aclu-wa.org/second-chances-project-staff-attorney <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The ACLU of Washington (ACLU-WA) invites applications for the position of Second Chances Project Staff Attorney.&nbsp; The Second Chances Project Staff Attorney is a member of the ACLU of WA’s Legal Department, and uses a broad range of litigation and advocacy tools to ensure that individuals with criminal history have meaningful pathways to rebuild their lives and fully integrate into society. &nbsp;The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated passion for civil rights and criminal justice reform and the ability to use a variety of tools – litigation, policy advocacy, and community education – to achieve systemic reform.&nbsp; This position reports to the Legal Director and is currently funded for four years.</p> <p><strong>OVERVIEW</strong></p> <p>The ACLU seeks to transform the criminal justice system into one which is fair and free of bias,</p> <p>which keeps communities safe without an overreliance on incarceration, is evidence-based rather than fear-based, and respects the constitutional and human rights of all who come into contact with it. The Second Chances Project is part of the ACLU of Washington’s commitment to reducing mass incarceration by working to reduce the unfair barriers that people with criminal history face in trying to reintegrate into society.&nbsp; The Second Chances Project Staff Attorney works with both the Legal Department and the Smart and Fair Justice Campaign, as part of a multidisciplinary collaboration across departments to significantly reduce the number of people in contact with the criminal justice system, including front end reforms (such as increased diversion programs and restorative justice), systems reform (such as police reform, public defense, bail practices, and sentencing) and reentry work. The entire team will together determine long, medium and short-term goals that significantly reduce the number of people who touch the criminal justice system.&nbsp;</p> <p>In the three years since the Second Chances Project was established, it has advised and represented hundreds of individuals, successfully brought impact cases to ensure fair background screening, and worked to advance legislation to improve job opportunities for people with criminal history and ensure fair systems around legal financial obligations.</p> <p><strong>RESPONSIBILITIES</strong><span style="color: #24547a; font-size: 2em; line-height: 1.3em;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></p> <ul> <li>In consultation with senior staff and other members of the Smart and Fair Justice Team, develop impact litigation and policy advocacy to address unfair barriers to employment, housing, and financial security on account of criminal history.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Manage active intake of individual requests for assistance.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Recruit and support a network of cooperating attorneys to assist in individual representation and other projects.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Provide community education and outreach to social service providers, impacted individuals, and others.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Mentor and supervise legal interns and other volunteers.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Build interest among and alliances with business, legal, community and racial justice groups to identify and pursue effective reform efforts.&nbsp; Prepare materials based on sound research that supports our view that barriers to reentry neither promote community safety nor constitute just punishment.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Assist the Legal Department with other work on behalf of prisoners, former prisoners and their families, as assigned.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Help maintain a positive, respectful, welcoming, and professional work environment for employees and volunteers.&nbsp; Assist in other activities as assigned.</li> </ul> <p><strong>QUALIFICATIONS</strong></p> <ul> <li>A demonstrated and strong commitment to civil rights and criminal justice reform. &nbsp;Litigation experience, preferably in civil rights or criminal justice, is a plus.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Ability to plan effective strategies, establish realistic objectives, maintain momentum, and evaluate progress. Excellent organization and time management skills to manage one’s own work as well as others, and to assure completion of assignments and projects.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Strong communication, collaboration, and relationship-building skills. Ability and flexibility to work in both service and leadership roles with many diverse players and constituencies. Excellent problem-solving skills and demonstrated skills in participatory decision-making. Non-profit experience is a plus.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Excellent analytical, writing, and speaking skills. A demonstrated ability to convey difficult civil liberties issues to the general public. The ability to communicate effectively with supporters, opponents, staff, volunteers, and the general public. &nbsp;</li> </ul> <ul> <li>A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability&nbsp; and socio-economic circumstance.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <ul> <li>A willingness and ability to work beyond the 7.5 hour normal work day, including evening and weekend meetings and events.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Licensed to practice law in Washington or the ability to pass the Washington state bar exam within one year.</li> </ul> <p>This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the description and/or posting at any time without advance notice. This position is “exempt” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.</p> <p><strong>COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS</strong></p> <p>Salary is based on experience and qualifications.&nbsp; Benefits include three weeks of vacation to start, medical and disability insurance, a retirement plan, and an ORCA card.<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>APPLICATION PROCEDURE</strong></p> <p>To apply, email a letter of application and resume to <a href="mailto:Jobs@aclu-wa.org">Jobs@aclu-wa.org</a> and include in the subject line of the email:&nbsp; your <strong>last name</strong> and <strong>Second Chances Project Staff Attorney</strong>.&nbsp; In your letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website at <a href="http://www.aclu-wa.org/AboutUs/Jobs">www.ACLU-WA.org/AboutUs/Jobs</a>.</p> <p><strong>The ACLU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages qualified individuals of every race, creed, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression to apply.</strong></p> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Inc. and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington Foundation. The two corporations share the same overall mission, office space, and employees. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU of Washington.”</em><em> </em></p> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 13 May 2015 22:58:11 +0000 mcrye 7084 at https://aclu-wa.org SMART AND FAIR JUSTICE CAMPAIGN SENIOR LEGAL STRATEGIST https://aclu-wa.org/smart-and-fair-justice-campaign-senior-legal-strategist <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The ACLU of Washington invites applications for the new position of Senior Legal Strategist, Smart and Fair Justice Campaign. The position will be part of a team that works to substantially reduce over-incarceration in Washington and develop a new approach for a just and compassionate criminal justice system. We are seeking an attorney who is steeped in eight to ten years of criminal defense or prosecutorial trial work in Washington state and who can creatively develop legal and policy strategies to reduce incarceration. The candidate must be politically savvy, realistic, strategic, and optimistic in choosing tactics and pursuing change.&nbsp; The candidate must also be able to work collaboratively with the other team members and with other key staff within the ACLU-WA as well as allies and decision-makers throughout Washington</p> <p><strong>OVERVIEW</strong></p> <p>The ACLU seeks to transform the criminal justice system into one which is fair and free of bias, which keeps communities safe without an overreliance on incarceration, is evidence-based rather than fear-based, and respects the constitutional and human rights of all who come into contact with it. The ACLU has made a major, nationwide commitment to make significant reductions in mass incarceration by 2020.</p> <p>The ACLU-WA, which has long been a leader in criminal justice reform, intends to do all it can in Washington to help meet ACLU’s goal. The ACLU-WA will work to decriminalize certain offenses, reduce sentences of other crimes, and promote the use of restorative justice and community-based alternatives to prosecutions and incarceration. &nbsp;We&nbsp;will&nbsp;work to end the excessive funneling of people who are mentally ill, poor, or otherwise troubled into the criminal justice system. We will further improve public defense and seek the elimination of redundant criminal laws and courts. We will reform bail practices that unnecessarily keep people in jail prior to trial and promote the understanding that the criminal justice system&nbsp;cannot be used to cure every social ill.&nbsp; This work involves every department in the ACLU-WA and especially our criminal justice staff.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Smart and Fair Justice Campaign is headed by the Deputy Director and involves multidisciplinary collaboration across departments. The Senior Legal Strategist will work to reduce mass incarceration by advancing police reform, improving public defense, reforming bail practices, and addressing other aspects of the criminal justice system that trap individuals in unfair and overly lengthy incarceration.</p> <p>The program also includes a policy director who addresses front-end criminal justice reforms and promotes policy strategies to decriminalize low-level offenses and drug crimes, to increase diversion opportunities, and to use restorative justice and community-based alternatives to prosecution and incarceration. &nbsp;A third attorney deals with the barriers that criminal records pose for people trying to reintegrate in society.</p> <p>The entire team will together determine long, medium and short-term goals that significantly reduce the number of people who touch the criminal justice system.&nbsp; The goal is to dramatically reduce incarceration and improve justice during each of the next five years.</p> <p><strong>RESPONSIBILITIES</strong></p> <p>The following tactics are among those that will be employed in&nbsp;developing and promoting strategies to reduce incarceration and sentences:</p> <ul> <li>Collaborate with other staff at the ACLU-WA to identify legal and policy reforms that will reap the largest rewards in reducing the number of people in jail and prison and the length of their stays.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>In consultation with senior staff, design and pursue litigation, policy advocacy, and regulatory strategies that have the potential for being adopted in Washington within the next one to five years.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Build interest among and alliances with business, legal, community and racial justice groups to identify and pursue effective reform efforts. &nbsp;Prepare materials based on sound research that supports our view that incarceration and lengthy sentences are not the most effective ways to enhance community safety</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Recruit and work&nbsp;closely with volunteer lawyers, other professionals,&nbsp;and interns to assist in projects.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Provide the media with information, sources, and story ideas to advance understanding of the need for&nbsp;criminal justice&nbsp;reform.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Help maintain a positive, respectful, welcoming, and professional work environment for employees and volunteers.&nbsp; Assist in other activities as assigned.</li> </ul> <p><strong>QUALIFICATIONS</strong></p> <p>Eight to ten years of increasingly responsible criminal defense or prosecutorial trial work, preferably in Washington state.&nbsp;</p> <p>Superior ability to plan effective strategies, establish realistic objectives, maintain momentum, and evaluate progress. Excellent organization and time management skills to manage one’s own work as well as others, and to assure completion of assignments and projects.</p> <p>A track record of successful leadership through strong communication, collaboration, and relationship-building. Ability and flexibility to work in both service and leadership roles with many diverse players and constituencies. Excellent problem-solving skills and demonstrated skills in participatory decision-making. Non-profit experience is a plus.</p> <p>Exceptional analytical, writing, and speaking skills. A demonstrated ability to convey difficult civil liberties issues to the general public. The ability to communicate effectively with supporters, opponents, staff, volunteers, and the general public.</p> <p>A strong commitment to civil liberties and civil rights issues. &nbsp;A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability&nbsp; and socio-economic circumstance.&nbsp;</p> <p>A willingness and ability to work beyond the 7.5 hour normal work day, including evening and weekend meetings and events.&nbsp;</p> <p>Licensed to practice law in Washington or the ability to pass the Washington state bar exam within one year.</p> <p><strong>COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS</strong></p> <p>Salary will depend upon experience and qualifications within the ACLU of Washington pay scale. Excellent benefits package includes three weeks paid vacation to start, medical and dental insurance, 401(k) matching plan, long-term disability insurance, bus pass, and ten paid holidays.</p> <p><strong>APPLICATION PROCEDURE</strong></p> <p>To apply, email a letter of application, resume and writing sample to <a href="mailto:Jobs@aclu-wa.org">Jobs@aclu-wa.org</a> and include in the subject line of the email:&nbsp; your <strong>last name</strong> and <strong>Criminal Justice</strong> in the subject line<strong>.</strong>&nbsp; In your letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting.&nbsp; Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. &nbsp;</p> <p>The ACLU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages individuals of every race, creed, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity to apply&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington comprises two separate corporate entities, the ACLU of Washington and the ACLU of Washington Foundation. The ACLU of Washington and the ACLU of Washington Foundation share the same mission, office space, and employees. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU of Washington.”</em></p> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 18 Mar 2015 20:15:46 +0000 mcrye 7033 at https://aclu-wa.org LEGAL DIRECTOR https://aclu-wa.org/legal-director <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The ACLU of Washington (ACLU-WA) invites applications for the position of Legal Director.&nbsp; The Legal Director is a member of ACLU of WA’s senior leadership team and provides vision and direction for the ACLU-WA’s legal program. The Legal Director is responsible for overall management of the legal department and its docket, staff, and network of cooperating attorneys. The ideal candidate will be a skilled constitutional rights litigator, a superior manager and an inspiring leader. Strong candidates will have demonstrated ability to develop and pursue litigation as part of an integrated advocacy strategy.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>OVERVIEW</strong></p> <p>The ACLU-WA is one of the ten largest affiliates of the ACLU and has a reputation for important impact litigation, robust integrated advocacy, and assertively advancing freedom and justice. Its staff of thirty plus employees and numerous interns and volunteers work in a fast-paced, friendly, and professional office.&nbsp;</p> <p>The ACLU-WA has an active annual docket of about 40 cases addressing free speech, racial justice, religious freedom, due process, privacy, reproductive rights, immigrant rights, LGBT rights, voting rights and drug law reform.&nbsp; Our legal strategies are part of a multi-disciplinary approach to advocacy that integrates legal, policy and communications strategies and is built on the belief that fighting for civil liberties and civil rights means not just persuading judges but also gaining support of policy makers, government officials, and everyday Americans. &nbsp;</p> <p>The Legal Department currently consists of the director and four other attorneys, an intake unit, interns and occasional fellows. The Legal Director is responsible for recruiting, cultivating and overseeing ACLU-WA’s cooperating attorney program, through which Washington law firms provide ACLU with extensive <em>pro bono</em> work. The Legal Director reports to the Executive Director and works cooperatively with department and project directors.</p> <h1><strong style="color: #000000; font-size: 16px;">RESPONSIBILITIES</strong></h1> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Legal program leadership.</span>&nbsp; Develop and pursue a strategic vision for the legal program that advances the ACLU of Washington’s overall civil liberties and civil rights agenda.&nbsp; Develop potential cases and legal theories.&nbsp; Manage the docket of about 40 cases: supervise and direct litigation, where the day-to-day case management is handled by volunteer or staff attorneys; assign cases; work with attorneys to develop litigation strategies, including strategies that use the state constitution to expand rights beyond federal law. Assure that the litigation is consistent with ACLU policy. Develop relationships with law firms, legal organizations, and other coalition partners to advance issues of mutual concern. Pursue strategies to resolve matters short of litigation, as appropriate.&nbsp; Advise the Executive Director, who approves case selection, on the strategy, direction, and status of cases.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Personnel management.</span>&nbsp; Hire, train, and supervise legal department staff, holding them accountable to ACLU’s standards of performance. Oversee recruitment and mentoring of law student interns. Supervise the management of the intake and referral unit, which screens requests for assistance, conducts initial factual research, provides information and referrals, and maintains intake records, resources, and databases.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Cooperating attorney program.</span>&nbsp; Maintain and enhance the cooperating attorney program, in which attorneys in private practice handle ACLU cases on a volunteer basis. Pursue strategies to increase pro bono participation in ACLU’s work. Represent the ACLU and various law-related events and develop strong working relationship with area law firms.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Legal Committee.</span>&nbsp; Support, strengthen and effectively utilize the expertise of the ACLU-WA Legal Committee, which meets monthly to advise the staff on potential litigation. Organize its monthly meetings, agendas, and memos.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Legal resource and advocacy.</span>&nbsp; Provide analysis of court rulings and occasional legislative bills for senior staff. Articulate ACLU views to the public and the media as requested by the Communications Director. Coordinate and collaborate with the national ACLU legal department, using it as a resource as appropriate. Engage actively with the local bar to advance the ACLU’s issues, mission and organization.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Reporting, records management, and general duties.</span>&nbsp; Prepare reports of litigation activities for the Executive Director, Legal Committee, and Board. Ensure the maintenance of accurate and easily retrievable case files, legal research, and administrative files. Attend certain ACLU events, including occasional meetings with donors. Help facilitate smooth functioning of the office, and develop a solid understanding of office protocols and culture. Accept other assignments from the Executive Director.</p> <p><strong>QUALIFICATIONS</strong></p> <p>Ten years of increasingly responsible legal experience, which should include substantial state and federal constitutional law experience. A sophisticated understanding of the modern application of civil liberties principles.</p> <p>Proven management ability, including experience in supervising attorneys and support staff, and in managing and encouraging volunteers, both students and professionals. Superior ability to plan effective strategies, establish realistic objectives, maintain momentum, and evaluate progress. Excellent organizational and time management skills to manage one’s own work as well as others, and to assure completion of assignments and projects.</p> <p>A track record of successful leadership through strong communication, collaboration, and relationship-building. Ability and flexibility to work in both service and leadership roles with many diverse players and constituencies. Excellent problem-solving skills and demonstrated skills in participatory decision-making. Non-profit experience is a plus.</p> <p>Exceptional analytical, writing, and speaking skills. A demonstrated ability to write clearly and precisely. The ability to communicate effectively with plaintiffs, opposing counsel, staff, volunteers, and the general public. A demonstrated ability to convey difficult civil liberties issues to the general public.&nbsp;</p> <p>A commitment to the goals and mission of the ACLU.&nbsp; Exemplary professional workplace behavior, unimpeachable integrity, and a commitment to the values of reliability, respect, accountability, and compassion.&nbsp; Flexibility, determination and good humor.</p> <p>A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance.</p> <p>Competence in the use of office computer applications, electronic databases, and electronic legal research.&nbsp; (We use Microsoft Office.)</p> <p>This position is exempt, and requires a willingness to work beyond a standard 7.5 hour workday, including evening and weekend meetings and events.&nbsp;</p> <p>Licensed to practice law in Washington or the ability to pass the Washington state bar exam within one year.</p> <p><strong>COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS</strong></p> <p>Salary will depend upon experience and qualifications within the ACLU of Washington pay scale. Excellent benefits package includes three weeks paid vacation to start, medical and dental insurance, 401(k) matching plan, long-term disability insurance, bus pass, and ten paid holidays.</p> <p><strong>APPLICATION PROCEDURE</strong></p> <p>To apply, email a letter of application and resume to <a href="mailto:Jobs@aclu-wa.org">Jobs@aclu-wa.org</a> and include in the subject line of the email:&nbsp; your <strong>last name</strong> and <strong>Legal Director</strong>.&nbsp; In your letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting.&nbsp; Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.&nbsp;<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>The ACLU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages qualified individuals of every race, creed, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity to apply.</p> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington comprises two separate corporate entities, the ACLU of Washington and the ACLU of Washington Foundation. The ACLU of Washington and the ACLU of Washington Foundation share the same mission, office space, and employees. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU of Washington.”</em></p> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 18 Mar 2015 20:23:30 +0000 mcrye 7034 at https://aclu-wa.org Voter Registration & Education Outreach Coordinator https://aclu-wa.org/voter-registration-education-outreach-coordinator <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p align="center"><strong>Full-Time Position, Term-Limited</strong></p> <p>The ACLU of Washington is a non-profit public interest organization devoted to protecting civil rights and civil liberties. Its staff and numerous volunteers work in a fast-paced, friendly and professional office.</p> <p>The Voter Registration &amp; Education Outreach Coordinator is part of the Field Department, and supervised by the Field Director based in Seattle. The Outreach Coordinator will be responsible for implementing our non-partisan voter registration and education campaign to engage new voters in the upcoming 2015 City of Yakima elections.</p> <p>Summary of Responsibilities</p> <ul> <li>Identify voter-eligible individuals within underrepresented communities and help them register to vote.</li> <li>Research and target precincts where opportunities exist for voter registration.</li> <li>Coordinate with Field Director to develop and implement outreach and organizing plans.</li> <li>Create and participate in opportunities to expand our reach, meet new potential ACLU supporters, and generate new contacts for relationship building.</li> <li>Raise public awareness on the Voting Rights Restoration law and changes to Yakima City Council election through public speaking engagements and events.</li> <li>Establish partnerships with other organizations to promote voter registration and education efforts, particularly those that are committed to increasing voter participation among underserved communities.</li> <li>Execute the day-to-day civic engagement program, including voter registration, non-partisan voter education, and voter turn-out efforts. </li> <li>Represent the ACLU at various community meetings and events.</li> <li>Work closely with the Field Director to ensure that resources are targeted most efficiently and effectively.</li> <li>Participate in Field and staff meetings and perform other duties as assigned.</li> </ul> <p>Desired Qualifications:</p> <ul> <li>Two years of experience in grassroots organizing. Highly self-motivated and directed.</li> <li>Bilingual in Spanish.</li> <li>Strong affinity for networking and building strategic relationships.</li> <li>Experience with and ability to work within diverse and underrepresented communities.</li> <li>Demonstrated ability to handle stress well, to produce work reflecting consistent attention to accuracy, and to coordinate numerous concurrent projects, often under tight deadlines. </li> <li>Excellent oral and written communication skills.</li> <li>Demonstrated ability to manage details, resourcefully solve problems and follow through with a minimum of direct supervision.</li> <li>Excellent interpersonal skills; proven ability to work well with people with a wide range of interests, skills, and concerns. A confident and professional presentation.</li> <li>A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance.</li> <li>An understanding of and enthusiasm for civil liberties and civil rights.</li> <li>Willingness to work non-traditional work hours and weekends.</li> <li>Access to a vehicle and have a driver’s license.</li> </ul> <p><strong>TIME FRAME AND COMPENSATION </strong></p> <p>Compensation will be based on experience and qualifications. This position will tentatively go through late Fall 2015.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>HOW TO APPLY</strong></p> <p>To apply, email a letter of application, brief writing sample and resume to <a href="mailto:Jobs@aclu-wa.org">Jobs@aclu-wa.org</a> and include in the subject line of the email: <strong>your last name </strong>and <strong>Voter Registration &amp; Education Outreach Coordinator</strong>. In your letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting.&nbsp; Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.</p> <p align="center"><strong>The ACLU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages</strong></p> <p align="center"><strong>qualified individuals of every race, creed, ethnicity, disability,</strong></p> <p align="center"><strong>sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression to apply.</strong></p> <p>The ACLU of Washington comprises two separate corporate entities, the ACLU of Washington and the ACLU of Washington Foundation. The ACLU of Washington and the ACLU of Washington Foundation share the same mission, office space, and employees. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU of Washington.”</p> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 15 Apr 2015 17:36:42 +0000 mcrye 7061 at https://aclu-wa.org PROGRAMS AND EVENTS MANAGER https://aclu-wa.org/programs-and-events-manager <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p align="center"><strong>(Full-time)</strong></p> <p>The ACLU of WA is expanding its staff and is looking for accomplished and dedicated individuals to join our team. &nbsp;The Program and Events Manager works as part of a five-person Communications Team to promote public understanding of civil liberties and the ACLU-WA’s work in safeguarding and advancing rights and freedom. The position manages a variety of events, co-sponsorships, outreach activities, and public speakers. This position reports to the Communications Director and works collaboratively with staff members in other departments. It is a “go-to” position, and requires someone with a “can-do” attitude.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Overview</span></strong></p> <p>The ACLU of Washington is a leader among state affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union, the country's premier guardian of liberty. We work in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect and extend American rights to freedom, fairness and equality.&nbsp;The ACLU is both nonprofit and nonpartisan.&nbsp;</p> <p>Whether it’s ending mass incarceration and police brutality, achieving full equality for LGBT people, protecting privacy in the digital age, preserving the right to vote, or ensuring reproductive freedom,&nbsp;the ACLU is willing to take on tough civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. And we’re successful. In the past year in Washington state, we’ve won a lawsuit for a gay couple who was denied service by their local florist, a major victory for Latino voting rights in Yakima, and a ruling that stops the horrific practice of warehousing mentally ill persons in jails without mental health treatment, and much more. The ACLU stands for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or national origin.&nbsp;</p> <p>The ACLU-WA’s staff of 30+ employees and numerous volunteers work in a fast-paced, friendly and professional office in downtown Seattle. We are supported by more than 50,000 members, activists, and donors.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES</span></strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Project Management</span>. Organize and manage ACLU-WA events, which include public forums and CLEs, a high school student conference, and periodic one-time events: oversee the design, production and mailing of invitations and materials, arrange for speakers and volunteers, handle facilities arrangements, logistics, budget, and all the details of successful events; conduct post-event analyses.&nbsp; Manage ACLU-WA co-sponsorship of events organized by others. Help develop and implement strategies for advancing ACLU-WA projects, issue campaigns, and events.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Community Outreach</span>. Manage arrangements, recruit and train volunteers, assemble materials, and coordinate logistics for ACLU presence at community events and Pride marches. Manage Speaker Bureau: coordinate arrangements for speaking engagements at school and community groups, organize trainings, and assist in planning and evaluation; market ACLU-WA speakers to community groups. Help expand and strengthen young adult-focused communications efforts. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Writing and Social Media</span>. Draft occasional blog posts and other materials for the ACLU-WA website. Participate in social media team meetings.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Student Education</span>. Coordinate outreach programs to teachers, maintain a database of educators, and manage a distribution list for teachers. Develop content for Student Conference.&nbsp; Serve as liaison with ACLU-WA student clubs.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Other responsibilities</span>.&nbsp; Handle other projects related to advancing public understanding of civil liberties as assigned.&nbsp; Attend ACLU-WA events and occasional community functions. Help ensure smooth and effective office operations.&nbsp; Assist the Communications Director as needed, and work as a supportive team member on Communications Department projects.&nbsp; Help maintain a positive, respectful, welcoming, and professional work environment for employees and volunteers.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">QUALIFICATIONS</span></strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <ul> <li>Experience in successful event management and in handling multiple projects simultaneously.&nbsp; Ability to manage details with a minimum of direct supervision. </li> <li>Strong writing skills for publication on our website and in promotional materials.&nbsp; </li> <li>Strong interpersonal communications skills.&nbsp; Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with staff, vendors, and volunteers. Experience in supervising volunteers and working cooperatively with external groups.</li> <li>Understanding of and experience in issue advocacy work.</li> <li>Strong support of the ACLU and familiarity with civil rights and civil liberties issues.</li> <li>Demonstrated administrative skills and problem solving abilities.&nbsp; A history of reliability, conscientiousness, and timeliness.</li> <li>Proven experience in juggling multiple priorities in a fast-paced environment with frequent and concurrent deadlines. Flexibility and willingness to take on new tasks as responsibilities evolve. </li> <li>A confident, professional, and outgoing presentation. Ability to represent the ACLU effectively before the general public. </li> <li>A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability&nbsp; and socio-economic circumstance.</li> <li>Ability to work occasional overtime or irregular hours. </li> <li>Driver’s license and car for occasional use.</li> <li>B.A. or equivalent and minimum three years of relevant, professional-level work experience.</li> </ul> <p>This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the description and/or posting at any time without advance notice. This position is “exempt” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS</span></strong></p> <p>Salary is based on experience and qualifications.&nbsp; Benefits include three weeks of vacation to start, medical and disability insurance, a retirement plan, and an ORCA card.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">APPLICATION PROCEDURE</span></strong></p> <p>Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. To apply, email a letter of application, resume and brief writing sample to <a href="https://mail.aclu-wa.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=ac90ee02682244e88018a5d235c2773b&amp;URL=mailto%3aJobs%40aclu-wa.org" target="_blank">Jobs@aclu-wa.org</a> and include in the subject line of the email:&nbsp; your <strong>last name</strong> and <strong>Programs and Events Manager.</strong>&nbsp; In your letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting.&nbsp;Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website at <a href="http://www.aclu-wa.org/AboutUs/Jobs">www.ACLU-WA.org/AboutUs/Jobs</a>.</p> <p><strong>The ACLU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages qualified individuals of every race, creed, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression to apply.</strong></p> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Inc. and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington Foundation. The two corporations share the same overall mission, office space, and employees. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU of Washington.”</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 29 Apr 2015 17:21:14 +0000 7073 at https://aclu-wa.org Senior Writer https://aclu-wa.org/senior-writer <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p align="center"><strong>(Full-time)</strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>The ACLU of WA is expanding its staff and is looking for accomplished and dedicated individuals to join our team. &nbsp;We are seeking a communications professional with experience in public policy and very strong persuasive writing skills to explain and promote the work of the ACLU to the public, key constituencies, and opinion leaders. This position will report to the Communications Director and work collaboratively with numerous other staff members.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Overview</span></strong></p> <p>The ACLU of Washington is a leader among state affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union, the country's premier guardian of liberty. We work in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect and extend American rights to freedom, fairness and equality.&nbsp;The ACLU is both nonprofit and nonpartisan.&nbsp;</p> <p>Whether it’s ending mass incarceration and police brutality, achieving full equality for LGBT people, protecting privacy in the digital age, preserving the right to vote, or ensuring reproductive freedom,&nbsp;the ACLU is willing to take on tough civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. And we’re successful. In the past year in Washington state, we’ve won a lawsuit for a gay couple who was denied service by their local florist, a major victory for Latino voting rights in Yakima, and a ruling that stops the horrific practice of warehousing mentally ill persons in jails without mental health treatment, and much more. The ACLU stands for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or national origin.&nbsp;</p> <p>The ACLU-WA’s staff of 30+ employees and numerous volunteers work in a fast-paced, friendly and professional office in downtown Seattle. We are supported by more than 50,000 members, activists, and donors.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES</span></strong></p> <ul> <li>Analyze public policy issues, formulate messaging, and participate in developing both immediate and long-term communications strategies. </li> <li>Write a range of clear and politically compelling materials, including news articles, opinion pieces, press releases, brochures, flyers, reports, and speeches.</li> <li>Edit for clarity and strategic effectiveness materials drafted by other staff members, including op-eds, action alerts, reports, know-your-rights guidebooks, and flyers. </li> <li>Develop and re-purpose content for the ACLU-WA website.</li> <li>Participate in building our presence in new media.</li> <li>Lead the planning and writing of the ACLU-WA thrice-yearly newspaper.</li> <li>Collaborate with other staff in strategic marketing efforts to increase ACLU visibility and advance its mission. </li> <li>Provide backup to the communications director by responding occasionally to requests from journalists. </li> <li>Help maintain a positive, respectful, welcoming and professional work environment for employees and volunteers.</li> <li>Assist in other activities as assigned.</li> </ul> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">QUALIFICATIONS</span></strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <ul> <li>Outstanding written and oral communications skills. </li> <li>Professional experience must include at least three years full-time work in a communications-related field.</li> <li>The ability to analyze complex information from a variety of sources, including attorneys and policy experts, and turn it into clear, dynamic text that is persuasive to intended audiences.</li> <li>A sophisticated understanding of political issues.</li> <li>Experience in developing messaging and communications strategies to advance causes.</li> <li>Experience in successfully handling multiple projects and priorities, working quickly and meeting deadlines; flexibility to adjust to emerging needs and new ideas.</li> <li>Strong interpersonal communications skills.&nbsp; Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with staff and volunteers. A confident, professional, and outgoing presentation.&nbsp; A history of reliability, conscientiousness, and timeliness.</li> <li>Experience with developing Internet content and strategies desirable.</li> <li>A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and social-economic circumstance.</li> <li>Strong support of the ACLU and familiarity with civil rights and civil liberties issues.</li> <li>Fluency in Spanish language, written and oral, is a plus.</li> </ul> <p>This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the description and/or posting at any time without advance notice. This position is “exempt” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS</span></strong></p> <p>Salary is based on experience and qualifications.&nbsp; Benefits include three weeks of vacation to start, medical and disability insurance, a retirement plan, and an ORCA card.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">APPLICATION PROCEDURE</span></strong></p> <p>To apply, email a letter of application and resume to <a href="mailto:Jobs@aclu-wa.org">Jobs@aclu-wa.org</a> and include in the subject line of the email:&nbsp; your <strong>last name</strong> and <strong>Senior Writer.</strong> In your letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website at <a href="http://www.aclu-wa.org/AboutUs/Jobs">www.ACLU-WA.org/AboutUs/Jobs</a>.</p> <p><strong>The ACLU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages qualified individuals of every race, creed, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression to apply.</strong></p> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Inc. and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington Foundation. The two corporations share the same overall mission, office space, and employees. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU of Washington.”</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 29 Apr 2015 17:33:00 +0000 7074 at https://aclu-wa.org DONOR RELATIONS OFFICER https://aclu-wa.org/donor-relations-officer <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU-WA) is seeking an ambitious and experienced full-time Donor Relations Officer. The Donor Relations Officer is a senior frontline fundraiser who actively seeks annual and planned gifts through face-to-face solicitation, cultivation, and stewardship, and is responsible for growing a portfolio of four and five-figure annual gift donors. The position reports to the Director of Development.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Overview</span></strong></p> <p>The ACLU of Washington is a leader among state affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union, the country's premier guardian of liberty. We work in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect and extend American rights to freedom, fairness and equality.&nbsp;The ACLU is both nonprofit and nonpartisan.&nbsp;</p> <p>Whether it’s ending mass incarceration and police brutality, achieving full equality for LGBT people, protecting privacy in the digital age, preserving the right to vote, or ensuring reproductive freedom,&nbsp;the ACLU is willing to take on tough civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. And we’re successful. In the past year in Washington state, we’ve won a lawsuit for a gay couple who was denied service by their local florist, a major victory for Latino voting rights in Yakima, and a ruling that stops the horrific practice of warehousing mentally ill persons in jails without mental health treatment, and much more. The ACLU stands for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or national origin.&nbsp;</p> <p>The ACLU-WA’s staff of 30+ employees and numerous volunteers work in a fast-paced, friendly and professional office in downtown Seattle. We are supported by more than 50,000 members, activists, and donors.</p> <p>Our Development Program embraces donor-centric fundraising principles and focuses on building long-term relationships with our donors. We will raise $2.6 million in individual gifts this year of a $4.7 million budget. We are a team of five who care deeply about the work of the ACLU. We very much enjoy working together and stay easily inspired by our amazing program colleagues who carry out the work of justice and equality.&nbsp;</p> <p>The ACLU will turn 100 years old in 2020 and has embarked on a Centennial Campaign to fund nationwide organizational growth. Through the campaign we will expand our new donor pipeline and moving existing donors to higher levels of commitment.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES</span></strong></p> <p>Under the supervision of the Director of Development, the Donor Relations Officer participates in all facets of identifying, qualifying, engaging, soliciting and growing a portfolio of four and five-figure annual gift donors; and planning and executing strategies to move donors and prospective donors into higher levels of giving over time.</p> <p>Rejection is the most challenging aspect of this position. Statistically, only a fraction of calls made will result in a meeting, and from those meetings, only a fraction will be qualified as major gift prospects. The key is persistence and the motivation to find the diamonds in the rough. The Donor Relations Officer must be an optimist -- positive, driven, self-directed, and disciplined.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The Donor Relations Officer</span>:</p> <ul> <li>Manages a portfolio of 150 to 200 donors and prospective donors. Develops and implements a cultivation and solicitation strategy for each assigned donor.</li> <li>Cultivates, solicits and stewards existing donors primarily through face-to-face meetings.</li> <li>Proactively qualifies prospective donors through cold calls, emails and meetings.</li> <li>Manages an aggressive meeting goal of an average of 12 face-to-face meetings per month, completing all of the required follow-up for each meeting, including strategic next steps.</li> <li>Acts as department liaison for planned giving donors and prospects, and solicits planned gifts as appropriate. </li> <li>Maintains up-to-date and accurate database records for assigned donors recording all personal contacts including detailed meeting reports. (The ACLU-WA follows strict ethical guidelines pertaining to the collection and maintenance of information and donor confidentiality.)</li> <li>Maintains daily records of donor activity to measure progress toward goals.</li> <li>Participates in the Development team as a cooperative, positive team player. Helps maintain a respectful, welcoming, and professional environment for employees and volunteers.&nbsp; </li> <li>Stays well-versed in the current work of the ACLU, locally and nationally.</li> <li>Serves as a representative of the organization at events and meetings, as needed.</li> <li>Performs other duties as assigned by the Director of Development. &nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">QUALIFICATIONS</span></strong><strong></strong></p> <ul> <li>Must care deeply about civil rights, civil liberties and the work of the ACLU.&nbsp; </li> <li>Minimum of three years of fundraising experience with demonstrated success in soliciting gifts of $5,000+ in non-profit, advocacy, or other community-based groups.</li> <li>B.A./B.S. or equivalent work experience preferred.</li> <li>Excellent organizational skills and ability to manage several projects at various stages of completion; superior attention to detail with strong follow-through. Ability to meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.</li> <li>A commitment to the confidentiality of donor records. </li> </ul> <ul> <li>Strong interpersonal and communication skills.&nbsp; High level of professionalism and ethical standards. The ability to communicate effectively and respectfully with donors, board members, volunteers, staff, and the general public. The ability to partner with others on donor cultivation and solicitation.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>A confident and professional work style. Ability to take initiative and work independently, as well as work as a member of a team. Ability to exercise good judgment in stressful circumstances. Flexibility and a willingness to take on new tasks as the responsibilities of the position evolve.&nbsp;&nbsp; </li> <li>Proficiency in computer donor databases is a plus.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance.</li> <li>Ability to travel for meetings with donors around the Seattle metropolitan area and more rarely to distant parts of Washington state.</li> <li>Ability to work occasional overtime or irregular hours.</li> </ul> <p>This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the description and/or posting at any time without advance notice. This position is “exempt” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS</span></strong></p> <p>Salary is based on experience and qualifications.&nbsp; Benefits include three weeks of vacation to start, medical and disability insurance, a retirement plan, and an ORCA card.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">APPLICATION PROCEDURE</span></strong></p> <p>To apply, email a letter of application and resume to <a href="mailto:Jobs@aclu-wa.org">Jobs@aclu-wa.org</a> and include in the subject line of the email:&nbsp; your <strong>last name</strong> and <strong>Donor Relations Officer.</strong> In your letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website at <a href="http://www.aclu-wa.org/AboutUs/Jobs">www.ACLU-WA.org/AboutUs/Jobs</a>.</p> <p><strong>The ACLU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages qualified individuals of every race, creed, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression to apply.</strong></p> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Inc. and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington Foundation. The two corporations share the same overall mission, office space, and employees. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU of Washington.”</em></p> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 29 Apr 2015 17:43:10 +0000 7075 at https://aclu-wa.org Intake Counselor Internships https://aclu-wa.org/intake-counselor-internships <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <P>Intake Counselor internships are available in the legal department of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington Foundation. A six month commitment is required, with a minimum of 12 hours each week. </P> <P>Interns review and investigate complaints alleging violations of civil liberties and assist callers on the ACLU Intake and Referral Line. They address a broad spectrum of issues, including free speech, student discipline, police practices, criminal law, and jail and prison conditions.</P> <P>Intake Counselor interns learn interview and investigation skills, explore a variety of civil liberties and constitutional law issues, and become familiar with the work of a wide range of government agencies and community organizations. The Intake Counselor internship provides excellent experience for individuals contemplating careers in public service, law, or public policy.</P> <P>Applicants should have an interest in civil liberties, good interpersonal and analytical skills, and excellent writing skills. Spanish language proficiency is a plus. To apply, please submit a cover letter, résumé, list of three references (preferably with e-mail addresses), and a writing sample of approximately five pages in length to: <a href="mailto:legal@aclu-wa.org">legal@aclu-wa.org</a> or to 901 Fifth Ave. #630, Seattle, WA 98164.</P> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 25 Jan 2010 22:23:19 +0000 robick 1237 at https://aclu-wa.org Legal Internships/Externships https://aclu-wa.org/legal-internshipsexternships <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Open to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd &nbsp;year law students</p> <p>The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU-WA) is pleased to offer unpaid summer and school-year intern/externships to interested law school students. A minimum commitment of 12 hours per week is required during the school year. Summer positions are full-time and last a minimum of seven weeks.</p> <p>At the ACLU, law students gain exposure to a broad range of civil liberties and civil rights issues and an opportunity to improve legal writing and research skills. Students work closely with staff attorneys conducting legal research, writing legal memoranda and drafting correspondence to government agencies in response to documented complaints of civil liberties and civil rights violations. Students also assist ACLU attorneys in the development of cases for litigation, preparation of cases for trial and submission of amicus curiae briefs in courts of appeal.</p> <p>Educational benefits include obtaining hands-on experience in applying constitutional theories and case law to legal problems, and learning how to conduct factual investigation of complaints. Students become familiar with administrative regulations and agency protocols, while developing a practical understanding of constitutional law. Academic credit can be arranged.</p> <p>Prerequisites include academic standing as a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd year law student during the duration of the externship/internship time period, an interest in civil liberties and civil rights, good interpersonal and analytical skills, and the ability to write in a clear and concise manner.</p> <p><strong>How to Respond:</strong></p> <p>Interested students should submit a cover letter, résumé and legal writing sample. The application deadlines are as follows:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>July 31, 2014 for a Fall Quarter or Semester 2014 externship</li> <li>November 1, 2014 for a Winter Quarter or Spring Semester 2015 externship</li> <li>December 31, 2014 for a Spring Quarter or Summer 2015 internship</li> </ul> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;Please submit application materials to:</p> <p>Legal Director<br /> ACLU of Washington<br /> 901 Fifth Avenue, Suite 630<br /> Seattle, WA, 98164</p> <p><a href="mailto:legalprogramassistant@aclu-wa.org">legalprogramassistant@aclu-wa.org</a></p> <p>Women, people of color, LGTB people, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 25 Jan 2010 22:40:18 +0000 robick 1240 at https://aclu-wa.org Second Chances Internship Program https://aclu-wa.org/second-chances-internship-program <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington is pleased to offer an internship with its Second Chances Project. The ACLU of Washington is a nonprofit, public-interest organization devoted to defending and extending civil rights and civil liberties. Its staff of 30 employees, assisted by numerous volunteers, works in a fast-paced, friendly, and professional office.&nbsp; The Second Chances Project provides legal services to individuals with criminal history facing barriers to employment and housing; it also engages in community education and non-litigation advocacy.&nbsp;</p> <p>The position opens in February and requires a minimum commitment of 4 months at 12 hours a week. The intern works closely with staff attorneys to manage a large and fast-paced docket of cases.&nbsp; Duties involve conducting initial client intakes and interviews, researching cases and gathering court records, maintaining client files and communications databases, and drafting education materials.&nbsp; In addition to learning interview, investigation, and research skills, the intern will be exposed to the civil rights issues created by mass incarceration and increased access to court records.</p> <p>Applicants should have strong organizational and administrative skills, with experience juggling multiple responsibilities in a fast-paced environment.&nbsp; The position also requires strong interpersonal and communication skills, and comfort communicating with people from a variety of backgrounds.&nbsp; Excellent research and writing skills a must. The applicant must also have a demonstrated commitment to civil rights and civil liberties issues, with past experience in criminal justice a plus.</p> <p>How to Respond:</p> <p>Interested students should submit a cover letter, résumé and writing sample by February 15, 2014 to:</p> <p>Second Chances Project<br />ACLU of Washington<br />901 Fifth Avenue, Suite 630<br />Seattle, WA, 98164<br /><a href="mailto:legalprogramassistant@aclu-wa.org" mce_href="mailto:legalprogramassistant@aclu-wa.org">legalprogramassistant@aclu-wa.org</a></p> <p>Women, people of color, LGTB people, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply</p> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 21:12:40 +0000 sdavies 1953 at https://aclu-wa.org POLICY ADVOCACY INTERNSHIP Program https://aclu-wa.org/policy-advocacy-internship-program-0 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Please note that we are no longer accepting applications for Summer 2015.&nbsp; We are continuing to accept applications for the fall and winter semesters for the 2015-2016 academic year.</strong></p> <p>The ACLU is the nation’s premier organization dedicated to defending and expanding all civil liberties and civil rights in America. We work with our members and volunteers in the courts, legislature and media to conserve America's original civic values - the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.</p> <p>The ACLU of Washington (ACLU-WA) is located in downtown Seattle and has over 20,000 members across the state.&nbsp; Our Policy Advocacy Group is supervised by our Deputy Director and includes our Legislative and Field Departments as well as our Technology and Liberty, Criminal Justice, and Education Equity Programs.&nbsp; We promote and protect civil liberties by working with elected officials and government agencies on the state and local level.&nbsp; We achieve our goals through lobbying and policy advocacy as well as educating our members and other activists about our issues and encouraging them to take action in support of our goals.</p> <p><strong><em>Subject Areas:</em></strong> free speech, free exercise of religion, campaign finance, criminal justice, juvenile justice, police practices, technology, education, voting rights, rights of the disabled, death penalty, drug policy, racial justice, discrimination, privacy, reproductive choice, and LGBT rights.</p> <p><strong>INTERN DUTIES</strong></p> <p>Program Intern with the Policy Advocacy Group will participate in ACLU-WA's integrated advocacy approach to a broad range of civil liberties issues. While working under the supervision of senior staff, Program Interns will work on field, legislative and research efforts to develop an in-depth understanding of civil liberties issues and effective policy advocacy.</p> <p><strong>DESIRED SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS</strong></p> <p>The intern will use his or her research skills to develop an in-depth understanding of civil liberties issues and effective policy advocacy.&nbsp; Excellent writing and communications skills required.&nbsp; Applicants should have strong interests in civil liberties, constitutional law, and policy advocacy.&nbsp; Commitments are typically 20 hours per week, per semester.&nbsp;</p> <p>Applicants should meet one of the following qualifications: 1) have completed at least two years of college and be currently pursuing a related four-year undergraduate degree; 2) have completed a related four-year undergraduate degree; or, 3) be enrolled in or have completed a related graduate degree.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>APPLICATION PROCEDURE</strong></p> <p>To apply, email resume, cover letter and writing sample to <a href="mailto://volunteerjobs@aclu-wa.org">volunteerjobs@aclu-wa.org</a> and include in the subject line of the email:&nbsp; your <strong>last name</strong> and <strong>PAG Internship.</strong>&nbsp; In your letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting.</p> <p><strong>The ACLU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages qualified individuals of every race, creed, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity to apply.</strong></p> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 22 Jan 2013 18:51:54 +0000 mcrye 2568 at https://aclu-wa.org POLICY ADVOCACY LEGISLATIVE INTERNSHIP/EXTERNSHIP https://aclu-wa.org/policy-advocacy-legislative-internshipexternship <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Please note that we are no longer accepting applications for Summer 2015.&nbsp; We are continuing to accept applications for the fall and winter semesters for the 2015-2016 academic year.</strong></p> <p>The ACLU is the nation’s premier organization dedicated to defending and expanding all civil liberties and civil rights in America. We work with our members and volunteers in the courts, legislature and media to conserve America's original civic values - the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.</p> <p>The ACLU of Washington (ACLU-WA) is located in downtown Seattle and has over 20,000 members across the state.&nbsp; Our Policy Advocacy Group is supervised by our Deputy Director and includes our Legislative and Field Departments as well as our Technology and Liberty, Criminal Justice, and Education Equity Programs.&nbsp; We promote and protect civil liberties by working with elected officials and government agencies on the state and local level.&nbsp; We achieve our goals through lobbying and policy advocacy as well as educating our members and other activists about our issues and encouraging them to take action in support of our goals.</p> <p><strong><em>Subject Areas:</em></strong> free speech, free exercise of religion, campaign finance, criminal justice, juvenile justice, police practices, technology, education, voting rights, rights of the disabled, death penalty, drug policy, racial justice, discrimination, privacy, reproductive choice, and LGBT rights.</p> <p><strong>INTERN DUTIES</strong></p> <p>A Legislative Intern/Extern with the Policy Advocacy Group will work under the supervision of the Deputy Director and will assist the Legislative Director or other senior staff to draft and promote proactive legislation, research legal and policy challenges to legislation introduced by others, create educational materials, and assist in the preparation of testimony or other advocacy documents.&nbsp; During the legislative session, the intern’s work will focus primarily on state legislation.</p> <p><strong>DESIRED SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS</strong></p> <p>The intern will use his or her research skills to develop an in-depth understanding of civil liberties issues, policy advocacy, the legislative process and the art of messaging.&nbsp; Excellent writing and communications skills required.&nbsp; Applicants should have strong interests in civil liberties, constitutional law and policy advocacy. Candidates must have completed at least one year of law school.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>APPLICATION PROCEDURE</strong></p> <p>To apply, email resume, cover letter and writing sample to <a href="mailto://volunteerjobs@aclu-wa.org">volunteerjobs@aclu-wa.org</a> and include in the subject line of the email:&nbsp; your <strong>last name</strong> and <strong>PAG Legislative Internship.</strong>&nbsp; In your letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting.</p> <p><strong>The ACLU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages qualified individuals of every race, creed, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity to apply.</strong></p> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 18 Oct 2013 22:45:39 +0000 robick 2876 at https://aclu-wa.org Volunteer Opportunities https://aclu-wa.org/volunteer-opportunities-0 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The ACLU of Washington is a nonprofit organization devoted to defending and extending civil rights and civil liberties.&nbsp; Its staff and volunteers, works in a fast-paced, friendly, and professional office.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you're interested in becoming a volunteer, please fill out our <a href="https://www.aclu.org/secure/volunteer-questionnaire " target="_blank">questionnaire</a> and someone from our staff will be in contact shortly. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>There are currently no volunteer positions available. &nbsp;Thank you for your interest.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p align="center"><strong>The ACLU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages qualified individuals of every race, creed, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity to apply.</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size: xx-small;">The ACLU of Washington comprises two separate corporate entities, the ACLU of Washington and the ACLU of Washington Foundation. The ACLU of Washington and the ACLU of Washington Foundation share the same mission, office space, and employees. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU of Washington.”</span></p> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 25 Jan 2010 22:41:54 +0000 robick 1241 at https://aclu-wa.org FLAG DAY FESTIVAL: CELEBRATING SEATTLE’S CIVIC LIFE https://aclu-wa.org/event/flag-day-festival-celebrating-seattle-s-civic-life <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>June 14, 2015 from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM<br /> Seattle City Hall, (600 4<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;Ave)&nbsp;</p> <p>Join the ACLU of Washington as we celebrate Seattle's Flag Day Festival. &nbsp;This event celebrates citizenship and civic engagement by featuring a naturalization ceremony and citizenship renewals. We’ll be tabling at a resource fair that offers tools and services that facilitate and inspire participants’ civic engagement.</p> <p><strong>This event is FREE to attend. Click&nbsp;</strong><a href="https://www.seattlecityclub.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&amp;id=224"><strong>here</strong></a><strong>&nbsp;to register.</strong></p> </div> </div> </div> Immigrant Rights Tue, 28 Apr 2015 22:55:48 +0000 jflodin 7072 at https://aclu-wa.org Where Freedom Stands: The State of Civil Liberties at the Supreme Court https://aclu-wa.org/event/where-freedom-stands-state-civil-liberties-supreme-court <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Date and Time: Monday, June 15<sup>th </sup>&nbsp;(Door open at 6:30, event begins at 7:30 PM)<br />Location: Town Hall, Seattle (1119 8<sup>th</sup> Ave)&nbsp;</p> <p>Join the ACLU of Washington to hear the latest about legal battles for civil liberties at the U.S. Supreme Court.&nbsp; National ACLU legal director <a href="https://www.aclu.org/bio/steven-r-shapiro" target="_blank">Steve Shapiro</a> will discuss vital cases on extending the right for lesbians and gays to marry, &nbsp;reining in government surveillance, countering the Hobby Lobby decision, protecting voting rights, tackling injustice in the criminal justice system, and more.&nbsp; Shapiro is a noted legal expert who has been counsel on more than 200 briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court.&nbsp;</p> <p>$5 to attend.&nbsp; To register, click <a href="https://action.aclu.org/where-freedom-stands">here</a>. &nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 22 Apr 2015 22:34:36 +0000 jflodin 7068 at https://aclu-wa.org Support Reasonable Regulations on Government Drones https://aclu-wa.org/blog/support-reasonable-regulations-government-drones <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>This first appeared as an op-ed in the Seattle Times.</em></p> <p>For decades, local law enforcement has used aviation for specific and limited purposes, such as search and rescue, high-speed chases, and traffic control. Helicopters require costly equipment and fuel and risk loss of life, so law enforcement has used them sparingly.</p> <p>But drones are a game-changer for airborne surveillance. As these technologies rapidly evolve and their ability to peer into every corner of society from tens of thousands of feet in the air expands, drones give governments unprecedented capabilities to engage in mass surveillance. They are relatively cheap and can be deployed in automated fleets. Drones are certain to be used under less urgent circumstances than other aircraft.</p> <p>The concerns drones raise go beyond your expectations of privacy in public places. It is about your right to go about your daily business free of spying by your own government.</p> <p>We no longer live in an age where a team of law enforcement personnel are needed to track your every move. Drones can be equipped with virtually any kind of surveillance technology.&nbsp; Drones with high resolution cameras linked to facial recognition systems can systematically log a person’s activity, both on their own property and as they move from place to place. They can be deployed with invasive devices such as Stingrays that snoop on cell phones. They can be equipped with any other kind of sensor available to law enforcement, including infrared sensors that peer through walls or directional microphones. The sensitive information drones collect can be stored indefinitely, just waiting to be analyzed and scrutinized at any time by any person or computer algorithm with access to it.</p> <p>Federal government funding is available for local law enforcement agencies to buy drones and other surveillance technology, often before agencies have decided when they will be used or have created policies regulating them. And a rapidly growing domestic drone industry is marketing drones extensively for all kinds of invasive uses.</p> <p>Understandably, public concern about drones has led to a flurry of state-level legislative activity. Drone regulations have been proposed in at least 43 states and have been adopted in several. &nbsp;</p> <p>However, Washington State currently has no regulations on how drones may be used by the government—and in particular no protections are in place to safeguard individual privacy. Similarly, our state’s courts have not directly addressed what limits there should be on drones spying on people. Without clear guidance, law enforcement may be inclined to engage in mass surveillance, while more risk-averse government agencies may forego using drones altogether until clarity emerges.</p> <p>Washingtonians shouldn’t have to choose between their privacy and the benefits of technology—they can and should have both. Our legislature needs to establish a statewide floor of regulations for government use of drones—allowing government agencies to use them for legitimate purposes and guaranteeing that policies are in place before<em> </em>large numbers of drones fly over our state.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>HB 1639, a measure regulating government drone use, ensures that that drones will be permitted for regulatory enforcement and other beneficial uses, while establishing protections to prevent unwarranted spying. The bill also requires that policy debates about drones happen before they are actually deployed, and sets reasonable, common-sense limits on their use for surveillance. It requires agencies to get approval from the stage legislature or local municipalities before acquiring drones, and to report how and for what purposes the drones are being used. A warrant must be obtained when information collected from a drone will be used to spy on a person. At its heart, the bill seeks to prevent suspicionless fishing expeditions when there is no suspicion of wrongdoing.</p> <p>Under the bill, government agencies, law enforcement or otherwise, can use drones during emergencies and for missions that don’t involve spying on people. Exemptions are included for useful operations such as training exercises, firefighting, search and rescue, environmental surveys, traffic analysis, or research operations, among others. This balance permits drone use for all kinds of constructive purposes, including important environmental regulatory work, while placing important limitations on dragnet spying.</p> <p>This is a bipartisan issue. HB 1639 passed the Washington Senate with strong support on both sides of the aisle. Having guidelines is good for the aerospace industry and residents alike. The House of Representatives and Governor Inslee should approve this legislation to provide bright lines for drone use, rather than leaving drones to invade our skies without clear protections in place.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Jared Friend is Technology and Liberty Director for the ACLU of Washington.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/support-reasonable-regulations-government-drones#comments Government Surveillance Technology Fri, 15 May 2015 12:00:00 +0000 jfriend 7086 at https://aclu-wa.org Washington Becomes a Leader in Restricting Use of Invasive Stingrays https://aclu-wa.org/blog/washington-becomes-leader-restricting-use-invasive-stingrays <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Governor Inslee has signed into law a bill restricting the use of cell site simulator devices (popularly known as “Stingrays,” after a particular model).&nbsp; Stingrays are emblematic of the threats to privacy posed by new technologies and expanding government surveillance activities. The new law makes Washington state a leader in regulating Stingrays and includes judicial education and data retention provisions that are the first of their kind in the nation.</p> <p>Cell site simulators are surveillance devices that typically mimic the cell phone towers that your phone connects to. They trick cell phones within their range into thinking they are a legitimate cell phone tower and force phones to connect by masquerading as the strongest nearby cell signal. This enables the user of the cell site simulator to identify phones in the area, the location of their possessors, and in some cases to intercept metadata and/or actual content of cell phone transmissions (including data, calls, or text messages). Even if law enforcement is targeting a particular phone or person, it will incidentally collect sensitive information from all other phones in the area that connect to it. In some cases, this may also prevent nearby bystanders from making calls. So, the use of this technology compromises the privacy and safety of large numbers of ordinary people.</p> <p>In Washington, the Tacoma Police Department <a href="http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/08/26/3347665_documents-tacoma-police-using.html">acquired a Stingray</a> using federal grant money. &nbsp;Local judges who approved use of Stingrays had no idea they were authorizing such an invasive technology and did not understand how Stingrays work. This has been true throughout the country, as local police departments and the FBI have <a href="https://www.aclu.org/blog/documents-aclu-case-reveal-more-detail-fbi-attempt-cover-stingray-technology">engaged in a campaign to conceal the use of cell site simulators from judges and from the public</a>. These devices epitomize the continuing militarization of local law enforcement and should not be free from judicial and public scrutiny.</p> <p>Washington’s new law requires that a judge find that there is probable cause that use of a Stingray will lead to evidence of criminal activity. To ensure that judges make informed decisions about authorizing their use, the measure requires law enforcement to provide judges with specific details about cell site simulators and how they will be used in a given case. This law also places limitations on retention of data by requiring that any incidental information collected from bystanders not be used and be deleted promptly.</p> <p>Adoption of the law is a vital step in the quest to rein in the surveillance state. Notably, our legislature passed this bill with unanimous votes in both houses. We hope that other states will soon follow suit.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/washington-becomes-leader-restricting-use-invasive-stingrays#comments Government Surveillance Mon, 11 May 2015 22:38:24 +0000 jfriend 7083 at https://aclu-wa.org Military Internet Surveillance of Civilians Must Be Excluded From Criminal Trials https://aclu-wa.org/blog/military-internet-surveillance-civilians-must-be-excluded-criminal-trials <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>For years, with seemingly little to no oversight, the Naval Criminal Investigative Services has been monitoring vast amounts of <em>non-military</em> U.S. Internet traffic and communications, looking for evidence of criminal activity. Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit correctly held this “extraordinary” and illegal surveillance violated the <a href="https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1385">Posse Comitatus Act</a> and suppressed evidence gathered by NCIS on a civilian.</p> <p>In an <a href="https://www.eff.org/document/eff-aclu-washington-nacdl-amicus-brief-support-dreyer">amicus brief</a> we filed yesterday with the <a href="https://aclu-wa.org/">ACLU of Washington</a> and the <a href="https://www.nacdl.org/">National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers</a>, we argue that the court got it right.</p> <p>In <a href="https://www.eff.org/cases/united-states-v-michael-dreyer"><em>United States v. Dreyer</em></a>, a Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) officer stationed in Georgia believed he was entitled to conduct Internet surveillance of any computer within a specific jurisdiction and did not have to limit his monitoring to U.S. military or government computers or personnel. While monitoring computers in the state of Washington, he identified an IP address sharing child pornography, determined the IP address belonged to Dreyer, and passed that information along to local police who arrested Dreyer.</p> <p>The problem? Dreyer, like most residents of Washington, was a civilian and had no connection to the military. The <a href="https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1385">Posse Comitatus Act</a> (PCA), a federal statute enacted in 1876, prohibits the military from investigating civilians and otherwise participating in civilian law enforcement activities.</p> <p>In the district court, Dreyer unsuccessfully challenged the NCIS surveillance as a violation of the PCA, but a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit reversed. Noting this wasn’t the first time the NCIS had <a href="https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=united+states+v.+holloway+posse&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=2006&amp;as_ylo=2011&amp;case=1452484679239429574&amp;scilh=0">engaged</a> in this sort of activity, the appellate court <a href="https://www.eff.org/document/dreyer-panel-opinion">found</a> the surveillance “extraordinary” and in clear violation of the PCA. Most importantly, the panel found that the evidence NCIS obtained should be suppressed. This is the first time a federal court has suppressed evidence obtained in violation of the PCA (a few <a href="https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=896+P.2d+911+&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=2006&amp;case=10814592799981961107&amp;scilh=0">state</a> <a href="https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=645+P.2d+522&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=2006&amp;case=18360284015729624795&amp;scilh=0">courts</a> have suppressed PCA violations). The government asked the court to <a href="https://www.eff.org/document/governments-dreyer-petition-rehearing">rehear</a> the case but abandoned any argument that there was a PCA violation. Instead, the government merely <a href="https://www.eff.org/document/governments-dreyer-en-banc-brief">urged</a> the court to reconsider its decision to suppress the evidence. The Ninth Circuit agreed to reconsider, deciding to have the case argued again before an 11-judge en banc panel.</p> <p>Our amicus brief explains why the three-judge panel’s opinion should stand and the evidence should be excluded. The PCA’s passage stems from a long tradition in the U.S. of keeping the military out of civilian affairs, a tradition reflected in the structure of government laid out in the U.S. Constitution and in the Bill of Rights. Federalism generally gives states, rather than the federal government, the power to police civilians subject to limited exceptions. Separation of powers divides military power between the executive and legislative branches, where the president is commander in chief of armed forces, but Congress is responsible for maintaining and regulating the military. And the <a href="https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/third_amendment">Third Amendment</a>, which prohibits housing soldiers in private homes, reflects a desire to preserve the <a href="https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=367+U.S.+497&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=2006&amp;case=642884283459215206&amp;scilh=0">privacy</a> of the home from military intrusion.</p> <p>The PCA’s legal protections are crucial to preserving the important constitutional limitations on military involvement in civilian activities. While the military should know these limits, as we’ve uncovered through Freedom of Information Act <a href="https://www.eff.org/foia/intelligence-agencies-misconduct-reports">requests</a>, it has repeatedly conducted improper civilian surveillance. That includes U.S. Army-<a href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/09/newly-released-documents-reveal-defense-department">issued</a> <a href="https://www.eff.org/issues/national-security-letters">National Security Letters</a>, a honey pot <a href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/02/pentagon-discloses-hundreds-reports-possibly">established</a> by the Air Force that violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and an order of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and Army Cyber Counterintelligence officers covertly attending the Black Hat computer security conference without proper authorization.</p> <p>While the PCA is a criminal statute, it appears the government has never charged anyone with violating it since it passed 136 years ago. Given the history of improper military excursions into civilian affairs, the expansive Internet surveillance that occurred here, and the fact technological advancements make it easier for the military to conduct widespread Internet surveillance, the only way to deter military officials from intruding into civilian affairs is to exclude evidence it improperly obtains.</p> <p>The en banc Ninth Circuit is scheduled to hear oral argument the week of June 15 in San Francisco.</p> <p><a title="dreyer_amici_brief.pdf" href="https://www.eff.org/files/2015/04/29/dreyer_amici_brief_0.pdf">EFF, ACLU Washington &amp; NACDL Dreyer Amicus Brief</a></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/military-internet-surveillance-civilians-must-be-excluded-criminal-trials#comments Government Surveillance Thu, 30 Apr 2015 23:31:17 +0000 fakhurylynch 7077 at https://aclu-wa.org Pull the Plug on the Patriot Act https://aclu-wa.org/blog/pull-plug-patriot-act <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The past few years have seen numerous attempts to reform the notorious Patriot Act and its problematic provisions which the NSA has interpreted to permit unprecedented dragnet surveillance. None have been successful, thanks in large part to the continued fearmongering of the “war on terror.”</p> <p>But that could change. Three of the Patriot Act’s infamous provisions are about to expire, and Congress can dramatically rein in the NSA’s unfettered surveillance by simply doing nothing. That is, it can just let them expire.</p> <p>The most important of these three provisions, Section 215, has been cited to authorize the mass collection of every American’s phone records. <a href="https://www.aclu.org/cases/aclu-v-clapper-challenge-nsa-mass-call-tracking-program?redirect=national-security/aclu-v-clapper-challenge-nsa-mass-phone-call-tracking">The ACLU has sued the United States federal government over this program</a>, but the government still maintains that it has the right to suck up the call records of millions of innocent Americans. If Congress does not reauthorize this provision, it will strike a significant blow to the ever-growing surveillance state.</p> <p>Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have continued to promote warrantless surveillance of the American public. This has happened <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/25/us/politics/value-of-nsa-warrantless-spying-is-doubted-in-declassified-reports.html">despite ongoing doubts about the value of the NSA’s massive surveillance programs</a>, <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/27/fact-sheet-administration-s-proposal-ending-section-215-bulk-telephony-m">an admission by the White House that the bulk collection program is not necessary</a>, and <a href="https://www.pclob.gov/library/215-Report_on_the_Telephone_Records_Program.pdf">the failure of the federal Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to find a single time where bulk collection was vital to counterterrorism efforts</a>.</p> <p>Sen. Mitch McConnell recently introduced a bill that would extend the expiring provisions through 2020. This bill aims to maintain the status quo of treating every American like a suspected terrorist. It supports practices which enable the NSA and other government agencies to create an intricate web of information detailing the relationships and activities of people’s lives. Who you call, when you call them, and how long you speak with them may seem like innocuous information, but consider that this includes calls made to sexually transmitted disease clinics, suicide or drug abuse hotlines, therapists, or labor unions.</p> <p>Another bill, the USA Freedom Act recently introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy, seeks once more to reform certain provisions of the Patriot Act. Though the measure’s aims are admirable, it still reauthorizes problematic surveillance and contains loopholes related to accountability and transparency.</p> <p>Instead of continuing to tinker with failed programs that undermine our civil liberties, Congress should let the expiring provisions of the Patriot Act expire for good.</p> <p><a href="https://action.aclu.org/secure/Section215">Sign the ACLU’s petition demanding that Congress let Section 215 of the Patriot Act die</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/">Find your elected representatives in the House</a> and reach out to your Washington Senator at the contact information below. Write your elected representatives to let them know that you want your privacy back and so you oppose any reauthorization of the Patriot Act. <strong>Urge your representatives to let Section 215 of the Patriot Act finally die.</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;">Senator Maria Cantwell - (D - WA)<br /></span><span style="font-size: medium;">511 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510<br /></span><span style="font-size: medium;">(202) 224-3441<br /></span><span style="font-size: medium;">Email:&nbsp;</span><a style="text-decoration: underline; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10px;" href="http://www.cantwell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-maria">www.cantwell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-maria</a></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10px;"><span style="font-size: medium;">Senator Patty Murray- (D - WA)<br /></span></span></span></span><span style="font-size: medium;">154 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510<br /></span><span style="font-size: medium;">(202) 224-2621<br /></span><span style="font-size: medium;">Email:&nbsp;</span><a style="text-decoration: underline; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10px;" href="http://www.murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactme">www.murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactme</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/pull-plug-patriot-act#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 21:00:51 +0000 jfriend 7076 at https://aclu-wa.org A Birthday Salute to Gordon Hirabayashi, American Freedom Fighter https://aclu-wa.org/blog/birthday-salute-gordon-hirabayashi-american-freedom-fighter <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>April 23 would have been Gordon Hirabayashi’s 97<sup>th</sup> birthday. He was an American hero with a long and arduous journey of justice.</p> <p>Hirabayashi defied military curfew and exclusion orders authorized under Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of 120,000-plus Japanese Americans on the West Coast during World War II. &nbsp;In 1942, Hirabayashi, a senior at UW, turned himself over to the FBI for violating the federally imposed curfew. He was convicted and appealed his conviction all the way to the US Supreme Court, where he lost.&nbsp;</p> <p>Forty-three years later, Hirabayashi, Fred Korematsu, and Min Yasui sought redress by filing <em>coram nobis</em> cases (with support from the ACLU), and all three had successful results; <em>coram nobis</em> is a writ issued by a court to correct a prior fundamental legal error and is used to remedy a serious injustice. More importantly, in Hirabayashi’s case, a finding was made that the U.S. charges of Japanese American espionage and disloyalty were false, making the federal government’s military necessity argument for the massive incarceration moot. The incarceration was based solely on their ancestry.</p> <p>Hirabayashi’s legacy of justice is now more relevant than ever.&nbsp; Extensive calls for “Black Lives Matter!” against police abuse and hate crimes targeting Arab American and Muslim communities after the 9-11 terrorist attacks tell us to be vigilant and remember the lessons of the past.&nbsp;</p> <p>American amnesia and reduced civic education in our schools make it challenging to protect our civil liberties. Two current initiatives give us hope.</p> <p>Part of the budget pending before the State Legislature in Olympia is a proposal to allocate $250,000 to the KIP TOKUDA MEMORIAL Civil Liberties Public Education Fund. The Fund is intended to continue the development of educational materials and activities for K-12 students about the unconstitutional incarceration and heroic military service of Japanese Americans during World War II.&nbsp; The legislature passed a bill in 2000 establishing this grant program.</p> <p>In Seattle, the Interim Community Development Association is memorializing Gordon Hirabayashi’s legacy by naming its newest development “Hirabayashi Place.”&nbsp; The 96-unit affordable housing development is located on 4<sup>th</sup> and Main Street, creating a new gateway in a neighborhood that had been the center of Seattle’s thriving Japanese American community prior to WWII.&nbsp;</p> <p>The educational and art installations on the building façade, the property and the main entry make visible Gordon Hirabayashi’s and the Japanese American community’s struggles.&nbsp; On the north wall of Hirabayashi Place, it boldly prompts the question of our time, “What does justice look like?”</p> <p>The public opening of Hirabayashi Place will be in early 2016.&nbsp; The building will stand as a beacon for justice, as a reminder to never forget.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Resources</span>:</p> <p><a href="http://interimicda.org/legacyofjustice/">http://interimicda.org/legacyofjustice/</a>&nbsp; <a href="mailto:LegacyOfJustice@interimicda.org">LegacyOfJustice@interimicda.org</a></p> <p><a href="http://encyclopedia.densho.org/Gordon_Hirabayashi/">http://encyclopedia.densho.org/Gordon_Hirabayashi/</a></p> <p><a href="http://encyclopedia.densho.org/American_Civil_Liberties_Union/">http://encyclopedia.densho.org/American_Civil_Liberties_Union/</a></p> <p><a href="http://encyclopedia.densho.org/Coram_nobis_cases/">http://encyclopedia.densho.org/Coram_nobis_cases/</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.aclu.org/blog/defending-targets-discrimination/remembering-gordon-hirabayashi">https://www.aclu.org/blog/defending-targets-discrimination/remembering-gordon-hirabayashi</a>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/birthday-salute-gordon-hirabayashi-american-freedom-fighter#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 16:39:33 +0000 mbatayola 7069 at https://aclu-wa.org Asylum Seekers Shouldn’t Have to Worry About Posting Bond When They Flee Their Homes https://aclu-wa.org/blog/asylum-seekers-shouldn-t-have-worry-about-posting-bond-when-they-flee-their-homes <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="MsoNormal"><em>This story originally appeared in the ACLU Speak Freely Blog.</em></p> <p class="MsoNormal">No one should be locked up because they don’t have the money to buy their freedom. But this is the plight of countless men and women currently imprisoned in our immigration detention system.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Last May, Maria Sandra Rivera fled her native Honduras to escape an abusive relationship. Maria had been repeatedly raped and beaten by her former partner and needed to escape. On arriving in the United States, she was detained by immigration authorities while applying for asylum.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Maria did not need be locked up. She had no criminal history and posed no danger to anyone. Nor did she have any intention of running away: To the contrary, she had every incentive to show up for court and fight for asylum, and her friends were willing to give her shelter and drive her court. And in fact, the immigration judge agreed, eventually ordering her release on a $3,500 bond.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Nonetheless, Maria stayed locked up for <em>five months </em>— only to win her asylum claim and her freedom. Why? Maria — like many refugees and other low-income immigrants — couldn’t afford the cash bond.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">A federal court today <a href="https://www.aclu.org/cases/immigrants-rights/rivera-v-holder?redirect=immigrants-rights/rivera-v-holder">rejected</a>&nbsp;the immigration courts’ longstanding policy of detaining immigrants like Maria unless they can pay a cash bond. The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Washington, and Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. For years, judges in Washington state have required cash bonds even though the immigration laws clearly authorize them to order release on what’s known as "conditional parole"— a supervision order that might require check-ins, travel restrictions, or other conditions to make people show up for court, without requiring that they pay.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The result of this policy was that countless immigrants like Maria have been stuck in detention because they’re poor — even when a judge has found that they posed no danger to the community or flight risk that requires their imprisonment. Under the court’s ruling, judges must now follow the law and consider granting conditional parole — and not just a money bond — when deciding whether an immigrant should be released from custody.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Although today’s ruling applies only in Washington state, immigration courts across the country should take heed and follow to the court’s decision. Indeed, even the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) <a href="https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/asylum-seekers-shouldnt-have-worry-about-posting-bond-when-they-flee-their-homes#https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/rivera-v-holder-practice-advisory?redirect=immigrants-rights/rivera-v-holder-practice-advisory">agrees</a>. As DHS has argued to the Board of Immigration Appeals — which sets the rules for immigration courts nationwide —judges have the power to grant conditional parole, and not just a money bond.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Tying your freedom to your ability to pay is not only unlawful: It’s also bad policy. At a <a href="https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/asylum-seekers-shouldnt-have-worry-about-posting-bond-when-they-flee-their-homes#http://immigrationforum.org/blog/themathofimmigrationdetention/">cost of $159 per day</a>, Maria’s detention cost U.S. taxpayers nearly $24,000. In contrast, alternatives to detention — such as telephonic and in-person reporting, curfews, and home visits — cost as <a href="https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/asylum-seekers-shouldnt-have-worry-about-posting-bond-when-they-flee-their-homes#http://immigrationforum.org/blog/themathofimmigrationdetention/">low as 17 cents to $17 per person per day</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The cost to basic fairness, however, is priceless.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/asylum-seekers-shouldn-t-have-worry-about-posting-bond-when-they-flee-their-homes#comments Immigrant Rights Mon, 13 Apr 2015 23:52:58 +0000 mtan 7060 at https://aclu-wa.org Updated: A Guide to the Rights of Transgender People in Washington State https://aclu-wa.org/blog/updated-guide-rights-transgender-people-washington-state <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>We are proud to announce the latest version of our transgender “Know Your Rights” guide,&nbsp;<em><a href="https://aclu-wa.org/docs/rights-transgender-people-washington-state">The Rights of Transgender People in Washington State</a>.</em></p> <p>It is an exciting time for fairness and equality.&nbsp; Across the nation, changes in the law have advanced<strong>&nbsp;</strong>protections for transgender people. Increasing numbers of federal authorities recognize transgender discrimination as illegal. Workplaces, schools, and healthcare and housing programs are more inclusive, gender-congruent identity documents are more accessible, and corrections facilities are more accountable for violence against transgender people behind bars.</p> <p>Washington state offers comprehensive protection for gender identity and gender expression in employment, education, housing, public accommodations, and insurance. Our guide contains updated information about the civil rights of transgender people in Washington under expanding federal, state, and local laws, including:</p> <ul> <li>discrimination and harassment, including for students in school; </li> <li>name and gender marker changes on identity documents; family law matters, including marriage and parenting; </li> <li>health care coverage under public and private plans; </li> <li>and treatment in prisons and jails.</li> </ul> <p>There is still a lot of work to do. Most states don’t have legal protections for transgender people. Even in states that do, antidiscrimination laws are often not honored or enforced. As an advocate at the ACLU of Washington, I’ve seen schools deny transgender youth the ability to dress, play sports, and access bathrooms in accordance with their gender identity. I’ve seen companies prevent employees and their family members from accessing medically necessary, gender-confirming health care. These are only a few examples – throughout Washington, the reality is that many people struggle to enforce their gender identity and expression rights.</p> <p><a href="https://aclu-wa.org/docs/rights-transgender-people-washington-state">This updated guide</a> aims to empower people to protect their civil rights and to be a valuable educational resource for everyone – &nbsp;family members, friends, allies, educators, and service providers who want to learn more about legal protections for transgender people within their communities.</p> <p>Despite advancements in the law, Washington is far from fully realizing transgender equality. I hope this guide lends support to new and ongoing efforts to defend transgender rights in our state.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/updated-guide-rights-transgender-people-washington-state#comments LGBT Transgender Tue, 07 Apr 2015 19:25:02 +0000 jwong 7047 at https://aclu-wa.org Exposing Modern-Day Debtors’ Prisons https://aclu-wa.org/blog/exposing-modern-day-debtors-prisons <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>How do you turn $41 into over $2,000?&nbsp; Courts across Washington and throughout the U.S. have figured out how to turn small fines for routine traffic violations and other non-violent infractions into major debts for individuals without the means to pay.&nbsp; HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver recently examined this subject, noting the ways in which differences in race and income levels are creating two justice systems: one for the rich and one for the poor.</p> <center><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0UjpmT5noto" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br><a href="https://aclu-wa.org/privacy" target="_blank">Privacy statement.</a> This embed will serve content from youtube.com</center> <p>It’s time to put an end to modern-day debtors’ prisons. A bill currently before the state legislature would reform our system of court-imposed debts to assure that ability to pay is considered when fines are imposed.&nbsp; A minor infraction should not lead to a life sentence of poverty and repeated incarceration.&nbsp; Take action today:</p> <center> <a style="display: block; padding-left: 20px; padding-right: 20px; width: 350px; height: 40px; border: none; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; color: white; text-align: center; background-color: #cc7929; -webkit-border-radius: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 10px; border-radius: 10px; background: #cc7929; text-decoration: none;" href="https://ssl.capwiz.com/aclu/wa/issues/alert/?alertid=64032541&type=ST&ms=web_150121_aff_WA_LFO_TWT" target="_blank">Take Action: Stop Debtors' Prisons</a> </center> <p>Learn more about the problem of court-imposed debts and how they lead to modern-day debtors’ prisons in our report, co-authored with Columbia Legal Services:&nbsp; <a href="https://aclu-wa.org/node/6459">Modern-Day Debtors' Prisons</a></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/exposing-modern-day-debtors-prisons#comments Criminal Justice Mon, 23 Mar 2015 23:51:12 +0000 robick 7038 at https://aclu-wa.org Reining in the Surveillance Society at Town Hall Seattle https://aclu-wa.org/blog/reining-surveillance-society-town-hall-seattle <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The ACLU-WA hosted a talk at Town Hall Seattle on March 11th on <em>Reining in the Surveillance Society. &nbsp;</em>It &nbsp;featured Chris Soghoian, &nbsp;the National ACLU’s Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst with its Speech, Privacy and Technology Project.&nbsp; Chris discussed how new technologies employed by the government including drones, Stingrays, and license plate scanners can have negative impacts on individual privacy.&nbsp; Following the presentation, Jared Friend, ACLU-WA Technology and Liberty Director, &nbsp;joined him on stage, and &nbsp;they addressed questions from the packed audience and from Twitter about &nbsp;what the ACLU is doing locally and nationally to ensure that that these tools are strictly regulated.</p><p><iframe align="center" width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/94RgXjBajLc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p><p>The event was filmed by Mike McCormick at TalkingStickTV. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/reining-surveillance-society-town-hall-seattle#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 18:07:51 +0000 jflodin 7036 at https://aclu-wa.org LFOs: Court Rules Courts Must Consider a Person’s Ability to Pay https://aclu-wa.org/blog/lfos-court-rules-courts-must-consider-person-s-ability-pay <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Today, the Washington Supreme Court unanimously ruled that courts must take into consideration a defendant’s ability to pay before imposing discretionary legal financial obligations (LFOs). These are fees, fines, costs, and restitution imposed by courts on top of criminal sentences.&nbsp;The ruling represents a significant step towards reforming an LFO system that traps people in a cycle of poverty and incarceration. In its ruling, the Court cited to the amicus brief prepared by ACLU-WA, the Washington Defender Association, and other allies and to the national ACLU’s 2010 report “In for a Penny.”</p> <p>The Court held in <em>State v. Blazina </em>that trial courts must make “an individualized inquiry into the defendant’s current and future ability to pay” before imposing court costs, and must “consider important factors, such as incarceration and the defendant’s other debts.” &nbsp;Moreover, the Court stated that if a person meets established criteria for determining indigence (like receiving needs-based public assistance or having an income at or below the poverty level), courts should “seriously question that person’s ability to pay LFOs.”</p> <p>In the case, an indigent criminal defendant was ordered to pay thousands of dollars in court costs, including the cost of a public defender, without any inquiry into or consideration of his ability to pay.&nbsp; The lead opinion cited “national and local cries for reform of broken LFO systems,”&nbsp;including the ACLU.&nbsp; The Court agreed with us that Washington’s LFO system “carries problematic consequences” including a 12% interest rate and additional collections fees, and subjects individuals to long-term court jurisdiction.&nbsp;This, said the Court, “inhibits reentry” causing “serious negative consequences on employment, on housing, and on finances.”&nbsp;</p> <p>The ACLU-WA supports further reforms of our LFO system, including passage of HB 1390 by the state legislature.&nbsp; The measure would fully implement the Court’s guidance on LFOs and would reform other problematic features of the system such as the exorbitant interest rates on LFOs, the lack of priority of payment to victims, and the use of jail time for indigent people who cannot pay their LFOs.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/lfos-court-rules-courts-must-consider-person-s-ability-pay#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 00:18:57 +0000 vhernandez 7031 at https://aclu-wa.org Reproductive Freedom: A Fundamental Right to Choose or Refuse an Abortion https://aclu-wa.org/blog/reproductive-freedom-fundamental-right-choose-or-refuse-abortion <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The ACLU of Washington has filed a lawsuit against Skagit Regional Health, a public hospital and clinics, for failure to comply with Washington’s Reproductive Privacy Act (RPA). The right to choose or refuse an abortion is a women’s fundamental right in Washington state, guaranteed under the RPA passed by voter initiative in 1991.</p> <p>Washington is one of the most pro-choice states in the country. Yet health care facilities in our state are not complying with our reproductive health laws. The RPA requires public hospital districts that provide maternity services to provide substantially equivalent abortion services. Skagit Regional Health, Washington’s third largest public hospital district, provides a wide array of maternity care services, including over 1200 births in 2012, but rarely provides abortion services.</p> <p>Certainly, no individual health provider should be required to perform abortions; however the public hospital district, itself, must provide the services. Merely providing referrals for patients seeking abortions is insufficient. Women shouldn't be shuffled off to a different doctor and facility for a reproductive service that the public health facility is fully capable of providing. Doing so discriminates against the exercise of a women’s fundamental right to choose or refuse an abortion. Further, adding barriers to abortion access limits women’s ability to make decisions about their care.</p> <p>The ACLU-WA has deep concerns about the impact of religious-secular health system affiliations on reproductive and end-of-life health care. It was through the investigation of a proposed affiliation between Skagit Regional Health and PeacHealth (a health system governed by religious doctrine) that we discovered that not only do many religiously affiliated health systems limit access to reproductive health care, <strong>but even public hospital districts</strong> in Washington state are not providing abortion services!</p> <p>While this lawsuit is against Skagit Regional Health, it is only the beginning of an ACLU statewide effort to ensure all public hospital districts in Washington state are complying with the reproductive privacy act. We have already sent three letters to public hospital districts in Washington state that we believe may not be complying with the law, and we will continue to investigate public hospital districts across the state.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/reproductive-freedom-fundamental-right-choose-or-refuse-abortion#comments Coffey v. Public Health District No. 1 Health Care Mon, 02 Mar 2015 20:06:06 +0000 lrutman 7028 at https://aclu-wa.org Breanne Schuster: A Policy for Social Justice https://aclu-wa.org/blog/breanne-schuster-policy-social-justice <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Breanne Schuster went to college planning to be a doctor. But a pre-med class on the Evolution of Physiology at the University of Wisconsin helped change her mind.&nbsp; “We got into disparities in health care based on race and income. I realized that’s what I wanted to do – policy work,” she recalled.</p> <p>Since then, Breanne has worked with many organizations concerned with civil liberties, including the Washington Defender Association and Disability Rights Washington.&nbsp; As a first-year law student, she got interested in the ACLU through attending events sponsored by the ACLU-WA student club at Seattle University.</p> <p>“What stood out for me is that the ACLU is consistent in what it advocates for and is not afraid to take controversial stands. That can challenge me to think differently about an issue,” she said.</p> <p>Now a third-year student at Seattle University Law School, Breanne is doing policy work as an intern for the ACLU-WA. She’s reviewing state legislative bills and testimony, as well as potential litigation on an issue involving rights with the homeless. She’s worked on a range of issues, from criminal justice to reproductive freedom.</p> <p>“I wanted to intern with the ACLU-WA because it works on such a wide variety of issues, and on both public policy and litigation,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for me to work with an organization that has such a big impact on civil liberties.”</p> <p>Though she keeps a busy schedule at school, Breanne also enjoys an active life full of hobbies, from dancing to singing to hiking to cooking. So far, she enjoys the mild climate and the political activism of Seattle, and is glad that we aren’t stuck underneath inches of snow!</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/breanne-schuster-policy-social-justice#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 21:42:27 +0000 ahsu 7009 at https://aclu-wa.org Kelly Anderson: Making an Impact https://aclu-wa.org/blog/kelly-anderson-making-impact <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Three years ago, when she was finishing her internship as an ACLU-WA Intake and Referral Counselor, Kelly Anderson already knew she wanted to come back. Then a U.W. Social Work major, she liked listening to and talking with individuals, and helping them work through their legal problems.</p> <p>“I had learned of the ACLU in classes at college – both through speakers from the ACLU and in a sociology practicum that researched racial disparities in drug laws and policies. I was inspired by the impactful work the organization does,” she recalled.&nbsp;</p> <p>Now in her final year at Seattle University Law School, Kelly is indeed back as an extern with the ACLU-WA Legal Department.&nbsp; She is passionate about social justice and hopes to get involved with many of the issues the ACLU takes on.&nbsp; So far, she’s been working on mental health treatment in jails, employment discrimination, and policies surrounding the death penalty.</p> <p>Kelly had realized her passion for social justice during her time at Chief Sealth High School. She participated in a youth mentoring program called the Service Board, then partially under the tutelage of current ACLU-WA staff attorney La Rond Baker. With the Service Board, she attended many workshops about social justice issues including talks about individual rights, poverty, and immigration policy. In large part, this experience led her to seriously consider focusing on law reform as a career.</p> <p>Her passion led her to take sociology and pre-law classes as an undergrad, and then to study abroad in Ecuador. She said Ecuador was an experience that put into perspective the kind of privilege we have as U.S. citizens and solidified her desire to continue her education by attending law school.</p> <p>While in law school, Kelly has had the chance to work closely with the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Seattle Immigration Court, the Federal Public Defender, and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. She hopes to be able to continue working for justice as an impact litigation lawyer. “I want to help individual clients while at the same time making an impact for others in similar situations,” she explained.</p> <p>In her free time, she leads an active life full of triathlon training, cooking, and traveling. And she sometimes wonders if it would be possible to be both an impact litigation lawyer and the owner of a brunch restaurant.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/kelly-anderson-making-impact#comments Thu, 05 Feb 2015 01:33:46 +0000 ahsu 7001 at https://aclu-wa.org Claire McNamara: A Committed Advocate https://aclu-wa.org/blog/claire-mcnamara-committed-advocate <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>On top of a full course load and student leadership roles at Seattle University Law School, Claire McNamara has joined the team at the ACLU of Washington. As a legal extern this term, Claire will assist staff attorneys with research, trial preparation and writing memoranda covering a wide range of issues – including public records law, mental health, and criminal justice.</p> <p>“I’ve always admired and found the ACLU’s work to be inspiring, said Claire. “I went to law school because I wanted to work on a broad range of issues, and the ACLU reflects that diversity. They empower people to advocate for their rights and are known for the quality of their substantive legal and policy work. I am very thankful to be assisting with their work.”</p> <p>Claire is a native of Tucson, Arizona. During high school she enjoyed success in and outside the classroom as editor-in-chief of the school newspaper and on the stage performing ballet. Claire attended Scripps College in Claremont, California, and studied English and Social Psychology. While there, she honed her writing skills and expanded her awareness of social issues. She moved to Seattle in 2009 and now considers the city her home.</p> <p>Claire brings to the ACLU an understanding of the complexities of improving access to justice for all people. Before attending law school, Claire worked at OneAmerica – a job that influenced her decision to pursue a career in law focused on issues of social justice. There, as an administrative coordinator, Claire planned events and coordinated large-scale lobbying efforts for local immigrant rights and human rights advocates. In addition, Claire also volunteered with King County Family Law CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). As a CASA, Claire provided objective and emotional support to vulnerable children as their legal matters progressed through the courts.</p> <p>As a law student, Claire looks forward to taking a course from Justice Mary Yu during her last semester at Seattle University this spring. She will graduate with some notable achievements: Presidential Scholar, Managing Editor of the Seattle Journal for Social Justice, and President of the Dispute Resolution Board. In her free time, Claire practices yoga and teaches at the SU gym. She currently plans to take the Washington State Bar in July.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/claire-mcnamara-committed-advocate#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:43:47 +0000 jomeara 7000 at https://aclu-wa.org Eliminate the differences between I-502 and medical marijuana law https://aclu-wa.org/blog/eliminate-differences-between-i-502-and-medical-marijuana-law <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong></strong><em>This op-ed first appeared in the Opinion section of the Seattle Times.</em></p> <p>As medical marijuana heads back to Olympia, legislators are bracing for a rerun of last session’s drama of makeshift dispensary operators and self-appointed patient advocates decrying any effort to rein in abuses of the law.</p> <p>Lawmakers face many competing priorities, but it’s important they clean up Washington’s medical-marijuana mess. Before licensed marijuana retail stores began opening last summer, legitimate reasons existed to tolerate some of the commercial activity that’s been squeezing itself into gaps in the medical-marijuana law. Now, however, it’s time to stop winking and nodding. Everyone who wants to make money selling marijuana ought to play by the same rules, and we finally have a set of rules under Initiative 502.</p> <p>I-502 did not legalize “recreational” marijuana. I-502 created a system for regulating commercial marijuana activity, regardless of the intended use of the product. Products for patients with terminal and debilitating medical conditions arguably should be held to higher standards, which could be added to I-502’s baseline. But it’s time for businesses not willing to comply with at least the same requirements as I-502 producers and retailers to close up shop, and the Legislature needs to make that explicit under the medical-marijuana law.</p> <p>To be fair, the current medical-marijuana mess grew out of real and desperate necessity. Before drafting Initiative 502 and working with legislators on multiple medical marijuana, decriminalization and legalization bills, I represented medical-marijuana patients, providers, casual users, growers and international smugglers in city, state and federal courts across Washington for more than a decade.</p> <p>In 1996, I defended a man tried in King County Superior Court on felony charges for growing marijuana in his home for his own personal use. He had been involved in a near-fatal motorcycle accident 10 years earlier that had permanently damaged his skeleton, larynx and optic nerve. Marijuana alleviated his debilitating pain and spasms, and made it easier for him to swallow, speak and work as a carpenter. But because growing marijuana was a felony under Washington state law, his home was raided, and he was tried. The jury ultimately deadlocked. Two years later, Washington citizens passed Initiative 692, our state’s medical-marijuana law.</p> <p>The problem with I-692 was that it didn’t provide either legal or practical access to marijuana. Technically, the initiative gave patients nothing more than a codified version of the medical necessity defense my client had raised. Despite legislative amendments in 2007, 2010 and 2011, today’s Medical Use of Cannabis Act still only provides an affirmative defense patients can raise at trial — after search, seizure, arrest and prosecution. However, the practical impact of I-692’s passage was much greater. Most sheriffs, police chiefs and prosecutors don’t want to waste time bringing cases a jury is likely to throw out, and I-692’s 59 percent majority vote sent a strong message that voters don’t want sick and dying people treated like criminals over marijuana.</p> <p>The trick has been sorting out who is truly sick and dying, and that challenge has spawned a vibrant “gray market” medical marijuana industry. According to RAND researchers, approximately 750,000 Washington residents — 1 out of every 9 men, women and children — likely have used marijuana in the past month.</p> <p>Before I-502’s passage, all of them were considered criminals under the law. However, medical-marijuana authorizations, like prescriptions for “medicinal whiskey” during Prohibition, offered marijuana users a new legal defense. Moreover, authorizations allow people to grow as many as 15 marijuana plants and possess much more than I-502’s limit of a single ounce — up to 24 ounces, or 1.5 pounds. It’s easy to see the financial opportunities for doctors with loose authorization practices, and questionable “patients” willing to sell their surplus to unregulated dispensaries holding themselves out as “collective gardens.”</p> <p>One option some legislators have considered for discouraging fraud and enhancing enforcement is the creation of a state registry of qualifying patients and their authorizing physicians — a system similar to the prescription monitoring program administered by our state Department of Health. Washington remains the only medical-marijuana state that does not have some form of government registry of patients.</p> <p>Setting aside the questions of cost and actual enforcement efficacy, many Washington patients understandably object to the idea of a registry. In addition to piercing physician-patient confidentiality and compromising medical privacy, most registries create lists of individuals engaged in federal crimes, easily obtainable via subpoena. In Michigan, a judge ordered the state to turn over registry records in a federal criminal investigation. In Hawaii, a reporter obtained registry information just by asking for it.</p> <p>The simpler path forward is to eliminate differences between I-502 and the medical-marijuana law that undermine the former and incentivize abuses of the latter. Allow all adults to grow and possess the same small amounts of marijuana, regardless of whether they use it for medical purposes or pleasure. Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., all now allow adults to grow their own marijuana. Amend the 1,000-foot location restrictions for licensed stores, or license home delivery for everyone. Collapse the three-tier tax structure into one tax that would be levied at the point of sale, and keep licensing producers and retailers to increase supply and drive down prices.</p> <p>Once these changes are made, all adults would have the same option to grow their own marijuana or purchase it from a store, and they won’t need a medical authorization for either. Then, the medical-marijuana law could be retooled for patients not accommodated by I-502 — those under the age of 21. A stronger argument can be made for state agency oversight of the medical use of marijuana by young adults, teens and children.</p> <p>Providing patients access to quality marijuana products and advice does not require, and should not be used to justify, rewarding gray market entrepreneurs with unfair competitive advantages over peers who are complying with state licensing and regulatory requirements. The point of passing I-502 was to replace prohibitionist policies and practices with an aboveboard regulatory approach — and that approach is broad and flexible enough to encompass all businesses.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/eliminate-differences-between-i-502-and-medical-marijuana-law#comments Criminal Justice Marijuana Mon, 12 Jan 2015 22:52:52 +0000 holcomb 6994 at https://aclu-wa.org Body Cams: A Call for Careful Consideration https://aclu-wa.org/blog/body-cams-call-careful-consideration <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Recent public outcry for police accountability and reform has been sparked by an epidemic of police violence targeted disproportionately at people of color. Advocacy groups, the public, and the president alike have touted body worn cameras as a potential cure for police misconduct. &nbsp;If officers wear cameras, runs the thinking, we would have a clear visual record of what actually happened and who was at fault in disputed encounters with civilians.</p> <p>But before we rush to embrace body cameras as an answer to police accountability concerns, let’s carefully consider whether the value of body cams to the public is being oversold – and whether they bring a host of new problems that have no easy solutions.</p> <p>First, keep in mind that police body cams do not record officers – their lenses are focused on civilians. They are worn on the chest or stem of the officer’s glasses and so the field of vision is limited.&nbsp; Amid the confusion of a fast-moving incident, they provide just a partial, potentially obstructed and often unclear picture of what transpired.</p> <p>And since one doesn’t know when an encounter will turn problematic, the cameras must always be on. Otherwise we’ll see repeats of Spokane’s experience, when the first police shooting since the launch of its body cam program was not recorded because the officer’s camera was off. If cameras are to be effective for accountability, officers cannot have the discretion to turn cameras on and off as they choose. And the department must spell out sanctions for officers who fail to follow the always-on policy.</p> <p>Law enforcement officials don’t want to limit the use of camera footage to police oversight uses. But without this restriction, police will become roving tools of mass surveillance. Cameras will document the activities of not only suspects, but also countless victims, witnesses, bystanders, and people simply out in public. Mission creep will be a near-certainty, leading to dragnet surveillance of protesters and fishing expeditions through images of people not suspected of wrongdoing.</p> <p>Body cameras also create other risks to privacy. Because government transparency is a crucial principle of democracy, journalists and the general public have the right to access government records. So, video captured by these cameras will be accessible to anyone and everyone through public record requests. Sensitive footage of people in emotional crisis, domestic violence victims, and other people in vulnerable circumstances will become publicly available. And it is easy to imagine some people creating “best of drunk and disorderly conduct” YouTube channels for commercial gain or harassment purposes. &nbsp;</p> <p>Crafting ways to protect individual privacy while still preserving the public’s access to government records is a very complicated proposition. Technologically limiting access and use, for both the government and the public alike, of all body camera video unless it is the subject of a police misconduct complaint may be the only reasonable way to address this.</p> <p>Even when an officer involved death has been recorded, the video evidence does not necessarily ensure accountability. The officers who choked Eric Garner to death in New York are still on the job despite a clear video of the killing and violation of NYPD policy. Body cams are not a quick solution to police misconduct against communities of color.</p> <p>We need real accountability and enforcement programs that target and punish misconduct combined with the long, hard work of changing police culture by training officers in de-escalation tactics, holding supervisors responsible for officers’ misconduct, and teaching everyone in law enforcement to recognize and remedy their own biases. At very best, body cameras can only be one component of a much larger, comprehensive plan to address the problems entrenched in our police departments. At worst, they are a technological snake oil -- a proposed cure-all that fails to address the underlying problems of police misconduct and bias and instead brings us one step closer to a repressive surveillance society.</p> <p>To date, no police department in this state has proposed policies or guidelines that adequately address the many concerns raised by body cams. Before adopting body cams as a “fix” for police misconduct, let’s consider very carefully what the devices are going to do for us, and to us.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/body-cams-call-careful-consideration#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 17:43:20 +0000 ktjared 6983 at https://aclu-wa.org Pregnant? Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine, and Catholic Hospitals https://aclu-wa.org/blog/pregnant-avoid-alcohol-caffeine-and-catholic-hospitals <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>This blog post originally appeared on the National ACLU Blog of Rights.</em></p> <p>Regardless of whether you have been pregnant or not, chances are you can recite the long list of things to avoid in pregnancy: alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, deli meats, unpasteurized cheese, and the list go on.</p> <p>But one thing that isn't in the baby books that should join that list: Catholic hospitals. Why? Because across the country, Catholic hospitals are&nbsp;<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/growth-of-catholic-hospitals-2013.pdf" target="_blank">denying pregnant women care</a></span>&nbsp;that is necessary to protect their health. By definition, a Catholic hospital must follow rules set by the Catholic bishops. These rules forbid the hospital from providing some reproductive health care, even when a patient's health or life is at risk.</p> <p>Case in point:&nbsp;<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://www.aclu.org/reproductive-freedom-womens-rights/tamesha-means-v-united-states-conference-catholic-bishops" target="_blank">Tamesha Means</a></span>.</p> <p>When Tamesha's water broke at 18 weeks, long before her pregnancy was viable, she rushed to a Catholic hospital. Because of religiously based rules, the hospital told Tamesha it could do nothing for her, and didn't tell Tamesha that terminating her pregnancy was the safest course for her. The hospital sent her home twice in excruciating pain. When she returned the third time, in extreme distress and with an infection, the hospital only began to care for her once she began to miscarry. We have filed a lawsuit against the Catholic bishops for setting hospital policy that allows religion to trump women's health.</p> <p>And yesterday&nbsp;<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.aclumich.org/issues/reproductive-rights/2014-12/2054" target="_blank">we urged</a></span>&nbsp;the state of Michigan to investigate another situation where a Catholic hospital is putting women at risk by abruptly refusing to provide tubal sterilization to women undergoing a C-section. A C-section is the best time to get your tubes tied, and women who are denied a tubal sterilization at this hospital will now have to undergo a separate procedure, carrying additional risks, after they heal from childbirth. But this Michigan hospital isn't the only one that refuses to provide tubal sterilization during a C-section – all Catholic hospitals do, even though it is bad medicine.</p> <p>Pregnancy can be a scary time: all of those ultrasounds, blood tests, urine tests - always holding your breath for a good result. You're constantly worried about your health, and the health of your future baby. If something does go horribly awry, the last thing you should have to worry about is whether you are going to get appropriate care because of the hospital's religious beliefs.</p> <p>I was lucky that my pregnancy ultimately went fairly smoothly. But you don't know that it will. So in addition to avoiding all those other things – alcohol, caffeine, etc. – I made sure to tell all my friends and family that if anything happened to me, make sure that I did not get taken to a Catholic hospital for care. But that can't be the answer – in some areas of the country the Catholic hospital is the only option.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.aclu.org/secure/patient-and-provider-web-intake"><img src="/sites/default/files/Mergers_Sidebar_Story_270x270_Blue.png" alt="Have you been denied health care? Tell us!" title="Have you been denied health care? Tell us!" width="270" height="270" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/pregnant-avoid-alcohol-caffeine-and-catholic-hospitals#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 22:26:52 +0000 bamiri 6933 at https://aclu-wa.org Caitlin Anderson: A Diverse Approach to Civil Rights https://aclu-wa.org/caitlin-anderson-diverse-approach-civil-rights <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>Caitlin Anderson grew up in Seattle’s Madrona neighborhood, surrounded by Ethiopian restaurants and a diverse group of people who first nurtured her loves for civil rights and an active lifestyle. In high school, she surrounded herself with many different kinds of people, from athletes to musicians.</p> <p>Caitlin’s appreciation for diversity led her to study the growth and development of economies at Columbia University. She says that one of her favorite classes there was a civil rights course taught by Professor Elizabeth OuYang, a longtime civil rights attorney. It was from this aggregation of different experiences – childhood, high school, and college – that her passion for civil rights blossomed.</p> <p>After graduating Columbia, she spent two years with Community Connections for Youth, a small nonprofit that promoted community-based alternatives to incarceration for juveniles in the Bronx. &nbsp;She then joined the Peace Corps and loved both nurturing international relations and helping out the youth. With her volunteer work, she incorporates her education in economics, viewing humanitarian aid policy through the “lens of an economist.” She says that it is also fascinating to see how much incarceration policies are linked to the economy, and she is excited to continue her work as a Field Intern with our Policy Advocacy Group, focusing on the death penalty and the impacts of legal system debts on indigent people.</p> <p>An avid reader, Caitlin’s first exposure to the ACLU was through former ACLU staffer Michelle Alexander and her book <em>The New Jim Crow </em>about spread of mass incarceration<em>. </em>She was immediately drawn to the mission of the ACLU, and wanted to broaden her experiences after returning from the Peace Corps in Africa. She is incredibly excited to begin reaching out to the community and assisting with lobby days during the upcoming session of the state legislature.</p> <p>When she isn’t reading, researching, or filling out applications to law school, she can be found playing with her dog or dancing at the Oddfellows building in Seattle.</p> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 00:28:17 +0000 mcrye 6908 at https://aclu-wa.org Diana McDougle: Flying Full Throttle into Civil Rights https://aclu-wa.org/blog/diana-mcdougle-flying-full-throttle-civil-rights <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Diana McDougle’s route to the ACLU was full of surprising twists and turns. Fully intending to continue to graduate school, Diana completed her undergraduate studies in International Studies and Arts and Literature while working full-time as a flight attendant.</p> <p>However, she became sidetracked and ended up working with the nonprofit Collateral Repair Project on a fundraiser that raised a significant amount of money towards helping Iraqi refugees. This experience plus her love of challenges sparked her interest in returning to school to study law.</p> <p>While at Seattle University Law School, she took part in several interesting civil justice cases as part of her class curriculum. Included were the cases of Jason Puracal, whose conviction was vacated after he had been wrongfully arrested in Nicaragua, and of Maj. Margaret Witt, who won a landmark ACLU case challenging her dismissal from the Air Force under the notorious “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.</p> <p>She was introduced to the ACLU during these cases, and her professor – ACLU-WA cooperating attorney James Lobsenz – inspired her to join. “I remember writing on my notes, <em>JOIN ACLU,” </em>she said, “but it just didn’t happen until now.”</p> <p>Instead of civil justice, Diana ended up in a business law firm in Oregon and took the bar exam there. But the ACLU never left her mind. Eventually she moved back to Washington to be closer to family and decided that it was finally time to get involved with the ACLU. She began recently as a volunteer attorney and finds the research she’s doing on the mental health system fascinating and deeply involving.</p> <p>She will be sitting for the Washington bar exam soon, and hopes to be able to continue with the same kind of civil justice work she is currently doing at the ACLU. She also hopes to reconnect with some of her professors, as well as old friends and sports teams.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/diana-mcdougle-flying-full-throttle-civil-rights#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 19:00:00 +0000 ahsu 6807 at https://aclu-wa.org Megan Rubio: A Running Start on Life https://aclu-wa.org/blog/megan-rubio-running-start-life <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>Megan Rubio loves experiencing new things, and thought that the ACLU would be the perfect place to be after completing an internship with the International Rescue Committee. A self-described helper, she is especially passionate about what the American Civil Liberties Union has to offer—from immersion in a broad spectrum of issues to involvement in a community of people with experiences and opinions to share. She loves what she does as a Legal Intake Counselor, and enjoys being able to pick up on new and interesting bits of information while directing people to resources.</p> <p>Megan has never been one to do things in moderation. Eager to learn and to get a head start on living life as fully as possible, as a teenager she completed the Running Start program that combined course credits for both high school and college. Currently in her final quarter at Seattle University, she majors in Criminal Justice; she appreciates the wide variety of classes that Seattle U. offers, including Psychopathy and Forensic Psychology. She hopes her major will lead into a career that involves her passions: helping others and traveling.</p> <p>Besides going to college and volunteering at the ACLU, Megan leads an active lifestyle. When she’s not working, she’s hanging out with friends and family, spending time with her boyfriend, or enjoying the outdoors. She loves hiking and rock climbing, and hopes to cross off some items on her bucket list by traveling somewhere in the world and meeting new people.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/megan-rubio-running-start-life#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 16:00:04 +0000 ahsu 6806 at https://aclu-wa.org Korica Simon: Finding a Passion for Civil Rights https://aclu-wa.org/blog/korica-simon-finding-passion-civil-rights <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 19.8640003204346px; background-color: #eeeeee;">The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>Korica Simon’s interest in civil rights developed out of a constitutional law course she took while still a business major attending university in Alabama. She took this newfound interest with her to work at a women’s resource center -- where her interest developed into a passion, prompting her to change from business to political science.</p> <p>Two months ago, Korica moved to Seattle to start interning at the ACLU of Washington. &nbsp;She was especially attracted to the ACLU by our mission that supports a broad range of human rights. As a counselor on our Intake and Referral Line, she enjoys being able to assist people resolve their issues.</p> <p>Now in her last quarter of school, she looks forward to graduation and being able to start a new chapter in her life. She hopes to embark on a journey of discovery and experience, especially in issues pertaining to poverty. She is looking forward to finding work with the United Nations or non-profit organizations that deal in foreign aid.</p> <p>The transition from Alabama to Washington has been a pleasant one. When she is not taking online courses, Korica is outside, enjoying the last rays of Washington sun. She enjoys rock climbing and reading newspapers in her free time.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/korica-simon-finding-passion-civil-rights#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 17:25:55 +0000 ahsu 6802 at https://aclu-wa.org Fabio Dworschak: Compelled to Help Others https://aclu-wa.org/blog/fabio-dworschak-compelled-help-others <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>Fabio Dworschak has always felt compelled to help others.&nbsp; After leaving college in Texas to join the Army as a medic, he became increasingly aware of how many of the people he served with were those on the margins of society – people who did not benefit from the system they voluntarily stepped up to serve.&nbsp;</p> <p>Fabio found that law was an area of interest and one that could provide a path by which he could continue to help others.&nbsp; He felt that a focus on civil liberties would allow him to make an impact with people living on the margins, like many of those he served with. &nbsp;After his term with the Army ended, Fabio returned to Texas to attend the University of Houston, where he graduated with a degree in Political Science. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Fabio is currently a third-year law student at Seattle University. While he is interested in all aspects of civil liberties, he has a particular interest in freedom of speech and privacy rights. &nbsp;He is the public interest representative for the Student Bar Association and a member of the Seattle University mock trial team. &nbsp;</p> <p>While still relatively new to the Seattle area, Fabio says he does not miss the heat of Texas, where he and his family lived since he was 10.&nbsp; Originally from Rio de Janeiro, he said Seattle’s lush landscape reminded him most of his former home.&nbsp; Like many of us, Fabio was drawn to Seattle because of its natural beauty and his love of the outdoors, which he tries to take advantage of in his spare time.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/fabio-dworschak-compelled-help-others#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 18:47:59 +0000 ssuh 6781 at https://aclu-wa.org Constitution Day: Remembering Our Roots https://aclu-wa.org/blog/constitution-day-remembering-our-roots <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In <em>Cambodian Boys Don’t Cry, </em>Rasmey Sam speaks about the horrors of the Khmer Rouge regime and how fortunate he feels being able to attend Cal State San Bernadino. He reflects on how formative those years had been for him, and how he was happy to be able to rebuild his life in the United States.</p> <p>My parents will never be Rasmey Sam, but like him they came to America, seeking the promised opportunities that they couldn’t find in Taiwan’s then-current political climate. They were two of a mere handful of foreign students in a Midwest university, having immigrated to the States for a better education.</p> <p>Like Rasmey Sam, they started their lives all over again in the United States with only a rudimentary grasp of English and little governmental protection.</p> <p>The United States was built by people like my parents and Rasmey Sam. People who were looking for a place to create a new life, a better life, than the one they had before. In the midst of racism and stereotyping, Rasmey Sam was granted asylum and my parents passed their citizenship test. But they are only a small few success stories. &nbsp;Our nation can be hostile to newcomers.</p> <p>I still have friends who cannot leave the country because they lack the proper documentation. I have nationless family members who live in America in exile and know of people who would rather die than call the police in a country that promised to home the homeless and catch the tempest tost. These are the people for whom the U.S. was created, for whom the Constitution was written. Remember that—that’s important. Remember where we all came from before we arrived in the U.S.</p> <p>By far the most interesting quality of our Constitution is that the United States, a country built upon immigration, fully articulates the core values of our nation within the first three words: <em>We the People. </em>Instead of a promise by the government to the people, it is a declaration from the people to the government. It is a document that tells everyone that they are free, regardless of origin, to start anew in a country that sees itself not as “us” versus “them,” but as <em>one people. </em></p> <p>As a people, we celebrate the ratification of the Constitution because it reminds us of what a small, ragtag bunch of foreigners can do when we work together to be taken seriously as a new nation, in which young people like myself and my friends hold the key to shaping the nation in our likenesses—Chinese, Dominican, Jewish. The Constitution exists not to remind us that we can achieve the impossible, but that we <em>are </em>the impossible. We are the culmination of over two hundred years of hard work that started when a little boat landed on Plymouth carrying refugees from an unwelcoming continent.</p> <p>Check out our online publications that deal specifically with student rights by clicking <a href="https://aclu-wa.org/your-rights-your-constitution" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/constitution-day-remembering-our-roots#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:00:00 +0000 ahsu 6778 at https://aclu-wa.org The Hobby Lobby Decision: Imposing Religious Beliefs on Employees https://aclu-wa.org/blog/hobby-lobby-decision-imposing-religious-beliefs-employees <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align: left;">Religious freedom is a fundamental right in our society. But while everyone has the right to his or her religious beliefs, those beliefs cannot be imposed on others.&nbsp;</p> <p>Unfortunately, for the first time, in <em>Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., </em>the U.S. Supreme Court has decided that business owners can use their personal religious beliefs to deny their employees a benefit that is guaranteed to them by law. The potential implications of this decision are far-reaching and alarming.</p> <p>Immediately at issue in these cases was part of the Affordable Care Act that requires health plans to cover contraception without a co-pay. Suit was brought by two closely held corporations, the arts-and-craft chain Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, which argued that requiring them to include certain types of contraception in employee health plans violated their religious beliefs. &nbsp;In an unprecedented decision, the Court ruled that under federal law such corporations need not comply with the contraceptive rule if they object on religious grounds.</p> <p>Put another way, the Court empowered employers to impose their religious judgments on the women who work for them by deciding which method of birth control is religiously acceptable and, thus, insurable.</p> <p>The law in question was designed to ensure women’s equality by eliminating the disparities in health care costs between men and women. It aimed to ensure women have the ability to make decisions about whether and when to become parents – which in turn allows them to participate equally in society. At stake was a benefit only women need.&nbsp; In effect, the Court has sanctioned discrimination against women. &nbsp;</p> <p>Moreover, the Court’s decision set a precedent for allowing religion to be used as a vehicle for other forms of discrimination. &nbsp;</p> <p><em>Hobby Lobby</em>’s potential impact goes far beyond birth control. Courts long have refused to allow employers to use religion as a justification for refusing to comply with general laws, such as equal pay. After <em>Hobby Lobby</em>, that could change. The decision may open the door to claims to discriminate in various areas.&nbsp; As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg succinctly put it, “[t]he court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.”&nbsp;</p> <p>Thankfully, the rights of Washingtonians remain protected by state law. We are one of 28 states that require contraceptive coverage if an employer’s health plan covers other prescription drugs (though these laws do not apply to self-insured corporations). The <em>Hobby Lobby </em>decision does not affect these protections, as it was decided under a federal law (the Religious Freedom Restoration Act) which does not apply to states.&nbsp; Nor does it affect our state’s strong anti-discrimination laws. The <em>Hobby Lobby </em>decision does not mean that a business has the right to turn away customers or fire employees based on religious beliefs that conflict with state laws.</p> <p>However, where the ruling may take us in the future is another matter. Some businesses now may feel entitled to assert religious objections to all sorts of laws. Will owners whose religions forbid blood transfusions, in vitro fertilization, or mental health care assert a right to refuse to cover these for their employees?&nbsp; And as we have already seen, religious leaders citing <em>Hobby Lobby</em> quickly began lobbying for exemptions to an executive order which would ban federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.&nbsp;</p> <p>Religious freedom does not include the right to discriminate in the commercial marketplace.&nbsp; A free and pluralistic society requires everyone, including corporations with religiously observant owners, to comply with laws intended to advance public health and the general public interest.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/hobby-lobby-decision-imposing-religious-beliefs-employees#comments Religion Reproductive Rights Women's Rights Mon, 11 Aug 2014 18:30:59 +0000 lrutman 6681 at https://aclu-wa.org Yoko Gardiner: Mixing Batter and Defending the First Amendment https://aclu-wa.org/blog/yoko-gardiner-mixing-batter-and-defending-first-amendment <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has a team of all-star volunteers who staff the front desk for us. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>Yoko Gardiner, who joined our front desk crew at the beginning of the summer, loves learning about new issues and being involved in fighting for civil rights. She recently became a paralegal, and is developing her knowledge of issues and planning her future. She is most interested in environmental and issues of women’s rights, and hopes to find a job that allows her to combine these interests.</p> <p>Yoko went to the small liberal arts college of Linfield in Oregon, where she got her BA in French. She has traveled extensively to France, including six months spent in the Loire Valley, and to the UK where her family is from. This love of travel and knowledge of the world makes her want to work internationally. &nbsp;&nbsp;She has found that around the world, people are different, but also the same. Yoko wants to be part of forging relationships, working to help people across the globe to connect via shared interests and for their mutual benefit.</p> <p>Yoko once planned to be a professional pastry chef. She still bakes regularly: cakes, cookies, whatever takes her fancy. She says that becoming a paralegal was not as completely different as it may sound – just a different way to help people. Whether mixing batter or defending First Amendment Rights, Yoko is determined to help people improve their lives. In her newfound free time since getting her Paralegal certification, Yoko likes to hike and spend time with friends, and like most of us spends too much time surfing the Internet.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/yoko-gardiner-mixing-batter-and-defending-first-amendment#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 18:41:32 +0000 misaacson 6679 at https://aclu-wa.org Rebecca Kopplin: Sticking to Principle https://aclu-wa.org/blog/rebecca-kopplin-sticking-principle <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Rebecca Kopplin grew up hearing about the ACLU and was attracted to the organization because of our historical track record of standing by principles no matter how challenging or unpopular the circumstance.&nbsp; It was this consistency, plus the prospect of working alongside ACLU-WA staff attorneys, that sold Rebecca on a legal internship for this summer.</p> <p>Rebecca has worked on a wide range of projects: She has immersed herself in research on the legality of a county’s practices for court-imposed debts and has analyzed the constitutionality of a county’s guidelines for prayer at legislative meetings. She has summarized Washington case law and other states’ statutes on “SLAPP suits” (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation). She also assisted with deposition preparation and attended a deposition for the ACLU-WA’s voting rights suit in Yakima.</p> <p>“It’s been great to see how the ACLU takes a comprehensive approach to civil liberties issues – pursuing a full range of advocacy strategies in addition to litigation,” she said.</p> <p>Originally from Boise, Rebecca studied Chemical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and is set to begin her second year of law school at the University of Pennsylvania. During her time at Penn, she has worked at the Medical-Legal Community Partnership, providing direct legal services to patients at Philadelphia’s free Health Centers—a generalist practice covering such issues as estates, health care law, public benefits, and employment law.</p> <p>In her free time Rebecca enjoys looking for new trails to hike, books to read on the bus, or recipes to cook (dessert preferred).</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/rebecca-kopplin-sticking-principle#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:47:02 +0000 nyasman 6656 at https://aclu-wa.org Nikkita Oliver: An Activism-Based Approach to Law https://aclu-wa.org/blog/nikkita-oliver-activism-based-approach-law <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>It was the ACLU-WA’s involvement in community activism and engagement that initially attracted legal intern Nikkita Oliver to join our team, as she, too, is strongly activism-oriented. Since college, she has served as a youth programs director, intervention specialist, chaplain at the Youth Detention Center, teaching artist, and teacher/administrator. Nikkita loves working with young people, and “strives to listen first and speak when necessary.” ACLU-WA staff attorney Vanessa Hernandez, with whom she is working, does personal, one-on-one case work, which Nikkita finds very appealing. Nikkita’s experience with the ACLU-WA has also increased her devotion to working for police accountability.</p> <p>In preparation for her third year of law school at the University of Washington, Nikkita is working closely with Vanessa on the Second Chances program – an ACLU-WA project that provides legal services to individuals who are seeking to overcome the barriers posed by criminal records. Additionally, Nikkita is working on community legal education projects. Her goal is to strengthen community understanding of civil rights issues by drafting “Know Your Rights” guides and facilitating workshops – an ongoing project which she has already begun at Cleveland and Rainer Beach High Schools in south Seattle through UW.</p> <p>In Nikkita’s free time, she boxes at Arcaro Boxing. She “spits poetry” with the Seattle Poetry Slam, where she is the Slam Master and reigning Grand Slam Champion. She plays music and teaches writing and performance art workshops through the City of Seattle’s Community Arts Partners Roster. Nikkita is looking forward to completing law school next June and continuing to serve the community with a new legal toolkit.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/nikkita-oliver-activism-based-approach-law#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:25:20 +0000 nyasman 6655 at https://aclu-wa.org Aaron Rabinowitz: Civil Liberties Is a Family Affair https://aclu-wa.org/blog/aaron-rabinowitz-civil-liberties-family-affair <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>Aaron Rabinowitz’s interest in working with the ACLU began with his grandparents’ involvement.&nbsp; As he grew up, they would e-mail him when the ACLU won a legislative victory, since they knew he was interested in politics. Aaron’s grandparents also took him and his cousins to see exhibitions on Japanese American internment on Bainbridge Island during World War II, reminding them that organizations like the ACLU are instrumental in preventing such civil rights violations from happening again. Aaron also joined the ACLU mailing lists at a young age, and has been an avid follower of our issues and work for a long time.</p> <p>This summer, Aaron is an ACLU-WA intern focusing on criminal justice issues. He is working on the LEAD Project, a pilot program aiming to address and reform low-level drug and prostitution crimes in King County, as well as assisting on the ACLU’s ongoing efforts to repeal the death penalty.</p> <p>Aaron grew up in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and spent time in Switzerland, Israel, and Italy as well due to his father’s career in medicine. During high school he became very involved with school debate and political youth groups such as Junior Statesmen of America, and two summers ago he served as research assistant to the famed Professor Alan Dershowitz from Harvard Law School. That experience increased his interest in social justice and immersed him in debates on constitutional rights.</p> <p>Aaron recently returned from a year studying in Israel at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies’ Conflict Resolution Program. He gained a much more nuanced view of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and had the opportunity to do work with the Domari community of East Jerusalem, a society of gypsies that have a history of political persecution throughout the Middle East.&nbsp; This fall Aaron will begin studies at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.&nbsp; He hopes to attend law school after graduation.</p> <p>In his free time Aaron likes to be active. He describes himself as a bit of a health nut, and in March completed the full Jerusalem Marathon, finishing 9th in his age category. He is very excited to go kayaking on Lake Washington and is exploring the state’s many parks and hiking trails. He also enjoys cooking, reading, and writing music.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/aaron-rabinowitz-civil-liberties-family-affair#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 23:00:28 +0000 nyasman 6652 at https://aclu-wa.org Liberty Link: ACLU-WA Urges Spokane to Strengthen Police Body Camera Policies https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-link-aclu-wa-urges-spokane-strengthen-police-body-camera-policies <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>By the end of the summer, the Spokane Police Department (SPD) will begin using officer-worn cameras as part of a pilot program. While the ACLU-WA has supported the use of body cameras for accountability purposes, we recently expressed concern that the SPD’s draft policies do not adequately protect individual privacy or ensure effective oversight.</p> <p>In an article titled “Camera Clash,” the weekly <em>Inlander</em>’s Jacob Jones reported on a letter we sent to Spokane laying out our concerns in detail. In particular we pointed out that the current draft allows officers to turn cameras on and off at their discretion, which undermines their usefulness as a tool for accountability.</p> <p>"The Department has an opportunity to be a leader for the state by creating strong, privacy-protecting policies for body cameras," we wrote. "Unfortunately, [this policy] does not accomplish this."</p> <p>The ACLU hopes that the SPD will engage with the community as they consider the best policies for body cameras, and we look forward to continuing to work with the SPD as they revise the current policy.</p> <p>You can read the full article <a href="http://www.inlander.com/spokane/camera-clash/Content?oid=2323753." target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-link-aclu-wa-urges-spokane-strengthen-police-body-camera-policies#comments Technology Police Practices Wed, 16 Jul 2014 19:30:22 +0000 jdebelak 6649 at https://aclu-wa.org Proving that we can do better than prohibition: Washington makes history https://aclu-wa.org/blog/proving-we-can-do-better-prohibition-washington-makes-history <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><span style="font-size: x-small;">ACLU-WA Criminal Justice Director Alison Holcomb spoke at the historic opening of the first legally-licensed marijuana retail store in Seattle along with with business owner James Lathrop and Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes. &nbsp;Her comments acknowledge both the failures of prohibition and the efforts of so many to replace it with a system that works.</span></em></p> <p>Today is an amazing day.&nbsp; As we celebrate this historic moment, I want to share a few thoughts to put these events in a broader perspective.</p> <p>In May 2009, Gil Kerlikowske, then the newly-appointed director of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), told the <em>Wall Street Journal</em> that the ONDCP had moved from viewing our nation’s drug problem as a criminal justice issue to viewing it as a public health matter.&nbsp;I was one of the local advocates who celebrated the apparent harbinger of a fundamental shift in the administration’s approach to drugs, announced by none other than a former police chief of the city of Seattle, home of Hempfest and Initiative 75.&nbsp; Unfortunately, contrary to expectation and hope, drug offenses have continued to represent the largest category of arrests in the United States each year.&nbsp; Roughly 50% have been for marijuana, and they have been disproportionately of black and brown people.</p> <p>Moreover, the impact of the failed U.S. War on Drugs continues to be felt abroad.&nbsp; In 2012, the Mexican Competitiveness Institute found that legal sources of marijuana in the United States could cut drug cartel profits by as much as 30 percent.&nbsp;Reducing the flow of money to hyper-violent criminal organizations by any amount matters.&nbsp; Since 2006, more than 60,000 have died in drug war-related violence in Mexico, and an additional 26,000 are missing. Here in Washington, since 2007, marijuana prohibition has resulted in homicides in Everett,&nbsp;Spokane,&nbsp;Puyallup,&nbsp;Orting,&nbsp;Federal Way,&nbsp;and Seattle.</p> <p>Initiative 502, as our City Attorney pointed out early in the campaign, is a game changer.&nbsp; Decriminalization – ending the arrests of users – is something that’s already been done in several other states and countries.&nbsp; What we’re tackling today is the supply side of the equation.&nbsp; We’re moving marijuana out of the shadows, regulating it for consumer and community safety, and dedicating new tax revenues to keeping kids healthy, and keeping them in school.&nbsp; We’re finally taking marijuana out of the criminal justice system and treating it as a public health issue.&nbsp; Thank you, Washington State voters, for your leadership.</p> <p>I’d also like to thank a few of the people who helped make this day possible: &nbsp;Kathleen Taylor and all my amazing colleagues at the ACLU of Washington for more than a decade of vision and perseverance; the Drug Policy Alliance for its significant contributions to the campaign and years of supporting a broad range of drug reform work in Seattle and Washington; the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and its amazing Washington chapter; Law Enforcement Against Prohibition; Marc and Jodie Emery; the Marijuana Policy Project; Students for Sensible Drug Policy; Richard Lee; Rick Steves; Harriet Bullitt; Bill Clapp; the NAACP and the Tacoma Pierce County Black Collective; El Centro de la Raza; the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition; King County Councilmember Larry Gossett; Rev. Leslie David Braxton; Rev. Happy Watkins; Rev. Carl Livingston; Rev. Steve E. Baber; Rev. Todd Eklof; Anne Levinson; Kate Pflaumer; Charlie Mandigo; Norm Stamper; Bob Alsdorf; David Nichols; Deborah Small; Andy Ko; Dominic Holden; the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO; Dr. Benjamin Danielson; the Children’s Alliance; the sponsors of Initiative 502 – Pete Holmes, Roger Roffman, Bob Wood, Kim Thorburn, Mark Johnson, Sal Mungia, Mary Lou Dickerson, and John McKay; and the amazing New Approach Washington staff, volunteers, and officers.</p> <p>But most importantly, today I want to thank James Lathrop and his staff.&nbsp; They and other small businesses across the state are undertaking the formidable challenge of creating this new legal marketplace and proving that we can do better than prohibition.&nbsp; I hope we all will support them and honor their hard work and sacrifice. Thank you, James, thank you, Pete, and thank you, Washington.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/proving-we-can-do-better-prohibition-washington-makes-history#comments Drug Policy Marijuana Tue, 08 Jul 2014 19:10:13 +0000 holcomb 6635 at https://aclu-wa.org Ensuring the Community Has a Voice in Police Reform https://aclu-wa.org/blog/ensuring-community-has-voice-police-reform <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Established to provide a community voice in the police reform process, Seattle’s Community Police Commission (CPC) is a unique body for an American city. &nbsp;It consists of 15 members, appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city council, drawn from a large variety of backgrounds and with expertise pertaining to just policing. It was mandated under a memorandum of understanding between the City of Seattle and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) which details work to be done over three years to ensure bias-free policing and address the use of excessive force.</p> <p>Recently, ACLU-WA deputy director and CPC member Jennifer Shaw spoke about the body’s mission and work to the state’s Minority and Justice Commission in Olympia. &nbsp;She was joined by CPC director Fe Lopez and Rev. Harriett Walden of Mothers for Police Accountability. They outlined why they believe the CPC will be a successful agent of change for the Seattle Police Department (SPD), an institution that historically has been averse to reform. &nbsp;</p> <p>Shaw stressed that the CPC is part of an effort that differs from previous attempts at police reform in Seattle. For one thing, the CPC is bringing all the important stake-holders to the table: the affected communities, advocacy groups, and the SPD itself. &nbsp;Further, the CPC’s engagement with the community has truly been meaningful and inclusive. In just 30 days, the CPC connected with 3,400 people of different ethnicities and social backgrounds to ensure that feedback on police behavior was broadly representative. What’s more, in that same month, 3,000 people completed its survey regarding their experience with the SPD.&nbsp; The respondents were a diverse group, with 30% aged 25 or younger, communicating in 14 different languages to ensure inclusivity.</p> <p>In addition, this time there is a federal judge involved to apply pressure to ensure that everybody is moving forward on the reforms. Fe Lopez added that the DOJ’s investigation and role in the formation of the CPC validated it as an agent of real power.</p> <p>After gathering the community input into a report in 2013, the CPC submitted policy recommendations to the SPD regarding four general areas: bias-free policing, stops and detentions, excessive use of force, and in-car video recordings. To ensure bias-free policing, the CPC wants to know why certain individuals are stopped more often than others, and that the SPD is conscious of the disproportion. The focus on bias-free policing is unique and innovative in relation to the nation’s other cities. The analysis of use of force is complex and nuanced, and accordingly, the CPC’s use-of-force recommendations for the SPD are quite detailed.</p> <p>CPC members see police reform in Seattle as a three-step process. First, the CPC wants to create by the end of July a shared vision with the SPD of what can come from the recommendations and input from the communities. &nbsp;Second, the CPC looks to perform “gap analysis,” comparing what the vision for the future of policing looks like with the current model and analyzing what needs to change to fill the disparity. Lastly, there will need to be a plan for implementation.</p> <p>Because of its deep engagement in dialogue with the police and the community at large, CPC members feel their work truly is helping to lay the groundwork for long-needed change. You can watch a video of the presentation before the Minority Justice Commission <a href="http://www.tvw.org/index.php?option=com_tvwplayer&amp;eventID=2014060069">here</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/ensuring-community-has-voice-police-reform#comments Police Practices Mon, 07 Jul 2014 19:17:25 +0000 nyasman 6633 at https://aclu-wa.org The Housing Crash and Racial Disproportionality https://aclu-wa.org/blog/housing-crash-and-racial-disproportionality <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Racial disproportion is endemic in America. A new report on the impact of the housing crash provides fresh evidence of how families of different races are impacted disparately by economic forces.</p> <p>According to a report by Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society (HIFIS) at UC Berkeley, neighborhoods populated with mostly Black and Latino families saw the greatest devastation of their equity and home value, and were significantly more vulnerable to foreclosure. In 14 out of the 100 hardest hit cities, Latinos and Blacks were 75% of the population. In 71 of the 100 hardest-hit cities, Blacks and Latinos account for at least 40% of the population. Three Washington cities were in the top 100 for highest incidence of negative equity: Tacoma, Kent, and Everett.</p> <p>In Seattle, over 3,100 foreclosures occurred in 2013 alone.&nbsp; While only 11% of homeowners were still underwater on their mortgages, in the hard-hit ZIP codes those underwater were as high as 29%. Among them, Black and Latino homeowners were disproportionately more likely to be underwater.</p> <p>The findings of racial inequality are not random, but instead the direct result of discriminatory lending practices. Many Black and Latino homeowners living in these “hot spots” were targeted and preyed upon by abusive and fraudulent banks and mortgage brokers. Low-income and middle-class minority borrowers living in predominately Black and Latino neighborhoods were steered towards predatory and subprime loans.</p> <p>The housing recovery is also bypassing many communities. As professor and executive director of HIFIS john a. powell states, the report “reveals that a large part of the country is not only not recovering, it is largely being ignored.&nbsp; These are disproportionately Black and Latino communities.” (While at law school, I’ve had the opportunity to work as Professor powell’s research assistant.)</p> <p>One’s environment has a profound impact on life outcomes, with opportunity decreasing and poverty increasing in communities with underwater and foreclosing homes. Researchers have repeatedly shown that high-poverty areas are significantly more likely to have underperforming schools, deficient employment, and public health risks. And where families live determines their access to higher education, public transportation, and jobs, not to mention the parks, libraries, pools and other facilities children have access to. Professor Powell (who is a former national ACLU legal director) explains that we are all situated within “opportunity structures,” which interact in ways that produced racially disparate outcomes for different groups.</p> <p>The ACLU of Washington is taking on racial disproportionately in many areas. Among them are racial profiling by the Border Patrol on the Olympic Peninsula; racially biased practices by the Seattle Police Department; racial disproportion in the use of school discipline statewide; racial bias in the application of the death penalty; and the devastating impacts of the misguided war on drugs on communities of color. To learn more about our work, see this website’s Racial Justice section (<a href="https://www.aclu-wa.org/issues/racial-justice" title="https://www.aclu-wa.org/issues/racial-justice">https://www.aclu-wa.org/issues/racial-justice</a>).</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/housing-crash-and-racial-disproportionality#comments Racial Justice Thu, 03 Jul 2014 22:18:28 +0000 sllanes 6631 at https://aclu-wa.org Insurance Commissioner Makes It Clear: Transgender Discrimination Is Illegal https://aclu-wa.org/blog/insurance-commissioner-makes-it-clear-transgender-discrimination-illegal <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The ACLU of Washington applauds WA Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler for his recent action supporting the rights of transgender people. Kreidler wrote to health insurance companies on Wednesday to make clear that it is illegal to discriminate against transgender policyholders under state and federal law.</p> <p>As Kreidler explained, if a health insurer covers medically necessary services for its enrollees, it cannot deny those services for a transgender person solely on the basis of a person’s gender status. &nbsp;“Transgender people are entitled to the same access to health care as everyone else,” he said. “Whether specific services are considered medically necessary should be up to the provider to decide on behalf of their patient.”</p> <p>While state insurance law doesn’t require insurance companies to cover sexual reassignment surgery, it also doesn’t prevent insurers from adding this coverage if they chose to do so. The commissioner added that, “Future regulatory steps will depend on the response of insurers to today’s letter and the number and nature of consumer complaints received in response to today’s announcement.”</p> <p>You can read the letter at <a href="http://www.insurance.wa.gov/about-oic/news-media/news-releases/2014/documents/gender-identity-discrimination-letter.pdf">http://www.insurance.wa.gov/about-oic/news-media/news-releases/2014/documents/gender-identity-discrimination-letter.pdf</a>.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/insurance-commissioner-makes-it-clear-transgender-discrimination-illegal#comments LGBT Transgender Fri, 27 Jun 2014 23:47:07 +0000 honig 6628 at https://aclu-wa.org Greenwald Speaks: Snowden and Demonizing Dissent https://aclu-wa.org/blog/greenwald-speaks-snowden-and-demonizing-dissent <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In June of 2013, NSA contractor Edward Snowden famously leaked knowledge of systematic government spying to journalist Glenn Greenwald of <em>The Guardian</em>. Over the next year, Greenwald assembled his insights about government spying and Snowden into a book titled <em>No Place to Hide</em>.<em> </em>On a<em> </em>book tour, he recently spoke to a packed house at Seattle’s Town Hall.</p> <p>Greenwald was intent on setting the record straight about Edward Snowden and his motivation for leaking confidential NSA documents. First, he insisted, Snowden is neither a Russian spy nor a Chinese spy – two accusations that have appeared in American media from CNN to Fox News. Greenwald reminded the audience that China was hostile to Snowden’s requests for political asylum, forcing him to leave, and the reason Snowden stayed in Russia was because the US government invalidated his passport there while he was in transit to Cuba. Greenwald asserted there has never been a shred of evidence reflecting Snowden’s coordination with other governments, particularly not Russia or China.</p> <p>The journalist also sought to dispel the myth that Snowden was a “fame-seeking narcissist.” Snowden explicitly told Greenwald that he wished to disappear from the media as soon as the revelations hit the public, so to maintain attention on the disclosures rather than himself. And in fact, after the secrets about NSA spying came to light, Snowden maintained a minimal level of interaction with the media.</p> <p>Greenwald then took on a phenomenon he has observed when someone publicly dissents to American government surveillance. From Daniel Ellsberg’s leak of classified Pentagon papers to Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and now Edward Snowden, the media portrays the individual as mentally ill and dangerous – so that the public feels disdain for them, writing them off as rogue enigmas that are the enemy of the good.</p> <p>He regards these as fabricated projections of the problem away from the government’s violations of its citizen’s privacy and onto the dissenter. It tells the American public that if you dissent, something must be wrong with <span style="text-decoration: underline;">you</span>. It tells American citizens that the only healthy option is to obey the status quo and remain silent about things government actions you find problematic. This mentality, Greenwald asserts, is the true threat to democracy.</p> <p>Concluding, Greenwald reminded the audience that everyone has something they’d prefer to be private, even if it is not a secret that risks national security. He urged that as individuals we build walls between our personal life and the NSA through methods such as encryption.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/greenwald-speaks-snowden-and-demonizing-dissent#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 23:25:52 +0000 nyasman 6622 at https://aclu-wa.org Liberty Link: Guess Where Seattle’s Police Drones Ended Up? https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-link-guess-where-seattle-s-police-drones-ended <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Have you wondered where Seattle’s police drones are? How about … Los Angeles?</p> <p>In an aptly named article “Game of Drones” in the <em>LA Weekly</em>, Seattle journalist Rick Anderson chronicles how the Los Angeles Police Department acquired the two 3.5 Draganflyer X6 drones as a gift from the Seattle Police Department. The SPD had obtained them via a federal Homeland Security grant, but the ensuing uproar over lack of public input, absence of regulations, and possible uses of the vehicles led then-Mayor McGinn to shelve the drone project 2012.</p> <p>Unloading the drones proved far from easy. While the mayor said the city simply would return the unmanned aerial vehicles, the manufacturer refused to take them back. Seattle then tried to lend a drone to King County, but astute Sheriff John Urquhart gave it back.</p> <p>Now Los Angeles police are hoping to avoid Seattle’s controversy by promising to hold public hearings and develop strict protocols for usage. Though as critics are pointing out, police have already obtained the drones without public debate. The ACLU in Lost Angeles has been speaking up about the risks to privacy they pose.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here in Washington, the ACLU-WA has stressed that while drones have beneficial uses, they give government unprecedented abilities to engage in surveillance of the citizenry. We pressed for legislation to regulate drone use statewide, including requiring prior approval before an agency can obtain drones and a warrant for their usage in most situations. An ACLU-backed bill regulating government drones passed both houses of the 2014 state legislature with strong bipartisan support, only to be vetoed by the Governor – who has promised to push for future enactment of drone legislation to protect privacy.</p> <p>To learn more about the ongoing saga of Seattle’s drones, see the <em>LA Weekly</em> article at <a href="http://www.laweekly.com/2014-06-19/news/game-of-drones-how-lapd-quietly-acquired-the-spy-birds-shunned-by-seattle/">http://www.laweekly.com/2014-06-19/news/game-of-drones-how-lapd-quietly-acquired-the-spy-birds-shunned-by-seattle/</a>.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-link-guess-where-seattle-s-police-drones-ended#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 18:39:56 +0000 honig 6620 at https://aclu-wa.org Focus Cop Cams on Police Accountability https://aclu-wa.org/blog/focus-cop-cams-police-accountability-0 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>When people hear that their police department is considering equipping officers with body cameras, their initial reaction is likely to be “Good!”&nbsp; Many instances of police misconduct have come to light over the years because someone recorded the incident with a mobile camera. So having a camera attached to each officer seems like a great way to ensure accountability.&nbsp;</p> <p>The ACLU, too, supports the use of these devices as tools for accountability.&nbsp; But there is a risk that the cameras could become another surveillance tool, capturing and storing private, innocent behavior.&nbsp; And we are concerned that police agencies are purchasing and beginning to use these cameras without clear limitations on their use and without a full public discussion about the risks of equipping police with new surveillance capabilities. &nbsp;</p> <p>Officer-worn recording devices will collect an enormous amount of data, but only a sliver of that information will be useful for accountability or oversight. &nbsp;The cameras produce large volumes of recordings that could be used for suspicionless surveillance.&nbsp; For example, footage captured while an officer is monitoring a peaceful political protest may be kept indefinitely and examined in the future – even though the officer had no suspicion of criminal behavior when the video was recorded. &nbsp;Often there are unclear rules about what should be saved and minimal restrictions on how the collected data may be used or disclosed.</p> <p>Further, the cameras record numerous sensitive and personal encounters between officers and members of the public. For example, an officer who responds to a call about domestic violence will likely capture footage of a victim in a vulnerable state inside their home.&nbsp; And such video records will be available to anyone under our state’s public disclosure law.&nbsp;</p> <p>These considerations matter because accountability is far from the only reason police agencies are interested in body-worn recording devices. &nbsp;At law enforcement conferences, in advertising materials, and during internal agency discussions<em>,</em> interest in cop cameras tends to be much less focused on police accountability. For example, an early promotional video for the Taser Axon Flex body camera included testimonials from officers about how the cameras could be used: one talked about how video of an encounter could be used in court to impeach a witness, while another discussed how it could be used to help draft incident reports if the officer didn’t recall something. The Axon Flex is even packaged with another Taser product that provides digital evidence storage services.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>So, what should happen to all of the data that does not serve an accountability purpose? How can we ensure that these cameras will not just become another tool for government surveillance?</p> <p>Law enforcement should not be amassing information and keeping long-lasting records of innocent conduct by law-abiding individuals. To prevent “fishing expeditions,” we need comprehensive rules that regulate how the cameras may be used. Law enforcement agencies must adopt policies that require prompt deletion of any recording not flagged for an oversight use.</p> <p>Without restrictions, every cop on the street could become, in effect, a government surveillance camera.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/focus-cop-cams-police-accountability-0#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 18:02:33 +0000 jdebelak 6619 at https://aclu-wa.org Liberty Link: Yes, America, we have returned to debtor's prisons https://aclu-wa.org/liberty-link-yes-america-we-have-returned-debtors-prisons <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Alexes Harris, UW sociology professor and ACLU-WA board member, dissects the phenomenon of modern-day debtor’s prisons in an insightful op-ed published in the <em>Los Angeles Times</em>. Harris describes a surprisingly common and disturbing system: “The people least likely to earn a steady wage — the homeless, unemployed and the physically and mentally limited — are routinely labeled "willful" non-payers and sentenced to jail for not fulfilling their sentences.”</p> <p>As Harris explains, in Washington state and elsewhere, legal debts imposed on people with convictions amount to “pay as you go fees” for their use of the criminal justice system. She lays out the ways these monetary sanctions lead to long-term negative consequences for debtors, keeping many shackled to the legal system long after they have served their time in prison or on probation.</p> <p>Her assessment gets right to the point: “The aim of criminal punishment should not be to permanently stigmatize and politically and economically marginalize people. And yet, if we look at this system clear-eyed, we must recognize that is exactly what we are doing.”</p> <p>Nor is there evidence that doing so promotes public safety. As Harris writes: “This system doesn't rehabilitate people and integrate them back into the community; it does the opposite … We as citizens are shouldering the fiscal costs of this system of punishment, and the social costs stemming from non-rehabilitated offenders.”</p> <p>You can read Harris’s full op-ed at <a href="http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-harris-criminal-fines-20140608-story.html">http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-harris-criminal-fines-20140608-story.html</a>. Then check out the ACLU-WA’s hard-hitting report on how court-imposed debts in Washington punish people for being poor at <a href="https://aclu-wa.org/docs/modern-day-debtors-prisons-washington">https://aclu-wa.org/docs/modern-day-debtors-prisons-washington</a>.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:35:40 +0000 jflodin 6617 at https://aclu-wa.org Michael Marchesini: A Holistic Approach to Social Change https://aclu-wa.org/blog/michael-marchesini-holistic-approach-social-change <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>Legal intern Michael Marchesini is excited to be working on criminal justice and voting rights for the ACLU in his home state. He is proud of Washington for its recent advances in civil liberties, including marriage equality and marijuana legalization, as well as the Governor’s moratorium on the death penalty and the ACLU’s work against debtors’ prisons.</p> <p>He says the latter is a perfect example of the kind of issue he wants to work on: No one should be sent to jail because they cannot pay fees imposed by courts in a legal case, and the poor should not be disproportionately punished. Michael hopes as a lawyer to tackle similar problems surrounding immigration and immigrants’ rights. He decided to intern at the ACLU specifically because of our holistic approach to issues – he believes that our combination of litigation, legislation, and community organizing is essential to bringing about social change.</p> <p>Michael grew up on Bainbridge Island and attended Whitworth University in Spokane. After graduating, he spent two years in Nicaragua with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, teaching math and Spanish and helping to operate a micro-lending program for local women in small businesses. When he returned, he worked as a paralegal in Seattle focusing on immigration cases. His exposure to the disparities affecting poor immigrants in cases involving civil rights and criminal defense sent Michael to law school, where he has just finished his first year at UC Berkeley.</p> <p>In his spare time, Michael tries to get into the great outdoors to hike and camp. He taught himself to play the guitar, and has been playing whenever he gets the chance. He also loves weekend brunches and is looking forward to attending as many Mariners, Sounders, and Storm games as he can this summer.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/michael-marchesini-holistic-approach-social-change#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 00:13:28 +0000 misaacson 6610 at https://aclu-wa.org Stephanie Llanes: Fighting to Achieve MLK’s “Beloved Community” https://aclu-wa.org/blog/stephanie-llanes-fighting-achieve-mlk-s-beloved-community <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>Stephanie Llanes has come a long way from where she started. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Orlando, she just finished her first year at Berkeley Law School – the first in her family to attend college. Eager to ensure that all members of our country get the opportunity to succeed, she is working to “transform society in a way that treats all human beings as full citizens worthy of dignity and respect.” She will be working in our Legal Department this summer, primarily on discrimination in our criminal justice system and voting rights.&nbsp;</p> <p>However, Stephanie didn’t always want to be a lawyer. When she was 16, she was signed by Interscope Records and thought she would be in show business for the rest of her life.&nbsp; She recorded three R&amp;B albums and performed her own music in English and Spanish throughout the US, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. Ultimately though, she decided that the music industry wasn’t where she wanted to be. While she loved the experience, working in the entertainment business was grueling. Also, she saw a lot of exploitation of female artists and people of color, which helped her to decide go to college. Stephanie still loves to write music, and to play piano and guitar.</p> <p>Stephanie got her undergraduate degree with a double major in Sociology and in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Emory University in Atlanta. While there, she helped organize protests against Chick-Fil-A over its anti-gay policy and co-founded a student coalition, Change @ Emory, to address the racially hostile campus environment. She has continued her activism at Berkeley, working as a research assistant to Professor john a. powell, former national ACLU legal director, on structural racism, implicit bias, policy, and more. She also serves as co-president of the La Raza Latino Law Students association and articles editor of the Berkeley Journal of African American Law and Policy. She will also be representing an individual with a life sentence at his upcoming parole hearing. If this seems like a lot, it is – Stephanie jokes that she rarely has time to sleep.</p> <p>But she firmly believes that we can achieve the fair and inclusive society that Dr. Martin Luther King envisioned, “a beloved community.” She understands this will be difficult, but says it is the most important fight worth fighting and we can get there together.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/stephanie-llanes-fighting-achieve-mlk-s-beloved-community#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 23:07:24 +0000 misaacson 6606 at https://aclu-wa.org Schools: Don’t Show the Door to Pregnant Students, Make Them Feel Welcome https://aclu-wa.org/blog/schools-don-t-show-door-pregnant-students-make-them-feel-welcome <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>May has been National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month—a month-long opportunity for parents, schools, policy-makers, and organizations to promote and support effective teen pregnancy prevention initiatives. As becoming pregnant as a teen is a significant stumbling block to a financially secure future, measures devoted to preventing teen pregnancy certainly are important.</p> <p>At the same time, we should also support teens who do become pregnant, and thereby begin to eliminate many of the disastrous consequences of teen pregnancy. Indeed, there are many straight-forward ways to support pregnant and parenting teens. The most important is doing all we can to ensure that they stay in school.</p> <p>All too often, once prevention efforts have failed, a teenager is written off as doomed to a life of poverty. &nbsp;However, it isn’t necessarily getting pregnant that ruins the lives of teen mothers; rather, it is the act of dropping out of school. After all, a high school dropout is more likely to face a life of poverty than is a parenting teen who stays in school. &nbsp;And pregnancy is the number one reason girls drop out of school in the U.S., and two out of three girls who become pregnant fail to earn their diploma, according to TeenHelp.com.</p> <p>Fortunately, all the evidence suggests that these students are generally very motivated to stay in school.&nbsp; The problem is that they face so many obstacles that staying often feels impossible.&nbsp; The vast majority of teenage mothers who drop out do so because of policies and practices at their school that are hostile, inflexible, or unaccommodating.</p> <p>Coercion and pressure comes in many ways:&nbsp; school administrators strongly encouraging pregnant students to leave their school, counselors pushing them into inferior alternative programs, teachers refusing to allow for make-up work or take-home assignments, and schools excluding them from events and activities. &nbsp;</p> <p>All of these practices are not only extremely damaging to these girls, they also are illegal; any coercion or pressure to leave school violates the federal Title IX law. &nbsp;</p> <p>Additionally, research shows that supporting pregnant girls in their education can have a significant impact in lowering their drop-out rates. There are currently 23 school districts in Washington that offer a GRADS Program—a school-based program for pregnant teens that develops real-life work and parenting skills while supporting their efforts to earn a high school diploma and providing on-site daycare.</p> <p>You need to look no further than the GRADS Program at South Lake High School in Seattle’s Rainier Beach to see what happens when we give these students a little support. The school recently graduated 13 pregnant or parenting students, compared to one such student who graduated before the GRADS program arrived.&nbsp; Such school-based programs prove that teenage parents can be successful if rather than writing them off and showing them the door, we extend a hand and make them feel that they belong.</p> <p>The ACLU-WA is working to increase awareness about the legal rights of pregnant students and to promote best practices by school districts. If you or someone you know personally has been treated poorly at school because they are pregnant or have a child, please let us know. We may be able to help, and your story may help others in the same situation.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/schools-don-t-show-door-pregnant-students-make-them-feel-welcome#comments Thu, 29 May 2014 23:31:55 +0000 nyasman 6601 at https://aclu-wa.org Liberty Link: Jailed Immigrants as a Pool of Cheap Labor https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-link-jailed-immigrants-pool-cheap-labor <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A terrific article in the <em>New York Times</em> calls out government officials for using detained immigrants as extremely cheap labor at federal detention centers. For performing such essential tasks as preparing meals, scrubbing bathrooms, and buffing hallways, the jailed workers are paid all of 13 cents an hour (i.e., a dollar a day) – far less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour that would be paid to contractors.</p> <p>The practice is widespread. More than 60,000 detainees worked at detention centers around the nation last year. As Carl Takei, an attorney with the ACLU’s National Prison Project pointed out,</p> <p>“This in essence makes the government, which forbids everyone else from hiring people without documents, the single largest employer of undocumented immigrants in the country.”</p> <p>Resistance is mounting. The exploitative wage level was among the grievances that sparked a work stoppage and series of hunger strikes at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma this spring. The <em>Times </em>mentions the ACLU-Columbia Legal Services lawsuit over detainees being placed in solitary confinement in retaliation for participating in the protests. After it was filed, the men were released from solitary.</p> <p>To learn more, visit the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/25/us/using-jailed-migrants-as-a-pool-of-cheap-labor.html?hpw&amp;rref=us&amp;_r=2" target="_blank">New York Times</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-link-jailed-immigrants-pool-cheap-labor#comments Wed, 28 May 2014 16:12:59 +0000 honig 6599 at https://aclu-wa.org Daniel Jeon: Media and Justice https://aclu-wa.org/blog/daniel-jeon-media-and-justice <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>Daniel Jeon will graduate from UW in June with a double degree in Journalism and in Law, Societies and Justice. &nbsp;He plans to head to law school and hopes ultimately to work for social justice issues through the media. He says that “unfortunately journalism has become a hard career path, but it still matters because it starts a conversation and pushes us forward.”&nbsp; Though the newspapers are slowly dying, says Daniel, people have lots of other ways to obtain information and to talk about it.&nbsp; He thinks new media options make it even easier to get the word out for social justice, and that journalism is evolving and will be even more important in the future.</p> <p>Daniel says that working as an intake counselor for the ACLU has taught him just how important access to information is. He finds that many individuals who need help in Washington simply do not have access to legal resources; while metropolitan areas can offer a lot of aid, many counties provide little. This is why Daniel thinks media in all its forms is so important – by letting people learn their rights, and find people who can help them.&nbsp;</p> <p>He has been a part of increasing access to information as an intern at the <em>Seattle Times</em> and <em>Real Change News</em>, as well as at the ACLU. But more importantly, he wants to go to law school so that he can tackle the underlying problems. This includes laws that unfairly discriminate like those currently in Washington that allow “debtors’ prisons” whereby people who cannot afford to pay court-imposed debts serve jail time.&nbsp;</p> <p>Having lived all over the world, from Korea to Canada and all over the US, Daniel is no stranger to moving. He is anxious to graduate and start “real life.” He will continue to work at the ACLU through the summer, at the UW writing center, and will take the LSAT. He will hopefully get to visit his family in Korea and get accepted to a good law school. Regardless of where he ends up, Daniel says he will be watching the next season of “Game of Thrones,” and he will keep working to inform people and fighting for issues that matter.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/daniel-jeon-media-and-justice#comments Thu, 15 May 2014 23:30:00 +0000 misaacson 6577 at https://aclu-wa.org You Might be Getting Married on June 30th https://aclu-wa.org/blog/you-might-be-getting-married-june-30th <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Did you know that all same-sex state registered domestic partnerships (SRDPs) in Washington will automatically be converted to marriages on June 30<sup>th</sup>?&nbsp; Last week at Seattle City Hall, a panel of experts gathered to answer questions from the public about what should be expected and more importantly, what can be done to prevent their SRDPs from converting into a marriage.&nbsp;</p> <p>These conversions will take place because of the successful R-74 campaign, which in 2012 granted same-sex couples in Washington the ability to marry.&nbsp; The law requires SRDPs to automatically convert into marriages on June 30<sup>th</sup>, which may come as a surprise to the thousands of couples in SRDPs. The law does not impact couples who registered in another state, or only with a city or county in Washington. The law also does not impact SRDPs if one of the partners is 62 or older.</p> <p>Senator Jamie Peterson explained that converting all SRDPs creates equal legal standing for all couples regardless of sexual orientation. Panelists included attorneys Janet Helson, Cynthia Buhr, and Denise Diskin who provided helpful insights, answered questions and attempted to make the complexities of the law understandable to the general public.&nbsp; Representatives from the Washington State Department of Health and the Secretary of State’s office were also in attendance.</p> <p>The most important part of the presentation was the discussion on how to prevent your SRDP from becoming a marriage on June 30<sup>th</sup>. If a couple in a SRDP does not want to become married, they must be in the process of dissolving their SRDP (divorce) before June 30<sup>th</sup>, or to prove that you have already been divorced in another state.&nbsp; Additional resources can be found using the following links:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/BirthDeathMarriageandDivorce/SameSexMarriageandDomesticPartnerships.aspx" target="_blank">Washington State Department of Health – Same Sex Marriage and Domestic Partnership FAQ</a></li> <li>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sos.wa.gov/corps/domesticpartnerships/faq-2014.aspx" target="_blank">Washington Secretary of State – FAQ</a> </li> <li><a href="http://www.sos.wa.gov/corps/domesticpartnerships/Notice-regarding-same-sex-marriage-and-domestic-partnerships.aspx" target="_blank">Washington Secretary of State - Notice regarding same sex marriage and domestic partnerships</a> </li> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/issues/family-law/dissolution-of-marriage-divorce?channel=legal-information" target="_blank">Washington Law Help</a></li> </ul> <p>If you are interested in viewing the meeting, click <a href="http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=5591418" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp; Additional events will take place in Tacoma on May 21<sup>st</sup> and Olympia on May 29<sup>th</sup>.&nbsp; Information about those events can be found by visiting our <a href="https://aclu-wa.org/events" target="_blank">events page</a>.</p> <p>This event was sponsored by the ACLU of Washington, Equal Rights Washington, GSBA, Legal Voice, Pride Foundation, Q Law Foundation, Seattle’s LGBT Commission, and the Seattle Office for Civil Rights.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/you-might-be-getting-married-june-30th#comments Thu, 15 May 2014 19:07:38 +0000 misaacson 6592 at https://aclu-wa.org Inslee Stands Up for Net Neutrality https://aclu-wa.org/blog/inslee-stands-net-neutrality <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Yesterday, Governor Jay Inslee sent a letter to FCC Chairman Wheeler urging him to delay a vote on proposed rules that would allow Internet service providers to discriminate among lawful content providers changing the free and open nature of the Internet.</p> <p>The proposed rules would allow service providers, like Comcast or Verizon, to charge major content providers higher fees to have their content move through the network in a “fast lane.” This would essentially mean that large providers could have their content delivered to the public more easily than providers that lack significant funding.&nbsp; The change would fundamentally alter the net neutrality principles that have allowed the Internet to become a true marketplace of ideas.</p> <p>The Internet is an amazing platform for free and open communication and expression because all content currently flows through the network on equal footing. Big corporations and small local activists are able to create content, share it online, and have it delivered to consumers or end users at the same speed. If the net neutrality rules that require this equal treatment are changed as the new rules propose, the smaller players will likely find their online voices slowed or buried. This would be a huge loss for free expression and democratic debate.</p> <p>We commend the Governor for taking a stand on this important issue and hope that the FCC takes action to protect the open nature of the Internet.</p> <p>A copy of the Governor’s letter can be found <a href="http://governor.wa.gov/documents/LetterInslee2FCC_20140514.pdf" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/inslee-stands-net-neutrality#comments Thu, 15 May 2014 17:52:44 +0000 jdebelak 6590 at https://aclu-wa.org Otis Walter Leaves a Legacy for Civil Liberties https://aclu-wa.org/blog/otis-walter-leaves-legacy-civil-liberties <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Otis Walter passed away last June at the age of 92. He left his entire estate to the ACLU of Washington and the ACLU of Pennsylvania because he so strongly believed in the broad range of issues on which the ACLU works. He first became a card-carrying member as a teenager in Pennsylvania.&nbsp; Dr. Walter said he did not want any sort of recognition for his planned gift during his lifetime. We wish to honor Dr. Walter as a kind and loving advocate for civil liberties.</p> <p>Two summers ago, I had the good fortune of meeting Dr. Walter in his home to thank him for his wonderful gift intention. He appointed his modest 1970s rambler with furniture straight from an Italian Renaissance painting. It was the real deal and his one splurge – shipped from Italy, inspired by a painting in his childhood home. We talked over tea and his signature dessert, hearty bread made with only fruit and nuts, served in warm milk. Dr. Walter laughed easily and joked throughout our meeting.</p> <p>He showed me the only photo ever taken of him and Ronald Vrana, his companion of nearly 50 years: the two of them at a party in the ‘60s, pure joy in their eyes, a bookcase in the background.</p> <p>Most of Dr. Walter’s professional life was spent at the University of Pittsburgh, from which he retired as Professor Emeritus. Retirement brought him to Bellingham. In addition to dozens of articles, book reviews, and lectures at various universities, he authored <em>Thinking and Speaking: A Guide to Intelligent Communication.</em></p> <p>Dr. Walter was a devoted teacher who once said, “Teaching is, in part, having desperately to know, and then having desperately to tell others about it.”</p> <p>The ACLU of Washington is deeply grateful to Otis Walter for his generosity. He was a remarkable man whose legacy will truly have a nationwide impact.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/otis-walter-leaves-legacy-civil-liberties#comments Tue, 13 May 2014 18:49:24 +0000 rsponsler 6589 at https://aclu-wa.org Failed Experiments: Stop All Lethal Injections Now https://aclu-wa.org/blog/failed-experiments-stop-all-lethal-injections-now-0 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Originally published on 05/01/2014 on the ACLU<a href="https://www.aclu.org/blog/capital-punishment/failed-experiments-stop-all-lethal-injections-now" target="_blank"> Blog of Rights</a>&nbsp;b<span style="line-height: 1.3em;">y Cassandra Stubbs<span style="line-height: 1.3em;">, ACLU Capital Punishment Project</span></span></p> <p>Assurances about lethal injection rest on the premise that inmates are sedated and unconscious before other excruciating drugs are administered. The horrifying experiences of recent executions make clear these assurances are false. The drugs used in recent executions produced not a sleep into death but many wakeful minutes of struggle and pain. Such executions are clear violations of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment and require investigation and action.</p> <p>In other words, no human being should be death's guinea pig.</p> <p>We were all reminded of this Tuesday night when the state of Oklahoma executed&nbsp;<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/04/30/us/oklahoma-executions.html?_r=0&amp;referrer">Clayton Lockett</a></span>&nbsp;in a gruesome experiment. Using an untested protocol, with secretly obtained drugs, the state started Lockett's execution at 6:23 p.m. Ten minutes later, Locket was pronounced unconscious and administered the second and third drugs. Shortly thereafter, it became clear that Lockett was not unconscious as he writhed, breathed heavily, and mumbled. He clenched his teeth and tried to rise off the bed. His lawyer said it looked "like torture." The prison officials then dropped the blinds, blocking the view. The warden called off the execution, announcing the obvious: The doctor had observed a problem. He said Lockett's "vein had blown," and they did not know how much of the drugs he had received. Lockett died shortly thereafter of a heart attack when his heart literally burst in his chest. As the White House&nbsp;<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-oklahoma-execution-20140430,0,1138267.story">acknowledges</a></span>, Lockett's execution fell short of the humane standards required when the death penalty is carried out.</p> <p>This was not the first failed experiment in new lethal injection protocols – and not even in Oklahoma. The main drug used in earlier years of lethal injection, sodium thiopental, is no longer available because its manufacturers object to the use of medication for killing. This has led states to concoct new execution protocols and to scramble for alternative drugs.</p> <p>The new protocols are no more scientific. Recent executions have relied on pentobarbital or midazolam. Both have terrible track records. The reports from observers of Lockett's execution, which used midazolam, have a strong resemblance to those from&nbsp;<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/18/us/prolonged-execution-prompts-debate-over-death-penalty-methods.html">Dennis McGuire</a></span>, whose botched execution in Ohio took place a few months earlier in January. After McGuire was reported by the prison as unconscious, he clenched his fist, heaved, struggled, and made horrible noises, according to witnesses. He was gasping, choking, and snoring in the 25 minutes it took to kill him. The Ohio death recipe is the same that&nbsp;<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.nola.com/crime/baton-rouge/index.ssf/2014/02/execution_lethal_injection_louisiana_delay_halt.html">Louisiana wants to follow</a></span>.</p> <p>We know that pentobarbital, the other drug used in recent executions, will cause excruciating pain in poorly regulated or contaminated batches. Before its new protocol, Oklahoma relied on pentobarbital. This was what was used to execute death row inmate&nbsp;<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://nation.time.com/2014/01/10/oklahoma-convict-who-felt-body-burning-executed-with-controversial-drug/">Michael Lee Wilson</a></span>, who cried out during his execution, "I feel my whole body burning."</p> <p>These botched executions raise critical questions: Why did the execution go so wrong? Is there any reason to think that these particular protocols and combinations of drugs would ever work? Where did the drugs come from, and were the drugs themselves contaminated?</p> <p>Lockett's lawyers had tried to get answers about the source and the quality of the drugs to be used well before his execution, and a lower court initially ruled that Oklahoma would have to provide these details. But after a wild and unbelievable litigation path – which involved a lawmaker threatening to impeach the state supreme court and the governor asserting that she was not required to follow the supreme court's ruling – the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the execution could proceed in a cloud of secrecy.</p> <p>Where the drugs come from is a critical question. Many of the drugs – including pentobarbital – are not available through traditional manufacturers and can only be obtained through<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/compounding-pharmacies">compounding pharmacies</a></span>, where reliability and safety are major concerns.&nbsp;<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/16/eric-robert-execution_n_1969640.html">Eric Robert</a></span>&nbsp;was executed in 2012 by South Dakota using compounded pentobarbital. After he was injected, he gasped heavily, snored loudly with his eyes open, and his skin turned purple. An expert pharmacologist has described this reaction as consistent with contaminated drugs.</p> <p>States have tried to fend off these critical inquires about the sources of their drugs by relying on secrecy statutes or litigation. The Supreme Court has yet to wade into this area, but a federal appeals court allowed a Missouri execution to go forward under a total veil of secrecy about where the drugs came from. As a dissenting justice described, the "pharmacy on which Missouri relies could be nothing more than a high school class."</p> <p>Last month, the UN Human Rights Committee, which monitors compliance with the&nbsp;<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://www.aclu.org/human-rights/faq-covenant-civil-political-rights-iccpr">International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights</a></span>&nbsp;– a treaty ratified by the United States in 1992, expressed concerns regarding the use of untested drugs in lethal injections. The committee noted "with concern reports about the administration, by some states, of untested lethal drugs to execute prisoners and the withholding of information about such drugs."</p> <p>The committee&nbsp;<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f4&amp;Lang=en">recommended</a></span>&nbsp;that the U.S. government "ensure that lethal drugs used for executions originate from legal, regulated sources, and are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration and that information on the origin and composition of such drugs is made available to individuals scheduled for execution."</p> <p>These recommendations – transparency and oversight by the F.D.A. of all drugs used in lethal injections – are important ones, but we need full answers about what has gone so horribly wrong. Governor Mary Fallin has acknowledged the need for investigation, but so far, she has failed to appoint an independent investigation. Oklahoma has given us no reason to have confidence that an executive investigation will provide any serious inquiry.</p> <p>Before Oklahoma, or any other state, engages in executions, we need real answers from an independent investigation. Only with that information can states formulate the effective and transparent standards that the Constitution requires.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/failed-experiments-stop-all-lethal-injections-now-0#comments Mon, 12 May 2014 19:45:29 +0000 cstubbs@aclu-wa.org 6586 at https://aclu-wa.org Hopes for Police Reform: Signs of Change, Need for Vigilance https://aclu-wa.org/blog/hopes-police-reform-signs-change-need-vigilance <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Transforming an institution’s practices and culture takes endurance, dedication, and tenacity.&nbsp; Doubly so when attempting to transform a police department - an institution modeled on the military - into one that understands its roles as “servants of the Constitution” and “guardians of the community,” as Sue Rahr describes it. Rahr, the former King County Sheriff, is now director of the&nbsp;Washington’s Criminal Justice Training Commission, where at its graduation ceremony she hands every new cadet a pocket Constitution.</p> <p>Rahr’s appointment to head the state’s police academy in 2012 was part of a string of events giving me hope for transformational change in local policing. The first sign of hope was the Dept. of Justice’s 2011 decision, prompted by the ACLU and 34 community organizations, to investigate the practices of the Seattle Police Department.&nbsp; The resulting federal lawsuit charged the police department with unconstitutionally excessive force and called attention to racially biased policing. To settle the case, the City agreed to accept detailed and significant reform measures supervised by the court and to create a broad-based Community Police Commission (CPC), on which our deputy director Jennifer Shaw serves with leaders of communities most affected by policing.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>CPC members made clear from the beginning that the Commission was not going to be window dressing. Actively engaging communities affected by police work, the CPC presented detailed recommendations to improve police use of force and to reduce racial bias in policing that the City has largely adopted. &nbsp;And, if approved by the City Council, its recent proposals for the police accountability system will improve discipline, trust, and transparency and provide continuing public input in police practices. The CPC was assisted by the police auditor, Anne Levinson, who for the past many years was a lone voice in City Hall raising exactly the concerns that are now being addressed.&nbsp;</p> <p>It was another hopeful sign when our new mayor stated publicly that selecting a police chief is the most important appointment he will make. &nbsp;I served on his committee, chaired by Ron Sims and Pramila Jayapal, to recommend to him the top three candidates for the job.&nbsp; The committee was united on the need for a new chief who is a “change agent,” who sees the settlement agreement with the DOJ as a floor for reform, not as a ceiling; someone who regards policing as a service to the community, not as urban warriors; someone who treats all segments of Seattle with respect.</p> <p>A final ray of hope and a hint of the culture change we want to see was the SPD’s handling of the May Day anarchist protesters. The afternoon immigrant rights march, as usual, proceeded without a hitch.&nbsp; That evening saw an hours-long, circuitous march by protesters who marched in the streets without obtaining a permit or otherwise revealing their route, making traffic control difficult.&nbsp; When some protesters attempted to incite a line of officers, a commander stepped in to make sure the officers didn’t escalate the situation. Showing restraint and patience can reduce confrontation rather than escalate it.&nbsp;</p> <p>There have been plenty of bumps in the road as Seattle has lurched toward change, and there will be more bumps along the way.&nbsp; But with some seasoned leaders and the ACLU’s commitment to vigilance, we are moving towards meaningful change.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/hopes-police-reform-signs-change-need-vigilance#comments Mon, 12 May 2014 17:30:00 +0000 ktaylor 6575 at https://aclu-wa.org Monique Spivey: Making a change for herself and others https://aclu-wa.org/blog/monique-spivey-making-change-herself-and-others <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has a team of all-star volunteers who staff the front desk for us. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>Monique Spivey is in the process of changing her life and hopefully that of many others. She has long worked as a caterer, but the long hours and a recent knee injury have set her on a course to get out of the kitchen and into her community.</p> <p>She started working at our front desk to do something meaningful. She has long known about the ACLU and some of the work it has done. But now that she is here, she has learned about all sorts of additional things. To demonstrate, she points at the wall where a timeline of ACLU-WA victories is posted. “Did you know the ACLU represented people locked up in Japanese internment camps in 1942?” Or recently, she says proudly, that with the passage of I-502 court filings for marijuana possession dropped from over 5,531 in 2012 to 120 last year?</p> <p>Monique says she is continually surprised and eager to learn more, or more simply put: “The ACLU is so involved, I’m like, Wow!” She is particularly proud of the ACLU work supporting the LGBT community against discrimination. She says that she has a lot of friends whose freedoms is being protected by the work that is done. She loves being a part of the ACLU office – meeting people involved in issues she hears about on the news, being an important part of getting work done, and hearing about issues she might not otherwise have known about.</p> <p>Monique has decided that she wants to work directly helping in her community. She would like to work with the elderly and in fostering more inclusive and tight-knit communities. She has lived in and around Seattle all of her life, and wants to give back to her neighborhoods and keep them strong. &nbsp;Working at the ACLU is a start, and gives her lots of ideas about what to do and how to put her ideals into action as she reorganizes her life. &nbsp;</p> <p>Now she is picking up hobbies she had set aside and making time for friends and family a priority. Just recently, she helped organize a family reunion with over 150 people from all over the country. &nbsp;She is excited about the future, and while change can be scary, she says it is great to work for something you believe in and find a bigger impact for what you do.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/monique-spivey-making-change-herself-and-others#comments Sat, 10 May 2014 07:00:00 +0000 misaacson 6576 at https://aclu-wa.org Liberty Link: Man Arrested for Videography Settles with City for $8,000 https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-link-man-arrested-videography-settles-city-8000-0 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A man whom Sunnyside police arrested for videotaping a SWAT team has received an $8,000 settlement, reports the <em>Yakima Herald-Republic</em>. After the man posted a videotape of his arrest on YouTube, police requested the charges be dropped and the man sued for the violation of his rights.</p> <p>The city owned up to the mistake, and the police department has taken training on rights of civilians to film their actions. Better yet, the city’s insurance company, Washington Cities Insurance Authority, plans to recommend similar action to other cities it represents.</p> <p>People have the right to film and take pictures of police actions in a public area, so long as they don’t physically get in the way or interfere with officers’ ability to carry out their duties.</p> <p>If you think police have wrongly interfered with your rights as a photographer or videographer, the ACLU of Washington wants to hear from you.</p> <p>You can read more about the Sunnyside incident in the&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.yakimaherald.com/news/yhr/tuesday/2155994-8/arrested-videotaper-settles-dispute-with-sunnyside-for-8k" target="_blank">Yakima Herald-Republic.</a></em></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-link-man-arrested-videography-settles-city-8000-0#comments Free Speech Wed, 07 May 2014 17:01:13 +0000 honig 6574 at https://aclu-wa.org Student Rights Icon Inspires Students https://aclu-wa.org/blog/student-rights-icon-inspires-students <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>After a solid year of traveling over 25,000 miles across 41 states and speaking to at least 100 schools and community groups, on May 1<sup>st</sup> the Tinker Tour made its final stop at Mountlake Terrace High School. The tour features First Amendment advocate Mary Beth Tinker, the namesake of the landmark student rights case <a href="https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/tinker-v-des-moines-393-us-503-1969">Tinker v. Des Moines</a>,&nbsp;joined by former Student Press Law Center attorney Mike Hiestand.&nbsp; More than 100 students, some traveling from as far away as Granger, came for an educational event sponsored by the ACLU-WA and the Washington Journalism Education Association (WJEA).&nbsp;</p> <p>Tinker and Hiestand encouraged the students to learn more about their rights and to go out into the world and make a difference.&nbsp; They began with a high five and had students name off parts of the 1<sup>st</sup> Amendment, handing them shirts that said: i write, i gather, i speak, i believe, and i petition. Tinker recalled seeing news coverage of children marching in Montgomery, Alabama as the police doused them with fire hoses and let police dogs attack them. Tinker thought that if those children could make a difference, perhaps she could.</p> <p>History shows that Tinker make a profound difference.&nbsp; She was just 13 years old and living in Des Moines, Iowa when she wore a black armband to school to protest the Vietnam War. Little did she know that her small act of free speech would generate an ACLU case that would go all the way to the Supreme Court and lead to a ruling that serves as the foundation for free speech rights for public school students to this day.&nbsp;</p> <p>It was fitting that the tour wrapped up at Mountlake Terrace High. It is one of only six First Amendment Press Freedom Schools in the country – meaning that the school has made a commitment to promoting and maintaining free speech for its students.&nbsp; It also has a very engaged student newspaper, the <a href="http://www.thehawkeye.org/">Hawkeye</a>.</p> <p>It’s not every day you get to hear and meet someone you read about in your high school history books. And it’s even rarer to experience the First Amendment at its best in a high school. It was truly a memorable experience, both for the high school students and me.&nbsp;</p> <p>You can view the event by clicking <a href=" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p28xXzfhlQ" target="_blank">here</a>. &nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/student-rights-icon-inspires-students#comments Wed, 07 May 2014 00:04:16 +0000 idemaris 6572 at https://aclu-wa.org Liberty Link: Court Ruling Spurs Counties to Stop Holding People for ICE https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-link-court-ruling-spurs-counties-stop-holding-people-ice <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Some good news: A recent federal court ruling in Oregon is spurring Washington counties to stop holding immigrants in their jail past the time they are eligible for release. The court found that detainer requests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are just that – optional requests – and sheriffs could be liable for violating an individual’s constitutional rights by continuing to hold the person.</p> <p>The ACLU-WA and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project have written to 38 county sheriffs around the state to point out that the federal court ruling opens them up to the possibility of being sued when they accede to an optional detainer request.&nbsp; The <a href="http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2023499319_immigrationholdsxml.html" target="_blank">Seattle Times</a><em>&nbsp;</em>reports that Walla Walla, Kitsap, and Thurston counties have said they are no longer complying with optional ICE requests, and we have learned that Yakima County has joined their ranks.</p> <p>Last year, after a long campaign of lobbying by the ACLU-WA and immigrant rights and civil rights allies, King County changed its policy to no longer hold for ICE immigrants arrested for low-level crimes.&nbsp; We expect more counties to take similar actions.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-link-court-ruling-spurs-counties-stop-holding-people-ice#comments Immigrant Rights Thu, 01 May 2014 17:25:27 +0000 honig 6570 at https://aclu-wa.org Automatic Conversion from Domestic Partnerships to Marriage is Rapidly Approaching https://aclu-wa.org/blog/automatic-conversion-domestic-partnerships-marriage-rapidly-approaching <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>On June 30, 2014, all state-registered same-sex domestic partnerships will automatically convert to marriages. According to the state registry, there are close to 6,000 registered same-sex domestic partnerships in Washington, many of whom do not know that they are about to enter into matrimony whether they wish to or not.</p> <p>Despite the Secretary of State’s Office sending out notices about the auto-conversion to all registered domestic partnerships this March, many people whom this final phase of the state’s same-sex marriage law will affect are still unaware of it.</p> <p>There are a number of details that everybody should be mindful of. First, the auto-conversion does not apply to a domestic partnership if one or both partners is at least 62 years old, or the couple has a dissolution proceeding pending before June 30, 2014. The conversion will also apply to domestic partners who have separated since establishing their partnership yet have not formally dissolved their union, as well as to domestic partnerships that now reside in a different state.</p> <p>Additionally, many unforeseen complications are sure to arise come June 30<sup>th</sup>.&nbsp; Pam Floyd, corporations director in the Secretary of State’s Office, commented that, “We know there are scenarios we’ve not thought of,” referring to the Secretary of State’s Office, which oversees domestic partnership registrations. “I’m sure we’ll come up against those and will handle them on a case-by-case basis. This is the first time we’ve had to confront something like this ...” she added.</p> <p>Couples can request a marriage certificate from the Washington State Department of Health if they wish. ACLU-WA staff attorney Margaret Chen reminds domestic partners that the legal date of marriage for couples whose state-registered domestic partnership converts to marriage on June 30 will be their original domestic partnership registration date. Couples can also refer to the online <a href="http://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/content/pdf/FLHBDomesticPartnershipEdition.pdf" target="_blank">Washington Courts Family Law Book</a> to learn how to dissolve a domestic partnership.</p> <p>The ACLU of Washington is cosponsoring with the Pride Foundation, the GSBA, Legal Voice, and others an educational event on Thursday, May 8<sup>th</sup> at City Hall in Seattle to discuss auto-conversions. This free event is open to the public and features a panel of experts to help answer questions. More information and RSVP details can be found at <a href="http://www.aclu-wa.org/events" target="_blank">www.aclu-wa.org/events</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/automatic-conversion-domestic-partnerships-marriage-rapidly-approaching#comments Tue, 29 Apr 2014 17:27:19 +0000 nyasman 6566 at https://aclu-wa.org Clive Pontusson: Volunteering for a Vision of a Fair and Equal Society https://aclu-wa.org/blog/clive-pontusson-volunteering-vision-fair-and-equal-society <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has a team of all-star volunteers who man the front desk for us. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>A year ago, Clive Pontusson made a New Year’s resolution to start volunteering, and he has been volunteering at our front desk ever since. He thinks it is really important to volunteer a portion of your time, especially for a cause you believe in. The ACLU was on his radar because of its leadership role in the R-74 campaign for marriage equality, which Clive thinks will be the defining issue for our era.</p> <p>For him, the ACLU is the perfect place to volunteer because he thinks that the ACLU “provides us with a vision of what a fair and equal society ought to look like, and what people should have the freedom to do.”</p> <p>Clive has run his own business for the past four years, tutoring high school students in English and History. He will start law school at the University of Washington this fall. He is determined to make a difference &nbsp;for economic justice.</p> <p>Clive has been going up to the mountains on weekends to back-country ski. He says that since it is a short season, you have to get up there as much as you can. When the skies are rainy, Clive reads voraciously. Lately he has been reading a lot of non-fiction, but thinks he is ready to get back into literature. One of his favorite books at the moment is <em>A Place of Greater Safety </em>by Hilary Mantel.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/clive-pontusson-volunteering-vision-fair-and-equal-society#comments Mon, 28 Apr 2014 23:07:31 +0000 misaacson 6565 at https://aclu-wa.org Marco Martinez: Working for Justice https://aclu-wa.org/blog/marco-martinez-working-justice <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>The son of Mexican immigrants, Marco Martinez grew up in Wenatchee. He is now working on his undergraduate degree at UW in Law Societies and Justice with a minor in Political Science. After graduating in June, he plans to study for the LSAT and to apply for law school next year. &nbsp;Marco wants to get involved in reforming our criminal justice and immigrations systems. He is appalled by the high level of incarceration in our country, and the “injustice of criminalizing immigrants just for being in a place.” &nbsp;He thinks that if an individual lives and works and pays taxes in the US for ten years, it is crazy that they could still be arrested and treated like a criminal. &nbsp;He feels that reform is needed, and he hopes he can play a part in bringing about change.</p> <p>Marco is working as an Intake Counselor here at the ACLU. He decided to get involved because he wants to get more interactive experience – classroom learning just isn’t the same as actually meeting people who need help and talking to professionals who are working on the issues he is passionate about.&nbsp; He finds the ACLU to be “powerful and important, because it focuses on large strides and big change, instead of little steps.”</p> <p>Though he is busy cramming for his last few classes, studying for the LSAT, and interning here, Marco still finds time to play soccer every week. &nbsp;He is really looking forward to getting back into snowboarding, hiking, and his many other outdoor activities once he has time. &nbsp;He won’t take too long of a break, though, as there is so much work to do to right injustices. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/marco-martinez-working-justice#comments Fri, 25 Apr 2014 21:14:11 +0000 misaacson 6564 at https://aclu-wa.org Liberty Link: New Washington school discipline data shows need for change https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-link-new-washington-school-discipline-data-shows-need-change <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The ACLU of Washington has been working with allies to replace suspensions and expulsions with smarter, more effective forms of discipline.&nbsp; <a title="Suspensions hit minorities, special-ed students hardest, data show" href="http://seattletimes.com/html/education/2023423257_schooldisciplinexml.html" target="_blank">According to new data from our friends at Washington Appleseed</a>, students of color, students in special education programs, and students from lower-income families receive suspensions and expulsions at a higher rate than other students for similar misbehavior.&nbsp; <a title="Suspensions hit minorities, special-ed students hardest, data show" href="http://seattletimes.com/html/education/2023423257_schooldisciplinexml.html" target="_blank">Dive in to the data</a> and learn more about the reasons why the ACLU is working to end out-of-school discipline and replace it with alternatives that address problems directly, keep classrooms safe, and put students on the road to success.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-link-new-washington-school-discipline-data-shows-need-change#comments Racial Justice Youth Racial Justice - Youth School Discipline Youth Equality Mon, 21 Apr 2014 17:06:10 +0000 robick 6555 at https://aclu-wa.org Excitement and Engagement at the Student Conference https://aclu-wa.org/blog/excitement-and-engagement-student-conference <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Last Friday morning I attended the ACLU-WA’s annual Student Conference on Civil Liberties held at the Vera Project in Seattle Center. To my surprise I found a bustling room of high school students who were much more awake than I was at 8:30 in the morning. We had a near-record 207 attendees from 12 high schools from around western Washington.&nbsp;</p> <p>ACLU-WA board member Jamila Johnson kicked off the event with her heartfelt story of how she became involved with the ACLU of Washington. While she was growing up in an interracial family in West Seattle, her parents would tell her of a couple, Mildred and Richard, living in Virginia in 1958. The couple got married and one night was awoken by police bursting in and finding them in bed. They were handcuffed and taken into jail for nothing more than the color of their skin. You see, Mildred was black and Richard was white. In 1958 interracial marriages were illegal in Virginia and at least a third of the country. Instead of spending time in jail, Mildred and Richard were forced to flee from the only home they knew.</p> <p>After spending five years away, Mildred wrote a letter to then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy asking for advice. Kennedy referred the couple to the ACLU who took the case all the way to the Supreme Court. In 1967 the Court unanimously found that bans on interracial marriage violated the Constitution. &nbsp;Jamila’s story was powerful and spoke to the ACLU’s ideals of standing up for people’s rights and working to effect change.</p> <p>The first session was devoted to teaching the students about their rights with the police. It started with skits performed by students from the Center School. The skits were then broken down by the panel moderator, ACLU-WA Communications Director Doug Honig, and cooperating attorney and legal expert Robert Flennaugh. The students were very engaged, asking questions and giving answers that showed a depth of knowledge and interest.</p> <p>Students then had their choice of two workshop sessions featuring issues ranging from surveillance and student technology rights to censorship and abolition of the death penalty.&nbsp; The workshops were packed and fostered a lot of in-depth conversations between the presenters and the students. In the censorship workshop, I watched as students’ viewpoints evolved from believing censorship didn’t impact them, to realizing it kept from them great literature like Harper Lee’s <em>To Kill a Mockingbird </em>and Sherman Alexie’s <em>The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian</em>, to asking how they could combat book-banning. During the next workshop I attended on “The Drug War: Really a Race War” presented by ACLU-WA staffer Mark Cooke. The students came into this workshop with a lot of background information and asked great questions, such as “Is it really true that people of color make up 60% of the prison population?” They were very curious and engaged. In all the workshops I observed, I saw an interest in activism, with students asking how to change the injustices they were learning about. I came away very heartened by the experience.</p> <p>Following a delicious free lunch, we watched the documentary <em>Terms and Conditions May Apply, </em>which discusses the complexities often overlooked when people agree to online use agreements.&nbsp; It exposes what the government and corporations can learn from the information we give online and via cell phones. University of Washington law professor Ryan Calo, who is featured in the documentary, gave a presentation following the film and answered questions. In an age of increasing surveillance, this topic is very important young and old alike.</p> <p>Overall it was a very cool and interesting event. The speakers were thought-provoking and the students were enthusiastic.&nbsp; I even overheard one student proclaim while leaving, “I can’t wait until next year’s conference.”</p> <p>To view photos of the conference, click <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/acluwa" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/excitement-and-engagement-student-conference#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 00:01:05 +0000 cfisher@aclu-wa.org 6538 at https://aclu-wa.org Caitlin Yates: Getting Involved to Make an Impact https://aclu-wa.org/blog/caitlin-yates-getting-involved-make-impact <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has a team of all-star volunteers who man the front desk for us. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>Five years ago, a college sociology project on alternatives to incarceration led Caity Yates to Town Hall Seattle to listen to a talk by ACLU-WA Criminal Justice Director Alison Holcomb. She’s followed both Alison and the ACLU’s activities ever since. In the past few years, Caity has worked her way up to be co-manager of the Seattle Anne Taylor Loft store. She is very happy there, but she decided that she “wanted to get involved in something that made more of an impact than choosing what shirt to pair with what pants in a display.”</p> <p>Caity is most passionate about the issues of &nbsp;prisoners’ rights and capital punishment, and because she has long followed these issues and the work the ACLU has done on them, she knew that this was where she wanted to work.&nbsp; She has been a volunteer receptionist here just two months, but &nbsp;already feels like she is making a difference by helping the organization run smoothly. She has been following the Northwest Detention Center hunger strikes and the forced solitary confinement of strikers as punishment with great interest. She is proud to be part of the organization that has been representing prisoners against any efforts to force-feed them or restrict their freedom of speach. &nbsp;</p> <p>An avid runner, Caity is going to do a 10k run this weekend, and has decided to start training for a half marathon race next. She says she has never run so far in her life, but she joined a group that meets twice a week on Capital Hill to train together. Just like volunteering here, she says, meeting up with others who share your passions forces you to follow through.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/caitlin-yates-getting-involved-make-impact#comments Tue, 01 Apr 2014 20:33:58 +0000 misaacson 6535 at https://aclu-wa.org Kristin Kelly: Safeguarding Voting Rights https://aclu-wa.org/blog/kristin-kelly-safeguarding-voting-rights <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong></strong><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>Kristin Kelly worked last summer with the Racial Disparity Project, whose mission is to reduce racial disparity in the criminal justice system; it works through community organizing, policy advocacy, individual representation, public education, research, and litigation. While there, she met several ACLU staff members and became interested in our work. So, when it came time to choose an externship, she decided to join our Policy Advocacy Group and focus on criminal justice issues. She is excited to learn more about the ACLU and has enjoyed her work on legislation that will make a difference in our state.</p> <p>She also has been working on an ACLU-WA effort to protect voting rights, seeking to ensure that people are not removed unfairly from the voting rolls. Washington is among 28 states that have agreed to share voter registration information in an attempt to curb potential voter fraud. The states will cross people off the “active voter status” list in the state they leave when moving across state borders. There are many practical questions, such as how to identify people registered in multiple states; “John Smith,” for example, is common enough to create problems. The ACLU-WA is examining procedures to safeguard against people being moved to the “inactive” voter list without being notified and given a chance to appeal.</p> <p>Kristin studied Society, Ethics and Human Behavior focusing on African American History as an undergrad at the University of Washington, while simultaneously working as a paralegal. Now she is in law school at Seattle University. “While law school is not my idea of a good time,” she says, “I am really enjoying the transfer from private law firms to public interest.” She hopes to spend this summer working with Seattle’s Community Police Commission and plans to graduate from SU next spring. When asked about her hobbies, Kristin laughed and said she doesn’t have time for them right now; she listens to audio recordings of textbooks during her commute because she can’t waste that time. But she says that she used to enjoy hiking and reading for pleasure, and looks forward to getting back to both when next she has any free time.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/kristin-kelly-safeguarding-voting-rights#comments Thu, 27 Mar 2014 17:55:13 +0000 misaacson 6528 at https://aclu-wa.org Liberty Link: What Sparked the NW Detention Center Hunger Strike? https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-link-what-sparked-nw-detention-center-hunger-strike <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The ongoing hunger strike at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma has been a remarkable protest, with 750 detainees refusing to eat on its first day and immigrant rights activists rallying community support outside the facility. Veteran reporter Nina Shapiro provides an excellent overview of the issues that sparked it in the <em>Seattle Weekly.</em></p> <p>“The Origins and Aims of the Northwest Detention Center Hunger Strike” starts by profiling one of the immigrants who began the strike three weeks ago. Then it details the conditions that gave rise to the protest, among them inadequate food and $1.00-a-day wages for work done by the detainees. Jorge Baron, executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, points out a critical fact that’s often been overlooked: Immigration violations are a civil, not a criminal, matter. So, people are being detained not to punish them for criminal misdeeds but to ensure that they make court dates for deportation proceedings.</p> <p>And underlying the strike is frustration over the high level of family-shattering deportations under the Obama administration and continuing frustration with Congress’ failure to pass a bill for comprehensive reform of federal immigration policies. As activist leader Maru Mora-Villalpando of the group Latino Advocacy, puts it, “We realized Congress was playing with us. … “If he (Obama) is not going to stop the deportations, we have to stop them.”</p> <p>ACLU-WA attorneys have been meeting regularly with hunger strikers, and the ACLU is prepared to oppose in court any effort by detention center authorities to force-feed them. If you want to know more, check out the article at <a href="http://www.seattleweekly.com/home/951788-129/the-origins-and-aims-of-the">http://www.seattleweekly.com/home/951788-129/the-origins-and-aims-of-the</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-link-what-sparked-nw-detention-center-hunger-strike#comments Wed, 26 Mar 2014 20:46:55 +0000 honig 6527 at https://aclu-wa.org Businesses Should Not Be Allowed to Use Religion to Discriminate https://aclu-wa.org/blog/businesses-should-not-be-allowed-use-religion-discriminate <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Today the U.S. Supreme Court heard <em>Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. </em>and <em>Conestoga v. Sebelius</em>.&nbsp; These high-profile cases are about discrimination. As part of the Affordable Care Act, the federal government issued a rule that requires health plans to cover contraception without a co-pay.&nbsp; Businesses have challenged this rule as an infringement on religious liberty.&nbsp; The ACLU has worked with Julian Bond, NAACP Legal Defense &amp; Educational Fund, Inc., and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation to submit an amicus brief in support of the government in these cases. &nbsp;</p> <p>We all have the right to our own religious beliefs, but religious freedom does not mean the right to impose your beliefs on others or to discriminate. Corporations shouldn't be allowed to use religion to deny health care only women use.&nbsp; If the Court allows this, we will see more discrimination bills and even more lawsuits seeking to justify discrimination.</p> <p>Courts have rejected claims to discriminate based on religious beliefs in other contexts, including civil rights. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued an opinion over a decade ago making clear that refusing to provide insurance coverage for contraception is sex discrimination.</p> <p>Here in Washington state, the ACLU of Washington has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a gay couple in Kennewick against a florist that discriminated against them because of their sexual orientation. The suit says that the business’ refusal to sell flowers to the couple for their wedding violates the Washington Law Against Discrimination.&nbsp; The law bars businesses from refusing to sell goods, merchandise, and services to any person because of their sexual orientation. The courts have found that businesses open to the general public may not violate anti-discrimination laws, even on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs.</p> <p>"The refusal to sell flowers to the couple is a disturbing reminder of the unequal treatment that gay men and women have experienced over the years," said ACLU-WA Legal Director Sarah Dunne. “When a business serves the general public, the business owner’s religious beliefs may not be used to justify discrimination.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/businesses-should-not-be-allowed-use-religion-discriminate#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 22:24:04 +0000 lrutman 6520 at https://aclu-wa.org Sensible Policy, Not Smaller Handcuffs https://aclu-wa.org/blog/sensible-policy-not-smaller-handcuffs <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://aclu-wa.org/blog/new-data-feds-shows-need-school-discipline-reform" target="_blank">Last week</a> we told you about the new federal data that highlights the problem&nbsp;of students of color and those with disabilities being systematically denied access to education by being suspended and expelled at rates 3 to 2 times higher respectively than there peers. &nbsp;</p> <p>But, to add insult to injury, these same groups of students are disproportionately likely to be referred to law enforcement and arrested at school. &nbsp;Too many young people are being pushed out of school and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems instead of given the chance to learn from their mistakes. This phenomenon is frequently referred to as the school-to-prison-pipeline. &nbsp;Read more <a href="https://www.aclu.org/blog/racial-justice/sensible-policy-not-smaller-handcuffs" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/sensible-policy-not-smaller-handcuffs#comments Mon, 24 Mar 2014 18:13:26 +0000 lmangel 6518 at https://aclu-wa.org Estella Jung: New Perspectives for Her Passion for Civil Liberties https://aclu-wa.org/blog/estella-jung-new-perspectives-her-passion-civil-liberties <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>University of Washington student Estella Jung had read about the ACLU in Political Science classes. Then a friend at UW Law School mentioned how much she had enjoyed her experience interning with the ACLU of Washington and recommended that Estella apply for an internship.&nbsp; She did and now is an intern with our Policy Advocacy Group.</p> <p>Estella has been doing research on a variety of issues, including government drones and the death penalty in Washington. She had felt the death penalty “wasn’t right,” as she didn’t feel the government should take someone’s life.&nbsp; She also was concerned by its cost. “A lot of people think it’s less costly than keeping a person in prison with a life sentence, but actually the opposite is true.”</p> <p>Estella finds that her work at the ACLU often gives her new perspectives “that I would not have thought of.” For example, she has been talking to family members of murder victims and has been surprised how many are opposed to the death penalty, even though the life of someone very dear to them was taken.&nbsp; She also appreciates “how friendly the atmosphere in the ACLU office is.”</p> <p>While still an undergrad, Estella will be taking a special class in civil liberties at UW law school next term.&nbsp; She plans to apply to law school in the coming year and will hopefully head to the East Coast to get started in 2015.&nbsp; She would like to become an attorney and a lawmaker. Estella serves as an editor for the <em>Washington Undergraduate Law Review</em> and <em>The Daily</em>, as well as pursuing her many other interests including golf, reading, and &nbsp;playing the violin.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/estella-jung-new-perspectives-her-passion-civil-liberties#comments Mon, 24 Mar 2014 18:00:04 +0000 misaacson 6517 at https://aclu-wa.org New data from the feds shows need for school discipline reform. https://aclu-wa.org/blog/new-data-feds-shows-need-school-discipline-reform <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The US Department of Education has just released <a href="http://ocrdata.ed.gov/Downloads/CRDC-School-Discipline-Snapshot.pdf" target="_blank">new data on school discipline and arrests</a>.&nbsp; This data highlights nationally what we know to be true here in Washington &nbsp;– students of color and special education students are disciplined more harshly and for longer periods of time than other students, even though they are not engaged in more serious or more frequent misbehavior.&nbsp; That’s &nbsp;why the ACLU is working to end the ineffective practice of suspending and expelling students and replace it with <a href="https://aclu-wa.org/blog/school-discipline-conversation-catching">smart, evidence-based approaches to discipline</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/new-data-feds-shows-need-school-discipline-reform#comments Youth Fri, 21 Mar 2014 17:11:02 +0000 lmangel 6516 at https://aclu-wa.org Angela Langer: Protecting Privacy https://aclu-wa.org/blog/angela-langer-protecting-privacy <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>After 9-11, Angela Langer became increasingly worried about assaults on civil liberties and the Constitution, and noticed the ACLU fighting back. Now, as a busy Seattle University law student she has joined this ongoing battle with us as a Policy Advocacy Group intern.&nbsp; She has always been fascinated by issues relating to the Constitution and the violation of rights, and is excited to do some hands-on work with them.</p> <p>She has researched and lobbied for a bill (EHB 2789) in Olympia on drone use by government agencies. The measure would create a statewide framework for reasonable regulations and would prevent agencies from using drones for suspicionless searches and fishing expeditions.&nbsp; The bill has now passed legislature, and she hopes the Governor will sign it into law because “without it there would be no regulation at all – it is important to protect what privacy we have left.”</p> <p>Angela also has researched a proposed program to survey potentially impaired drivers, again looking to ensure that privacy is protected. When she is not working to defend civil liberties with the ACLU, Angela works for a Ballard law firm, the <em>Ivy Law Group</em>, and is also an Article Editor for the <em>Seattle Journal for Social Justice</em>. This summer, she will be heading to Washington DC for a program through SU where she will take classes and do an internship. In her very rare free time, she hangs out with her dog Frank and her friends, and tries to get in some reading that wasn’t assigned for school.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/angela-langer-protecting-privacy#comments Thu, 20 Mar 2014 20:44:29 +0000 misaacson 6515 at https://aclu-wa.org Conscience Creep: How “Religious Freedom” Spiraled Out of Control https://aclu-wa.org/blog/conscience-creep-how-religious-freedom-spiraled-out-control <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>This essay previously appeared on AlterNet.</em></p> <p>Secular Americans and many liberal people of faith have been horrified by the Right’s most recent ploy:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.salon.com/2014/02/26/kansas_arizona_and_the_gops_new_jim_crow_partner/" target="_blank">“religious freedom” claims</a>&nbsp;that would give conservative business owners license to discriminate. Until Arizona&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/crosby-burns/arizona-businesses-license-to-discriminate-lgbt-people_b_4867077.html" target="_blank">made the national spotlight</a>, the need for lunch counter sit-ins had seemed like a thing of the past. But in reality,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thomasmore.org/" target="_blank">advocates</a>&nbsp;for religious privilege have been circling toward this point for some time.</p> <p>As a legal and political tactic, Tea Party politicians and conservative church leaders have high hopes for their “religious freedom” push. What they want broadly is a set of cultural and legal agreements that elevate religious beliefs above human rights laws and civic obligations. They hope that securing sacrosanct religious rights for individuals and institutions will let them roll back rights for queers and women. They further hope that playing the religious freedom card will guarantee them access to government contracts and let them proselytize on the public dime.</p> <p>Here’s the thing: for decades now,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2013/10/is_there_a_principled_way_to_respond_to_the_proliferation_of_conscience.html" target="_blank">this strategy has been working</a>.</p> <p>To understand what’s going on requires a detour through American history. From the days of the pilgrims onward, the American colonies wrestled with tensions between religious freedom and the responsibilities of civil society. Finding the right balance has never been easy.</p> <p>America’s founding fathers were deeply aware of the human temptation to impose our beliefs on others. Puritans fled to America because the Anglican Church said, essentially, our way or the highway. But then the Puritans turned around and did the same thing to religious minorities.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.worldspirituality.org/persecution-quakers.html" target="_blank">Puritan persecution of Quakers</a>&nbsp;was familiar colonial history when the Constitution was written. Thomas Paine said, “Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law.” After emigrating to get away from this sort of persecution, many colonists sought to live according to the dictates of their own conscience.</p> <p>And yet, America’s founding fathers were aware that the young nation could not function without agreements that to some extent acted as limits on individual freedom, including the free exercise of religion. Religious freedom questions are complicated in the way tolerance is complicated: How tolerant should we be of intolerance? What if one person’s religion dictates that he should impose his beliefs on others who may have conflicting spiritual priorities? What if religious claims or entitlements undermine public safety, public health, or national security? Religious freedom had to be balanced against other parts of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It also has to be balanced against the demands of a coherent civil society.</p> <p>During the past two hundred years of American history, this balancing act has become more and more complex. Americans are more multicultural than ever, including religious diversity. The concept of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml" target="_blank">universal human rights</a>&nbsp;has emerged in direct contradiction of traditional Christian teachings that&nbsp;<a href="http://awaypoint.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/15-bible-texts-reveal-why-gods-own-party-is-at-war-with-women/" target="_blank">give women</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://awaypoint.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/why-bible-believers-have-such-a-hard-time-getting-child-protection-right/" target="_blank">children</a>, and non-believers second-class status. The question of who is fully a person with equal right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, has expanded from white male citizen landowners to include the indentured poor, slaves, Indians, women, children, foreigners, and gays.</p> <p>Since religious individuals and groups have long been excused from some regulations and public duties, believers sometimes seek religious exemptions from the evolving demands of civil society, even when these demands are rooted in universal spiritual values like compassion and justice. Dogma may dictate a set of social priorities or it may provide a righteous excuse, but either way, religious doctrines and conscience claims often find their way into the debate about social change.</p> <p>For example, in the lead-up to the Civil War, as pressure mounted to end the slave trade, American Christians found themselves deeply divided on the issue. Some argued for emancipation, others for slavery. The arguments against slavery seem obvious to us now, but more surprising are the sincere Christian arguments in favor of slavery. Here are a few, drawn from a longer list at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ctlibrary.com/ch/1992/issue33/3324.html" target="_blank">Christianity Today</a>:</p> <ul> <li>Abraham, the “father of faith,” and all the patriarchs held slaves without God’s disapproval (Gen. 21:9–10).</li> <li>The Ten Commandments mention slavery twice, showing God’s implicit acceptance of it (Ex. 20:10, 17).</li> <li>Slavery was widespread throughout the Roman world, and yet Jesus never spoke against it.</li> <li>The apostle Paul specifically commanded slaves to obey their masters (Eph. 6:5–8).</li> <li>Paul returned a runaway slave, Philemon, to his master (Philem. 12).</li> <li>Just as women are called to play a subordinate role (Eph. 5:22; 1 Tim. 2:11–15), so slaves are stationed by God in their place.</li> <li>Those who support abolition are, in James H. Thornwell’s words, “atheists, socialists, communists [and] red republicans.”</li> </ul> <p>It wasn’t just that slave holding was morally permissible. Many saw it as a pro-active Christian virtue. Slavery rescued people from cultures in which they practiced devil worship and witchcraft. It brought them to a place where they were taught the gospel and the trappings of civilization. Such arguments may be wildly offensive to us now, but in the end, the secular authority of the American government had to decide whether universal human rights or these deeply held religious beliefs would take precedence.</p> <p>Jump ahead a century to the 1970s. Christians once again are torn, this time by questions about women and pregnancy. Some clergy favor thoughtful, responsible childbearing&nbsp;<a href="http://awaypoint.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/when-god-was-pro-choice-and-why-he-changed-his-mind/" target="_blank">empowered by contraception and safe abortion</a>. Others&nbsp;<a href="http://awaypoint.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/abortion-an-ecumenical-study-document-autumn-1978/" target="_blank">emphasize humility and compassion</a>, saying that a woman herself must decide when to bring a child into the world. Still others believe sincerely that if God wants women to have fewer babies he will make that decision himself. In this view contraception is an act of spiritual defiance, and abortion ejects a human soul.</p> <p>In 1973, shortly after&nbsp;Roe v. Wade, a piece of legislation called&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/ConscienceProtect/42usc300a7.pdf" target="_blank">the Church amendment</a>&nbsp;gave medical institutions the right to opt out of providing abortions and sterilizations, while still competing on even footing for public health funds. Since the 1970s, states and the federal government have enacted a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/crsreports/crsdocuments/RS2142801142005.pdf" target="_blank">series of laws</a>&nbsp;that let medical practitioners&nbsp;<a href="http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/08/3/gr080307.html" target="_blank">refuse to participate</a>&nbsp;in procedures they find morally offensive. With the rise of the Religious Right and the anti-abortion movement, religious claims have blossomed.</p> <p>Two landmark pieces of federal legislation greatly expanded religious exemption and entitlement claims. The 1993&nbsp;<a href="http://www.religioustolerance.org/rfra1.htm" target="_blank">Religious Freedom Restoration Act</a>&nbsp;restricted government entities from limiting religious freedom without a compelling societal reason and required that any restrictions minimize intrusion. The 2000 Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) limited the right of government to constrain religious land use through zoning, historic preservation laws, and so forth. RFRA ultimately was declared unconstitutional because of the impact on state’s rights. Justice John Paul Stevens stated that it created a privileged status for religion over irreligion. Nevertheless, it has spawned an array of similar laws in the states.</p> <p>Religious privileges typically fall into two categories:</p> <p>1) Individual religious believers and groups want to be exempt from laws and responsibilities that otherwise apply to everyone. Here are some recent examples.</p> <ul> <li>A religious pharmacist&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/id/17537102#.UxfDtleYbIU" target="_blank">refuses</a>&nbsp;to fill&nbsp;<a href="http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/05/16/485092/kansas-pharmacists-block-birth-control/" target="_blank">offending prescriptions</a>.</li> <li>An evangelical florist&nbsp;<a href="http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020743969_floristlawsuitxml.html" target="_blank">refuses</a>&nbsp;to fill an order for flowers for a gay wedding.</li> <li>Catholic colleges&nbsp;<a href="http://americamagazine.org/content/all-things/union-organizing-efforts-advance-catholic-university-adjunct-faculty" target="_blank">claim</a>&nbsp;employees shouldn’t be allowed to join unions.</li> <li>A Methodist church&nbsp;<a href="http://www.historicseattle.org/advocacy/fum.aspx" target="_blank">fights for exemption</a>&nbsp;from land use laws.</li> <li>A Christian prison guard&nbsp;<a href="http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/06/29/conscience-clause-gone-amuck-rape-victim-denied-morning-after-pill-by-prison-guar/" target="_blank">denies Plan B</a>&nbsp;to a raped prisoner, claiming (mistakenly) that it is an abortifacient.</li> <li>Private adoption agencies win the right to&nbsp;<a href="http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-02-07/local/35443355_1_adoption-laws-adoptive-parents-private-adoption-agencies" target="_blank">shun gay prospective parents</a>.</li> <li>Catholic medical staff&nbsp;<a href="http://www.medicaldaily.com/catholic-hospital-refuses-treat-miscarrying-woman-aclu-sues-catholic-bishops-over-reproductive" target="_blank">deny care and information</a>&nbsp;to a woman who is miscarrying.</li> </ul> <p>2) Religious groups demand access to public contracts, services and facilities, even if they use those public assets to advance religious teachings or priorities. Some recent examples:</p> <ul> <li>Christian groups lobby for&nbsp;<a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/dangerous-wave-school-voucher-tsunami-threatens-to-swamp-public-education" target="_blank">voucher programs</a>&nbsp;that divert public funds into parochial education.</li> <li>Child Evangelism Fellowship sues and wins the right to hold religious recruiting activities called&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cefonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=1305:school-is-starting-so-are-good-news-clubs&amp;catid=1:news&amp;Itemid=100275" target="_blank">Good News Clubs</a>&nbsp;on public grade school campuses.</li> <li>Evangelical and Pentecostal “endorsing agencies” use military chaplaincies as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-sharlet/christianity-in-the-milit_b_747585.html" target="_blank">paid public missionaries</a>.</li> <li>A multi-national organization with an evangelical mission, World Vision, simultaneously&nbsp;<a href="http://www.worldvision.org/about-us/who-we-are" target="_blank">obtains aid contracts</a>&nbsp;and exemption from employment antidiscrimination laws.</li> <li>Catholic healthcare corporations&nbsp;<a href="http://awaypoint.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/how-the-catholic-bishops-outsmarted-washington-voters/" target="_blank">impose Bishop rules</a>&nbsp;against abortion and aid-in-dying in publically licensed and tax subsidized facilities under their administration.</li> <li>Religious advocates in the U.S. Senate&nbsp;<a href="http://www.becketfund.org/becket-outlines-femas-discrimination-against-religious-organizations-as-unconstitutional-on-brink-of-congressional-vote/" target="_blank">propose</a>&nbsp;FEMA disaster funding to rebuild houses of worship, even though religious institutions do not pay into the insurance fund.</li> <li>A Jewish yeshiva&nbsp;<a href="http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/06/24/aclu-sues-new-jersey-over-funding-for-religious-schools/" target="_blank">seeks</a>&nbsp;millions in higher education grants to pay for male-only Talmudic studies.</li> </ul> <p>The next couple of months may see conscience creep hit a whole new level, depending on the outcome of two Supreme Court cases that mix religious freedom with corporate personhood. The cases before the court,&nbsp;Conestoga&nbsp;and&nbsp;Hobby Lobby, were brought by for-profit corporations with religious owners who want to be exempt from obligations of the Affordable Care Act. They claim that any health insurance that lets a woman choose pregnancy prevention violates the religious freedom of the owners and the company itself, even if it costs them nothing.</p> <p>On the other side of the equation, the health and economic consequences of contraception are&nbsp;<a href="http://awaypoint.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/9-clues-that-reproductive-policy-is-economy-policy/" target="_blank">so enormous</a>&nbsp;that the United Nations&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/un-calls-contraception-access-a-universal-human-right/" target="_blank">has declared</a>&nbsp;access to family planning a universal human right. In other words, the cases before the Supreme Court pit religious freedom against human rights in no uncertain terms.</p> <p>Can a business use religious freedom claims to get out of laws and civic responsibilities that otherwise apply to everyone? Better yet, as analyst Tom Goldstein asked it, “Do companies, not just people and churches, have religious freedom?” The&nbsp;<a href="http://theusconstitution.org/" target="_blank">Constitutional Accountability Center</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.freespeechforpeople.org/" target="_blank">Free Speech for People</a>&nbsp;have&nbsp;<a href="http://theusconstitution.org/think-tank/issue-brief/can-corporations-pray-affordable-care-act-contraception-mandate-and-free-1" target="_blank">weighed in</a>&nbsp;with amicus briefs against the fusion of corporate and religious privilege, but the outcome is far from clear.</p> <p>A decision that sides with the business owners would echo the Citizens United decision, expanding corporate personhood. It would also bring new energy and opportunity to the Right’s religious freedom strategy.</p> <p>In Arizona’s recent battle, equality prevailed largely because corporations got involved on the side of civil rights. In Washington D.C, the money will be on the other side of the equation. So will the religious makeup of the Court itself, which is majority Catholic and conservative. Even so, the justices may return to the arguments made by Justice Anthony Kennedy (supported by Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas), when the court overturned RFRA back in 1997:</p> <p>Its sweeping coverage ensures its intrusion at every level of government, displacing laws and prohibiting official actions of almost every description and regardless of subject matter. … Any law is subject to challenge at any time by any individual who claims a substantial burden on his or her free exercise of religion. Such a claim will often be difficult to contest. … All told, RFRA is a considerable congressional intrusion into the States' traditional prerogatives and general authority to regulate for the health and welfare of their citizens.</p> <p>In this view, if religious freedom is the trump card proponents hope it is, it becomes a threat not only to the health and welfare of America’s citizens but to our democracy itself. Let’s hope members of the Court will remember their own words of warning.</p> <p><em>Valerie Tarico is a psychologist. She is the author of 'Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light." She is also the founder of WisdomCommons.org.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/conscience-creep-how-religious-freedom-spiraled-out-control#comments Thu, 13 Mar 2014 23:32:36 +0000 vtarico 6508 at https://aclu-wa.org The ACLU-WA and Seattle’s Booking Photo Comparison Software https://aclu-wa.org/blog/aclu-wa-and-seattle-s-booking-photo-comparison-software <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong></strong>The ACLU has long been concerned about the use of facial recognition systems and the broad fishing expeditions for which they can be used.&nbsp; That’s why the ACLU of Washington worked hard to change the Seattle Police Department’s proposed policy for the Booking Photo Comparison Software (BPCS).</p> <p>When we learned of the proposed policy, we objected because it allowed the use of facial recognition software for people who were not suspected of wrongdoing.&nbsp; We asked Seattle to change the proposal and limit the use of BPCS to criminal suspects. We thought it was wrong to use the BPCS on people who weren’t suspected of any wrongdoing, possibly leading those innocent people into unwanted entanglement with law enforcement. The same concerns do not exist with people reasonably suspected of criminal activity; it is law enforcement’s function to try to identify suspects.</p> <p>So we were pleased when Seattle officials modified the policy. We are not opposing the policy as it is currently proposed. &nbsp;Two key aspects of the system and the policy for its use make BPCS different from the vast majority of other proposed and implemented facial recognition systems: The system won’t generate any new images, and it will only be used to identify people already reasonably suspected of criminal activity.</p> <p>In the typical use of facial recognition, people are scanned in a crowd, and their pictures compared to a watch list (e.g., suspected terrorists or wanted fugitives). In other words, entirely innocent people going about their daily lives are subjected to scrutiny, and possible ill consequences, simply by virtue of looking too similar to a person suspected of wrongdoing (at least as far as the computer is concerned). The unacceptable fishing expedition is made even worse by the shortcomings of facial recognition.</p> <p>BPCS, on the other hand, would involve a situation where a picture of a suspected criminal, such as a burglar or convenience store robber, was taken by a surveillance camera. The police then want to identify the person in the picture, to further investigate his or her involvement in the crime. This identification of a criminal suspect is an appropriate law enforcement function. In other words, rather than starting by capturing pictures of a multitude of people hoping to find a few wrongdoers, BPCS starts with a picture of someone who is already reasonably believed to be involved in criminal activity.</p> <p>This limitation is essential. With it in place, we do not believe BPCS will infringe on people’s civil liberties. &nbsp;We do not oppose use of technology so long as privacy and civil liberties are protected. Of course, we will be watching closely to see how BPCS is implemented.&nbsp; If its use does not follow the policy or the use policy changes in the future, our position will likely change as well.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/aclu-wa-and-seattle-s-booking-photo-comparison-software#comments Wed, 12 Mar 2014 00:19:45 +0000 dklunder 6497 at https://aclu-wa.org Liberty Link: Ben Wizner Goes on “The Record” about Surveillance https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-link-ben-wizner-goes-record-about-surveillance <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Ben Wizner is director of the ACLU’s national Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, and is a legal advisor to Edward Snowden. &nbsp;He has visited Snowden in Moscow and communicates with him over encrypted channels.&nbsp; Wizner was in Seattle recently and spoke to KUOW host David Hyde on “The Record” about privacy in the digital age.</p> <p>Wizner pointed that legal protections for privacy have been outpaced by rapidly developing technology. Surveillance capabilities used to be limited by cost and involved following someone around or tapping their phone.&nbsp; But now the NSA and law enforcement agencies are collecting as much information as they can and keeping it for as long as they can. “A digital footprint stays forever,” he observed. And he explained why “metadata” that reveals with whom one communicates can be more valuable to the government for its surveillance purposes than even the content of what was said.</p> <p>However, Wizner is encouraged that people are debating and talking worldwide about surveillance and trying to find a balance between the benefits of technology and our freedoms. You can listen to the interview at <a href="http://kuow.org/post/aclus-ben-wizner-how-snowden-leaks-changed-privacy">http://kuow.org/post/aclus-ben-wizner-how-snowden-leaks-changed-privacy</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-link-ben-wizner-goes-record-about-surveillance#comments Fri, 07 Mar 2014 00:12:41 +0000 misaacson 6492 at https://aclu-wa.org Liberty Link: For “The Record,” Kathleen Taylor Reflects on Her Career https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-link-record-kathleen-taylor-reflects-her-career <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Kathleen Taylor has been executive director of the ACLU of Washington since 1980. Under her leadership, the organization has grown tremendously to become one of the nation’s largest branches of the ACLU, with more than 20,000 members and a staff of 32, plus hundreds of volunteers.</p> <p>Taylor has been designated "Outstanding Non-Lawyer" by the King County Bar Association and was a leader in the 1990 passage of Initiative 120, which guarantees reproductive freedom in Washington. Previously, she headed the Coalition on Government Spying, which exposed extensive political spying by Seattle police and led to Seattle's adoption of the nation's first law restricting political spying by police.</p> <p>Recently, she spoke on KUOW-FM’s “The Record” about her long career of defending and advancing civil liberties, including such notable causes as the legalization of marijuana for adults and the approval of civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples in Washington.&nbsp; The interviewer was KUOW’s Ross Reynolds.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-link-record-kathleen-taylor-reflects-her-career#comments Tue, 04 Mar 2014 00:01:14 +0000 honig 6487 at https://aclu-wa.org ACLU activists make the case for reasonable drone regulation https://aclu-wa.org/blog/aclu-activists-make-case-reasonable-drone-regulation <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A group of enthusiastic ACLU-WA activists met at the State Capitol on Tuesday to encourage legislators to support&nbsp; House Bill 1771 and Senate Bill 6172 calling for reasonable, common sense limits to drone use by state and local government agencies.</p> <p>Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), are inexpensive platforms that can be used to conduct a variety of surveillance activities – surveillance that without this technology would be expensive, manpower-intensive, and would often require a search warrant.&nbsp; The use of domestic drones got a boost last year when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorized airspace for the use of drones by government agencies.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The bills seek to establish a statewide floor of regulation to help ensure individual privacy rights and reduce the likelihood of abuse of this game-changing technology by government agencies eager to take advantage of drone capabilities.</p> <p>Approximately two-dozen activists representing various legislative districts crowded the Cherberg conference room to hear briefings about the bills by ACLU-WA Field Director Liezl T. Rebugio and Legislative Associate Chris Kaasa. Legislative Director Shankar Narayan then briefed the activists about the movement of the bills through the House and Senate and the importance of getting legislation passed this session. After the briefings, activists broke into groups by district, talked in more detail about the bills, and planned their meetings with legislators and staff later in the afternoon.</p> <p>Pat Gallagher from the 36<sup>th</sup> district in Seattle met with his state senator, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, a co-sponsor of SB 6172.&nbsp; Gallagher pointed out that there are currently no restrictions on how state and local governments can use drone technology and there is ample federal funding for local law enforcement to purchase and use drones now. Sen. Kohl-Welles agreed that timely legislation was needed before large numbers of drones started flying over the state unregulated and was encouraged that SB 6172 had passed unanimously through the Law and Justice Committee.</p> <p>Activists spent the afternoon meeting with their representatives and dropping off ACLU-WA information packets at legislative offices.&nbsp; The activists reported encouraging receptions from lawmakers who were interested in hearing details about the legislation.&nbsp; Currently the bills are receiving wide bipartisan support from both chambers of the legislature.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/aclu-activists-make-case-reasonable-drone-regulation#comments Government Surveillance Technology Tue, 18 Feb 2014 21:22:40 +0000 dfranz 6469 at https://aclu-wa.org The School Discipline Conversation is Catching On https://aclu-wa.org/blog/school-discipline-conversation-catching <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Students of color, disabled students, and low-income students are all disciplined more often and more harshly than their classmates, despite evidence that they don’t misbehave more often or engage in more troubling behavior.</p> <p>The ACLU of Washington has been working to change this by promoting better state discipline policies and fairer school practices.&nbsp; We know there are <a href="http://seattletimes.com/html/opinion/2022696922_lindamangelopededucationdisciplinexxxml.html" target="_blank"><strong>alternatives to suspensions and expulsions</strong></a> that more effectively improve student behavior and the school climate.&nbsp;&nbsp; And we are trying to promote these best practices by engaging policy-makers and the community in conversations about this issue.&nbsp; So we were excited to see that the <a href="http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2014/feb/15/taking-new-tack-school-discipline/#axzz2thfhawu8" target="_blank"><em>Kitsap Sun</em></a> is devoting a week-long series to this important issue.&nbsp; And on the national front, a recent op-ed in the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/17/opinion/real-discipline-in-school.html"><em>New York Times</em></a> echoed the ACLU’s call for more effective school discipline policies.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/school-discipline-conversation-catching#comments Youth School Discipline Tue, 18 Feb 2014 19:28:23 +0000 lmangel 6468 at https://aclu-wa.org Why I Chose to Lobby for Reproductive Rights https://aclu-wa.org/blog/why-i-chose-lobby-reproductive-rights <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>On Monday, I did something that I have never done before. Instead of just signing an online petition, I left my laptop at home and participated in the Reproductive Health and Rights Lobby Day in Olympia. I was joined by my dear friend Mary and a few hundred pro-choice activists from across the state of Washington.&nbsp; It was announced that all but&nbsp; four legislative districts were represented.</p> <p>We were there to lobby for the <a href="https://aclu-wa.org/legislative-agenda/reproductive-parity-act-hb-2148">Reproductive Parity Act</a> (RPA), HB 2148. This ACLU-supported bill mandates that all insurance plans which cover maternity care must also provide coverage for abortions.</p> <p>The day kicked off with an enthusiastic rally in the Capitol rotunda, where Lady Liberty (wearing a Marshawn Lynch jersey) led the group in chants. During the rally women from around the state told stories of why they care deeply about this issue. Rep. Eileen Cody, who is sponsoring the bill, spoke to us about why she is a supporter while wearing a bright pink Planned Parenthood Votes shirt. State Senators&nbsp; also showed up to let us know they support the RPA.</p> <p>After the rally I joined other constituents from my legislative district (the 37th) for meetings with my representatives and their assistants. We introduced ourselves, shared personal stories on why the RPA is important, and urged them to support it. It was a great meeting and wonderful to get some face-to-face time with the people who are working hard to represent us.</p> <p>I decided to attend the lobby day because I felt it was time to get more involved in advocating for the issues that I am passionate about. In the past year, a woman’s right to choose has been under attack in many states across our nation. &nbsp;I believe that is a woman’s right to decide what happens to her body, that it’s a decision between herself and her conscience. I have been lucky to be born and raised in a state that has valued a woman’s right to choose.</p> <p>It’s easy to think in our progressive state that pro-choice rights are a given, but there is still work to be done. I am thankful to organizations like NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Planned Parenthood Votes, and the ACLU of Washington for working hard to preserve my rights and the rights of all women in Washington.&nbsp; I hope that Washington state can be a leader by passing the Reproductive Parity Act, then others can follow in our footsteps.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/why-i-chose-lobby-reproductive-rights#comments Reproductive Rights Wed, 05 Feb 2014 17:39:06 +0000 idemaris 6455 at https://aclu-wa.org Dena Fredrickson: Not Shying Away from Religion and Politics https://aclu-wa.org/blog/dena-fredrickson-not-shying-away-religion-and-politics <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has a team of all-star volunteers who man the front desk for us. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>A few years after graduating from the University of Texas Law School in 1991, Dena Fredrickson took and passed the bar in Washington state. Her husband grew up here, and she hoped to live in this area. She recently realized this dream, packing up her bags and moving her legal practice from Texas to Washington. It has been a surprisingly easy transfer, she says, as family law is pretty much the same everywhere.&nbsp; Though there are some differences, like the fact that there are no family cases tried by jury in Washington.&nbsp; And, of course, there’s all the rain.</p> <p>Part of her move has included taking some time to step back from her practice; she would like to get involved in more criminal and immigration cases to do something about “the injustice of the criminal justice system.” This interest led her to get involved at the ACLU of Washington as soon as she got moved in. She finds that being in the ACLU office helps keep her informed and involved.</p> <p>Dena has long been active on social and criminal justice issues. She led several groups back in Texas that helped minority and low-income communities, including work through her church. She also served as a county Democratic chair in Conroe, just north of the Houston. Reporting several voting intimidation cases led Dena to the ACLU of Texas, where she found that the organization works on all of the issues she cares about. And, importantly, some that she doesn’t – as she appreciates that the ACLU protects freedom and rights for everyone.</p> <p>Her passion for social justice was fostered partly by the Catholic Church. Though most people try to avoid them, Dena loves to chat about religion and politics, to share her own views and to listen to others. &nbsp;She even thinks of going back to school to get her masters in Divinity. She jokes that she could attend her alma mater, Notre Dame, and be in the same classes as her son who is there now. In the future, she would like to administer or be involved in non-profit work on social justice issues, combining her religious passion and her legal experience to help others.</p> <p>For now, Dena is getting familiar with her new community and is settling in. She is glad to be volunteering at the ACLU, being a part of working for change. Naturally, she misses family and friends, but she is meeting lots of new people and is quickly getting to know and love her new home.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/dena-fredrickson-not-shying-away-religion-and-politics#comments Thu, 23 Jan 2014 23:42:55 +0000 misaacson 6435 at https://aclu-wa.org It’s Time to Replace Unfair Discipline Practices that Don’t Work https://aclu-wa.org/blog/it-s-time-replace-unfair-discipline-practices-don-t-work <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>We’ve all heard the saying: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.&nbsp; Unfortunately, this approach has guided discipline policies in most Washington schools for decades.&nbsp;&nbsp; Misbehaving students routinely are suspended or expelled – despite overwhelming evidence that such practices don’t work.&nbsp; They don’t improve student behavior and cause greater classroom disruptions down the road; in fact, all leading studies show that student misbehavior tends to escalate with the use of suspensions and expulsions.&nbsp;</p> <p>Students who get kicked out of school are sent home with no educational support or counseling, only to return hopelessly behind in their classwork and more alienated than when they left.&nbsp; The result is that these students fall further behind, fail classes, drop out, and all too often land in the juvenile justice system.&nbsp; Worsening the problem is the fact that students of color and special education students are disciplined more harshly and more frequently than their peers even when engaged in the same conduct.&nbsp;</p> <p>This week, the federal government issued groundbreaking guidance making clear these discriminatory discipline practices are unacceptable.&nbsp; The US Departments of Justice and Education stated emphatically that schools which continue to use practices falling more harshly on students of color will be held accountable under federal civil rights laws.&nbsp; The Seattle School District knows this all too well. Currently they are subject to a federal inquiry into whether their suspension and expulsion practices (with African American students three times more likely to be kicked out) violate federal laws.</p> <p>The good news for Washington districts is that the feds also provided extensive information on best practices, including alternative approaches to school discipline that are far more effective and less costly than the senseless cycle of suspensions and expulsions.&nbsp;</p> <p>One best practice that’s getting increasing attention is “restorative discipline.”&nbsp; This approach seeks to have students who misbehave take real responsibility for their actions.&nbsp; Students must make amends by apologizing and accepting consequences, such as performing community service or working weekends at the school. Rather than simply punishing and ostracizing students, restorative discipline addresses the needs of all parties involved (victim, community and offender).&nbsp; Efforts are made to repair the situation and return the student back to their classroom as soon as possible.&nbsp;</p> <p>These programs have been implemented with incredible success elsewhere.&nbsp; Schools in Oakland, Denver and Baltimore have seen suspensions and expulsions drop 40%-80% within the first year of implementing restorative discipline.&nbsp; They also report significant increases in student performance and graduation rates and remarkable decreases in student misconduct and violent incidents.</p> <p>This kind of discipline reform is sorely needed in Washington, where many children are kept out of school for minor offenses that can and should be handled inside school. Some of these offenses are ill-defined and open to differing interpretations, such as defying authority, inappropriate behavior and defiance of school authority; others are as minor as cellphone or dress code violations. In times gone by, wisecracks or insubordination were understood as adolescent rebellion and addressed accordingly. Now, students can expect to be suspended, sometimes for days or weeks, missing essential learning time in the classroom.</p> <p>Too many students never catch up, particularly those already struggling academically. This leads to a domino effect of disastrous consequences that we all pay for in the form of poverty, violence, and prison costs.&nbsp;</p> <p>Yes, there is a need for discipline, particularly in the cases of serious and dangerous offenses. But we must also work to create positive school climates that keep students learning and provide opportunities for them to understand accountability and responsibility.</p> <p>By taking a smarter approach, we can better ensure equal access to public education for all students and a system the implements discipline fairly to all. &nbsp;&nbsp;And, we can better ensure safe and productive, learning environments for students and teachers.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/it-s-time-replace-unfair-discipline-practices-don-t-work#comments Tue, 21 Jan 2014 22:18:35 +0000 lmangel 6432 at https://aclu-wa.org First Amendment Rights at Prison Upheld https://aclu-wa.org/blog/first-amendment-rights-prison-upheld <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The ACLU of Washington recently succeeded in advocacy that reaffirmed <em>The Militant</em>’s First Amendment right to inform and share its opinions with incarcerated individuals.</p> <p><em>The Militant</em> describes itself as a “socialist newsweekly, published in the interests of working people.” A subscriber living in the Intensive Management Unit at the Washington State Penitentiary wrote to <em>The Militant</em> requesting copies of previous issues.&nbsp; Though <em>The Militant</em> sent the issues, the inmate never received them. Upon further investigation, the prison indicated that these materials may have been rejected because the requestor was in the IMU or that the issues contained information on the prisoner hunger strikes in California.&nbsp; These proffered reasons raised First Amendment concerns, as the incarcerated individual had previously been allowed to access many other news sources reporting on the California hunger strike from viewpoints other than the socialist perspective. &nbsp;</p> <p>The ACLU, representing <em>The Militant</em>, engaged in advocacy with the prison to ensure that the newsweekly was not arbitrarily denied access to inmate subscribers in violation of the First Amendment.&nbsp; The Department of Corrections (DOC) agreed that <em>The Militant</em> has the right to share news and editorials from a socialist perspective with inmates in the Washington State Penitentiary. It also acknowledged that if news publications are rejected, DOC must provide the publisher with notice of the rejection.</p> <p>Defending freedom of expression and free inquiry has been a central part of the ACLU’s work since its founding in 1920.&nbsp; Safeguarding the First Amendment rights of publishers is key to ensuring that there is diversity in the marketplace of ideas.&nbsp; And advocating on behalf of inmates, who have rights and difficulty challenging actions that abridge those rights, ensures that individuals continue to have meaningful access to information about the world outside of the prison.&nbsp; Indeed, the First Amendment is the backbone of our democratic system and must not be weakened for any if it is to protect us all.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/first-amendment-rights-prison-upheld#comments Fri, 20 Dec 2013 18:40:51 +0000 bakerisaacron 2958 at https://aclu-wa.org Brooke Glass-O’Shea: A Passion for Policy https://aclu-wa.org/blog/brooke-glass-o-shea-passion-policy <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>As an ACLU-WA intern this fall, Brooke Glass-O’Shea has researched and analyzed a variety of issues, notably Seattle’s Community Police Commission recommendations and a proposal for sobriety checkpoints. &nbsp;A self-described “policy nerd,” Brooke says that very specific legal issues are her favorite to research because she loves the details of the law.</p> <p>Brooke became an intern with our Policy Advocacy Group because she “wanted to learn about how policy gets made.” Looking into so-called sobriety checkpoints – where the police set up a roadblock and stop everyone who passes – has really brought home the process to her.&nbsp; She has waded through the mountains of research on case law and their effectiveness. &nbsp;While proponents of checkpoints have argued they significantly reduce accidents, a hard look at the data has raised serious questions about these claims and their constitutionality.</p> <p>With a law degree from USC, Brooke says that a legal background definitely helps policy analysts understand issues and navigate in legislative waters. She envisions having a job doing similar work someday, as it combines her love of data, her legal training, and her desire to improve laws and policy.</p> <p>For now, though, Brooke is applying to go back to school next fall to get a Masters in Fine Arts in writing.&nbsp; She already takes classes at Richard Hugo House on Capitol Hill and is writing a memoir of the time she spent teaching law in Ethiopia. This will be her fourth college degree. For Brooke, there is always something new to learn and explore. She says that she might settle down to a “real job” someday, but she will always be a student. Brooke plans to continue to travel and study, and she will make pies and play the drums wherever she ends up.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/brooke-glass-o-shea-passion-policy#comments Tue, 17 Dec 2013 22:28:44 +0000 misaacson 2956 at https://aclu-wa.org A Love Story: Macklemore Sweepstakes Winners Come to Seattle https://aclu-wa.org/blog/love-story-macklemore-sweepstakes-winners-come-seattle <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>As part of our recent video collaboration with Macklemore, people from around the country entered a sweepstakes to meet the Seattle rap and hip hop artist at one of his sold-out shows!&nbsp; Last week the ACLU flew the lucky winner and her guest&nbsp;to Seattle for a concert and a stay at the trendy Ace Hotel.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Out of nearly 10,000 entries, the winner was Jana Egan from Boone, Iowa, a small town about 45 minutes outside of Des Moines.&nbsp; Jana brought along her husband Joe, and the couple used their time in Seattle as a belated honeymoon.&nbsp;&nbsp; Jana and Joe were married 7 months ago; both work at their local supermarket and spend much of their time taking care of their 2-year-old son.</p> <p>Jana and Joe loved Seattle! After spending a full day exploring city, including the Pike Place Market and lunch at the Space Needle – and of course going thrift shopping – Jana and Joe joined 14,000 other Macklemore fans at Key Arena for the final show of his world tour.&nbsp; Afterwards, they rushed backstage to meet both Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.&nbsp; The following day their whirlwind trip came to a close, and they returned home. The only downside? Jana said their legs hurt from all the exploring. But they truly enjoyed their time in Seattle and hope to come back with their son in a few years.&nbsp;</p> <p>The ACLU-WA had information tables at all three of Macklemore’s Seattle shows, signing up new members and having more people join our ever-growing e-mail activist list.&nbsp; More than a hundred thousand people already have watched Macklemore’s video urging fans to support the ACLU.&nbsp; You can see it – and share with friends – at <a href="http://www.aclucard.com">www.aclucard.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/love-story-macklemore-sweepstakes-winners-come-seattle#comments Mon, 16 Dec 2013 19:53:10 +0000 jflodin 2954 at https://aclu-wa.org Patti Hackney: A Recipe for Social Justice https://aclu-wa.org/blog/patti-hackney-recipe-social-justice <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has a team of all-star volunteers who man the front desk for us. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>The ACLU-WA staff usually can tell when Patti Hackney is in our office because of the goodies that appear – scones one week, coffee cake another week, and occasionally smoked salmon. In addition to her passion for working on good causes, Patti loves cooking for groups.&nbsp; “I get great joy out of feeding people,” she explains.</p> <p>A retired attorney who worked in energy law and regulation, Patti has served as a board member and legislative program coordinator for the ACLU of Kansas. Since she and her husband moved to Seattle four years ago, we have had the pleasure of her volunteering at our front desk. &nbsp;</p> <p>“It feels like I’m at a hub of the office, which is fulfilling.&nbsp; There is always something interesting going on, and I am surrounded by dedicated, kind and amazing people,” she says.&nbsp; “What makes handling incoming calls even more fulfilling is that when the ACLU is unable to assist someone directly, we refer them to other organizations.&nbsp; So we don’t just say ‘no,’ but rather ‘here’s another path you might want to take.’&nbsp; This organization has heart and empathy. What’s not to love?”</p> <p>Patti also has lived in Hawaii and Alaska – she and her husband still fish there during the summer – and she has volunteered with environmental groups seeking to protect whales. She points out that these and other causes such as defending reproductive freedom depend on the Bill of Rights and the ACLU’s efforts to protect freedom.&nbsp; “In order to be able to act on other issues, you need to have the freedom to speak out and to meet with others. The ACLU’s work facilitates the work of other groups,” she observes.</p> <p>The victories the ACLU-WA has won during her time here have been a special source of pride. She points to the recent court ruling in the <em>Wilbur v. Mount Vernon</em> suit whereby that city and Burlington will now have to reform their public defense system to make sure that people will be properly represented and that there will be meaningful oversight. Also, the ACLU’s fight to legalize marijuana is near and dear to her heart because so many lives have been destroyed by discriminatory prosecution of a victimless crime.&nbsp;</p> <p>“This ACLU affiliate in particular is so active, productive, exciting, and seeks to protect rights on so many fronts. I like feeling that I am even a very small part of that effort,” she says. “Everyone here has a passion for what they are doing. It is a great place to be, and the results can be amazing.”</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/patti-hackney-recipe-social-justice#comments Fri, 13 Dec 2013 00:08:20 +0000 misaacson 2950 at https://aclu-wa.org School Discipline and Civil Rights: Lessons from a Visit to Baltimore https://aclu-wa.org/blog/school-discipline-and-civil-rights-lessons-visit-baltimore <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>Children’s misbehavior should never be something they can’t recover from.</em></p> <p>That was the overarching message I heard on a recent trip to meet with leaders and advocates from the Baltimore City School District. Thanks to a generous invitation from the League of Education Voters (LEV), I recently joined other education advocates, clergy, and LEV staff on a “scouting” mission to Baltimore.</p> <p>About six years ago, Baltimore school leaders adopted the basic principle that student misconduct should never mean the end of a student’s education. They recognized that not only do suspensions and expulsions not work as a form of deterring future misconduct, but that these frequently spell the end of a student’s education.&nbsp;And they recognized what we know to be true in Washington: Students of color are suspended and expelled far more often and for longer periods of time than their white peers, even when they engage in the same conduct.</p> <p>Baltimore decided to stop suspending and expelling students from school for most forms of misbehavior. While some students may need a break from a particular class or may need to be removed from their home school for a time, no one should lose their right to an education for breaking a school rule.<br /> <br /> One of the most important steps Baltimore took was to replace harsh discipline practices with a restorative approach. This focuses on having students who misbehave take responsibility and make amends for their actions, through such means as apologizing or performing community service. Rather than simply punishing and ostracizing students through suspensions or expulsions, restorative discipline addresses the needs of all parties involved (victims, community, and offenders). And efforts are made to repair the situation and return the student back to their classroom.</p> <p>LEV and the ACLU have been advocating for this approach here in Washington. What we learned from our visit to Baltimore was that if you have committed school leaders, sufficient support and training for your teachers, community groups in your corner, and lots of patience, incredible change can happen (and it doesn’t take a whole lot of money).</p> <p>The results have been impressive. In the first year suspensions dropped by over 36%, and in the past six years suspensions have dropped 67%. This reduction has been accompanied by a 20% reduction in chronically absent students, improved graduation rates, and improved overall student performance and student conduct.</p> <p>After the visit to Baltimore, I returned to Washington with a renewed conviction that we can make this happen here at home. Our school leaders are passionate, our teachers are innovative, and our communities are beginning to call for precisely the kind of change in discipline that we saw in Baltimore. &nbsp;Some already have started using alternative approaches to school discipline. All have seen the same positive results as Baltimore – suspensions are down, grades are up, and overall student behavior has improved.</p> <p>The ACLU looks forward to continuing to work with LEV and others to see these alternatives to suspension and expulsions adopted by schools throughout Washington.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/school-discipline-and-civil-rights-lessons-visit-baltimore#comments Youth Wed, 04 Dec 2013 22:07:04 +0000 lmangel 2937 at https://aclu-wa.org Death row inmate almost pays the ultimate price. We foot the bill. https://aclu-wa.org/blog/death-row-inmate-almost-pays-ultimate-price-we-foot-bill <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The extraordinary expense of Washington’s death penalty cases was in the news again this month, with taxpayers on the hook for most of the cost.</p> <p>Clallam County officials revealed that the <a href="http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20131120/news/311209978/double-murder-trial-costs-to-clallam-taxpayers-edge-toward-900000" target="_blank">cost</a> of Darold Stenson’s retrial is approaching $900,000 – this in addition to the cost of the initial trial and appeals that led to his original conviction and death sentence being overturned in 2012. Stenson was convicted of murdering his wife and business partner in 1993 and given a death sentence. Eighteen years later, the Washington Supreme Court reversed Stenson’s conviction when previously withheld evidence came to light.</p> <p>Because county prosecutors did not decide to seek a mandatory life sentence until the trial was under way, a public defender could not represent Stenson in the second trial. On Nov. 12, Stenson was found <a href="http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20131112/news/311129976/stenson-guilty-again-of-1993-slayings" target="_blank">guilty</a> of two counts of first-degree premeditated, aggravated murder. He is expected to be sentenced Dec. 10 to a mandatory life term in prison without the possibility of parole.</p> <p>In a roundabout way, this case ended where it should have begun. Had the death penalty not been an option, county officials estimate the retrial would have cost about $100,000 – a savings to taxpayers of $800,000.</p> <p>Setting aside for the moment the compelling case that can be made that the death penalty is applied unfairly and that it carries an unacceptable risk of executing innocent people, the fact is that the death penalty is very costly.</p> <p>Washington state’s death penalty can cost millions of dollars per case – much more than imprisoning someone for life. Because a person’s life is at stake, vital extra safeguards must be part of the process to prevent an innocent person from being executed.</p> <p>Replacing the death penalty with an ironclad sentence of life without parole would allow Washington state to redirect millions of taxpayer dollars to policing and to programs that are proven to prevent crime and keep communities safer.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/death-row-inmate-almost-pays-ultimate-price-we-foot-bill#comments Criminal Justice Death Penalty Tue, 26 Nov 2013 22:23:03 +0000 Greg Brewis 2915 at https://aclu-wa.org Nick Crocker: Getting Informed, Staying Involved https://aclu-wa.org/blog/nick-crocker-getting-informed-staying-involved <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has a team of all-star volunteers who staff the front desk for us. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>Nick Crocker attended an ACLU-WA forum on militarization of police a couple years ago and heard Seattle police chief Norm Stamper speak on the war on drugs and criminal justice in our state. When he went home, he “got online and got involved.” Nick already had Mondays off from his work at an Italian food import store, so he decided spend his day off volunteering at the ACLU office. He has continued to do so for the past two years.</p> <p>It is “the prohibition of drugs and how counterproductive it is” that got Nick interested in the social and legal issues facing our state. He regards the drug war as a waste of time and money that also is detrimental to our society. He points to the fact that the US has 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of its prisoners. This level of incarceration is crazy, he says, and it has lasting impacts on those prosecuted as well as on their families; and the effect is long-lasting, often limiting people’s ability to get a job or housing. Like the ACLU, he thinks the money spent on catching, prosecuting and imprisoning for minor drug offenses could be much better used to treat rather than incarcerate.</p> <p>A University of Washington graduate in Sociology, Nick would like to get involved in research and policy work related to this issue. For now, he is happy tasting all of the pasta and olive oil in his work at Ritrovo’s, and keeping informed and involved by working at the ACLU. As he has worked at the front desk, helped with mailings, and read ACLU emails and information, Nick has “discovered that all of the ACLU issues are kind of connected. They’re all important, education, criminal justice, and everything in between is all tied together.” It is like the Seahawks drum line that he plays on: Each drum part is important, but it is only when the rhythms are combined, or the issues tackled in combination, that you can get harmony.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/nick-crocker-getting-informed-staying-involved#comments Tue, 26 Nov 2013 17:44:30 +0000 misaacson 2906 at https://aclu-wa.org Henry Seeley: Pushing Back Against Those Who Ignore Civil Liberties https://aclu-wa.org/blog/henry-seeley-pushing-back-against-those-who-ignore-civil-liberties <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>Henry Seeley has always had a high regard for the ACLU, and chose to intern here because he considers it the best organization for getting good work done. As he puts it, “The ACLU pushes back against those who ignore civil liberties in the pursuit of efficiency of government, politics, religion, protecting children.&nbsp; Whatever the cause, if they ignore people in the process, the ACLU is there to fight for them.”&nbsp;</p> <p>Henry is proud to be a part of this organization and his work on legal intake – particularly when he gets a call from someone interested in our Second Chances program, which provides legal assistance to people with criminal records posing obstacles to finding housing or employment. He feels like he is really making a difference in the lives of these individuals, being able to send them directly to an ACLU expert for help.&nbsp;</p> <p>A University of Washington senior, Henry is researching immigrants’ rights and how deportation affects families for his honors degree in Law, Societies and Justice.&nbsp; He is excited about the ACLU-NW Immigrant Rights Project’s recent victory on the Olympic Peninsula, in which a court found that prolonging law enforcement stops of individuals to hand over to the Border Patrol is illegal; it is awesome, he says, to be a part of “real work getting done that affects lots of people and is wide-reaching.”&nbsp;</p> <p>Henry will be taking the Law School Admission Test (aka the LSAT) in December and hopes to attend law school at Berkley or Stanford next year; he is looking forward to returning to the Bay area where he grew up. He hopes to focus on privacy and patent law because he wants to get involved in the evolving law of new technology. He wants to help create new law to protect the rights of individuals and personal privacy.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/henry-seeley-pushing-back-against-those-who-ignore-civil-liberties#comments Mon, 25 Nov 2013 17:26:57 +0000 misaacson 2904 at https://aclu-wa.org The Bill of Rights Dinner: Excitement, Hope, and Kick-Ass Humor https://aclu-wa.org/blog/bill-rights-dinner-excitement-hope-and-kick-ass-humor <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>On November 9<sup>th</sup>, the ACLU of Washington held its annual Bill of Rights Dinner, which celebrates the past year’s work and honors those who have made a difference here in Washington. It was my first time attending and, needless to say, I was pretty excited to be there.&nbsp; Although I was born and raised here in Washington, I don’t often find myself with this many like-minded individuals; and when I do, it’s pretty exciting.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The event was emceed by KING-TV <em>Almost Live!</em> alum and all-around funny-lady Nancy Guppy, whose charm and humor added to the evening’s program.&nbsp; Our Executive Director Kathleen Taylor welcomed the crowd and gave us a special preview of the new ACLU-WA and Macklemore video, which was a real crowd-pleaser (you can see it at <a href="https://aclucard.com/" target="_blank">https://aclucard.com/</a>).</p> <p>The William O Douglas Award was presented to Innocence Project Northwest founder and University of Washington Law School faculty member Jackie McMurtrie, who was humble and inspiring in her acceptance as she described her work. The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was given the Civil Libertarian Award for their &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;wide-ranging work to protect the rights of and educate others about Muslim Americans. The Youth Activist Award was presented to the co-founder of the Washington Dream Act Coalition, Carolos Padilla whose speech illuminated the real need for immigration reform.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>We were honored to have celebrated Hollywood actress Kathleen Turner (whom I remembered from her Oscar-nominated performance in <em>Peggy Sue got Married</em>) as our special guest.&nbsp; Not only did she perform part of her one-woman show “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins,” she also sat down following her performance with Nancy Guppy for a very interesting conversation about her advocacy work for civil liberties issues.&nbsp; I was unfamiliar with Ivins, so I looked her up on Wikipedia before the event. I learned she was a true journalist with integrity and a lot of sass, which Turner captured beautifully on stage.&nbsp; From her red cowboy boots to the six-pack of beer she pulled out from her desk, Ms. Turner did a wonderful job portraying this iconic civil libertarian.</p> <p>At the end of the evening and after a very long day, I was reinvigorated!&nbsp; It’s humbling to be an intern at an organization that works tirelessly to make sure the civil liberties and civil rights of all are being protected. One can’t help but feel hopeful for the future when working with people who dedicate their lives to giving others a second chance, decriminalizing marijuana, projecting our privacy, fighting for marriage equality, and so much more.</p> <p>View the event photos by clicking <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/acluwa/" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/bill-rights-dinner-excitement-hope-and-kick-ass-humor#comments Fri, 22 Nov 2013 20:16:10 +0000 idemaris 2903 at https://aclu-wa.org Kelsey Engstrom: Law, Society and Justice, Here and Around the World https://aclu-wa.org/blog/kelsey-engstrom-law-society-and-justice-here-and-around-world <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>Kelsey Engstrom frequently studies ACLU materials and cases as a University of Washington senior studying in the Law, Society and Justice department.&nbsp; Almost every article she is assigned seems to reference cases that the ACLU has been involved in. One that stood out was <em>Cohen v. California,</em> where the ACLU defended Cohen’s right of free speech to wear a jacket saying “fuck the draft.”</p> <p>These studies led Kelsey to get involved at the ACLU as a legal intake counselor. She wants to learn more and get hands-on experience with civil liberties in America and then use her knowledge on a more global stage.</p> <p>Kelsey is starting to work on her Senior Honors thesis on “Human Trafficking in Seattle.” She will focus on illegal labor over sex and other types of trafficking; while issues of labor are often overlooked as a lesser crime, they are far more prevalent in Washington. She is also interested in prison rights and the crossover with mental health and incarceration. As an intake counselor, she frequently hears pleas from inmates; she finds it heartbreaking that so many people end up in prison for reasons associated with their mental health issues. Once in prison, there is often no care at all, and their conditions only get worse.</p> <p>The ACLU is so important because it fights for justice on issues like these, she says, “especially in this state, where the ACLU is actually getting things done. She points to the ACLU-WA’s Second Chances project, headed by staff attorney Vanessa Hernandez, which seeks fair treatment for people with criminal records. Its goal is that individuals should not be denied housing or employment for old, minor, or irrelevant criminal records.</p> <p>Kelsey’s legal intake work helps to identify pressing problems as well as provide help to individuals who need it. The most rewarding calls she gets are for those who qualify for “second chances.” As she explains, “As long as people have paid their LFO’s (court-imposed legal financial obligations), the ACLU can help them clear their criminal records and can do so quickly.”</p> <p>A San Francisco native, Kelsey has been spending all of her free time studying abroad in Prague, Ireland, The Hague, and Ecuador. She is looking forward spending some time with her family after she graduates next June, but then is going to move to NYC. She will take the Foreign Service Exam, and she hopes to keep traveling and defending civil liberties and social justice throughout the world.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/kelsey-engstrom-law-society-and-justice-here-and-around-world#comments Thu, 21 Nov 2013 17:57:47 +0000 misaacson 2905 at https://aclu-wa.org Catherine Fisher: Getting Involved https://aclu-wa.org/blog/catherine-fisher-getting-involved <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>Catherine Fisher wants to learn about and make a difference in social justice and politics. A high school student, she hopes to help educate others, perhaps as an investigative journalist, highlighting issues that people don’t know about. For example, she says that in Washington “a third of our state doesn’t know we have the death penalty,” if we educated them, if people knew, then they might be willing to help make changes.</p> <p>This is why she decided to spend the year interning in Communications here at the ACLU, She says that all of the issues that the ACLU works on are important and worth fighting for, and that people should learn about and get involved on issues that they think are important. For Catherine, the issue of limits to patient choices accompanying hospital mergers is particularly significant because “people deserve the care they want, not what someone else thinks they should get.” She has worked on the successful forum on “Hospital Mergers &amp; Religious Restrictions on Health Care” that the ACLU-WA and allies put on at Town Hall Seattle, and hopes that it has educated and encouraged others to action.</p> <p>She is one of 60 students at Interlake High School who completed their International Baccalaureate Diplomas last year as juniors and now are spending their senior year taking college classes and interning at local organizations. In addition to working here, Catherine is volunteering at the community radio station KBCS and is taking her last required English and social science courses.&nbsp; She has applied for early admissions to study Comparative Literature and Journalism at Columbia, and is eager to find out if she will get to move to New York next year for school.</p> <p>Catherine is also an avid local music fan and often attends festivals. Noah Gunderson and Hey Marseilles are her favorites. But she also loves the classics Dylan and Springsteen, and is always open to new or old suggestions.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/catherine-fisher-getting-involved#comments Mon, 18 Nov 2013 20:04:15 +0000 misaacson 2900 at https://aclu-wa.org Restorative Discipline Pays Off: Suspensions Down, Grades Up, Behavior Improved https://aclu-wa.org/blog/restorative-discipline-pays-suspensions-down-grades-behavior-improved <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This week, one of the largest school districts in Florida announced it is replacing suspension and expulsions with a new restorative approach to school discipline – the same type of alternative approach that the ACLU of Washington is promoting here in Washington state.</p> <p>Broward County School District has entered into a <a href="http://safequalityschools.org/resources/entry/broward-agreement-on-school-discipline">Collaborative School Discipline Agreement</a> that focuses on restorative discipline practices aimed at keeping kids in the classroom rather than suspending or expelling them for misbehavior.&nbsp;</p> <p>Restorative discipline has students who misbehave take responsibility and make amends for their actions, such as by apologizing or performing community service.&nbsp; Rather than simply punishing and ostracizing students through suspensions or expulsions, restorative discipline addresses the needs of all parties involved (victims, community, and offenders).&nbsp;&nbsp; Disruptive students may still be removed from class (and of course students posing safety risks may be removed from the school). But rather than just kicking a student out of school, efforts are made to repair the situation and put the student in a better position to learn.</p> <p>Across the country in places such as Oakland, Denver, Baltimore, Chicago, and now Broward County, Florida, restorative discipline efforts are paying off.&nbsp; Suspensions and expulsions are way down, test scores and graduation rates are up, and the overall school climates have vastly improved.&nbsp; All by simply taking the time to get to the bottom of a student’s misconduct rather than just getting rid of the student.</p> <p>Here in Washington, the tide is starting to turn as some schools and districts are getting smart about discipline.&nbsp; For example, First Creek Middle School in Tacoma,&nbsp; <a href="http://acestoohigh.com/2012/04/23/lincoln-high-school-in-walla-walla-wa-tries-new-approach-to-school-discipline-expulsions-drop-85/">Lincoln High School in Walla Walla</a> and every school in the Highline School District have all started using alternative approaches to school discipline and all have seen the same positive results – suspensions down, grades up, behavior improved.</p> <p>Through our Education Equity project, and with the great examples being set by these schools, the ACLU is working to see alternatives to suspension and expulsions adopted by schools throughout the state.</p> <p>For an in-depth look at the impact of suspensions and expulsions in Washington and the racial injustice of these practices, see <a href="http://media.wix.com/ugd/4569ed_e44ccb42cff21777ea479f4125d347df.pdf">Reclaiming Students</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/restorative-discipline-pays-suspensions-down-grades-behavior-improved#comments Tue, 12 Nov 2013 23:28:41 +0000 lmangel 2899 at https://aclu-wa.org Macklemore: “If you like being free like me, get the ACLU card today.” https://aclu-wa.org/blog/macklemore-if-you-being-free-me-get-aclu-card-today <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong></strong><strong></strong>Rap superstar Macklemore is urging his fans to get the card “that lets my gay friends marry the hell out of each other.”&nbsp; That’s the ACLU’s legendary membership card. “If you like being free like me, get the ACLU card today,” the award-winning rapper advises in a video he launched today (<a href="http://www.aclucard.com">www.aclucard.com</a>).&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">"There is no other organization that I believe in more.&nbsp;The tireless work of the ACLU to preserve the freedoms of all people in our country inspires my music and my deepest connection to my human community,” explained Macklemore.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Macklemore and his partner Ryan Lewis won an MTV award for Best Video with a Message for their song “Same Love.” &nbsp;The song became an anthem for R-74, the referendum which upheld Washington’s law granting marriage rights to same-sex couples. The ACLU of Washington has long worked for equal treatment of lesbian and gay relationships and served on the referendum campaign’s coordinating body. Macklemore spoke about his support for the cause in a video produced for the ACLU-WA’s 2012 Bill of Rights Dinner.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Now Macklemore is asking people to become ACLU members. “I’ve got a lot of things to do during the day.&nbsp; So something like being beaten with a club, pepper-sprayed, and tased for expressing my political views would really slow me down.&nbsp; That’s why I carry the ACLU card,” he says in the 50-second video.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">It was produced by the ACLU-WA in partnership with the Wexley School for Girls, a Seattle-based ad agency. “Free speech, marriage for same-sex couples, and reproductive freedom – Macklemore&nbsp; addresses civil liberties issues that really matter to his fans and the ACLU,” said ACLU of Washington executive director Kathleen Taylor. “And he does so humorously and irreverently. That’s the beauty of it.”</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/macklemore-if-you-being-free-me-get-aclu-card-today#comments Tue, 12 Nov 2013 18:47:32 +0000 honig 2897 at https://aclu-wa.org Hospital Mergers and Religious Restrictions on Health Care Event https://aclu-wa.org/blog/hospital-mergers-and-religious-restrictions-health-care-event <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>I walked through Town Hall Seattle’s doors last week for the forum on “Hospital Mergers and Religious Restrictions on Health Care” ready to work at the ACLU-WA booth. Handing out information and answering general questions. I watched as articles about mergers between secular and religious hospitals flew off the table into the hands of worried people. As more and more people flowed into the lobby, I was struck by the community’s concern about the situation. More than 400 people attended the event.<br /><br />When the clock struck seven, I made my way upstairs into the great hall to listen to the panel. I took a seat towards the back on one of the long wooden benches, silenced my cell phone, and gave the panel my full attention. I was especially interested in the presentations of Mary Kay Barbieri of People for Healthcare Freedom and Sarah Shannon of the UW School of Nursing. Shannon spoke about the professional ethical obligations that doctors and nurses have to provide the best lawful medical care to each patient. &nbsp;Barbieri addressed the concerns of rural communities and how they are unequally affected in these mergers. While a patient might be able to drive just a short distance to reach another, secular hospital in an urban area, in a rural area this is much more difficult.<br /><br />Another issue that struck me was the gag orders that can be placed on doctors and nurses working at Catholic hospitals. Not only can they not provide certain services, but sometimes they may not even be able to talk about them!&nbsp; If a patient isn’t going to be provided certain services, they should at the very least know they are available elsewhere. Finally, a leader of Compassion and Choices of Washington spoke during the Q &amp; A session about Catholic hospitals not providing the information or resources necessary to allow patients to exercise their right to physician aid-in-dying. These mergers are endangering what voters said back in 2008 was their will – that patients deserve the peace of mind that they need not endure an agonizing or uncomfortable death.<br /><br />In the end, this event lit a fire in me because it opened my eyes to the threats to people’s legal rights, especially women’s right to choose and care free of discrimination against LGBT patients. I was thrilled to see so many people in line to ask questions, eager for more information about this extremely important topic.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/hospital-mergers-and-religious-restrictions-health-care-event#comments Wed, 06 Nov 2013 20:02:01 +0000 cfisher@aclu-wa.org 2894 at https://aclu-wa.org Challenging Unjust Mandatory Detention of Immigrants https://aclu-wa.org/blog/challenging-unjust-mandatory-detention-immigrants <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The ACLU and other advocates for immigrant rights are challenging the lack of due process for individuals who are subject to mandatory detention while the government brings deportation cases against them for past crimes. These people are often longtime legal residents, rehabilitated and leading productive lives in their communities. It is unlawful and unjust for the government to keep them locked up with no opportunity to prove eligibility for release or bond.&nbsp;</p> <p>The ACLU of Washington, the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and the firm of Gibbs Houston Pauw have filed a class-action lawsuit (<em>Khoury vs. Asher</em>) in federal court over the mandatory detention of individuals based on crimes that are often minor, nonviolent, and several years old. The lawsuit seeks to gain due process for them through individualized bond hearings.&nbsp; This case was brought on behalf of three named plaintiffs in Washington state, including Bassam Yusuf Khoury. Many other individuals at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma and elsewhere are also being held without possibility of bond.</p> <p>Bassam Yusuf Khoury became a lawful permanent resident of the United States in 1976.&nbsp; In 2011, Khoury was convicted of attempted manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, and served 30 days in jail for it.&nbsp; When he was released, he was not taken into custody by immigration authorities. However, in April of 2013, Khoury was placed in “mandatory detention” at the Northwest Detention Center because of the case two years earlier.</p> <p>Khoury has now been locked up there for close to six months while his deportation case is being decided. A federal immigration judge held that the court lacked jurisdiction to determine whether he could be released under bond; so he is still subjected to mandatory detention – and has now been locked up far longer than for his original crime.</p> <p>Though he is a Palestine national, Khoury has no ties to Jordan, where the US seeks to deport him. But he does have many ties here at home, including a close relationship with his two sisters, a child, and a grandchild – all of whom are U.S. citizens. Because of his detention, Khoury has lost his job with his long-term employer and can no longer pay his rent; his family had to make arrangements to move his things out of his apartment.</p> <p>Immigration law allows mandatory detention while cases are being decided for a narrow group of people who are convicted of crimes and are taken into custody at the time they are released from the criminal justice system for the crime.&nbsp; But for years, the Department of Homeland Security has misapplied mandatory detention for people like Khoury who have been living the community for years since their release.</p> <p>Constitutional guarantees require that detention be limited to the prevention of flight risk and danger to the community and be accompanied by strong procedural protections. &nbsp;Khoury was a productive member of society, supporting himself, and posing neither flight risk nor danger; but now the government is expending taxpayer money to unnecessarily detain him.</p> <p>“This case does not seek to give anyone a ‘get out of jail free card,’ nor to allow them to evade their immigration hearings. Rather, it seeks to prevent unlawful detention without due process,” said Sarah Dunne, ACLU-WA legal director.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/challenging-unjust-mandatory-detention-immigrants#comments Immigrant Rights Mon, 04 Nov 2013 20:01:53 +0000 misaacson 2892 at https://aclu-wa.org Mike Archambault: Data Guy https://aclu-wa.org/blog/mike-archambault-data-guy <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong></strong><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to</em><em> meet some of them.</em></p> <p>Mike Archambault is a self-proclaimed “data guy.” As a University of Washington student, he got involved with the ACLU over the summer to help our criminal justice reform work by looking at jail booking data – a notoriously hard-to-analyze set of numbers because every jail has its own data system. He has since completed his thesis on the same subject for his Master’s degree in Public Administration.</p> <p>Mike has stayed with us and is now an intern with the ACLU-WA’s Policy Advocacy Group. He is helping to research laws that unfairly or disproportionately affect low-income communities. His work includes looking at “'legal financial obligations,” which include all fees, fines, and restitution assessed by a judge in a criminal conviction and the interest accrued; these “LFO’s” are a serious burden for low-income people who are striving to re-enter society.</p> <p>He is also looking at suspensions for “driving with license suspended in the third degree,” which also disproportionately impact those with limited financial means.&nbsp; People with low incomes may be unable to pay traffic fines and as a result have their licenses suspended.&nbsp; If their license is suspended after they can’t pay, they may feel they have to keep driving as a matter of necessity – i.e., to keep their job or fulfill other obligations – whereas people with a higher disposable income can more readily make other arrangements.</p> <p>For Mike it is these projects that make the ACLU so valuable. “The ACLU pursues worthy issues that other organizations can't, and steps up to the plate for people who are often ignored,” he says.</p> <p>When not at the ACLU, Mike also works as a Boeing Engineer, and as an Intern for the ‘Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area’ to help “connect people with retail space in their neighborhoods.” He is also an avid sailor, who was recently part of a three man crew that sailed to Hawaii in 19 days on a Pacific Seacraft 37.&nbsp;</p> <p>All of this work makes him want to get involved in more local political affairs, perhaps as a legislative aide or working with the city council. He is hopeful that the city will improve, particularly in regards to “rights and equality are for everyone.” &nbsp;He also is interested in improving public transportation and biking in our city, so that he can continue to ride one of his six bikes to work.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/mike-archambault-data-guy#comments Tue, 29 Oct 2013 23:41:55 +0000 misaacson 2888 at https://aclu-wa.org Coming Soon: “Hospital Mergers & Religious Restrictions on Health Care” https://aclu-wa.org/blog/coming-soon-hospital-mergers-religious-restrictions-health-care <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>On this coming <strong>Wednesday, October 30th</strong> from <strong>7-9 pm</strong> the ACLU-WA and four allies are presenting an important Community Forum at <strong>Town Hall Seattle</strong> (1119 8th Ave.).&nbsp; <strong>“<a href="/event/hospital-mergers-religious-restrictions-health-care" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Hospital Mergers &amp; Religious Restrictions on Health Care</span></a>”</strong> will explore how mergers of religiously affiliated and secular health care systems&nbsp; can affect patient access to lawful and medically appropriate care.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>As religious health corporations take over secular health facilities at an unprecedented pace in Washington, patients are at risk of being denied access to important medical services, including end-of life services and reproductive care.&nbsp; Discrimination toward LGBT individuals and families is also a significant concern.&nbsp;&nbsp; If all the proposed religious-secular health facility mergers go through this year, nearly half, if not more, of all hospital beds in Washington will be in religiously affiliated hospitals.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Community Forum will be an educational event where a panel of experts will discuss how these mergers affect patient access.&nbsp; Panelists include:</p> <ul> <li>Sheila Reynertson, Merger Watch</li> <li>Aaron Katz, UW School of Public Health</li> <li>Mary Kay Barbieri, People for Healthcare Freedom</li> <li>Mauricio Ayon, WA Community Action Network </li> <li>Sarah Shannon, UW&nbsp; School of Nursing </li> <li>Moderated by Erica Barnett, Publicola</li> </ul> <p>A question-and-answer period will follow the panel.&nbsp; The Forum will also include tools to allow community members to <a href="https://aclu-wa.org/sites/default/files/attachments/Hospital%20Merger%20Petition.pdf" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">take action</span></a><span style="text-decoration: underline;"> </span>and to <a href="https://www.aclu.org/secure/patient-and-provider-web-intake" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">share their stories</span></a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The event is free and co-sponsored by the ACLU of Washington, Compassion &amp; Choices of Washington, Legal Voice, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, and Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest.</p> <p>Learn more <a href="/myhealthcare" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">here</span></a></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/coming-soon-hospital-mergers-religious-restrictions-health-care#comments Fri, 25 Oct 2013 23:12:52 +0000 lrutman 2886 at https://aclu-wa.org Natasha Khanna: Law and Dance https://aclu-wa.org/blog/natasha-khanna-law-and-dance <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>At the suggestion of a college counselor, Natasha Khanna applied to intern with the ACLU in California three years ago.&nbsp; She didn’t know much about the organization at the time and didn’t end up with the internship, but the ACLU has been on her radar screen ever since.&nbsp; Natasha is particularly interested in voting rights and the relationship between the church and state.&nbsp; She thinks that the ACLU is most important because it represents the “big picture.” As she puts it, “Regardless of the specific issue, we are always fighting for equal rights and the Constitution, and people can connect and rely on that.”</p> <p>Now Natasha is happy to be a volunteer Legal Intake Counselor in the ACLU of Washington office.&nbsp; She talks with individuals calling in for help with violations of their rights. When she can’t directly resolve a person’s problem, she directs them to resources that can help.</p> <p>A recent graduate of the University of Washington with a dual degree in Ballet and Political Science, Natasha just took the LSAT and will hopefully be going to law school next year. She is interested in American politics and government, and hopes to focus on patent law. As she explains, “Patent law gives you a lot of options because you can go work in the tech industry, or in the fashion industry, your options are diverse with what you can do.” She is really hoping to get into Georgetown because she spent nine years living in D.C. and wants to go back.</p> <p>Ballet is Natasha’s other love, and she continues to take as many classes as she can. She says that she will never be a professional dancer because she wasn’t chosen at 15, and does not want to teach, but it will always be a part of her life. She finds it a good balance to have the creative outlet with the focus she devotes to her work and schooling. &nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/natasha-khanna-law-and-dance#comments Thu, 24 Oct 2013 16:00:00 +0000 jflodin 2885 at https://aclu-wa.org Turning Loss into Action: Mexican Author Javier Sicilia to Speak on the Drug War https://aclu-wa.org/blog/turning-loss-action-mexican-author-javier-sicilia-speak-drug-war <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Two upcoming events will highlight the ways the War on Drugs has produced painful consequences for not only the United States, but also our neighbors to the south. &nbsp;Between the more than 70,000 deaths and 10,000 disappearances in Mexico since 2006, and the mass incarceration and disenfranchisement of non-violent individuals in the U.S., the number of lives being destroyed in the name of the War on Drugs has reached epidemic proportions.</p> <p><strong>Javier Sicilia</strong>, an award-winning poet and activist from Mexico, knows this destruction first-hand. His son was murdered in 2011 in the crossfire of drug war-related violence. A courageous survivor, Javier has turned his pain into activism by joining with the mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers of Mexico’s dead and disappeared to build The Movement for Peace and Justice with Dignity and lead the Caravan for Peace<strong> </strong>in 2012. The Caravan, full of survivors who transformed their losses into compassionate action, led a series of high-profile events through Mexico and the U.S., seeking to gain peace and an end to the tragic consequences of drug prohibition.</p> <p>Sicilia put it eloquently in a 2011 <em>YES! Magazine</em> interview:</p> <p>“In the name of abstract love, in the name of God and Country, in the name of saving the youth from the drug, in the name of the proletariat, in the name of abstractions, our politicians and war policy makers have committed the most atrocious crimes on human beings, who are not abstractions, who are bones and flesh. That is what our country is living and suffering today: in the name of an abstract goodness, we are suffering the opposite: the horror of war and violence, of innocents dead, disappeared, and mutilated.”</p> <p><strong>The ACLU of Washington is presenting two special events this Saturday, October 26, </strong>featuring Sicilia and his thoughts on the potential impacts of Washington’s new marijuana law on the War on Drugs, as well as new perspectives on immigration reform. The afternoon event at the Seattle University Law School will feature a Q+A session with Sicilia and Professors Steve Bender and Thomas Antkowiak. At the evening event in the South Park Community Center, Sicilia will be joined by Seattle-area poets Cynthia Sanchez, Paul Nelson, and Tara Hardy, who will each read selected pieces. More details below:</p> <p><strong>Afternoon Event</strong></p> <p>October 26 from 1 to 3 PM</p> <p>Seattle Law School, Lecture Hall C6 (901 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122)</p> <p><strong>Evening Event</strong></p> <p>October 26 from 6 to 8 PM</p> <p>South Park Community Center (8319 8th Ave South, Seattle, 98108)</p> <p>Events are free and open to the public.</p> <p>Learn more <a href="/washington-s-marijuana-law-mexican-perspective">here</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/turning-loss-action-mexican-author-javier-sicilia-speak-drug-war#comments Wed, 23 Oct 2013 21:43:22 +0000 amoorer 2884 at https://aclu-wa.org Nate Hards: Challenging Class and Racial Inequality https://aclu-wa.org/blog/nate-hards-challenging-class-and-racial-inequality <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>When asked why he is interning with the ACLU, Nathan Hards spoke of “putting knowledge into action.” He is interested in racial and class inequality, and graduated from Western Washington University in Political Science, focusing on race and public policy for contemporary African Americans. His final project focused on social class issues, as he found that significant issues in our country increasingly arise from divisions of class. His professor for that project just happens to be a close friend of an ACLU-WA Board member and recommended that Nate start here.</p> <p>Like many recent graduates, Nate is not exactly sure what he wants to do with his life long-term, but for now he wants to get involved in grass-roots advocacy at the local level.&nbsp; He wants to try to “taste everything” to figure out what he is most interested in and where he can most help to change injustice. He worries that “we are less willing to help each other out in this day and age” as group membership, values, and religion have faded in this country. So we tend to associate only with others in our geographical and social strata, and this leaves society more divided.</p> <p>As a Legal Intake Counselor here at the ACLU, Nate helps to process letters and phone calls of people seeking help with individual problems. When the ACLU can’t directly help someone, it is Nate’s job to direct them to an organization that can.&nbsp; He finds the work hard but satisfying, and after a month is already becoming familiar with the resources that Washington has to offer. &nbsp;He is also learning about a variety of issues, as he also works on projects such as secular-religious hospital mergers when researching and editing help is needed.</p> <p>While not at the ACLU, Nate walks his yellow lab and works at a restaurant in Snohomish.&nbsp; And he attends as many concerts as he can, particularly if they are Indian hip-hop; he recommends we all go check out artists Sam Lachow and Theophilus London.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/nate-hards-challenging-class-and-racial-inequality#comments Mon, 21 Oct 2013 18:42:35 +0000 misaacson 2881 at https://aclu-wa.org Bust Cards: Educating about Rights While We Work for Police Reform https://aclu-wa.org/blog/bust-cards-educating-about-rights-while-we-work-police-reform <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Last year, after pressure from the ACLU and a number of community groups, the City of Seattle and the Department of Justice entered into a settlement agreement relating to police practices. It avoided a lengthy court battle over DOJ’s allegations that the Seattle Police Department had a pattern or practice of the excess use of force.</p> <p>A part of that agreement – called a Memorandum of Understanding – established the Community Police Commission.&nbsp; The Commission is made up of 15 volunteers who accepted the important task of engaging with the many communities across our city to ensure that diverse voices and opinions are heard during this reform process.&nbsp; &nbsp;I am pleased to represent the ACLU of Washington on the Commission.&nbsp; We are working hard to improve policing in our city while also reminding community members about their rights when they interact with the police.&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, the ACLU-WA has worked for on police issues for decades, and our wallet-sized <a href="https://aclu-wa.org/sites/default/files/attachments/Bust%20Card%20May%202013.pdf" target="_blank">“bust card”</a>&nbsp;on people’s rights with police remains as popular and relevant as others.</p> <p>If you are interested in learning more about the work of the Commission, you can visit their web site.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.seattle.gov/policeCommission/">http://www.seattle.gov/policeCommission/</a></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/bust-cards-educating-about-rights-while-we-work-police-reform#comments Criminal Justice Police Practices Fri, 18 Oct 2013 20:33:00 +0000 shaw 2875 at https://aclu-wa.org GeekGirlCon: A Place for Women Who Have Found Their Own Voices https://aclu-wa.org/blog/geekgirlcon-place-women-who-have-found-their-own-voices <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.geekgirlcon.com/">GeekGirlCon</a> is here!&nbsp; If you haven’t heard of GeekGirlCon before, you are missing out on a great event.&nbsp;&nbsp; While Cons have become popular with mainstream audiences, they can also be notoriously anti-feminist.&nbsp; Between <a href="http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Booth_babes">Booth Babes</a> dressed up as <a href="http://borderhouseblog.com/?p=5065">scantily clad female gaming characters</a> and the on-going (ridiculous) debate about <a href="http://dispatches.cheatcc.com/dispatches/296#.Ul7dO1ec481">“fake”</a> Gamer Girls, openly identifying as female in the geek community can be difficult.&nbsp;</p> <p>When you are online playing games, you can mute your microphone and let others assume you are male, hopefully <a href="http://fatuglyorslutty.com/">avoiding harassment</a> (Warning: link has NSFW language) and letting your skills speak for you. &nbsp;But why should women have to choose between the full gaming experience or harassment just for speaking with a feminine voice?&nbsp; &nbsp;Though if you go to a Con, you can’t hide your gender (not that you should have to in order to be <a href="http://kotaku.com/5963528/heres-a-devastating-account-of-the-crap-women-in-the-games-business-have-to-deal-with-in-2012">taken seriously).</a>&nbsp; Essentially, Cons are not known for being female-friendly (<a href="http://www.exhibitoronline.com/topics/article.asp?ID=802&amp;catID=33#.Ul7gLVec480">although many try to be</a>).&nbsp;</p> <p>GeekGirlCon, however, is focused specifically on women in entertainment: movies, games, graphic novels, books and music.&nbsp; Many of these women are working as independent publishers and producers.&nbsp; There are no booth babes.&nbsp; It’s amazing to see so many women together, contributing to and creating a woman-friendly environment where people can openly speak about their experiences in their field.&nbsp; Many men come to the Con as well, supporting not only their mothers, sisters, friends, wives, and girlfriends, but also showing support for female-created works and incorporating those pieces into their own lives.&nbsp; There is room for both women and men in all these industries.</p> <p>However, until women can freely speak out without worrying about harassment, losing their jobs, or being asked to get back in the kitchen and make a <a href="http://www.applecidermage.com/2012/02/22/why-make-me-a-sandwich-needs-to-go-like-since-yesterday/">“sammich”</a> by their male partners/colleagues/co-players, GeekGirlCon is a nice refuge.&nbsp; But most importantly, GeekGirlCon is a stepping stone for young girls looking for their voice by being able to interact with women who have found their own voices already.&nbsp; You should support it.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/geekgirlcon-place-women-who-have-found-their-own-voices#comments Women's Rights Youth Women's Rights - Youth Youth Equality Thu, 17 Oct 2013 16:55:08 +0000 abriones 2874 at https://aclu-wa.org Sometimes History is Now: The ACLU-WA 2012-2013 Annual Report coming soon! https://aclu-wa.org/blog/sometimes-history-now-aclu-wa-2012-2013-annual-report-coming-soon <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Protecting everyone is a hefty task.&nbsp; Telling that story is tough, too.&nbsp; Each year, the ACLU is hard at work protecting everyone from Washington state, to Washington DC, and every state in between. Capturing all of this in one yearly report is a great challenge, and this year we have risen to that challenge with our first-ever online Annual Report: Sometimes History is Now. Coming this week, we are thrilled to offer viewers a look at the year’s accomplishments – from local victories to big wins like defeating the Defense of Marriage Act – with an eye toward the history behind these achievements.</p> <p>Equality, justice, youth rights, liberty, and freedom for all—we invite you to explore the different areas of the ACLU’s work with the depth and detail you choose through the interactive report. <a href="https://www.aclu.org/secure/annual-report-and-list-signup" target="_self">Sign up here</a> to have Sometimes History is Now sent straight to your inbox as soon as its available. Stay tuned and thank you so much for making all the work possible.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/sometimes-history-now-aclu-wa-2012-2013-annual-report-coming-soon#comments Mon, 14 Oct 2013 19:27:57 +0000 clombardi 2872 at https://aclu-wa.org Students and parents: We’ve got your back. https://aclu-wa.org/blog/students-and-parents-we-ve-got-your-back <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Has your son or daughter been “emergency expelled” from school for a minor disciplinary infraction that presented no threat? Has a teacher searched all the texts on your phone because you forgot to turn it off during class? Has a friend who’s trying to form a Gay-Straight Alliance at your high school been told that the group is “too controversial” and cannot hold meetings on school grounds?</p> <p>Each year the ACLU gets hundreds of calls from around Washington from students and parents dealing with problems like these.</p> <p>The ACLU believes it’s important for students to understand their rights and responsibilities. To help students and families know their rights and use them, we provide a &nbsp;<a href="/publications?issue=21&amp;lang=All">series of student rights guides</a>, which address many common problems that confront students in Washington schools.</p> <p>Take a look at the guides to get a better understanding now – or download or print them to check later and to share with your friends! Have a problem that is not addressed in our guides? <a href="/how-get-legal-help-aclu">Call or write us to share your question and find out more about getting help</a>!</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/students-and-parents-we-ve-got-your-back#comments Youth Fri, 11 Oct 2013 21:44:45 +0000 nygren 2871 at https://aclu-wa.org Your rights: The most important subject for pregnant and parenting students https://aclu-wa.org/blog/your-rights-most-important-subject-pregnant-and-parenting-students <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Did you know that only 50% of teen mothers receive their high school diploma? Discrimination at school can play a big part in pushing them out and keeping them out.&nbsp; Pregnant and parenting students, however, do have rights.&nbsp; If you are a pregnant or parenting teen or care about someone who is, download our <a title="Pregnant &amp; Parenting Teen Wallet Card" href="https://aclu-wa.org/sites/default/files/attachments/PPT_English.pdf" target="_blank">new wallet card</a> (a Spanish version is coming soon).&nbsp; It outlines the rights that teens in Washington state need to know to stay in school and succeed as parents and as students.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you’d like to learn more, I will be speaking on the issue on Friday October 11<span style="font-size: x-small;">,</span> 3013,&nbsp;at a forum at the University of Washington.&nbsp; For more information on the U.W. event, visit the <a title="Forces of Change event" href="http://engage.washington.edu/site/Calendar?id=114221&amp;view=Detail" target="_blank">Forces of Change: Law, Policy and Equity in Washington State Education website</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/your-rights-most-important-subject-pregnant-and-parenting-students#comments Women's Rights Youth Women's Rights - Youth Youth Equality Thu, 10 Oct 2013 16:00:00 +0000 lmangel 2869 at https://aclu-wa.org Balancing Police Oversight and Privacy: ACLU Offers Recommendations for Body Cams https://aclu-wa.org/blog/balancing-police-oversight-and-privacy-aclu-offers-recommendations-body-cams <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Police departments across the state have adopted or are looking to buy on-officer recording systems, or “body cameras,” to provide oversight for law enforcement. These cameras can be very beneficial for accountability to prevent or identify police misconduct. But, they also pose risks to privacy for those captured in the recordings.</p> <p>The ACLU-WA has generally supported use of cop cams to assist with oversight provided that the systems are governed by clear policies that address privacy concerns and prevent these systems from being used as a general surveillance tool. Today, the national ACLU <a href="https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech-national-security-technology-and-liberty/accountability-vs-privacy-aclus">has released</a> a set of recommendations about law enforcement use of body cams. The policy recommendations suggest rules that will help police departments craft effective use policies.</p> <p>The recommendations are available <a href="https://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/police-body-mounted-cameras-right-policies-place-win-all">here</a>.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/balancing-police-oversight-and-privacy-aclu-offers-recommendations-body-cams#comments Criminal Justice Technology Police Practices Technology Surveillance Wed, 09 Oct 2013 19:07:06 +0000 jdebelak 2867 at https://aclu-wa.org RAND Drug Policy Research Center Founder Assesses Three Decades of U.S. War on Drugs https://aclu-wa.org/blog/rand-drug-policy-research-center-founder-assesses-three-decades-us-war-drugs <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The Crime Report </em>recently published <a href="http://www.thecrimereport.org/news/inside-criminal-justice/2013-09-after-kerlikowske-whats-next-for-americas-war-on-dru">a piece</a> summarizing U.S. drug policy through the lens of University of Maryland Professor Peter Reuter.&nbsp;Mr. Reuter founded and directed RAND's Drug Policy Research Center from 1989-1993. In his policy assessment “Why has American Drug Policy Changed so Little in 30 Years,” Mr. Reuter asserts that marijuana is both a social and criminal justice problem and makes a significant case for legalization.</p> <p>&nbsp;In Mr. Reuter’s 2010 <em>Marijuana: It’s Time for a Conversation </em>interview he expands on ideas within <em>The Crime Report</em> article, discussing the history of marijuana policy, public opinion and usage, as well as the stagnant effects of criminalization. Watch below.&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=390745388015" width="618" height="400" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><span style="color: #666666; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10px; line-height: 12px;">Please note that by playing this clip Facebook may place a long-term cookie on your computer. Please see&nbsp;</span><a style="border: 0px; font-size: 10px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #005488; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 12px;" href="https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy/" target="_blank">Facebook's privacy statement</a><span style="color: #666666; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10px; line-height: 12px;">&nbsp;on their website to learn more. To view the ACLU of Washington's privacy statement,&nbsp;</span><a style="border: 0px; font-size: 10px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #005488; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 12px;" href="https://aclu-wa.org/privacy" target="_blank">click here</a></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/rand-drug-policy-research-center-founder-assesses-three-decades-us-war-drugs#comments Drug Policy Marijuana Thu, 03 Oct 2013 16:40:50 +0000 amoorer 2861 at https://aclu-wa.org Meet Our Interns: Divinity and Helping People https://aclu-wa.org/blog/meet-our-interns-divinity-and-helping-people <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them.</em></p> <p>When it was time for Irene DeMaris to choose an internship for her Masters of Divinity at Seattle University, she thought of some of the mail she had received from the ACLU. She is very interested in all reproductive and women’s rights and wants to further “social justice and speaking up for people.” And a friend had been telling her of the case of the West Memphis 3, a trio of men released from prison after serving 18 years for a disputed murder conviction.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>So DeMaris contacted the ACLU, and she recently began as an intern with our Communications Department. The Master’s program that she is working on complements the Deacon track of The United Methodist Church, meaning that she will be in service and will be working to bridge the gap between the church and community. DeMaris feels that interning with the ACLU will give her valuable experience working in the community on issues she cares about. She is interested in individual rights and freedom, and wants her Divinity degree to have practical application in helping individuals</p> <p>Growing up in Ridgefield in southwest Washington, DeMaris has always been interested in political issues and social justice, but only recently had an “ah-ha!” moment where she felt like she really had to get involved. She will be helping with trainings about the rights of pregnant and parenting students, at outreach events, and on other projects as they arise. &nbsp;She will also be taking a full course load; but in the free time that she has, DeMaris enjoys hot yoga, the E! Channel, and spending time with her dogs Bartlet and Leo.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/meet-our-interns-divinity-and-helping-people#comments Fri, 27 Sep 2013 19:55:02 +0000 misaacson 2859 at https://aclu-wa.org Continued federal prosecution of marijuana possession cases is confusing and carries life-long consequences https://aclu-wa.org/blog/continued-federal-prosecution-marijuana-possession-cases-confusing-and-carries-life-long-conseq <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The federal government’s recent positive response to marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado seems a far and contradictory cry from their enforcement policy on federal grounds. Even though marijuana is legal in Washington, 146 citations were issued by the federal government for marijuana possession in national parks, seashores, forests, and other federal grounds in just the first seven months of this year. As federal misdemeanors, not only are these citations punishable by up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine, they come with the lasting and potentially devastating consequences of a permanent criminal record. These consequences, including denied access to student loans and impossible road blocks to employment, stunt an individual’s ability to contribute to society and find personal success.</p> <p>Read more about this issue in <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/some-states-may-legalize-pot-but-on-federal-grounds-us-government-has-final-say/2013/09/17/1f60b6a4-1fe4-11e3-94a2-6c66b668ea55_story.html">this recent AP piece</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/continued-federal-prosecution-marijuana-possession-cases-confusing-and-carries-life-long-conseq#comments Drug Policy Marijuana Fri, 20 Sep 2013 16:18:40 +0000 amoorer 2829 at https://aclu-wa.org Access to Health Care Should Not Be Limited by Religious Doctrine https://aclu-wa.org/blog/access-health-care-should-not-be-limited-religious-doctrine <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>This was published as a guest opinion in the Puget Sound Business Journal of Aug. 16.</em></p> <p>The health care market in Washington looks very different today than it did a few years ago, and the pace of change will only accelerate as the Affordable Care Act – aka Obamacare – is implemented. One notable phenomenon is a spate of mergers, often involving religious health care corporations taking control of secular health institutions.&nbsp; Indeed, if all proposed mergers go through this year, nearly half of all hospital beds in Washington will be in religiously affiliated facilities.</p> <p>And one result of these mergers is of great concern to civil libertarians: The restriction of health care services based on religious doctrine.</p> <p>The ACLU does not object to hospital mergers per se, but believes that no patient should be refused access to lawful health care because of the religious ideology of the institutions running hospitals, clinics, or other medical facilities. Consumers should be able to access medical services in their local communities consistent with medical best practices and patient needs.</p> <p>A hospital’s religious affiliation may impact patients’ access to important health care services. Catholic-affiliated hospitals follow the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which require hospitals to refuse to provide care that conflicts with the moral teachings of the Catholic Church. These include birth control, fertility treatments, and other reproductive health services; end-of-life directives; and medical services for LGBT patients.</p> <p>The restrictions conflict with Washington’s public policy and law, which has historically protected access to services:</p> <ul> <li>The&nbsp;Reproductive Privacy Act, enacted by voters in 1991, establishes as public policy of the state of Washington that “every individual has the fundamental right to choose or refuse birth control,” and “every woman has the fundamental right to choose or refuse to have an abortion.”</li> <li>The&nbsp;Anderson Murray Anti-Discrimination Law, passed by the legislature in 2006, prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender expression or identity; it includes discrimination by providers of medical services.</li> <li>The&nbsp;Death with Dignity Act, enacted by voters in 2008, allows terminally ill adults to request lethal doses of medication from medical and osteopathic physicians.</li> </ul> <p>Hospitals tied to religious institutions already play a major role in our health care system.&nbsp; It is estimated that 30-37% of hospital admissions statewide are to religiously affiliated hospitals, and 40% of hospital beds are in religiously affiliated hospitals. In certain areas of Washington, the only hospitals or health care facilities serving the public are religiously affiliated.</p> <p>Now, merger proposals are pending for a Bremerton hospital serving four counties and for three hospitals serving Snohomish and Skagit Counties. In Seattle, a merger with religiously affiliated Providence Hospital led secular Swedish Hospital to stop providing elective abortions.</p> <p>When mergers happen, state and local officials must act to protect patient access to health care. As <em>PSBJ</em> reported (July 3), Governor Inslee has directed the Department of Health to update the state’s rules for approving hospital mergers. This is a needed first step, but much more needs to be done.</p> <p>For employers, concerns about religious restrictions are far from academic. Ensuring comprehensive health care services in the community is part of attracting and retaining the best workers.&nbsp; Just as they want good schools for their children in the community, employees want access to all lawful health services in the community, and shouldn’t have to travel outside of the community to obtain needed care.</p> <p>Employers should seek full disclosure about which services health care providers do and do not provide and should make this information available to employees. Patients need to be able to make fully informed decisions about their health care options.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/access-health-care-should-not-be-limited-religious-doctrine#comments Tue, 27 Aug 2013 22:50:59 +0000 Shaw-Narayan 2780 at https://aclu-wa.org Surveillance: Spokane Acts to Protect Privacy and Provide Transparency https://aclu-wa.org/blog/surveillance-spokane-acts-protect-privacy-and-provide-transparency <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>On Monday, the Spokane City Council took action to protect the privacy rights of Spokane residents and increase transparency about government surveillance. The Council passed an ordinance that will require Council approval for the acquisition and use of some new surveillance equipment, such as drones and camera networks. The ordinance, which was introduced by Council President Ben Stuckart, requires that city departments develop use guidelines to govern how the new equipment may be used and how the data collected will be stored and accessed.</p> <p>The ordinance also requires approval for use of third-party surveillance equipment by the city or on behalf of the city. In other words, city departments cannot simply get around the approval process by outsourcing their surveillance needs to someone else. This is a critical provision that makes the Spokane ordinance stronger than a <a href="http://clerk.seattle.gov/~scripts/nph-brs.exe?s1=&amp;s3=117730&amp;s4=&amp;s2=&amp;s5=&amp;Sect4=AND&amp;l=20&amp;Sect2=THESON&amp;Sect3=PLURON&amp;Sect5=CBORY&amp;Sect6=HITOFF&amp;d=ORDF&amp;p=1&amp;u=%2F~public%2Fcbory.htm&amp;r=1&amp;f=G" target="_blank">similar ordinance</a> passed by the Seattle City Council in the spring.</p> <p>We were pleased to see Stuckart and the Spokane City Council taking on this issue because it is important to have transparency and public input into any decision to acquire new surveillance equipment. Requiring council approval and use protocols for new surveillance equipment helps to identify and address civil liberties concerns in advance. It also promotes transparency by allowing the public to comment on proposed uses and provide helpful feedback.</p> <p>Throughout the review period, we supported the overall intent and purpose of the ordinance, but did <a href="http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/jul/26/aclu-urges-tougher-law/" target="_blank">suggest some revisions</a> that could have made the ordinance stronger. Some of our adjustments made their way into the final bill while others did not. But the final legislation does provide for increased oversight of government surveillance, and that is a big win for Spokane and for privacy.</p> <p>One shortfall of the ordinance is that it exempts a number of surveillance devices regularly used by law enforcement, such as red light cameras, license plate readers and cameras attached to public buildings. The excluded devices are capable of collecting highly personal information about law-abiding citizens and therefore should have clear use guidelines created and approved prior to their use. Thankfully, though, the Council decided to take a pass on a broader proposed amendment that would have exempted just about all law enforcement surveillance equipment – which would have left the ordinance without any real impact.</p> <p>The ordinance is a good first step towards protecting our privacy. We hope that more communities throughout Washington will consider passing similar oversight mechanisms with even stronger provisions and protections.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/surveillance-spokane-acts-protect-privacy-and-provide-transparency#comments Privacy Technology Information Privacy Technology Surveillance Wed, 21 Aug 2013 23:02:37 +0000 jdebelak 2778 at https://aclu-wa.org ACLU Urges Court to Protect Tenants from Blacklisting https://aclu-wa.org/blog/aclu-urges-court-protect-tenants-blacklisting <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A Washington family discovered that even if you win a court case, you can still lose. The ACLU is supporting efforts to do something about the situation.</p> <p>Ignacio Encarnación and Karla Farras complied fully with the terms of their lease. They paid their bills on time and had no problems with their neighbors or landlord. Shortly after they renewed their lease in July 2009 for a one-year term, the apartment building was sold, and their new landlords attempted to terminate the lease. Encarnación and Farras insisted upon enforcing their lease, and the landlord’s response was to try to evict them by filing an unlawful detainer action.</p> <p>Unlawful detainer actions are used to evict tenants who fail to pay their rent or otherwise violate their lease and refuse to leave of their own accord. But since neither of the tenants had violated the terms of their lease, this action was not justified and the case quickly settled on terms favorable to the tenants.&nbsp;</p> <p>But the family quickly discovered that the case barred them from getting other housing.&nbsp; Potential landlords using the court index system (SCOMIS) now saw that the tenants were involved in an unlawful detainer action and have blacklisted the tenants even though they didn’t do anything wrong.</p> <p>To help address this unfair practice, the tenants moved to have their names removed from SCOMIS and replaced with initials. This would allow them to still be identified for judicial purposes but would prevent housing discrimination by future potential landlords.</p> <p>The King County Clerk (the plaintiff in this case, <em>King County Clerk v. Encarnación</em>) argued that this redaction was not permitted under the court rules governing access to court records.&nbsp; The Court of Appeals went further and concluded that redaction violated the Washington Constitution’s requirement for court transparency.</p> <p>The tenants refute this, and the ACLU supports their position. Our friend-of-the-court brief urges the Court to recognize the need for balance between public access and privacy. It respectfully suggests that the standard for redaction of names in this incident is different from the closing of a court proceeding. All proceedings in this case were open to the public, and anybody wanting to verify that the court system works correctly can still access all materials associated with the case.</p> <p>The only thing we want is the removal of the tenants’ names from the index to limit the likelihood that future landlords will misuse the index to blacklist the family.</p> <p>The Washington Supreme Court heard oral argument this summer and hasn’t issued a decision yet.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/aclu-urges-court-protect-tenants-blacklisting#comments Privacy Records Tenant's Rights Fri, 16 Aug 2013 16:46:21 +0000 jjones 2774 at https://aclu-wa.org Religious Freedom Is for All Americans https://aclu-wa.org/blog/religious-freedom-all-americans <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>As the final week of Ramadan approaches, it is important to remember that freedom of religion is for all Americans – including those who are incarcerated.&nbsp;And that the ACLU is committed to defending the civil liberties of all Americans.</p> <p>Last week, the ACLU helped secure the right of a Muslim inmate to practice his religion in a Washington state jail. Jail authorities had denied the inmate access to halal meals, as well as accommodations for&nbsp;Ramadan fasting that would have&nbsp;allowed him&nbsp;to receive meals at night, during non-fasting hours. Because the inmate refused to violate his religious beliefs by breaking his fast, he went without food for six days. Ultimately, the ACLU was able to persuade the jail to reinstate for the inmate accommodations for Ramadan and halal food.&nbsp;</p> <p>Our work at this jail is part of the ACLU's ongoing efforts to protect the religious rights of inmates across the state. Religious accommodations may&nbsp;include access to religious diets, texts, and items for worship, as well as access to facilities for group prayer and observance of religious holidays.&nbsp;Because incarcerated individuals already have limited freedom to exercise their religion, the need to protect their religious rights from unnecessary governmental intrusion remains high.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/religious-freedom-all-americans#comments Criminal Justice Religion Incarceration Wed, 31 Jul 2013 18:49:49 +0000 lbaker 2763 at https://aclu-wa.org Fairness for Pregnant and Parenting Students Gets a Boost from the Feds https://aclu-wa.org/blog/fairness-pregnant-and-parenting-students-gets-boost-feds <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The fight for fairness in education for pregnant and parenting girls recently got a big boost – from the federal government. The U.S. Department of Education took action to make sure these girls are given the same access to education and opportunities as other students.</p> <p>Pregnancy is the No. 1 reason teenage girls drop out of school. By some estimates, over 50 percent of teenage girls who give birth drop out of school, and a much higher percentage are pushed into substandard alternative programs. Many of these girls say that had they gotten more support from the adults at school (teachers, staff, counselors), they would have stayed.</p> <p>The good news is that teenage pregnancy rates are significantly lower in Washington state than the rest of the U.S., according to a Seattle Times <a href="http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2013205335_teenpreg21m.html">article</a>. The bad news is that even though our state has lower rates than the national average, girls who are pregnant or are parenting are still being illegally discriminated against.</p> <p>Under Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in schools, pregnant and parenting students must have equal access to school and equal access to all available education opportunities. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Too often, schools refuse to excuse girls for pregnancy-related doctor’s appointments, teachers refuse to allow them to make up work, and often girls are discouraged from attending school and told to go to an alternative school.</p> <p>Although illegal, this kind of discrimination happens on a regular basis and contributes to high dropout rates. “When teachers found out I was pregnant, they told me I ruined my life,” a teenaged mother told the ACLU. “They said they had no hope for me. I tried to stay in school, but I felt awful. The counselor pressured me to go to [an] alternative school.”</p> <p>&nbsp;In light of the problem, the Dept. of Education on June 25 sent out a “<a href="http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201306-title-ix.pdf">Dear Colleague</a>” letter accompanied by a 34-page <a href="http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/pregnancy.pdf">pamphlet</a> to school districts, colleges, and universities in hopes of encouraging schools to abide current laws and to enforce a non-discriminatory policy. In the letter, the Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights reminded schools that:</p> <ul> <li>They must give students excused absences for pregnancy or childbirth for as long as the doctor recommends;</li> <li>Pregnant students must be treated in the same way as students with temporary medical conditions. This means that pregnant students must be provided with any special services given to those who have temporary medical conditions, such as tutoring or make-up assignments; and</li> <li>Schools cannot force pregnant students to take special instructional programs or classes or move to an alternative school. If the student voluntarily decides to move to a special program, it must be comparable to the programming and classes offered to other students in its academics, extracurricular activities and enrichment opportunities.</li> </ul> <p>“We need to do more to help the hundreds of thousands of students who become mothers and fathers each year graduate from high school ready for college and successful careers,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a <a href="http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/education-department-releases-guidance-help-schools-better-support-pregnant-and-">press release</a>. “We must support pregnant and parenting students so they can build better lives for themselves and their children.”</p> <p>The ACLU of Washington is working to help these girls and thousands of others like them by pushing for greater compliance with the laws that are already in place and by pushing for better state and local policies the help these students stay and succeed in school.</p> <p>We want to hear about the experiences of pregnant and parenting students who have been denied equal educational opportunities in Washington state. People can share their experience with us confidentially by sending an e-mail to: <a href="mailto:stories@aclu-wa.org">stories@aclu-wa.org</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/fairness-pregnant-and-parenting-students-gets-boost-feds#comments Women's Rights Youth Women's Rights - Youth Youth Equality Mon, 29 Jul 2013 20:06:21 +0000 skim 2754 at https://aclu-wa.org State Supreme Court Protects Immigrants https://aclu-wa.org/blog/state-supreme-court-protects-immigrants <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>According to a new note to a Rule of Professional Conduct approved by the Washington Supreme Court recently, attorneys cannot use a person’s immigration status to intimidate, coerce or obstruct that person for reasons unrelated to a civil case.</p> <p>With support from the ACLU-WA and others, members of the Latino/a Bar Association of Washington began lobbying for this change in 2007 after witnessing attorneys and judges openly discussing the immigration status of certain persons in court. The prosecution could use knowledge of a person’s immigration status to threaten them with deportation, even if that status were unrelated to the underlying case. Legal tactics like this undermine access to our courts for immigrants, lead immigrant communities to not seek legal remedies, and undermine the due process rights to which all people in the United States are entitled under our Constitution.</p> <p>This is a major victory for immigrant workers who wish to pursue legal claims in a myriad of different cases. The note covers civil matters, such as medical malpractice, workplace suits and personal injury claims; it does not apply to criminal cases.</p> <p>“Issues involving immigration status carry a significant danger of interfering with the proper functioning of the justice system,” the change to the rules states. “When a lawyer is representing a client in a civil matter, a lawyer’s communication to a party or a witness that the lawyer will report that person to immigration authorities, or a lawyer’s report of that person to immigration authorities, furthers no substantial purpose of the civil adjudicative system if the lawyer’s purpose is to intimidate, coerce, or obstruct that person.”</p> <p>The rule change will take effect September 1.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/state-supreme-court-protects-immigrants#comments Immigrant Rights Wed, 24 Jul 2013 20:04:39 +0000 jjones 2749 at https://aclu-wa.org ACLU Brief Says Conviction and Capital Sentence Should Be Overturned Because of Racial Bias https://aclu-wa.org/blog/aclu-brief-says-conviction-and-capital-sentence-should-be-overturned-because-racial-bias <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees every person the right to a fair trial.&nbsp; However, if the prosecution is making racist remarks and presenting racially-charged evidence throughout the trial, this right is violated.</p> <p>This alleged prosecutorial misconduct, such as in the recent case of <em>Jonathan Gentry v. The State of Washington,</em> spurred the ACLU of Washington to submit a friend-of-the-court brief addressing whether racial bias in capital punishment cases “undermines the principle of equal justice.”&nbsp; In late June, the State Supreme Court heard oral argument on Jonathan Lee Gentry’s Personal Restraint Petition (PRP).&nbsp; This proceeding allows inmates, including those on death row, to raise issues that were not covered by the original appeal of a conviction. Gentry’s attorneys, backed by the ACLU’s brief, contend that his conviction and sentence are unfair because they were based on racial bias.</p> <p>Jonathan Gentry, an African American, was accused of murdering and sexually assaulting a white female. He was tried by an all-white jury and white prosecutors. One of the prosecuting attorneys, C. Danny Clem, made comments that (according to the courts) were “totally inappropriate” and “racially offensive” to Gentry’s defense counsel. &nbsp;At the conclusion of the pre-trial hearing, Clem asked Gentry’s counsel Jeffery Robinson, an African American attorney, “Where did you learn your ethics – in Harlem?”</p> <p>The racism didn’t end there. The State attempted throughout the trial to depict the victim’s world as exclusively white and argued that the presence of two “negroid” hair fragments found on her body must have belonged to Gentry. This racially framed theory suggests that the presence of any such hair could only be seen as unwelcome and malevolent.</p> <p>And there was more.</p> <p>The State elicited the testimony of a white jailhouse informant who referred to playing a “nigger” card game with Gentry. The State then deliberately elicited testimony that the informant had received poor treatment from African Americans, thus further demonizing the defendant.</p> <p>In the midst of this blatant racism, the jury convicted Gentry and sentenced him to death.</p> <p>This problem of racial bias is particularly important in capital punishment cases. The ACLU brief cited a 2011 case, <em>State v. Monday,</em> in which the Washington Supreme Court found its previous efforts to deter prosecutorial appeals to racial bias had “proved insufficient” and that the State’s repugnant injection of race into a criminal matter would be judged under a more exacting standard. In light of the <em>Monday</em> case, the ACLU-WA brief urged that the Court should require an automatic reversal of a conviction and death sentence when the prosecutor exhibits racial bias due to the prosecution’s unique power to authorize a death sentence.</p> <p>A friend-of-the-court brief submitted in a prior case by now-deceased University of Iowa Professor David Baldus said there was statistically significant evidence that Washington prosecutors sought death sentences more than three times as often if one or more of the victims was white. Additionally, all four of Washington’s African American death row inmates were convicted by all-white juries.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/aclu-brief-says-conviction-and-capital-sentence-should-be-overturned-because-racial-bias#comments Criminal Justice Death Penalty Thu, 18 Jul 2013 16:46:36 +0000 jjones 2738 at https://aclu-wa.org "You Are Being Tracked": ACLU Report Finds the Government Knows Where You Are Driving https://aclu-wa.org/blog/you-are-being-tracked-aclu-report-finds-government-knows-where-you-are-driving <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>When you head out in your car to go to work, to church, to a doctor’s appointment or to a community meeting, your movements are being increasingly tracked. &nbsp;A report released today by the national ACLU documents how police department across the country are using scanning devices to collect license plate and location data of each passing car – even when the drivers have broken no laws.</p> <p>The report, “You Are Being Tracked,” reveals that many departments are keeping this location information for years or even indefinitely, and that few departments place any restrictions on how this information may be used. &nbsp;It’s easy to foresee that this information could be mined and assembled in the future to create records of nearly everywhere each of us has driven.</p> <p>The report stems from public records requests by 38 ACLU state affiliates that produced&nbsp; more than 26,000 pages of documents from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies about their use of these automated license plate readers (ALPR). The report explains how ALPR works, analyzes how law enforcement is using the readers nationwide, and provides policy recommendations to protect privacy.</p> <p>Earlier, the ACLU-WA began our own investigation of law enforcement use of ALPR. Through a series of public records requests and interviews with over a dozen law enforcement agencies, we confirmed that at least 22 city police departments and county sheriff’s offices across Washington owned ALPR systems. We assume that those numbers have only increased since our inquiries in 2011. In a <a href="/blog/alpr-surveillance-tool-you-ve-probably-never-heard">previous blog post</a> we outlined how ALPR is being used within the state and flagged some of the privacy concerns it raises.</p> <p>The national report confirms that the problems we identified locally are reflected in communities throughout the U.S. For example, our study found that few police departments in Washington place any substantial restrictions on how the location information may be used. Some limit use to identifying stolen vehicles, but the majority do not appear to have any use limitations. Similarly, on a national level, the approach in Pittsburg, CA is typical: a police policy document there says that license plate readers can be used for “any routine patrol operation or criminal investigation,” adding, “Reasonable suspicion or probable cause is not required.” &nbsp;A Scarsdale (NY) Police Department document even states that the use of ALPR “is only limited by the officer’s imagination.”</p> <p>Without use limitations these systems could be put to problematic uses. In New York, for example, scanners on police cars were used to keep track of vehicles that visited a local mosque.</p> <p>The data also reflects that only a small fraction of the plate scans are flagged as “hits” – i.e., actual violations of the law. &nbsp;We saw this in information from the Seattle Police Department. The SPD collected 7.3 million records during its initial pilot program and only 7,244 came up as hits. Across the country the numbers look the same. &nbsp;Police departments are storing huge numbers of records on scanned plates that do not return hits for criminal activity.</p> <p>Policies for how long data may be stored vary widely. Some departments delete records within days or weeks, some keep them for years, and others have no deletion policy at all – meaning they can retain them forever. In Washington, several agencies do limit retention to 60 days, but others allow retention for one year, or in some circumstances, indefinitely. The national study was able to identify a few agencies, like the Minnesota State Patrol, that have more privacy-protective policies requiring deletion after 48 hours.</p> <p>We have the opportunity to act now in Washington to protect the privacy of our travels. It’s time for our legislators to put regulations in place to ensure that ALPR systems are not used to create large location tracking systems of innocent people. Legitimate uses of the readers should be specified, and there should be no retention of location information unless it relates to suspected criminal activity. In addition, collected information should only be retained for a limited time.</p> <p>The report, an interactive map with links to documents, and an interactive slide show are available at: <a href="http://www.aclu.org/plates">http://www.aclu.org/plates</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/you-are-being-tracked-aclu-report-finds-government-knows-where-you-are-driving#comments Privacy Technology Technology Surveillance Wed, 17 Jul 2013 16:33:10 +0000 jdebelak 2734 at https://aclu-wa.org The ACLU Shows Its Pride! https://aclu-wa.org/blog/aclu-shows-its-pride <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A vocal contingent of ACLU of Washington supporters marched for LGBT rights at the 2013 Trans Pride and Seattle Pride celebrations.&nbsp; On the heels of the US Supreme Court ruling that overturned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and a few months after the passage of marriage equality in our state, jubilation filled the air and supporters filled the streets at these events.</p> <p>It started on a warm and sunny Friday evening with a lively celebration at the Trans Pride march from Seattle Central Community College to Cal Anderson Park, where members of and allies to the Trans community gathered for their first annual parade and celebration.&nbsp; The ACLU-WA was there to show our solidarity and continued support of this community, to hand out educational materials such as our <a href="/sites/default/files/attachments/Transgender%20guide%20revise5.12.2.3_0.pdf">Transgender Rights publication</a>, and to encourage people to sign our <a href="https://www.aclu.org/secure/aclu-wa-thank-edie">virtual thank you card</a> for Edie Windsor, the ACLU plaintiff whose case struck down DOMA.&nbsp; Individuals familiar with the case leaped at the chance, while others eagerly signed the card once they heard of her role in the triumph.</p> <p>This was the 39<sup>th</sup> annual Pride march in Seattle, and we were especially proud to celebrate because of the vital roles the ACLU played in the victories for R-74 and against DOMA. Our group came equipped with a bullhorn, picket signs proclaiming our thanks to Edie, and a convertible featuring Lady Liberty and Justice posing as a married couple. The reception from the crowd was overwhelming and heart-warming, with hugs and high-fives from parade onlookers!&nbsp; After the parade, we continued to meet with friendly faces at the festival and gathered many signatures on our thank you card to Edie.&nbsp;</p> <p>ACLU-WA supporters also marched in the Methow Valley PrideFest in Winthrop on Sunday.&nbsp; It’s great to see communities around the state embracing the importance of Pride.&nbsp;</p> <p>This was my first Pride march, and to say that the experience was exceptional is an understatement. I was truly touched by the huge turnout, the crowd’s diversity, and the love and positive energy that was evident throughout the entire weekend.&nbsp; Occasions like these remind me how far we’ve come toward equality and make me proud to be part of an organization that is committed to getting us all the way to full equality.</p> <p style="text-align: center; width: 100%; margin: 10px 0 5px 0; padding: 5px; background-color: #000; color: #fff;"><span style="font-size: 14px;">Pride Photo Gallery</span></p> <div style="border-top-style: solid; border-top-color: #000; border-top-width: 0px; width: 600px; margin: 5px auto;"> <div style="border-top-style: solid; border-top-color: #000; border-top-width: 0px; width: 600px; margin: 5px auto;"> <!-- Row 1 --><!-- Row 1 --><div style="float: left; width: 140px; margin: 10px 5px; display: inline-block;"><a rel="prettyPhoto[pp_gal]" href="/sites/default/files/images/pride01.jpg"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/thumbnail_pride01.jpg" alt="Seattle Pride Fest 2013" style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0px" /></a></div> <div style="float: left; width: 140px; margin: 10px 5px; display: inline-block;"><a rel="prettyPhoto[pp_gal]" href="/sites/default/files/images/pride02.jpg"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/thumbnail_pride02.jpg" alt="Spokane Pride 2013" style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0px" /></a></div> <div style="float: left; width: 140px; margin: 10px 5px; display: inline-block;"><a rel="prettyPhoto[pp_gal]" href="/sites/default/files/images/pride03.jpg"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/thumbnail_pride03.jpg" alt="Trans Pride Seattle 2013" style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0px" /></a></div> <div style="float: left; width: 140px; margin: 10px 5px; display: inline-block;"><a rel="prettyPhoto[pp_gal]" href="/sites/default/files/images/pride04.jpg"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/thumbnail_pride04.jpg" alt="Methow Valley Pridefest 2013" style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0px" /></a></div> <!-- Row 2 --><!-- Row 2 --><div style="float: left; width: 140px; margin: 10px 5px; display: inline-block;"><a rel="prettyPhoto[pp_gal]" href="/sites/default/files/images/pride05.jpg"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/thumbnail_pride05.jpg" alt="Methow Valley Pridefest 2013" style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0px" /></a></div> <div style="float: left; width: 140px; margin: 10px 5px; display: inline-block;"><a rel="prettyPhoto[pp_gal]" href="/sites/default/files/images/pride06.jpg"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/thumbnail_pride06.jpg" alt="Seattle Pride Fest 2013" style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0px" /></a></div> <div style="float: left; width: 140px; margin: 10px 5px; display: inline-block;"><a rel="prettyPhoto[pp_gal]" href="/sites/default/files/images/pride07.jpg"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/thumbnail_pride07.jpg" alt="Seattle Pride Fest 2013" style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0px" /></a></div> <div style="float: left; width: 140px; margin: 10px 5px; display: inline-block;"><a rel="prettyPhoto[pp_gal]" href="/sites/default/files/images/pride08.jpg"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/thumbnail_pride08.jpg" alt="Seattle Pride Fest 2013" style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0px" /></a></div> <!-- Row 3 --><!-- Row 3 --><div style="float: left; width: 140px; margin: 10px 5px; display: inline-block;"><a rel="prettyPhoto[pp_gal]" href="/sites/default/files/images/pride09.jpg"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/thumbnail_pride09.jpg" alt="Seattle Pride Fest 2013" style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0px" /></a></div> <div style="float: left; width: 140px; margin: 10px 5px; display: inline-block;"><a rel="prettyPhoto[pp_gal]" href="/sites/default/files/images/pride10.jpg"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/thumbnail_pride10.jpg" alt="Seattle Pride Fest 2013" style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0px" /></a></div> <div style="float: left; width: 140px; margin: 10px 5px; display: inline-block;"><a rel="prettyPhoto[pp_gal]" href="/sites/default/files/images/pride11.jpg"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/thumbnail_pride11.jpg" alt="Seattle Pride Fest 2013" style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0px" /></a></div> <div style="float: left; width: 140px; margin: 10px 5px; display: inline-block;"><a rel="prettyPhoto[pp_gal]" href="/sites/default/files/images/pride12.jpg"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/thumbnail_pride12.jpg" alt="Trans Pride Seattle 2013" style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0px" /></a></div> <!-- Row 4 --><!-- Row 4 --><div style="float: left; width: 140px; margin: 10px 5px; display: inline-block;"><a rel="prettyPhoto[pp_gal]" href="/sites/default/files/images/pride13.jpg"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/thumbnail_pride13.jpg" alt="Seattle Pride Fest 2013" style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0px" /></a></div> <div style="float: left; width: 140px; margin: 10px 5px; display: inline-block;"><a rel="prettyPhoto[pp_gal]" href="/sites/default/files/images/pride14.jpg"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/thumbnail_pride14.jpg" alt="Trans Pride Seattle 2013" style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0px" /></a></div> <div style="float: left; width: 140px; margin: 10px 5px; display: inline-block;"><a rel="prettyPhoto[pp_gal]" href="/sites/default/files/images/pride15.jpg"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/thumbnail_pride15.jpg" alt="Seattle Pride Fest 2013" style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0px" /></a></div> <div style="float: left; width: 140px; margin: 10px 5px; display: inline-block;"><a rel="prettyPhoto[pp_gal]" href="/sites/default/files/images/pride16.jpg"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/thumbnail_pride16.jpg" alt="Trans Pride Seattle" style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0px" /></a></div> <!-- Row 5 --><!-- Row 5 --><div style="float: left; width: 140px; margin: 10px 5px; display: inline-block;"><a rel="prettyPhoto[pp_gal]" href="/sites/default/files/images/pride17.jpg"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/thumbnail_pride17.jpg" alt="Trans Pride Seattle 2013" style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0px" /></a></div> <div style="float: left; width: 140px; margin: 10px 5px; display: inline-block;"><a rel="prettyPhoto[pp_gal]" href="/sites/default/files/images/pride18.jpg"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/thumbnail_pride18.jpg" alt="Seattle Pride Fest 2013" style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0px" /></a></div> <p> <br style="clear: both;" /></p></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/aclu-shows-its-pride#comments LGBT Wed, 03 Jul 2013 22:35:12 +0000 dstokes 2708 at https://aclu-wa.org U.S. State Department Gets a Lesson https://aclu-wa.org/blog/us-state-department-gets-lesson <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Last month, Seattle Metro buses were running a disturbing ad.&nbsp; Funded by the U.S. State Department, the ad featured pictures of 16 men wanted around the globe for terrorist activities.&nbsp; The pictures of the men, all appearing to be Muslim with turbans, beards, and brown skin, were right below the large, bold message “FACES OF GLOBAL TERRORISM.”</p> <p>As a Muslim American with family members who could easily be mistaken for “terrorists” due to their brown skin and beards, I was gratified by the strong community response to the ad. I found many others shared the ACLU’s and my understanding that the ad promoted racial profiling and encouraged stereotyping</p> <p>The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) first brought the ad to the ACLU’s attention, and we worked with CAIR to educate government officials on why it was objectionable. And that it was deeply problematic regardless of the professed aim of the ad program, which is to let people know that the federal government is offering sizable rewards for reporting suspected terrorists who may be in our community.</p> <p>An ad that is placed on a city bus just passes right by and &nbsp;leaves a fleeting impression – Muslim men with beards are terrorists – so we should report them. So many people have beards or the same features as the men pictured in the ads, which leads to the unfortunate consequences of people assuming that the man with the beard or the one with the turban is a terrorist. Nor would the ad program be effective. There is no way that the average person would be able to identify the various nationalities the pictured men are actually from, or to actually get the program’s contact information or other important details.</p> <p>I had the opportunity of attending a meeting at the ACLU office with representatives from the State Department, CAIR, and several other civil rights and labor groups. What I found especially comforting was that – in addition to Muslims – a Lutheran bishop and a reverend also were present. These were people from several different faiths and ethnicities, all passionate about having the ad taken down, and all grasping why it could lead to discrimination and hate crimes.</p> <p>Safeguarding civil rights is everyone’s responsibility. This experience showed that when community members come together, united not by our religion or ethnicity, but by our dedication to protecting human rights and discouraging hate, our voices are powerful enough to make a positive change.</p> <p>Special thanks to all the organizations that participated in the meeting: the office of Rep. Jim McDermott, the office of King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski, CAIR-Washington, One America, the Faith Action Network, the Northwest Washington Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Seattle Human Rights Commission, the Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, ACRS, APACE, SEIU Local 775, UFCW Local 21, and Mothers For Police Accountability.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/us-state-department-gets-lesson#comments Liberty and Security Racial Justice Racial Profiling Tue, 02 Jul 2013 20:18:18 +0000 akakar 2699 at https://aclu-wa.org A Great Day for American Values https://aclu-wa.org/blog/great-day-american-values <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>This speech was delivered at a community gathering on the steps of the federal courthouse in Seattle on the day when the Supreme Court issued its historic ruling.</em></p> <p>Today is a great day in America – for loving couples and their families, and for Americans who treasure our country’s basic values of freedom and fairness.&nbsp;&nbsp; If America is be true to its values, they must be applied equally to everyone.&nbsp; And that’s what the highest court in the land said today.</p> <p>The ACLU likes to say that “Freedom Can’t Protect Itself.” &nbsp;It takes real people to defend freedom, and I want to tell you about one of those people – Edie Windsor, the 84-year-old widow who stood up against the Defense of Marriage Act and got it overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.&nbsp; The American Civil Liberties Union was proud to represent her in court. Her story illustrates vividly the injustice of DOMA and why it had to go.</p> <p>Edie and her partner Thea Spyer were together as a committed couple for 40 years and finally got married in 2007. Edie cared for Thea during a very serious illness, before Thea passed away in 2009.</p> <p>Thea left all her property to the love of her life.&nbsp; If federal law had treated their marriage equally, Edie would have inherited the property without federal estate taxes. But Edie got some shocking news:&nbsp; Even though the state of New York recognized their marriage, she would have to pay over $350,000 to the U.S government. That was because the Defense of Marriage Act prevented the federal government from respecting their union.</p> <p>With the help of the ACLU, Edie fought back in court.&nbsp; As we celebrate her victory over DOMA today, we celebrate the end of such injustices. Now the federal government will no longer treat married same-sex couples as legal strangers.</p> <p>Thank you, Edie, for standing up for your rights. And thank all of you for your support of true love and true American values.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/great-day-american-values#comments Fri, 28 Jun 2013 20:35:57 +0000 lrebugio 2696 at https://aclu-wa.org Why the NSA’s gathering of metadata matters https://aclu-wa.org/blog/why-nsa-s-gathering-metadata-matters <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Government power that operates unchecked behind closed doors is inevitably abused. The recent disclosures about the secret NSA surveillance programs prove this maxim.</p> <p>The news gives the public a long-overdue opportunity to consider the massive quantity of information that the government is collecting, how it is collecting the information, and what means of oversight are in place. In all three areas, the government comes up short.</p> <p>Thanks only to a whistle-blower, we now know the National Security Agency has collected an extraordinary amount of data about U.S. citizens over the past seven years, often in violation of our basic constitutional rights.</p> <p>Under one program, Verizon has been supplying the NSA with telephone “metadata” of its users on an ongoing daily basis. Metadata information reveals the phone numbers you called, how long and how often you called them and from where you called.</p> <p>The government argues that this collection is not problematic because it is only receiving transactional data about our calls, not the actual content of our communications. But this data is far from innocuous. It actually contains a wealth of highly personal and sensitive information.</p> <p>Who we call and how frequently we speak to certain people can reveal a lot about us — such as our sexual orientation, whether we have cancer or other health problems and what political and religious groups we are involved with. Even a single call to an abortion clinic or a whistle-blower hotline can expose highly personal information. In some cases, phone records may hold more critical information than the calls themselves. The phone records of, say, journalists who expose government wrongdoing would be particularly sensitive.</p> <p>Secret collection of our information may also reach much further than just calling records. There’s no reason to think that the government has not also been collecting metadata from our Internet service providers. This metadata can include information about whom you email as well as the websites you visit. The government has argued that website URLs should be considered transactional data — which is a big concern for a surveillance program since these could reveal highly sensitive information about a person: a visit to <a href="http://www.seattledivorceservices.com">www.seattledivorceservices.com</a>, or <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alcoholism/DS00340">www.mayoclinic.com/health/alcoholism/DS00340</a>.</p> <p>Under our Constitution, the government can only collect personal information when it has probable cause to believe a specific individual or group has done or is planning to do something illegal. But the Verizon program means that the government has switched from focusing on information about specific targets of investigations to mass collection of information.</p> <p>The Verizon program was authorized under a section of the Patriot Act that allows the FBI to get a secret court order to collect “any tangible thing.” We now know that the government is interpreting this to permit the unlimited and untargeted collection of all calling records.</p> <p>The unchecked acquisition of our calling records undermines basic rights to act freely in a democratic society. People may be more cautious about speaking out against government policies or contacting organizations the government may paint as controversial if the government itself is tracking such actions.</p> <p>Indeed, this week the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the recently revealed surveillance program. The nature of the ACLU’s work — we protect access to reproductive services, combat racial profiling, defend the rights of immigrants — means that many people who call the organization wish to keep their contact with us confidential. If the government is collecting a vast trove of ACLU phone records, many people may be reluctant to communicate with us.</p> <p>This massive tracking program is also dangerous because of its secrecy. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court that approved the data collection convenes in secret, hears only from the government and rarely releases a public opinion. A secret form of judicial review is not an effective check on government power. Without public oversight or review there is simply no way to ensure that its decisions are fair and meet constitutional standards.</p> <p>We have some real facts now, but must demand more. The ACLU has requested that the FISA Court release its opinions on the scope and interpretation of the Patriot Act.</p> <p>It’s time to have a real informed public debate about the limits of government surveillance and a proper legal review of the government’s actions — the very checks and balances intended by the people who wrote our Constitution.</p> <p>Protecting the nation’s security is vital. But that doesn’t mean we throw out the Bill of Rights in the process of defending it.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/why-nsa-s-gathering-metadata-matters#comments Liberty and Security Technology Homeland Security Surveillance Technology Surveillance Mon, 17 Jun 2013 17:42:36 +0000 jdebelak 2689 at https://aclu-wa.org Victory! Seattle Bans the Box https://aclu-wa.org/blog/victory-seattle-bans-box <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Seattle City Council voted <em>unanimously</em> to enact a law that would prevent employers from automatically rejecting any applicant with a criminal record.&nbsp; The goal of the bill, sponsored by Councilmember Bruce Harrell, is to reduce the long-term effects of a criminal record by allowing applicants to be considered on their merits before being denied simply because of a record.&nbsp; The bill has three key features.</p> <p>First, the law bans the box on many applications asking if an applicant has ever been arrested or convicted of a crime.&nbsp; This would prevent employers from simply screening out anyone who checks yes. Instead, employers would have to first identify qualified applicants, and only then ask about criminal history.&nbsp; The law also prohibits employers from posting ads which require “clean” criminal history or otherwise show that the employer won’t hire anyone with a record under any circumstances.</p> <p>Second, the law requires employers to give applicants an opportunity to explain their criminal history.&nbsp; When an employer runs a background check, it will have to let the applicant know and hold a job open for 48 hours to give the applicant an opportunity to explain his personal circumstances.</p> <p>Third, an employer can deny an applicant if it has a “legitimate business reason.”&nbsp; A legitimate business reason exists when an employer has a good faith reason to believe that applicant will pose a harm to people, property, or business reputation.&nbsp; So, if a conviction is related to the job responsibilities or environment, the employer can deny the applicant. But when the conviction is not related to the job, an employer cannot deny the person simply because of a record. The bill goes into effect on November 1, 2013.</p> <p>I was there during the vote and testified in support of the bill.&nbsp; Person after person acknowledged that the United States is criminalizing and incarcerating huge numbers of people, and that mass incarceration is doing tremendous harm to our communities.&nbsp; Every single person testifying —even the representatives of business groups that were concerned about the bill—recognized how important it is to give people second chances and a meaningful shot to make an honest living.&nbsp;</p> <p>This victory is due in large part to the tremendous leadership of Merf Ehman with Columbia Legal Services (CLS).&nbsp; The ACLU, CLS, the Seattle Human Rights Commission and many other organizations have been working hard to change the conversation around how we as a society reintegrate those with criminal records.&nbsp; And Monday, we saw how much progress we’ve made.&nbsp; You can read articles about the new law <a href="http://crosscut.com/2013/06/11/seattle-city-hall/114930/city-council-changes-rules-employee-background-che/">here</a> and <a href="http://mobile.seattletimes.com/story/today/2021161292/track-.-.-./">here.</a></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/victory-seattle-bans-box#comments Criminal Justice Wed, 12 Jun 2013 21:55:35 +0000 vhernandez 2686 at https://aclu-wa.org Sentenced to Jail for Being Poor: Modern-day Debtor’s Prisons https://aclu-wa.org/blog/sentenced-jail-being-poor-modern-day-debtor-s-prisons <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>When people are convicted of a crime, they expect to be sentenced to jail time or probation.&nbsp; But there are other long-lasting consequences – and these can be unfair and counter-productive.&nbsp;</p> <p>Washington courts routinely sentence people to pay a variety of fines, fees, and costs.&nbsp; Defendants can be required to pay for the costs of filing a case and for their public defenders, incarceration, or probation supervision.&nbsp; In fact, a person convicted of a felony in Washington gets an average of over $1,000 in fines and fees (not counting restitution to any victim).</p> <p>For many Washington residents, this debt can lead to a cycle of constant imprisonment.&nbsp; This is because failing to pay court debt is considered a violation of the sentence, and courts have the ability to imprison people for willful failure to pay. Most Washington court debt doesn’t expire and can’t be discharged in bankruptcy – so courts can enforce it forever.</p> <p><a href="http://inplainsight.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/27/18380470-sentenced-to-debt-some-tossed-in-prison-over-unpaid-fines?lite">An article by NBC News</a>, “Sentenced to debt: Some tossed in prison over unpaid fines,” is calling attention to the sad fact that many cash-strapped courts are not shy about threatening people with jail time if they don’t pay – and actually jailing them for debts. &nbsp;People who are jailed for failure to pay often lose the ability to find work and contribute meaningfully to society.&nbsp; The money that courts collect through such practices may not outweigh the costs of collection and incarceration.</p> <p>Nationwide, the ACLU is leading the charge against debtor’s prisons.&nbsp; Our pioneering report, <a href="http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/InForAPenny_web.pdf">“In for a Penny,”</a> discusses debtor’s prisons in five states (including Washington) and makes recommendations to ensure that no one is sent to jail for being poor.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/sentenced-jail-being-poor-modern-day-debtor-s-prisons#comments Criminal Justice Incarceration Fri, 31 May 2013 16:36:30 +0000 vhernandez 2666 at https://aclu-wa.org Urge WA Lawmakers to Stand Up for Our Marijuana Laws https://aclu-wa.org/blog/urge-wa-lawmakers-stand-our-marijuana-laws <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Initiative 502 passed last year with a resounding &nbsp;55.7 percent approval.&nbsp; Now that marijuana possession is legal for adults in our state, Washington needs our elected officials in Washington, DC to take action to reflect the voice of the people. &nbsp;They need to support the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act (HR 1523), legislation that would protect medical and non-medical users and businesses in compliance with state law from federal prosecution. These protections are very important for our marijuana regulation system to run safely.</p> <p>So far, just one Washington lawmaker, Rep. Adam Smith, has signed on in support of HR 1523. <strong>We need your help in recruiting more of our lawmakers to support it. </strong>Let them know you want DC to respect the decision made loud and clear by the voters of Washington state.<strong>&nbsp; </strong></p> <p><a href="https://ssl.capwiz.com/aclu/issues/alert/?alertid=62620051"><img src="data:image/png;base64,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" /></a></p> <p>While you’re at it, please take a moment to <a href="https://www.aclu.org/secure/thank-rep-smith-supporting-washington-voters?ms=web_130523_caa_smj">thank Rep. Smith</a> for his dedication to the will of the voters.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/urge-wa-lawmakers-stand-our-marijuana-laws#comments Drug Policy Marijuana Wed, 29 May 2013 19:47:35 +0000 amoorer 2663 at https://aclu-wa.org A victory for online privacy! https://aclu-wa.org/blog/victory-online-privacy <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>On Tuesday, the state legislature gave Washingtonians something to celebrate.&nbsp; Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law new privacy protections for social media account passwords.&nbsp; The act prohibits employers from asking employees or job applicants for passwords to their personal profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.&nbsp; It also prevents them from forcing workers to “friend” supervisors so that they can access and monitor an employee’s posts, or from making workers access their accounts in the employer’s presence.&nbsp; Inslee’s signature makes Washington the eighth state to provide protections for privacy and free speech on social media sites.</p> <p>The new law is a response to cases across the country where employers demanded access to an employee’s or job candidate’s profile.&nbsp; The trend inspired attempts to pass legislation in numerous state legislatures and in Congress.&nbsp; Here in Washington, the act received bi-partisan support and provides benefits to both workers and employers.&nbsp; Workers now have guarantees that their personal online profiles are private.&nbsp; Additionally, they are protected from retaliation for refusing to share access with employers.&nbsp; The bill also preserves an employer’s ability to conduct investigations into potential wrongdoing within their organization in accordance with existing law in a manner that does not request or require login information.&nbsp;</p> <p>It’s a win-win situation and a big one at that!&nbsp; In the words of the act’s sponsor, Sen. Steve Hobbs, “we don't have to sacrifice our privacy for advances in technology.”&nbsp; Washingtonians can be proud of the progress we made this week and can rest assured that the ACLU will continue its efforts to make sure that privacy policy keeps pace with technology.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/victory-online-privacy#comments Thu, 23 May 2013 16:28:53 +0000 snarayan 2659 at https://aclu-wa.org ALPR: The Surveillance Tool You’ve Probably Never Heard Of https://aclu-wa.org/blog/alpr-surveillance-tool-you-ve-probably-never-heard <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>If networks of surveillance cameras and drones have you concerned, you should meet their less known but equally dangerous cousin: automated license plate recognition (or ALPR). ALPR systems track and store location data on millions of vehicles and are in regular use throughout the state of Washington. The ACLU-WA is concerned about these systems because the data they produce can provide law enforcement with a detailed map of where you have been. When that information is reviewed, it can provide police with a picture of your personal habits and routines.</p> <p>ALPR systems generally consist of at least one camera mounted to either a vehicle or fixed location. The cameras photograph every passing vehicle and software then analyzes the photo to identify and extract the license plate number. With each scan, the ALPR system records the exact location and time and stores this data along with the image and license plate at a rate of one per second. The license plate is then matched against a “hotlist” of license plate numbers that has been loaded into the system. However, whether or not there is a match, the system stores the data it has collected from every passing vehicle. Over an eight-hour period, one ALPR system can capture tens of thousands of plates.</p> <p>State, local and federal law enforcement agencies around the country are storing this data – often indefinitely – and uploading it to private company servers. This data is then combined with information coming in from everyone else using the vendor’s system, creating massive databases of license plate location data.</p> <p>ALPR technology is uniquely concerning because it often gets rolled out unannounced and is difficult to spot. Unlike surveillance cameras which look familiar and can often be easily spotted, ALPR units don’t clearly look like anything we would recognize as a threat.&nbsp; In addition, the devices are often subtly attached to police cars, making them even harder notice. &nbsp;</p> <p>As a result, the ACLU and other civil liberties groups have had to rely on public records requests to learn whether local law enforcement agencies are using the technology and what exactly they are recording and storing. Not all police departments have been forthcoming about the information. &nbsp;For example, last week the ACLU of Southern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation <a href="http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-license-plate-lawsuit-20130506,0,578427.story">filed a lawsuit</a> against two Los Angeles county police departments who refused to release information about their ALPR systems. That kind of secrecy about government use of a monitoring technology is alarming.</p> <p>At the ACLU of Washington, we’ve had better luck gathering ALPR information from agencies around the state. In 2011 we began an investigation of ALPR use in Washington. We submitted public records requests to the Seattle Police Department and the Yakima County Sheriff’s Department. Over the course of several months, we also interviewed representatives from more than two dozen law enforcement agencies in Washington to learn about how they use ALPR technology.</p> <p>The results of the investigation were disheartening. The first thing we discovered is that law enforcement use of ALPR in Washington has become relatively common and widespread. &nbsp;At least 22 city police departments and county sheriff’s offices across the state reported owning ALPR systems, and we assume those numbers have only increased since 2011. The majority of those agencies had placed their systems on vehicles rather than fixed poles.&nbsp;</p> <p>We also learned that ALPR systems have the capability to record and maintain an extraordinary amount of data about individuals. In Seattle, for example, police department ALPR units accumulated 7.3 million license plate and location records to the department’s database during a three-year pilot project. &nbsp;Of those 7.3 million records, a scant 7,244 came up as hits, for a scan-to-hit ratio of less than one tenth of one percent. &nbsp;Or put another way, the Seattle Police Department photographed vehicles and recorded the exact time and location of the photo for individuals who were merely driving around in 7,369,416 instances.</p> <p>That large quantity of location data provides a handy means for anyone who wishes to track others. &nbsp;For example, by analyzing the ALPR data we obtained from the Seattle Police Department, we found we were able to confidently map the regular routes of ALPR operators during their shifts. &nbsp;By looking at breaks in time from scanning, we were able to ascertain when and where ALPR operators prefer to take their lunch break. &nbsp;By comparing this routine data to all of an officer’s data, we could identify, for instance, when an officer takes his patrol car home and where that officer lives. &nbsp;In at least one instance, we discovered the SPD Detective ALPR car travelling to Portland for an overnight trip, scanning the license plates of Washingtonians and Oregonians the entire way. &nbsp;Thanks to the number of scans during this trip, we were even able to calculate the officer’s average rate of speed down I-5.</p> <p>If we could use the data to identify specific information about police officers, the same data could be mined to piece together a picture of each of our daily routines.</p> <p>ALPR does have legitimate and valuable uses, such as helping to locate stolen cars or people with outstanding warrants. But left unchecked, these systems can put privacy at risk. We shouldn’t turn a blind eye to the dangers of government collecting this massive amount data without any restrictions on use. Large quantities of data left in the hands of government are susceptible to abuse.</p> <p>Last month we sent out another series of public records request to several law enforcement agencies around the state. The information we gather will give us an up-to-date picture of the prevalence of ALPR in Washington. &nbsp;We then hope to use all the data we uncover to push authorities to create better use and data management policies that will ensure our privacy rights are protected.</p> <p>We shouldn’t have to live in fear that our travels and lives are being recorded indefinitely by the government. Look for more information on our findings on the ACLU-WA website in the coming months. &nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/alpr-surveillance-tool-you-ve-probably-never-heard#comments Mon, 20 May 2013 16:00:00 +0000 jdebelak 2653 at https://aclu-wa.org My May Day Experience https://aclu-wa.org/blog/my-may-day-experience <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>On an unusually warm and sunny May 1<sup>st</sup>, I gathered with ACLU of Washington coworkers and supporters at Judkins Park in Seattle’s Central District, joining with thousands of others to participate in the annual May Day march.&nbsp; The march began here in Washington 13 years ago as a day of advocacy for worker and immigration rights, and it continues to provide a safe and supportive forum for individuals to tell their stories and publicly express their support.</p> <p>This event was my first time participating in a march of this kind, and I found the entire experience to be eye-opening and humbling.&nbsp; I was amazed at how many people were there to participate, from construction and iron workers to chefs and members of allied organizations. It focused attention on questions of why we still do not have true equality in this country.</p> <p>As we marched, I was touched by the recognition and support the ACLU-WA received from many in the crowd. We encountered young advocates asking how they could volunteer with us, as well as older supporters complimenting us for recent work on key pieces of legislation. As I carried the ACLU-WA banner proclaiming “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself,” I realized the great importance of our organization participating in this event, to help make sure immigration reform continues to be a top priority. Almost three hours later, we arrived at the Federal Building for the post-march rally.</p> <p>Although I have the luxury of being born in this country, at some point in time my family traveled here from both Russia and Ireland. In fact, I sometimes forget this and feel that immigration reform is far removed from my situation as a white female with American citizenship. Yet this march forced me to look back, and I realized that hopefully the situation of grandchildren of immigrants at the march will be the same as mine. I cannot imagine how different my life would have been if the immigrant members of my family had been unable to thrive and succeed because of their status.&nbsp; Fortunately, today’s immigrants have the help of the ACLU and other groups that are working to protect and advance their rights.</p> <p>In the end, the march and rally was inspiring and inspiring, filled with a cacophony of diverse voices, all proclaiming that immigration reform must happen NOW! &nbsp;I’m glad that I was there as a representative of an organization helping to represent what we all dream about in this country.</p> <p>This march showed the importance of solidarity – that if everyone bands together and fights injustice, our voices can be heard and change is possible.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/my-may-day-experience#comments Fri, 17 May 2013 21:28:41 +0000 rmasket 2654 at https://aclu-wa.org Speech and Privacy Protections Must Keep Pace with New Technology https://aclu-wa.org/blog/speech-and-privacy-protections-must-keep-pace-new-technology <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong></strong>Having recently started as the new Technology and Liberty Director at the ACLU of WA, I’d like to tell you how I think about technology and some of the key issues I hope to focus on in the coming months and years.</p> <p>Technology has substantially changed the way we live our lives in very exciting ways. Today we can quickly access tons of information on the go from smartphones. We can store documents, photos, and music on remote servers that we access with just the click of a button. Many of these advances make our lives easier and produce great benefits to society. </p> <p>But new technologies can also bring serious challenges to our civil liberties. In some cases, technology has strengthened our rights by providing new ways for us to speak publicly and anonymously about political issues. In other cases, technology has reshaped our thinking about civil liberties. For example, privacy rights have traditionally been discussed in relation to our bodies or our homes. But that idea of privacy does not take into account all the various remote locations, such as cloud services and social networks, where we now store critical personal information digitally. Our privacy in these spaces needs to be protected just as much as it is in our bodies and homes. </p> <p>One ongoing goal of the Technology and Liberty program will be to follow closely changes in technology and ensure that privacy and speech protections keep pace. However, as we think about regulating technology to protect civil liberties, we must be mindful that we don’t harm positive uses of new technology or stunt innovation.</p> <p>In particular, we’ll be carefully watching how the government uses new technology to monitor citizens. It’s important to make sure we don’t end up with a society where our lives are constantly tracked and recorded. Maintaining our privacy from government intrusion is crucial for a healthy democracy.</p> <p>Washington is home to many innovative technology companies. We look forward to working with them to<br /> think of unique ways that technology can provide citizens with tools they can use to protect their privacy and speech rights.</p> <p>The program will also be a resource for people about new technologies and the rights they may<br /> implicate. Knowledge is power. It’s critical that we understand what technologies are being used in our communities, how they work, and what impact they may have on our privacy and speech rights.</p> <p>Check in with our blog for the latest news on issues I’ll be working on.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/speech-and-privacy-protections-must-keep-pace-new-technology#comments Tue, 14 May 2013 16:00:00 +0000 jdebelak 2651 at https://aclu-wa.org Employment Discrimination: Another State Bans the Box https://aclu-wa.org/blog/employment-discrimination-another-state-bans-box <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This week, Minnesota joined the national movement to “ban the box.” &nbsp;&nbsp;Its legislature passed, with bi-partisan support, a bill that would prevent public and private employers from asking about criminal history on an initial application.</p> <p>The reason behind the rule is simple:&nbsp; Employers reviewing multiple applicants are likely to use criminal history to screen people out automatically, even those who are fully qualified for the job. &nbsp;Screening applicants without even considering a person’s qualifications or rehabilitation unfairly prevents people who’ve served their time from getting a fair chance at a fresh start.</p> <p>Republican Senator Roger Chamberlain, one of the bill’s sponsors, recognized that increasing job opportunities for people with criminal history makes good sense, saying, “The best thing someone [on probation or parole] can do to reintegrate into the community is get a job.”&nbsp; He dismissed suggestions that business leaders would oppose similar bills in other states, saying “In the end, this is not that controversial.”&nbsp; An official with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce agreed, saying that the Minnesota bill is part of a larger national movement.</p> <p>City Council member Bruce Harrell has proposed<a href="http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/sentenced-to-a-life-of-unemployment/Content?oid=14658225" target="_blank"> similar legislation</a> for jobs in Seattle. The bill has yet &nbsp;to be voted out of committee.</p> <p>You can read more about Minnesota’s victory <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/08/ban-the-box-minnesota_n_3240209.html" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/employment-discrimination-another-state-bans-box#comments Criminal Justice Fri, 10 May 2013 21:04:20 +0000 vhernandez 2650 at https://aclu-wa.org Religious Restrictions Put Health Care Rights at Risk https://aclu-wa.org/blog/religious-restrictions-put-health-care-rights-risk <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Health care facilities open to the general public should provide access to a full range of health care services. Religious ideology should not determine what health care services are available to patients.</p> <p>But the ability of patients to obtain the medical care they need and their rights to access lawful health care are at risk because of a growing trend in the control of health care facilities. Medical facilities tied to religious institutions are playing an increasingly large role in Washington.&nbsp; Currently, 40% of hospital beds statewide are in religiously affiliated institutions, and that could rise to nearly 50% by year’s end. Already in certain counties and parts of Washington, the only hospitals or health care facilities serving the public are religiously affiliated.</p> <p>Hospitals are merging because of pressures to improve coordination of patient care, modernize health care systems, and make health care more affordable for all. As a result, many of our state’s hospitals in small and rural communities are looking to partner with large health care corporations. The health care partners with the capital and resources to help keep struggling hospital doors open are affiliated with Catholic institutions.&nbsp;</p> <p>When a secular medical hospital partners (or merges or affiliates) with a religiously affiliated health care corporation, it limits the ability of patients to choose critical medical services they may need.&nbsp; Catholic hospitals are required to abide by the <a href="http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/health-care/upload/Ethical-Religious-Directives-Catholic-Health-Care-Services-fifth-edition-2009.pdf">Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services</a> (ERDs). The ERDs restrict a patient’s right to access all lawful and medically appropriate health care services, counseling, and referrals.&nbsp; As a result, many residents may not be able to exercise their reproductive and end-of-life health care choices or access health services free from discrimination.</p> <p>It’s not just hospitals that are affected—<a href="http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/jan/09/providence-buys-practice/">physician practice groups</a>, <a href="http://www.paml.com/News/CHI%20Becomes%20Equity%20Partner%20in%20PAML.aspx">medical laboratories</a>, <a href="http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20120126/news/301269986">medical clinics</a>, and <a href="http://www.uwmedicine.org/Education/WWAMI/Pages/default.aspx">medical education</a> are also impacted by the rise in religious restrictions on health care.</p> <p>The growth of religiously controlled medical care is threatening legal rights. Washington is a progressive state that has led the nation in championing bodily autonomy and health care choice. The Reproductive Privacy Act, enacted by voters statewide in 1991, establishes as public policy of the state of Washington that “every individual has the fundamental right to choose or refuse birth control,” and “every woman has the fundamental right to choose or refuse to have an abortion.” In 2008, voters enacted the Death with Dignity Act which allows terminally ill adults seeking to end their life to request lethal doses of medication from medical and osteopathic physicians.</p> <p>Washington has also been a leader in advancing and protecting the rights of LGBT citizens. In 2006, the legislature passed the landmark Anderson Murray Anti-Discrimination Law; it prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender expression or identity, including discrimination by providers of medical services. This past fall, Washington voters removed the state’s prohibition on marriage for same-sex couples.</p> <p>What the growth of religious facilities operating according to the ERDs means for patients is that denials of critical health care services that we’ve seen in other <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/19/AR2011011907539.html">states</a> are <a href="http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/faith-healers/Content?oid=16050396">happening here in Washington</a>.</p> <p>The ACLU of Washington is working to ensure that everyone can make health care decisions without religious interference.&nbsp; We are seeking to learn more about the extent of religious restrictions on health care in our state.</p> <p>We invite patients and providers to complete our <a href="https://www.aclu.org/secure/patient-and-provider-web-intake">confidential questionnaire</a> to share their experiences accessing or providing reproductive and end-of-life health services, counseling, and referrals in Washington state. We also would like to hear about any experience of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression in seeking or accessing health care services, counseling, or referrals in Washington state.</p> <p>To learn more about what the ACLU of Washington is doing, please visit <a href="/myhealthcare">www.aclu-wa.org/myhealthcare</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/religious-restrictions-put-health-care-rights-risk#comments LGBT Women's Rights Tue, 07 May 2013 22:11:08 +0000 mchen 2649 at https://aclu-wa.org Choosing Reason over Revenge: Former Governor Dan Evans Speaks Out on the Death Penalty https://aclu-wa.org/blog/choosing-reason-over-revenge-former-governor-dan-evans-speaks-out-death-penalty <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Opponents to the death penalty have been stating many reasons, for many years, why the death penalty should be removed from our judicial system. In March of this year, Daniel J. Evans, our former governor, added his powerful voice and told the Washington Legislature about his reasons:</p> <p>“When I became governor in 1965 the death penalty was not an issue. Challenges of redistricting, education, social services, and transportation filled the legislative agenda.</p> <p>“Several years later I visited the state penitentiary in Walla Walla with Warden Rhay and walked the halls of that grim prison.&nbsp; On our tour we passed a small courtyard surrounded by bleak prison walls.&nbsp; A dozen inmates were playing basketball in the yard and I asked the warden why they were isolated.&nbsp; He replied, ‘These are the men on death row.’&nbsp;&nbsp; I suddenly realized that, as Governor, I had the final say over life or death for these men.&nbsp; I inherently felt that was wrong and began a serious study of the death penalty.</p> <p>“I first had to answer the question ‘What would my reaction be if one of my children was murdered?’&nbsp; My first reaction was, ‘Give me a chance for revenge.’&nbsp; But that would not bring my child back and revenge is a dismal character trait.&nbsp; As I studied more, I found that the death penalty was no deterrent.&nbsp; States with the most executions continued to have the highest murder rates.</p> <p>“Citizens often asked me ‘What about the cost of keeping these murderers in prison the rest of their lives?’&nbsp; I found that the cost of a trial and repeated appeals far exceeded the cost of imprisonment for life and delayed justice unconscionably.</p> <p>“Finally, with the development of modern investigative tools and DNA evidence, we are discovering frighteningly numerous cases of mistaken identity and error which have sent too many innocent humans to their death.</p> <p>“Only once as Governor was I faced with the decision of death or stay of execution.&nbsp; John William Hawkins was sentenced to death and his execution was rapidly approaching.&nbsp; I issued a one-year stay of execution so that the results of a recent US Supreme Court decision could be applied to his case.&nbsp; Ultimately the execution was set aside and he served a life term in prison.&nbsp; I vowed not to allow any executions to take place during my term as governor.&nbsp; The chance for error was too great and the costs too high.</p> <p>“If the death penalty is no deterrent, is enormously costly, and riddled with errors, all that is left is revenge.&nbsp; Is that an appropriate goal for a civilized nation?&nbsp; I think not.&nbsp; Recent statistics show that only four nations execute more people than the United States.&nbsp; Those are China, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.&nbsp; That is in stark contrast to the entire continent of Europe, which has banned the death penalty.</p> <p>“I urge this legislature to substitute ‘life in prison without parole’ for the death penalty.&nbsp; It would place us with those civilized nations and states who have chosen reason over the satisfaction of revenge.”</p> <p>If you agree with former Governor Evans and want to get involved with ending the death penalty in Washington, please let us know! To get involved, go to:&nbsp; <a href="https://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50572/p/salsa/web/common/public/signup?signup_page_KEY=6851">https://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50572/p/salsa/web/common/public/signup?signup_page_KEY=6851</a></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/choosing-reason-over-revenge-former-governor-dan-evans-speaks-out-death-penalty#comments Criminal Justice Death Penalty Fri, 26 Apr 2013 20:03:18 +0000 scoleman 2638 at https://aclu-wa.org Restorative Justice: Helping Kids Learn from Their Mistakes https://aclu-wa.org/blog/restorative-justice-helping-kids-learn-their-mistakes <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Kids can’t learn if they aren’t in school.&nbsp; That’s why our state has a mandatory attendance rule that requires students to go school or give a good reason why they have missed a day of class time.&nbsp;</p> <p>But our current discipline laws allow schools to expel or suspend kids as a punishment for breaking rules sometimes for even minor infractions.&nbsp; These laws have resulted in an increase in kids – especially kids of color – missing out on an education, falling behind in class, and often dropping out and getting involved in criminal courts.&nbsp; Schools are missing an opportunity to teach kids about self-discipline, good citizenship, and empathy by kicking them out instead of using their misbehavior as a teachable moment.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>As an intern, I’ve been researching Restorative Justice. This is an approach that has been successfully used to reduce suspensions and expulsions, especially among students of color, in schools across the nation, including in Oakland, Denver, and Chicago. Restorative Justice focuses on the needs of all parties involved (victims, community, and offenders). Offenders are encouraged to take responsibility and make amends for their actions, through such means as apologizing or performing community service. Rather than simply punishing and ostracizing misbehaving students, it educates and integrates them into the community.</p> <p>My interest in the use of Restorative Justice and other Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies is more than academic. Without strategies like these, I might not have completed high school and college and been poised to start law school in the fall.</p> <p>When I was a teenager in eighth grade, I was really into wrestling. The Undertaker was my favorite wrestler, and his choke slam was my favorite move. The choke slam is when you pick someone up by the throat and throw them to the ground. One day at school, I ran into a fifth-grader who was making fun of the Undertaker. Needless to say, this didn’t sit well with me and I showed him a choke slam.</p> <p>I carried on with my day as if nothing happened until lunch, when the principal came to the cafeteria (never a good sign), walked right to my table (an even worse sign), and asked me to come to her office. She asked me why I thought she called me in, and I didn’t answer, though I knew. She told me that slamming a 10-year-old against a cement floor is not why parents send&nbsp;kids to school. The principal said that they do not tolerate students putting their hands on each other and that I was going to be suspended.</p> <p>A suspension from school is the worst. You feel like a failure, and worst of all you feel like nothing you do can ever make up for it. But there was even more to come, and in hindsight I’m thankful there was.</p> <p>The school called my grandmother, with whom I was living.&nbsp; As the principal, my grandmother, and I talked about the situation, I saw nothing but disappointment in my grandmother’s face, which is worse than anger.&nbsp;</p> <p>At home, I was banned from watching wrestling. At school, they wanted me to learn how older kids need to be careful around younger kids, so besides the three-day suspension, I also had to volunteer in the kindergarten class.&nbsp; When I look back, it’s clear that the behavior intervention actions used – discussion, involvement of multiple affected people, and volunteering – made a big difference. Because the school and my family took the time to address my behavior, I never went back to the principal’s office.</p> <p>By not assuming the worst in students and trying to fix behavior before it gets worse, Restorative Justice engages in what should be a standard at schools. If I had just been suspended, without the conversations and volunteer experience, I wouldn’t have learned the important lessons I did and may have continued to act out.</p> <p>I was lucky to have supportive school and home environments.&nbsp; But what happens to kids who don’t have those supports? Kids don’t come fully assembled; they should be given the opportunities to learn from their mistakes and grow.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/restorative-justice-helping-kids-learn-their-mistakes#comments Youth Academic Freedom Juvenile Justice Tue, 02 Apr 2013 23:07:56 +0000 jthomas 2625 at https://aclu-wa.org Hearing Educated Legislators about Failings of Death Penalty https://aclu-wa.org/blog/hearing-educated-legislators-about-failings-death-penalty <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Earlier this March, Washington’s House Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on HB 1504, legislation that would replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole.</p> <p>Bill sponsors Rep. Carlyle and Rep. Walsh were the first to testify. Rep. Walsh read a moving statement from former Governor Dan Evans urging lawmakers to repeal Washington’s death penalty. &nbsp;“I urge this legislature to substitute ‘life in prison without parole’ for the death penalty.&nbsp; It would place us with those civilized nations and states who have chosen reason over the satisfaction of revenge,” Evans said in a written statement.</p> <p>Law enforcement leaders stated that the death penalty was ineffective in deterring violent crime. “I believe an execution does absolutely nothing to enhance public safety, a view shared by most of my colleagues,” said Norm Stamper, former Seattle police chief.&nbsp;</p> <p>Twenty individuals subsequently testified in favor of the bill, including victims’ family members, law enforcement officers, faith leaders, and members of the public. The hearing concluded before the full list of testifiers was exhausted. No one signed up to testify against the bill.&nbsp;</p> <p>Although HB 1504/SB 5372 was not voted out of Committee this year, the Safe and Just Alternatives&nbsp;campaign successfully raised the profile of the issue&nbsp;in Olympia and effectively educated legislators and the public about the failures of the death penalty. <a href="http://sjawa.org/news-and-events">The March 6 hearing and our press conference received extensive coverage on local TV, radio and in papers across the state</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.tvw.org/index.php?option=com_tvwplayer&amp;eventID=2013030056">Video from the hearing is available here.</a></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/hearing-educated-legislators-about-failings-death-penalty#comments Criminal Justice Death Penalty Thu, 21 Mar 2013 00:40:48 +0000 bsmith 2616 at https://aclu-wa.org Lobbying in Olympia to End the Death Penalty https://aclu-wa.org/blog/lobbying-olympia-end-death-penalty <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>On February 12<sup>th</sup>, nearly 60 concerned people from 26 legislative districts came together to voice their opposition to Washington state’s death penalty. From Bellingham and Vancouver to Spokane and Walla Walla, constituents trekked to Olympia to meet with their elected officials. Over the course of four hours, teams attended 67 legislative appointments and had an opportunity to meet with Rep. Reuven Carlyle and Sen. Adam Kline, sponsors of legislation to end the death penalty.</p> <p>Participants reported that many of their meetings with legislators were productive. The exorbitant cost of maintaining a death penalty system is particularly concerning to many lawmakers, as is the arbitrary nature of its imposition and its negative impact on the families of homicide victims.</p> <p>Proponents of repeal still have another opportunity to influence legislators this session. &nbsp;On <strong>Wednesday, March 6<sup>th</sup> at 8 am in O’Brien Building, Hearing Room A</strong>, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on HB 1504, legislation that would repeal the death penalty in Washington. The public hearing and a press conference following it will be an opportunity to discuss the many reasons to end the death penalty and to continue to build momentum for next year’s legislative session.</p> <p>As the fight for repeal continues, legislatures across the country are increasingly in favor of abolishing the death penalty. Maryland is moving toward to repeal their death penalty within the next month, with Montana, Kansas, and Colorado legislatures also considering repeal.</p> <p>For more information about efforts to end the death penalty in Washington, please visit <a href="http://www.sjawa.org/">www.sjawa.org</a>.</p> <p><em>Safe and Just Alternatives is a campaign that seeks to replace the death penalty with life without parole through legislation. SJA includes people of faith, law enforcement officials, family members of crime victims, and community leaders from across the state who believe that the death penalty is wasteful, unfair, and fails to protect public safety.</em><em></em></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/lobbying-olympia-end-death-penalty#comments Criminal Justice Death Penalty Thu, 28 Feb 2013 23:14:46 +0000 bsmith 2589 at https://aclu-wa.org Protect privacy as Seattle Police drones take off https://aclu-wa.org/blog/protect-privacy-seattle-police-drones-take <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Looking for a growth industry in a down economy? Drones, best known as tools for going after alleged terrorists abroad, are coming in force to American skies. They already are deployed to patrol our nation's borders. And the Federal Aviation Administration is predicting that there could be as many as</p> <p>30,000 unmanned aerial vehicles over domestic skies by the end of the decade, according to a report in the Washington Times.</p> <p>We should keep in mind the likely development of America's drone industry as Seattle considers policies for law enforcement use of unmanned aerial vehicles.</p> <p>If society is not vigilant, new technology can outpace public policy.</p> <p>The drones of the not-too-distant future may be far different from the toylike vehicles the Seattle Police Department is showing off today. The public is understandably nervous over drones' game-changing implications for privacy and generalized surveillance by the government.</p> <p>What was once the stuff of science fiction is becoming big business. Drones have their own trade group, the Association for Unmanned Aerial Systems International, which includes some of the nation's leading aerospace companies. For its part, Congress now has "drone caucuses" in both the Senate and House.</p> <p>The Seattle Police Department points out that the two drones it has obtained thus far - under a grant from the Department of Homeland Security - are small and have limited capabilities. Their battery life is less than 10 minutes, and they can't carry more than 35 ounces. Under FAA guidelines, they cannot hover below 400 feet and cannot be used above crowds.</p> <p>But with drones emerging as a cornerstone of our military strategy, research is proceeding apace. We can bet that drones will become more powerful, more versatile and less expensive. Advances in artificial intelligence will enhance their ability to carry out increasingly invasive surveillance. We can expect drones that will carry high-power zoom lenses, employ thermal imaging and use radar to penetrate the walls of homes and businesses. With facial recognition software, they will be able to recognize and track individuals. And the Air Force is testing a system called "Gorgon Stare," which uses multiple cameras to look at a whole city.</p> <p>Unmanned aerial vehicles make it easier than ever for law enforcement to monitor people and locations. If police drones become commonplace, government will be tempted to seek new missions beyond the initial deployment for search-and-rescue and crime scene work.</p> <p>And if data captured by drones is not immediately deleted, it would become a massive trove of video, audio, and other data potentially available to anyone who seeks it under public disclosure laws. Although cameras have proliferated in our society, drones are different both because of their surveillance capabilities and the fact that it is the government doing the recording. In a democratic society, people should be able to go about their daily activities without their movements, activities, and associations being recorded and tracked by the government. Americans do not want to live in a "surveillance society."</p> <p>In light of these concerns, the Seattle Police Department has drafted guidelines for its use of drones and is seeking public input. But police department policies alone are not sufficient. We need regulations enacted by our elected officials and enshrined in law to ensure that police drones are not used for political surveillance, nor do they carry weapons.</p> <p>The Seattle City Council needs to specify when and how drones are to be used - only for legitimate law enforcement purposes when no other mechanism will do - and provide that information collected by drones not be stored unless directly related to criminal activity. In nearly all circumstances, there should be a warrant requirement for collection of data by drones. There should be an auditing process to ensure the law has teeth.</p> <p>Seattle has a chance to become a national leader in establishing reasonable, privacy-protective regulations for law enforcement use of drones. It's an opportunity our leaders should seize without delay.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/protect-privacy-seattle-police-drones-take#comments Privacy Wed, 02 Jan 2013 18:11:08 +0000 ShankarDoug 2542 at https://aclu-wa.org Celebrating a Year of Making History in Washington State https://aclu-wa.org/blog/celebrating-year-making-history-washington-state <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Ever since 9/11, civil libertarians have been known for issuing dire warnings about erosions of fundamental rights:&nbsp; Guantanamo, &nbsp;indefinite detention powers, warrantless wiretapping, &nbsp;America’s addiction to incarceration, attacks on women’s reproductive freedom, &nbsp;use of RFID chips on public school students (yep, a girl in Texas is actually suing her school district over that one). These are serious and ongoing concerns.</p> <p>Yet as we at the ACLU think about the state of civil liberties on Dec. 15, the anniversary of the Bill of Rights, we find much to celebrate. It’s truly been a year of making history in Washington state.</p> <p>The ACLU of Washington first represented a gay couple, John Singer and Paul Barwick, seeking to marry in 1971. Four decades after the courts rejected them, the state legislature this past February took the bold step of approving civil marriage for same-sex couples. Though no state had ever approved marriage equality at the ballot box, Washington’s voters upheld our new marriage law by approving Referendum 74.&nbsp;</p> <p>In early November, at our annual Bill of Rights Dinner, Major Margaret Witt received an award for her heroic persistence in successfully challenging “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Upon accepting the honor, she proposed on the spot to her partner Laurie Johnson. They’re getting married this month.</p> <p>Our nation’s misguided and costly "War on Drugs" has undermined civil liberties in many ways: eroding protections against unlawful searches and seizures, imposing overly harsh sentences on individuals and disproportionately impacting communities of color. Five years ago the ACLU-WA launched “Marijuana: It’s Time for a Conversation,” an education campaign to put marijuana law reform on the public agenda. Though we offered to have its video run as a paid “infomercial,” local TV stations either refused to air it or would do so only in the wee hours of the morning.</p> <p>But this fall saw I-502, a measure that legalizes, regulates, and taxes marijuana use by adults, gain remarkably widespread support. Endorsing it were two former U.S. attorneys, the former head of the local FBI office, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and new King County Sheriff John Urquhart. It passed with more than 55 percent of the vote statewide; it won a majority in 20 of the state’s 39 counties. As of Dec. 6, local law enforcement can no longer arrest adults for who possess up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use.</p> <p>For decades the ACLU-WA and other civil rights groups have worked to curb excessive use of force by police, especially against communities of color. Two years ago, we were joined by 34 other organizations in calling for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the Seattle Police Department (SPD). The feds accepted, scrutinized SPD practices, and rendered their verdict: the SPD uses excessive force. A U.S. District Court- supervised consent decree is now in place, with a monitor appointed to watchdog reform efforts. While we’ve seen blue ribbon efforts come and go, the backing of the DOJ and court raise hopes that this time reforms will be long-lasting.</p> <p>We’re also pursuing other long-needed changes through the courts. For six years in junior and senior high, Russell Dickerson III was subjected to severe verbal and physical harassment by peers in Aberdeen public schools. But he stood up for his rights, and this winter gained a major settlement through an ACLU lawsuit on his behalf. It sent an important message to educators statewide: There’s a price to be paid if you fail to stop bullying.</p> <p>And this spring, we learned that the SPD had received permission from the feds to employ two unmanned aerial drones. The ACLU pointed out that while police drones may have some valuable uses, they provide an unprecedented ability for the government to spy on law-abiding people. We are insisting that city officials write restrictions on drones into law, and Councilmember Bruce Harrell says that he intends to pass legislation – which would make Seattle the first major city to take such action.</p> <p>That would be a nice way to make history next year.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in the Dec. 13 issue of </em>Real Change.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/celebrating-year-making-history-washington-state#comments Drug Policy LGBT LGBT Marriage Marijuana Sat, 15 Dec 2012 09:00:00 +0000 honig 2537 at https://aclu-wa.org Facing Race and the Death Penalty https://aclu-wa.org/blog/facing-race-and-death-penalty <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Recently, a group of community organizations released <em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Facing Race</span></em>, a report that assesses that the voting records of Washington state legislators in promoting racial equity. Notably, the report recognizes ending the death penalty is one change that our state representatives should make to advance the goal of racial justice in Washington.</p> <p>Although African Americans comprise less than 4 percent of the state’s population, 4 of the 8 men on the state’s death row are African American. The overrepresentation of African Americans on Washington’s death row parallels a national pattern:&nbsp; African Americans represent nearly 42 percent of death row inmates across the country yet represent only 13 percent of the U.S. population.<a href="#_edn1">[i]</a>&nbsp;</p> <p>The disproportionate number of African Americans on death row is not simply a result of African Americans committing higher rates of first degree aggravated degree murder – the only “death-eligible” crime in Washington. Since the state reinstated capital punishment in 1981, African Americans comprised 18 percent of all “death-eligible” cases, yet African Americans have received over 25 percent of the death sentences imposed since 1981.<a href="#_edn2">[ii]</a> &nbsp;</p> <p>The data on homicide cases in Washington also indicates that the race of the victim impacts whether the state imposes a death sentence.&nbsp; Prosecutors asked for the death penalty in 28 percent of cases with one white victim, but only 18 percent of cases involving a victim of color.<a href="#_edn3">[iii]</a>&nbsp; For cases with a white defendant and a non-white victim, the rate drops to less than 13 percent.<a href="#_edn4">[iv]</a>&nbsp;</p> <p>While prosecutors appear to seek the death penalty against African American and white defendants at fairly equal rates, it important to note that juries are more likely to impose the death penalty for African American defendants. &nbsp;<a href="http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/802092.no2.pdf">In a recent dissenting opinion for the Washington Supreme Court, Justice Charles Wiggins expressed concern regarding this statistical trend</a>.</p> <p>Judge Wiggins opinion presented an analysis of 73 cases in which prosecutors sought the death penalty, and found that juries ultimately imposed the death penalty in 40 percent of cases involving white defendants and in 62 percent of cases involving African American defendants. &nbsp;In addition, Judge Wiggins pointed out that African American defendants sentenced to death on average had less aggravating factors than white defendants; and all but one of the African American defendants had a single victim while most of the white defendants had multiple victims. <a href="#_edn5">[v]</a></p> <p>Significantly, Judge Wiggins asserted that the racial disparities in death penalty cases may be rooted in unconscious bias:</p> <p><em>I emphasize that this opinion does not accuse anyone in the criminal justice system of racism, whether they are police, prosecutors, defense counsel, witnesses, jurors, or judges. The African-American experience in this country has been complex and frequently tragic. Attitudes about race can be so deeply buried in our individual and collective unconscious that it is difficult to evaluate their effect on our judgments or the judgments of others. The point is not that African- Americans have been deliberately treated differently with respect to the death penalty; the point is that they have in fact been treated differently.<a href="#_edn6"><strong>[vi]</strong></a></em></p> <p>The racial disparities in death penalty cases in Washington reflect the racial disparities that exist at every stage of the criminal justice system. &nbsp;As the <em>Facing Race</em> report points out, the disproportionate representation of people of color in Washington’s courts, jails, and prisons is evidence of unequal treatment. The over-representation of people of color in Washington’s criminal justice system cannot be explained by people of color committing more crimes, or more violent crimes.&nbsp; So, we need to recognize that ending the death penalty is one piece of reforming the broader criminal justice system –&nbsp; particularly the punitive policies and practices that have disproportionally affected people of color in our state.&nbsp;</p> <p>Although we are a long way from achieving racial justice in our criminal justice system – or in our state as whole – state leaders can take a big step in this direction by repealing Washington’s death penalty.&nbsp; When the legislative session begins in a few weeks, lawmakers will consider a bill to replace the death penalty with life in prison without parole. Safe and Just Alternatives is organizing a Lobby Day in January so that constituents from across the state can tell their legislators that it is time to end a fundamentally unjust punishment in Washington.</p> <hr size="1" /> <p><a href="#_ednref1">[i]</a> <a href="http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/DRUSASpring2012.pdf">NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund</a>, “Death Row USA,” Spring 2012. <a href="http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/DRUSASpring2012.pdf" title="http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/DRUSASpring2012.pdf">http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/DRUSASpring2012.pdf</a></p> <p><a href="#_ednref2">[ii]</a> Based on an analysis of 300 trial reports filed with the Washington Supreme Court from 1981 to 2012 pursuant to RCW 10.95. Trial reports for aggravated murder convictions are available upon request from the Washington State Supreme Court. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="#_ednref3">[iii]</a> Ibid.</p> <p><a href="#_ednref4">[iv]</a> Ibid.</p> <p><a href="#_ednref5">[v]</a> <span style="text-decoration: underline;">State v. Davis</span>, 175 Wn.2d 287 (Sept. 20, 2012)(Wiggins, J. concurring in dissent), p. 4.</p> <p><a href="#_ednref6">[vi]</a> <span style="text-decoration: underline;">State v. Davis</span>, 175 Wn.2d 287 (Sept. 20, 2012)(Wiggins, J. concurring in dissent), p. 2.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/facing-race-and-death-penalty#comments Criminal Justice Death Penalty Wed, 12 Dec 2012 00:10:38 +0000 mfaruqee 2528 at https://aclu-wa.org At Last, Love and Equality Win the Day https://aclu-wa.org/blog/last-love-and-equality-win-day <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Love and equality won nearly 54% of the vote in Washington on November 6<sup>th</sup>.&nbsp; In approving Referendum 74, the voters recognized that all committed, loving couples, gay and straight alike, should be able to marry under state law.&nbsp; And on December 9th same-sex couples were able to take matrimonial vows in homes and courthouses across our state for the first time! &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Reaching this victory has been quite a journey as people have traveled from fear and discrimination to acceptance and support.&nbsp; It was more than 40 years ago, in 1971, that a gay couple, John Singer and Paul Barwick, first challenged King County’s denial of their application for a marriage license.&nbsp; They came to the ACLU-WA, and we took their case all the way to the Washington Supreme Court.&nbsp; Although the Court wasn’t ready to accept same sex marriage, John and Paul blazed a trail others would follow. &nbsp;It is rough to be a trailblazer.&nbsp; Singer lost his job at the Seattle office of the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, of all places, for simply publicly advocating for marriage equality. The ACLU took that case, too.&nbsp; It went all the way to the U. S, Supreme Court, which ordered a re-hearing, and in 1978, Singer was reinstated with full back pay!&nbsp;</p> <p>Also in the ‘70s, we fought for the right of gay parents to maintain custody of their children, a right that was upheld by the Washington Supreme Court upheld (<em>Schuster v. Schuster</em>) in 1978.&nbsp; Washington was an “early adopter,” years before other states saw the light. Still the state Supreme Court was not ready for marriage equality even in 2004 when we filed suit (<em>Castle v. State</em>) for 11 same-sex couples around the state.&nbsp; While the Thurston County Superior Court ruled for the right to marry, it was reversed 5-4 by the state Supreme Court. &nbsp;</p> <p>Finally this year, as a founding member of Washington United for Marriage, the successful campaign to Approve Referendum 74 to retain the state’s marriage equality law, the ACLU enjoyed seeing the people of Washington endorse the right that John and Paul fought for decades ago.</p> <p>Not long afterward, the owner of the shop where the ACLU gets its annual awards framed for our annual dinner told me, as he tore up our bill, that on the day that R-74 was victorious, his partner of more than 20 years proposed to him. “Thank everyone back at the office for all their work to make our wedding possible,” he said. &nbsp;And when the Civil Libertarian Award that he framed was presented to Major Margaret Witt at the Bill of Rights Dinner, she proposed on the spot from the stage to her partner Laurie Johnson. They were married in December.</p> <p>Let’s raise a toast in celebration of love and equality!&nbsp; A toast to the thousands of loving couples across the state are now able to publicly proclaim their commitment to one another – and look forward to a bright future together – legally married.&nbsp;</p> <p>And, let’s also raise a toast to the many leaders in our community who championed the freedom to marry for years. And to our champions in the state legislature who tirelessly pursued the issue until it gained passage. And to business leaders, faith leaders, and leaders from communities of color who stood publicly in support of marriage equality.&nbsp; And to the thousands of volunteers – gay and straight – who donated millions of hours to make calls, knock on doors, and have courageous conversations with their neighbors about the importance of marriage to all loving couples.&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you to everyone that this tremendous achievement possible.&nbsp; To love and equality!</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/last-love-and-equality-win-day#comments LGBT LGBT Marriage Thu, 06 Dec 2012 17:00:12 +0000 ktaylor 2522 at https://aclu-wa.org Liberty Links: An Outpouring of Heart-Warming Stories https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-links-outpouring-heart-warming-stories <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">With the approval of R-74, same-sex couples across the state are getting ready to line up to obtain marriage licenses starting Dec.6 and are moving forward with long-cherished dreams for &nbsp;marriage ceremonies. &nbsp;Our state’s media have been filled with their truly heart-warming stories.&nbsp;</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">Want to know why – and how much – marriage equality means to loving, committed couples? Check out some, or all, of these reports.</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">Print</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">After decades together, Whatcom County gay couples finally will be able to wed http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/12/02/2786281/after-decades-together-whatcom.html#storylink=cpy</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">Washington same-sex marriage law arrives as public attitudes change (Clark County) http://www.oregonlive.com/mapes/index.ssf/2012/12/washington_same-sex_marriage_l.html</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">First couple: Lisa Brodoff, Lynn Grotsky to get first Thurston same-sex marriage license http://www.theolympian.com/2012/12/03/2340694/first-couple-lisa-brodoff-lynn.html?storylink=addthis#.UL0_-2HpZg0.twitter#storylink=cpy</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">Gay marriage, marijuana measures take effect Thursday (Island &amp; Snohomish County) http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20121202/NEWS01/712029939</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">The line starts early for marriage licenses (Pierce County) http://www.tacomaweekly.com/dailymashup/view/the-line-starts-early-for-marriage-licenses/&nbsp;</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">Same-sex marriage is a go Dec. 6 in Pierce County http://www.weeklyvolcano.com/entertainment/spew-blog/2012/12/same-sex-marriage-licenses-available-at-pierce-county-auditor-office/</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">Vestal: Witt has next civil rights victory scheduled (Spokane) http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/dec/05/vestal-witt-has-next-civil-rights-victory/</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">After 40 years together, Clark County men will be first in line for marriage license http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2019829509_marriage05m.html#.UL88nT9yq0E.twitter</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">County auditor readies for same-sex marriage applications (Skagit Co) http://www.goskagit.com/all_access/county-auditor-readies-for-same-sex-marriage-applications/article_dcbab30b-61d6-5a89-b6b6-3ff7a95c3860.html</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">TV</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">After 3 decades, couple finally to legally wed (King County) http://www.kirotv.com/videos/news/after-3-decades-couple-finally-to-legally-wed/vjSGz/</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">Longtime couple to be among first in line under same-sex marriage law (King County) http://q13fox.com/2012/12/03/longtime-couple-to-be-among-first-in-line-for-marriage-licenses-thursday/#ixzz2E6rUnEGD</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">Local same-sex couples prepare to marry this week (Spokane County) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKSBVf8ks2I</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">Radio</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">Wash. County Holds Lottery For First Same-Sex Marriage Licenses (Thurston County) http://www.kuow.org/post/wash-county-holds-lottery-first-same-sex-marriage-licenses#.UL4dC5AMAFk.twitter</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">Internet</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">Seattle Times invites couples to post photos and stories http://samesexwa.tumblr.com/</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">Other TV &amp; Radio coverage</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">After 8 Years, Spokane Pastor Will Perform Marriages, Gay And Straight&nbsp;</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">http://www.kuow.org/post/after-8-years-spokane-pastor-will-perform-marriages-gay-and-straight#.UL4bv2h_y2E.twitter</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">Wedding planners celebrate business bump as same sex couples marry &nbsp;(King County) http://www.king5.com/news/Wedding-planners-celebrate-bump-in-business-same-sex-couples-181934111.html</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">Town Hall answers same-sex marriage questions (King County) http://www.king5.com/news/local/Town-Hall-answers-same-sex-marriage-questions-181950801.html</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">Washington counties brace for same-sex marriage rush (King, Pierce &amp; Snohomish) http://kplu.org/post/washington-counties-brace-same-sex-marriage-rush#.ULzja8MsY5c.twitter</div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With the approval of R-74, same-sex couples across the state are getting ready to line up to obtain marriage licenses starting Dec.6 and are moving forward with long-cherished dreams for&nbsp; marriage ceremonies.&nbsp; Our state’s media have been filled with their truly heart-warming stories.</p> <p>Want to know why – and how much – marriage equality means to loving, committed couples? Check out some, or all, of these reports.</p> <p><em><strong>Print:<br /></strong></em>After decades together, Whatcom County gay couples finally will be able to wed <a href="http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/12/02/2786281/after-decades-together-whatcom.html#storylink=cpy">http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/12/02/2786281/after-decades-together-whatcom.html#storylink=cpy</a></p> <p><br /> Washington same-sex marriage law arrives as public attitudes change (Clark County) <a href="http://www.oregonlive.com/mapes/index.ssf/2012/12/washington_same-sex_marriage_l.html">http://www.oregonlive.com/mapes/index.ssf/2012/12/washington_same-sex_marriage_l.html</a><br /> <br /></p> <p>First couple: Lisa Brodoff, Lynn Grotsky to get first Thurston same-sex marriage license <a href="http://www.theolympian.com/2012/12/03/2340694/first-couple-lisa-brodoff-lynn.html?storylink=addthis#.UL0_-2HpZg0.twitter#storylink=cpy">http://www.theolympian.com/2012/12/03/2340694/first-couple-lisa-brodoff-lynn.html?storylink=addthis#.UL0_-2HpZg0.twitter#storylink=cpy</a><br /> <br /></p> <p>Gay marriage, marijuana measures take effect Thursday (Island &amp; Snohomish County) <a href="http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20121202/NEWS01/712029939">http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20121202/NEWS01/712029939</a><br /> <br /></p> <p>The line starts early for marriage licenses (Pierce County) <a href="http://www.tacomaweekly.com/dailymashup/view/the-line-starts-early-for-marriage-licenses/">http://www.tacomaweekly.com/dailymashup/view/the-line-starts-early-for-marriage-licenses/</a> <br /> <br /></p> <p>Same-sex marriage is a go Dec. 6 in Pierce County <a href="http://www.weeklyvolcano.com/entertainment/spew-blog/2012/12/same-sex-marriage-licenses-available-at-pierce-county-auditor-office/">http://www.weeklyvolcano.com/entertainment/spew-blog/2012/12/same-sex-marriage-licenses-available-at-pierce-county-auditor-office/</a><br /> <br /></p> <p>Vestal: Witt has next civil rights victory scheduled (Spokane) <a href="http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/dec/05/vestal-witt-has-next-civil-rights-victory/">http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/dec/05/vestal-witt-has-next-civil-rights-victory/</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After 40 years together, Clark County men will be first in line for marriage license <a href="http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2019829509_marriage05m.html#.UL88nT9yq0E.twitter">http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2019829509_marriage05m.html#.UL88nT9yq0E.twitter</a></p> <p><br /> County auditor readies for same-sex marriage applications (Skagit Co) <a href="http://www.goskagit.com/all_access/county-auditor-readies-for-same-sex-marriage-applications/article_dcbab30b-61d6-5a89-b6b6-3ff7a95c3860.html">http://www.goskagit.com/all_access/county-auditor-readies-for-same-sex-marriage-applications/article_dcbab30b-61d6-5a89-b6b6-3ff7a95c3860.html</a><br /> <br /> <em><strong>TV:</strong></em><br /> After 3 decades, couple finally to legally wed (King County) <a href="http://www.kirotv.com/videos/news/after-3-decades-couple-finally-to-legally-wed/vjSGz/">http://www.kirotv.com/videos/news/after-3-decades-couple-finally-to-legally-wed/vjSGz/</a></p> <p>Longtime couple to be among first in line under same-sex marriage law (King County) <a href="http://q13fox.com/2012/12/03/longtime-couple-to-be-among-first-in-line-for-marriage-licenses-thursday/#ixzz2E6rUnEGD">http://q13fox.com/2012/12/03/longtime-couple-to-be-among-first-in-line-for-marriage-licenses-thursday/#ixzz2E6rUnEGD</a></p> <p>Local same-sex couples prepare to marry this week (Spokane County) <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKSBVf8ks2I">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKSBVf8ks2I</a><br /> <br /> <em><strong>Radio:</strong></em><br /> Wash. County Holds Lottery For First Same-Sex Marriage Licenses (Thurston County) <a href="http://www.kuow.org/post/wash-county-holds-lottery-first-same-sex-marriage-licenses#.UL4dC5AMAFk.twitter">http://www.kuow.org/post/wash-county-holds-lottery-first-same-sex-marriage-licenses#.UL4dC5AMAFk.twitter</a><br /> <br /> <em>Internet</em><br /> Seattle Times invites couples to post photos and stories <a href="http://samesexwa.tumblr.com/">http://samesexwa.tumblr.com/</a><br /> <br /> <strong><em>Other TV &amp; Radio coverage:</em></strong><br /> After 8 Years, Spokane Pastor Will Perform Marriages, Gay And Straight<br /><a href="http://www.kuow.org/post/after-8-years-spokane-pastor-will-perform-marriages-gay-and-straight#.UL4bv2h_y2E.twitter">http://www.kuow.org/post/after-8-years-spokane-pastor-will-perform-marriages-gay-and-straight#.UL4bv2h_y2E.twitter</a></p> <p>Wedding planners celebrate business bump as same sex couples marry&nbsp; (King County) <a href="http://www.king5.com/news/Wedding-planners-celebrate-bump-in-business-same-sex-couples-181934111.html">http://www.king5.com/news/Wedding-planners-celebrate-bump-in-business-same-sex-couples-181934111.html</a></p> <p>Town Hall answers same-sex marriage questions (King County) <a href="http://www.king5.com/news/local/Town-Hall-answers-same-sex-marriage-questions-181950801.html">http://www.king5.com/news/local/Town-Hall-answers-same-sex-marriage-questions-181950801.html</a></p> <p>Washington counties brace for same-sex marriage rush (King, Pierce &amp; Snohomish) <a href="http://kplu.org/post/washington-counties-brace-same-sex-marriage-rush#.ULzja8MsY5c.twitter">http://kplu.org/post/washington-counties-brace-same-sex-marriage-rush#.ULzja8MsY5c.twitter</a></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/liberty-links-outpouring-heart-warming-stories#comments LGBT LGBT Marriage Thu, 06 Dec 2012 01:24:48 +0000 honig 2521 at https://aclu-wa.org DATA BREACH: UNFORTUNATE, BUT NOT UNFORESEEABLE https://aclu-wa.org/blog/data-breach-unfortunate-not-unforeseeable <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Our state’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) recently suffered a <a href="http://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/2012NewsReleases/12157RXDrugsMonitoringAccess.aspx">data breach</a>. It appears that the private prescription information of at least 34 patients was accessed by an unauthorized person for unknown reasons. Perhaps identity theft is involved, but there could be other motives, including identifying potential people to steal drugs from, simple snooping, or even blackmail. At a minimum, the privacy of these patients has been invaded.</p> <p>Of course, such data breaches are far too common these days, affecting organizations large and small, across all industries and governments. This year alone, there have been close to 600 such breaches—affecting over 20,000,000 records—according to the <a href="http://www.privacyrights.org/data-breach">Privacy Rights Clearinghouse</a>, and that almost certainly is an incomplete list. So perhaps we should cut the PMP some slack, and accept breaches as inevitable.</p> <p>Or not. The ACLU submitted comments multiple times while the program and its regulations were in development, suggesting several items that are directly relevant to this breach. We specifically warned about the possibility of “authorized” medical personnel using the system to snoop on patients. Regrettably, the PMP chose not to follow any of our suggestions.</p> <p>While the ACLU-WA opposed adoption of the program, once it became clear that the program was moving forward we sought to limit the damage to privacy. Here are the relevant provisions we recommended—and continue to recommend—to prevent future breaches, or to mitigate the harm from them:</p> <p>1)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Authenticate physicians before allowing access. It appears that the PMP allows online creation of a physician account by simply entering a little information about the physician—and that information is not hard to obtain. As best we can tell, this breach was caused by an unauthorized person claiming to be a physician and creating an account. Better authentication would avoid such a problem. The PMP could either require the provision of more identifying information which is harder to obtain. Or better yet, it could require a two-step process whereby the physician initially sets up an account, but does not gain access until the PMP sends a confirmation and temporary password to an address (physical or email) the state already has on file for the physician.</p> <p>2)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Require physicians to demonstrate a physician-patient relationship before providing information. The PMP allows any physician to obtain information on any patient in the state, whether or not the physician has a relationship with that patient. This is an invitation to snoop. Although it’s not clear from the announcement of the current breach, it is quite possible that the patients affected were not actually patients of the physician whose identity was used to set up the account. If a physician-patient relationship needed to be demonstrated, there would be much less value in hijacking a physician’s account, since that would still give access to information on only a limited number of patients.</p> <p>3)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Require detailed audit logs for each instance of access. The PMP chose not to include a requirement for audit trails in the regulations. It would appear that the PMP has some level of logging, which may have helped detect this breach. But whatever auditing exists apparently doesn’t extend to recording all accesses to personal information, or the PMP would be able to determine exactly whose information had or had not been examined. We believe complete audit logs should be required, both to deter wrongdoing and to determine the exact extent of any inappropriate access. Furthermore, those logs should be available to any patient, so the patient can determine whether somebody other than one of their own physicians has accessed the patient’s records.</p> <p>4)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Specify strong penalties for misuse. The <a href="http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=70.225&amp;full=true">statute that created the PMP</a> provides an unspecified “civil penalty” for improper use. Unfortunately, the PMP chose to limit its penalties to <a href="http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=246-470-100">termination of an improperly used account and filing a complaint with health authorities</a>. Neither of these sanctions is particularly meaningful to the wrongdoer in the current case, who is likely not a physician. Nor do they provide any compensation to the people whose privacy was invaded. We urged the PMP to instead clarify the “civil penalty” in its regulations, providing a strong penalty for misuse and allowing patients to independently sue a wrongdoer for damages. That would help deter wrongdoers, and also allow aggrieved patients to receive some compensation if their information was improperly accessed.</p> <p>Let’s hope that the Prescription Monitoring Program will now take a closer look at not only computer security, but the entire framework of access to this sensitive medical information. Although 34 patients have already been harmed, there is still the opportunity to make the changes the ACLU has long advocated for and protect thousands of other patients.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/data-breach-unfortunate-not-unforeseeable#comments Technology Wed, 21 Nov 2012 19:10:45 +0000 klunder 2510 at https://aclu-wa.org My Thanks and My Hopes https://aclu-wa.org/blog/my-thanks-and-my-hopes <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>(Russell delivered these remarks when he accepted the ACLU-WA’s Youth Activist Award for 2012 at the Bill of Rights Celebration Dinner on Nov. 10.)</em></p> <p>Good evening ladies and gentlemen! I'm honored to be here with you, to celebrate civil liberties, an attribute our country is known very well by the rest of the world.</p> <p>Before I start, I would like to take a moment to extend my sincere congratulations to Diane&nbsp;Narasaki and Major Margaret Witt. It's people like you that make our country great—standing up in what you believe in and standing up for what's right! I'd like you to know that you both have made significant impact for the better.</p> <p>It is a great pleasure for me to receive this years' Youth Activist Award. For those of you who don't know me or my background and my involvement with the ACLU, I have had a long,&nbsp;tedious and troublesome school career for six years. Was it academics? No, that was the easy&nbsp;part. I had been bullied and harassed by several of my peers due to my perceived sexual orientation and due to my race. After trying to work with school officials to no significant avail, my parents became frustrated. We've attended community action meetings, sat in school board forums. After hearing about my situation, the ACLU made it explicitly clear that schools have a duty to provide a flourishing academic environment, free of threats, intimidation or harassment. I am hopeful that schools nationwide are taking consideration of that message.</p> <p>It is my hope that school becomes a pleasant, dynamic place of academia and positive peer&nbsp;interaction, not an environment of distraction, adversity and uncertainty. Furthermore, it is&nbsp;my hope that in all situations in life—not just in a school environment—people are no longer&nbsp;ridiculed or discriminated against due to their race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion or disability. It is because of the ACLU, because of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and most importantly, because of our great, unparalleled supreme law of the land—the Constitution of the United States—that ensures a civil, coexisting society.</p> <p>I'd like to thank all of the wonderful people I've worked with through all these years&nbsp;regarding my case sponsored by the ACLU: Sarah Dunne, the legal director; Rose Spidell, a&nbsp;former staff attorney. I extend my thanks to the Northwest Justice Project in Aberdeen, in&nbsp;particular, Sarah Glorian and Felix Gavi Luna of the Peterson-Wampold-Rosato-Luna-Knopp&nbsp;law firm. Finally, I'd like to thank the very potent team at a law firm here in Seattle—Hillis,&nbsp;Clark, Martin and Peterson. Michael Scott, Alexander Wu, and Joseph Sakay. You all were&nbsp;very supportive of me, worked very tirelessly and helped make an impact for the better.</p> <p>I'd also like to take the time thank my parents and family for sticking by me. I couldn't have&nbsp;done it without you all.</p> <p>Thank you ladies and gentlemen.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/my-thanks-and-my-hopes#comments Thu, 15 Nov 2012 23:32:31 +0000 rdickerson 2509 at https://aclu-wa.org Surprise Proposal at Bill of Rights Celebration Dinner brings tears! https://aclu-wa.org/blog/surprise-proposal-bill-rights-celebration-dinner-brings-tears <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Bill of Rights Dinner on Saturday was such a celebration!&nbsp; I have to tell you a story about it.&nbsp; We gave an award to Major Margaret Witt, the medaled air force major who was drummed out of the service under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.&nbsp; We won her case and she participated in the successful effort to get Congress to rescind Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.&nbsp; At the end of her acceptance speech, she said “I have a final, sort of personal thing to say.”&nbsp; She turned to her partner, and said, “Laurie, I have a question to ask you. (pause, and the whole room gasped)&nbsp; Will you marry me?”&nbsp; The room exploded!&nbsp; It was such a wonderful moment and the only proposal in the 30+ years I’ve been attending the Bill of Rights Dinner.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/surprise-proposal-bill-rights-celebration-dinner-brings-tears#comments Wed, 14 Nov 2012 20:54:03 +0000 ktaylor 2507 at https://aclu-wa.org Close vote in California indicates shift away from capital punishment https://aclu-wa.org/blog/close-vote-california-indicates-shift-away-capital-punishment <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>California voters narrowly rejected Proposition 34, a ballot measure to replace the death penalty with a sentence of life without parole. Although a majority of voters chose to retain the death penalty, the fact that close to half the voters supported repeal represents a dramatic shift away from capital punishment.</p> <p>With over 700 people on death row, California has one of the largest death penalty systems in the country.&nbsp; However, like Washington, California has carried out very few executions in the past four decades since the death penalty was reinstated.&nbsp; The SAFE California campaign raised public awareness about the enormous waste of the state’s death penalty system and how the death penalty is far more expensive than lifetime incarceration.&nbsp; The campaign also utilized effective messengers – including innocent people exonerated from death row, district attorneys, and <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2012/sep/23/local/la-me-death-penalty-20120923">former death penalty champions who became compelling spokespeople for ending the death penalty</a>.</p> <p>Although Prop 34 lost, there are many ways that we can draw encouragement from California’s campaign as we continue our work in Washington. Here are three key lessons:</p> <p><strong>There is growing public support for ending the death penalty. </strong>&nbsp;The recent returns on Proposition 34 indicate that less than 53% of voters in California are in favor of keeping the death penalty, which reflects a long-term trend of eroding public support for capital punishment. By contrast, the 1978 ballot initiative that enacted the state’s death penalty statute passed with the support of 71% of the voters. In 1986, California Chief Justice Rose Bird was removed from office by 67% of voters because she was perceived as blocking the death penalty. Nationally, support for the death penalty in the Gallup Poll has dropped from 80% in 1994 to only 61% most recently. Moreover, when respondents are given alternatives such as life without parole, support for the death penalty falls below 50%.</p> <p><strong>The facts are on our side. </strong>&nbsp;The polling on Prop 34 showed that support for the measure increased as people learned the facts about the death penalty.&nbsp; A poll conducted right before Election Day found that a majority of voters believed that the death penalty is more expensive than life behind bars. That perception increased by 12 percentage points over the last year, as SAFE California made it a central message of the campaign.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Momentum on the West Coast is turning against the death penalty</strong>. In November 2011, the Governor of Oregon announced a moratorium on executions in his state, decrying the death penalty system as “compromised and inequitable.”&nbsp; Opposition to the death penalty is growing in strength in California and Washington. With your help, we will keep building the momentum for ending the death penalty so that we will create a death-penalty-free zone that extends from San Diego to the San Juans.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/close-vote-california-indicates-shift-away-capital-punishment#comments Criminal Justice Thu, 08 Nov 2012 20:00:55 +0000 mfaruqee 2503 at https://aclu-wa.org Thanks so much! https://aclu-wa.org/blog/thanks-so-much <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The ACLU of Washington would like to thank all of the amazing volunteers who have made the campaign to Approve Referendum 74 one of the largest efforts our state has ever seen. Hundreds of volunteers have spent thousands of hours making phone calls, knocking on doors, and talking to voters to secure the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples in the state. From dropping off homemade blueberry pie at phone banks to speaking on Spanish language radio shows, our community has shown up in countless (and often thankless) ways as the backbone of this campaign. On Election Day,&nbsp;we can all be proud of the commitment, dedication, and hard work so many have made for marriage equality.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/Nov%201%20phone%20bank_0.jpg" alt="R-74 Volunteers" width="500" height="375" /></p> <p>On November 1st over 50 people came out to call Communities of Color. This included 15 volunteers who made calls in Spanish, allowing voters to speak about this issue in their home language. Over the course of two hours we made over 2,000 calls – that’s around 40 per person. Thank you to all the volunteers who made this event a success!"</p> <p>On November 3<sup>rd</sup> we knocked on 245 doors in 3 hours!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/thanks-so-much#comments Tue, 06 Nov 2012 21:53:12 +0000 djackson 2499 at https://aclu-wa.org Washington's War on Marijuana: Racial Disparity Getting Worse https://aclu-wa.org/blog/washingtons-war-marijuana-racial-disparity-getting-worse <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A recent <a href="http://marijuana-arrests.com/docs/240,000-Marijuana-Arrests-In-Washington.pdf" target="_blank">report</a> prepared by the <a href="http://marijuana-arrests.com/" target="_blank">Marijuana Arrest Research Project</a> sheds light on the tremendous amount of resources Washington state has devoted to marijuana law enforcement over the last 25 years. There have been over 240,000 arrests for adult marijuana possession, consuming over $300 million in taxpayer money, since 1986. And people of color are the most likely to be arrested for marijuana possession in Washington state. <br /><br />Disturbingly, racially disproportionate enforcement is getting worse. Using data from the Marijuana Arrest Research Project report, the ACLU of Washington has produced an infographic to visualize this increasing disparity.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/sites/default/files/images/ACLU-WA_Disparity.png" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sources:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: #1f497d;">&nbsp; &nbsp; -Arrest, Population, and Disparity - (<a href="http://www.marijuana-arrests.com/docs/240,000-Marijuana-Arrests-In-Washington.pdf">http://www.marijuana-arrests.com/docs/240,000-Marijuana-Arrests-In-Washington.pdf</a>, page 11, 14) </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: #1f497d;">&nbsp; &nbsp; -Marijuana Use Data - (<a href="http://www.dshs.wa.gov/pdf/dbhr/2010%20Trends%20Report%20links.pdf">http://www.dshs.wa.gov/pdf/dbhr/2010%20Trends%20Report%20links.pdf</a>, page 62)</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: #1f497d;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;-Criminal Records – (<a href="/sites/default/files/attachments/Marijuana%20Booklet2010reading%20copy.pdf">https://aclu-wa.org/sites/default/files/attachments/Marijuana%20Booklet2010reading%20copy.pdf</a>, page 3)</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/washingtons-war-marijuana-racial-disparity-getting-worse#comments Fri, 02 Nov 2012 16:11:57 +0000 mcooke 2485 at https://aclu-wa.org Democracy at Work in Shelters and Food Banks https://aclu-wa.org/blog/democracy-work-shelters-and-food-banks <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Marginalized people need to know that they have the right to vote. To that end, I was recently one of a small group of thoughtful, committed Seattle University law students who helped people in local homeless shelters and food banks participate in the democratic process. Our volunteer project had the support of the ACLU of WA, Seattle University School of Law, and Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness (SKCCH).</p> <p>Among others, we registered people with felony records who did not realize they were eligible to vote. We explained that state law changed in 2009; now citizens with felony convictions have their voting rights restored automatically after completing their time in prison and serving any required community custody supervised by the state Department of Corrections (DOC). We educated support staff, case managers and house managers of shelters and social service organizations serving impacted communities, providing community resource and referrals for legal questions they had regarding residents. One house manager said, “I had no idea about the felony voting rights law. Can I have more of those little cards? <em>(i.e., ACLU voting rights cards)</em> I’ll bring them to my AA meeting this week.”</p> <p>In one hour alone, we registered 11 people at the transitional housing facility at the Aloha Inn – many of whom did not know that they could vote even though they lacked permanent housing. At the Hammond House, a homeless shelter for women downtown that resides in the belly of a skyscraper, 9 women were eager to register as soon as we walked in. We found that some voters simply needed to update their address but had not done so due to the inconvenience of attaining a voter registration form.&nbsp; Lack of Internet access also impacts these communities.&nbsp; Approaching vendors of <em>Real Change</em> on the street was also successful. On the final day of the drive, we aligned with SKCCH and Poverty Action for a door-to-door registration drive.</p> <p>When speaking to groups at shelters, it was really helpful to start the conversation about voting rights by sharing why we, as individuals, feel it is important. As a former felon and a law student, I found it was important to share that I was not able to vote in the last presidential election but can vote today due to the legislative change in 2009. Voting is one way that we can ensure that our elected officials represent our diverse communities and our diverse societal needs. At one of the shelters, my testimony prompted a young man to share that he was still under DOC supervision but was really inspired to hear that people who have had a criminal conviction can go to law school. I encouraged him to register as soon as he was off of DOC supervision.</p> <p>On the final registration day, standing outside a Red Apple in the Central District, I met a retired woman committed to pounding the pavement to register voters. She had a tool belt stocked with ACLU brochures, registration forms, and information about voting rights for people with felony convictions. She said she was making her rounds for the day and would end up in Renton. She shared stories of other active community members independently committed to the cause of registering people to vote.&nbsp; Overall, it was truly inspiring to see the intersection of organizations and concerned citizens putting in the hours to fight for a just democracy where everyone’s voice is counted.&nbsp;</p> <p>My thanks go to fellow Seattle University law students Eugene Sowa, Kristine Stolberg, Jon Madtson, Nicole Gainey, Benjamin Sweeney, and Valerie Balch, who put hours in volunteering to register people to vote.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/democracy-work-shelters-and-food-banks#comments Voting Rights Wed, 31 Oct 2012 20:40:27 +0000 mmatter 2484 at https://aclu-wa.org The ACLU of Washington Goes Purple for LGBT Youth https://aclu-wa.org/blog/aclu-washington-goes-purple-lgbt-youth <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Today is <a href="http://www.glaad.org/spiritday" target="_blank">Spirit Day</a> &nbsp;when people across the country wear purple as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and to speak out against bullying. &nbsp;</p> <p>Going purple is one way to stand up and bring attention to the issue of harassment and bullying of LGBT youth, and to let them know they aren’t alone.&nbsp; For the ACLU, it’s also a chance to remind these students that <a href="/stop-bullying-and-harassment-now-it-s-law" target="_blank">THE LAW IS ON THEIR SIDE</a>.</p> <p>Bullying and harassment is a serious issue for everyone – nearly a third of all students report having experienced harassment or bullying at school.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The problem is even worse for LGBT students</span></strong>.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/library/record/2624.html?state=research&amp;type=research" target="_blank">9 out of 10 LGBT students report being harassed at school</a>.</li> <li>More than 3 out of 4 students hear derogatory remarks such as “faggot” or dyke” frequently or often at school.</li> <li>Nearly two-thirds say they feel unsafe because of their sexual orientation. </li> <li>Nearly 1 in 5 students has been physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation, and more than 1 in 10 because of their gender expression.</li> <li>LGBT students are five times more likely to report having skipped school because of safety concerns.&nbsp; This directly impacts their ability to succeed academically. </li> <li>Suicide attempts by LGBT youth and questioning youth are four times more likely than their straight peers to attempt suicide.</li> <li>Nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives, and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt.</li> </ul> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">We can all help stand up for these youth.</span></strong></p> <p>Not just by Going Purple, but by being an ally every day.&nbsp; Here are some things you can do.</p> <ul> <li>Knowledge is power.&nbsp; <a href="/blog/harassment-and-bullying-feds-give-schools-stern-reminder-and-underscore-rights-lgbt-students" target="_blank">Federal and state law</a> protect LGBT Youth from harassment and make it illegal for schools to fail to protect these students from any kind of hostile school climate or behavior.&nbsp; Make sure the youth in your life know their legal rights.</li> <li>Make sure your school is following the law.&nbsp; All schools must have clear published Anti-Harassment and Bullying Policies and Procedures.&nbsp; They also must have someone in each building clearly identified as a Title IX Officer whose job is to receive and respond to complaints.</li> <li>Ask your school to take proactive steps to create a climate where LGBT Youth feel welcome and supported.&nbsp; For more information on steps schools can take, visit the ACLU Web Page for Schools on <a href="/how-prevent-harassment-and-bullying" target="_blank">how to prevent Bullying and Harassment</a>.</li> </ul> <p style="color:#331261;"><strong>And Don’t Forget to Go Purple!!</strong></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/aclu-washington-goes-purple-lgbt-youth#comments LGBT LGBT Youth Fri, 19 Oct 2012 18:01:50 +0000 lmangel 2478 at https://aclu-wa.org The Freedom to Marry Hits the Airwaves https://aclu-wa.org/blog/freedom-marry-hits-airwaves <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Originally published on 10/16/12 on the <a href="http://www.aclu.org/blog/lgbt-rights/freedom-marry-hits-airwaves">ACLU Blog of Rights</a></p> <p>Two weeks ago we brought you news about the <a href="http://www.aclu.org/blog/lgbt-rights/2012-freedom-marry-ballot-initiatives-ground-four-key-states">four states that have marriage-related ballot initiatives</a> this fall. As the election quickly approaches, each of the campaigns in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington have begun running television ads that highlight the stories of individuals, religious leaders, and community leaders who support the freedom to marry. These ads show the underlying issue at stake this fall &ndash; that marriage, both for straight and gay couples, is about building a life with someone and making a commitment to take care of and love one another.</p> <p>Here is a look at some of the stories being told:</p> <p><b>Maine &ndash; Lifelong Republican Supports Freedom to Marry</b></p> <p>Republican Representative Stacey Fitts of Pittsfield, Maine voted against same-sex marriage while serving in the legislature in 2009, but has since changed his mind. Now in 2012, he's standing up and speaking out about his support for the freedom to marry as a Republican.&nbsp;</p> <table width="480" cellspacing="2" cellpadding="2" border="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top" height="54"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/LV8RogOJWDQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></td> </tr> <tr> <td> <div style="color: rgb(102, 102, 102); font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10px; line-height: 12px; margin-bottom: 1em; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Please note that by playing this clip You Tube and Google will place a long-term cookie on your computer. Please see <a href="http://www.youtube.com/t/privacy" target="_blank">You Tube's privacy statement</a> on their website and <a href="http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacypolicy.html" target="_blank">Google's privacy statement</a> on theirs to learn more. To view the ACLU's privacy statement, <a href="http://www.aclu.org/info/18864res20050401.html" target="_blank">click here</a>.</div> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Stacey says, &ldquo;Deciding who you marry is the most important decision you will ever make. I don&rsquo;t believe the government should tell anybody who they can love, or who they can marry. Voting &lsquo;Yes&rsquo; protects religious freedom, and it protects individual freedom. To me that&rsquo;s what our country is all about. We should allow gay people the freedom to marry, and we should protect individual liberty too. Voting &lsquo;Yes&rsquo; on Question 1 will do both.&rdquo;</p> <p>The ACLU of Maine and <a href="http://www.mainersunited.org/">Mainers United for Marriage</a> couldn't do the important work of bringing Republicans &ndash; and people of all parties &ndash; together to support marriage for same-sex couples without the leadership of Representative Fitts. His choice to share his personal journey will help others think about why they should support marriage for loving and committed same-sex couples across our state, regardless of their political&nbsp;affiliation.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Maryland &ndash; A Matter of Civil Rights and Fairness</b></p> <p>The ACLU of Maryland is a board member of the <a href="http://marylandersformarriageequality.org/">Marylanders for Marriage Equality</a>, which on Monday released its latest ad in support of Question 6, the Civil Marriage Protection Act. The ad features NAACP Chairman Emeritus Julian Bond and is airing in the Washington, D.C. market.&nbsp;</p> <table width="480" cellspacing="2" cellpadding="2" border="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top" height="54"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ohKo8CV7PtI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></td> </tr> <tr> <td> <div style="color: rgb(102, 102, 102); font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10px; line-height: 12px; margin-bottom: 1em; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Please note that by playing this clip You Tube and Google will place a long-term cookie on your computer. Please see <a href="http://www.youtube.com/t/privacy" target="_blank">You Tube's privacy statement</a> on their website and <a href="http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacypolicy.html" target="_blank">Google's privacy statement</a> on theirs to learn more. To view the ACLU's privacy statement, <a href="http://www.aclu.org/info/18864res20050401.html" target="_blank">click here</a>.</div> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Bond affirms that Question 6 protects civil rights for all, saying, &ldquo;My name is Julian Bond. I know a little something about fighting for what&rsquo;s right and just. Maryland&rsquo;s gay and lesbian families share the same values, and they should share in the right to marry. I believe people of faith understand this isn&rsquo;t about any one religious belief; it&rsquo;s about protecting the civil right to make a lifelong commitment to the person you love. Join me in supporting Question 6. It&rsquo;s the right thing to do.&rdquo;</p> <p>The campaign also has two ads airing in the Baltimore market that feature <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SYSVSQnTnA">Rev. Donte Hickman</a> of Baltimore&rsquo;s Southern Baptist Church and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjbuwRqpvck&amp;feature=relmfu">Rev. Delman Coates</a> of Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Prince George's County. Both affirm that Question 6 protects religious freedom while treating people fairly under the law.</p> <p><b>Minnesota &ndash; Love is Bigger Than Government</b></p> <p>With three weeks until the election, <a href="http://mnunited.org/">Minnesotans United for all Families</a>, of which the ACLU of Minnesota is a member, has been kicking their campaign &ndash; to defeat the hurtful and freedom-limiting constitutional amendment to ban marriage for same-sex couples &ndash; into high gear by sharing the stories of real Minnesotans talking about why they are voting &ldquo;No&rdquo; and standing up for the freedom to marry.</p> <p>The latest TV ad to be released, Land of the Free<i>, </i>highlights the amendment as too much government intrusion, that limits a basic freedom.</p> <table width="480" cellspacing="2" cellpadding="2" border="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top" height="54"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/_Gz7SvEJnhU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></td> </tr> <tr> <td> <div style="color: rgb(102, 102, 102); font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10px; line-height: 12px; margin-bottom: 1em; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Please note that by playing this clip You Tube and Google will place a long-term cookie on your computer. Please see <a href="http://www.youtube.com/t/privacy" target="_blank">You Tube's privacy statement</a> on their website and <a href="http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacypolicy.html" target="_blank">Google's privacy statement</a> on theirs to learn more. To view the ACLU's privacy statement, <a href="http://www.aclu.org/info/18864res20050401.html" target="_blank">click here</a>.</div> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&ldquo;Government isn&rsquo;t telling people who they can fall in love with, so government should not be telling people who they can marry. We&rsquo;re supposed to be the home of the brave, land of the free. If two people &ndash; gay, straight &ndash; commit to each other and want to take responsibility for each other through marriage, there is no reason for the government to get in the way of that. The constitution is supposed to protect our freedom, not take it away. I&rsquo;m voting &lsquo;No.&rsquo; Love is bigger than government.&rdquo;</p> <p>Another ad features <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYR_E-fYfRo&amp;feature=youtu.be">Kim and John</a>, a Catholic Republican couple who discuss their journey to arrive at voting No. A third ad features, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fIMeIrwPQ8&amp;list=UUbGo6b04IPtnA3zPLVtS2mw&amp;index=6&amp;feature=plcp">John</a> from Richfield, Minnesota discussing the importance of marriage in his own life, and how he doesn't want to deny that happiness to anyone &ndash; gay or straight.</p> <p>Check out a whole host of videos of people talking about why they are voting no <a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/MN4allfamilies">here</a>.</p> <p><b>Washington &ndash; It&rsquo;s A Question of Fundamental Fairness</b></p> <p>In February of 2012 Washington state Governor Chris Gregoire signed SB 6239, an historic bill granting civil marriage to gay and lesbian couples in the state.&nbsp; Opponents of marriage equality collected enough signatures to challenge the bill at the ballot this November.&nbsp; Washington voters must approve Referendum 74 to secure the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples.</p> <p><a href="http://washingtonunitedformarriage.org/">Washington United for Marriage</a>, a coalition of more than 600 organizations, including the ACLU of Washington, has launched several beautiful ads showing a broad base of support for marriage equality.&nbsp; Among them is a recent statewide ad by Republican WA State Representative Maureen Walsh (R &ndash; District 16).&nbsp; Her ad speaks about the freedom to marry as &ldquo;a question of fundamental fairness.&rdquo;&nbsp; It is reminiscent of her moving testimony on the house floor, back in February, which became a national sensation when the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiGmgqW6ES8">video</a> went viral on YouTube.&nbsp;</p> <table width="480" cellspacing="2" cellpadding="2" border="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top" height="54"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/jNF7IhXqVdA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></td> </tr> <tr> <td> <div style="color: rgb(102, 102, 102); font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10px; line-height: 12px; margin-bottom: 1em; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px;">Please note that by playing this clip You Tube and Google will place a long-term cookie on your computer. Please see <a href="http://www.youtube.com/t/privacy" target="_blank">You Tube's privacy statement</a> on their website and <a href="http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacypolicy.html" target="_blank">Google's privacy statement</a> on theirs to learn more. To view the ACLU's privacy statement, <a href="http://www.aclu.org/info/18864res20050401.html" target="_blank">click here</a>.</div> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&ldquo;I was married for 23 years to the love of my life, and he died six years ago, and I miss him every day. I think to myself, &lsquo;How could I deny any couple, whether they&rsquo;re gay or straight, that incredible bond of marriage?&rsquo;&rdquo; Walsh says. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re all God&rsquo;s children &ndash; who am I to pass judgment on others? As a Republican, I don&rsquo;t believe the government should tell anyone who they can or cannot marry.&rdquo;</p> <p>View additional ads and videos from Washington United for Marriage <a href="http://washingtonunitedformarriage.org/">here</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/freedom-marry-hits-airwaves#comments LGBT LGBT Marriage Tue, 16 Oct 2012 20:29:28 +0000 ACLU Marriage Team 2477 at https://aclu-wa.org Support for I-502 Is Busting Out All Over https://aclu-wa.org/blog/support-i-502-busting-out-all-over-0 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>“GOP Senate hopeful latest to endorse legal pot” <a href="http://www.columbian.com/news/2012/oct/03/candidate-latest-to-endorse-legal-pot/" target="_blank">proclaimed an Associated Press report</a> carried by media statewide yesterday. &nbsp;It came after Michael Baumgartner, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate who is a state senator from Spokane, announced that he is supporting Initiative 502 – citing his experience as an advisor to a counternarcotics team in Afghanistan.</p> <p>This was one of a series of promising developments for I-502 that we’ve seen in the past few days. Also yesterday, a featured column in the <em>Seattle Times</em> told of support for I-502 from King County Sheriff Steve Strachan, a former DARE officer. <a href="http://seattletimes.com/html/dannywestneat/2019324549_danny03.html?prmid=4939" target="_blank">“King County sheriff makes case for pot”</a> read the striking headline, with the bold subhead “Legalizing marijuana will be better for the kids, he said.” Indeed, a couple days earlier, <a href="http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2012/10/01/the-sheriff-and-his-opponent-fight-over-who-wants-to-legalize-pot-more" target="_blank"><em>The Stranger</em> had reported</a> on Strachan vying with John Urquhart, his electoral opponent for sheriff, as to who more strongly backs the initiative.</p> <p>The stances of these candidates reflect growing mainstream support for legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana for adults. &nbsp;Earlier in the month, the Children’s Alliance, an advocacy group with more than 100 social service agencies as members, had given its vote of confidence to the initiative.</p> <p>Now, I-502 is backed by leading papers from literally across the state. On Sept. 23, the <em>Seattle Times</em><a href="http://seattletimes.com/html/editorials/2019226555_editmarijuanainitiative502xml.html" target="_blank"> presented a ringing endorsement of I-502</a> and even devoted an entire page of its Sunday edition to the issue. That same day, our state capital’s daily paper, the <em>Olympian</em>,<a href="http://www.theolympian.com/2012/09/23/2260887/initiative-is-a-step-toward-making.html" target="_blank"> issued its own endorsement</a>: “Initiative is a step toward making sense of marijuana laws.” This past Sunday, the <em>Columbian</em>, the daily in Vancouver (the state’s 4<sup>th</sup>-largest city), weighed in: “Initiative 502 offers the chance to abandon prohibition as a lost cause.” It was soon joined by an endorsement from Spokane’s <em>Spokesman-Review</em>, the main daily in eastern Washington.</p> <p>And for a thorough yet personal look at the campaign, be sure to check out “Pot Mama” – Nina Shapiro’s <a href="http://www.seattleweekly.com/2012-09-26/news/alison-holcomb-pot-mama/" target="_blank">recent cover story in the <em>Seattle Weekly</em></a> profiling Alison Holcomb, who is on loan from the ACLU-WA to serve as I-502’s campaign manager.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/support-i-502-busting-out-all-over-0#comments Thu, 04 Oct 2012 17:01:32 +0000 honig 2467 at https://aclu-wa.org Free Speech Means Protecting Controversial Speech https://aclu-wa.org/blog/free-speech-means-protecting-controversial-speech <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A vibrant democratic society prizes freedom of speech. Its government does not try to protect the public from messages that some people find offensive or disturbing.&nbsp; President Obama asserted this principle before the United Nations General Assembly saying, "…in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can quickly become a tool to silence critics and oppress minorities.”</p> <p>Another timely reminder comes from a federal judge in New York City who ruled this summer that the transportation authority had violated the free speech rights of a pro-Israel group by refusing to run a bus ad. The ad read, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.” A tag line appearing between two Stars of David says: “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”&nbsp; It sounds like the flip side of the coin in Washington where anti-Israel ads were banned.</p> <p>While the NY transportation authority said the ad violated its ban on ads that are demeaning on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation, Judge Paul Engelmayer ruled that a “no-demeaning” standard is inconsistent with the First Amendment.&nbsp; The judge noted that in expressing a perspective on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and taking a stance on U.S. foreign policy, the ad is “not only protected speech – it is core political speech” and is “afforded the highest level of protection under the First Amendment.”</p> <p>Here in Washington State, a similar case is underway. On Wednesday, October 3, ACLU-WA will present oral arguments to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sitting in Spokane to uphold the speech rights of the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC), an organization opposed to the U.S. stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict.</p> <p>In October 2010, SeaMAC submitted an ad for the outside of King County Metro buses, with its text reading “Israeli War Crimes: Your Tax Dollars at Work.”&nbsp; The ad was approved under King County’s policy for bus ads, and SeaMAC signed a contract to run the ad and paid for it.</p> <p>King County had previously published a variety of bus ads containing advocacy ads, including ads related to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. However, the prospect of SeaMAC’s ad generated strong opposition, including some vague threats.&nbsp; In December 2010, King County officials announced they were cancelling the contract to run the ad, citing security concerns and possible service disruptions. The county also announced that its existing advertising policy would no longer be in effect and it would implement a new policy.</p> <p>Certainly, security concerns are important in King County, and at least as important in New York City. Nevertheless, the controversial ads ran there.</p> <p>As Americans, we really need to practice what we preach. We can’t let government suppress speech even though some of us hate it. We can’t support free speech abroad and not at home.&nbsp; In New York, a federal judge confirmed that basic American principle. It will be interesting to learn whether the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals shares that view.&nbsp; Will the court allow people to be silenced because of vague concerns that someone might do something?</p> <p>Oral arguments for this case are open to the public and will be held on Oct. 3 at Gonzaga University School of Law, Barbieri Courtroom, 721 N. Cincinnati St. in Spokane, beginning at 1:00 pm. Check with the law school for details about attending&nbsp; the hearing.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/free-speech-means-protecting-controversial-speech#comments Free Speech Wed, 03 Oct 2012 00:23:21 +0000 ktaylor 2461 at https://aclu-wa.org The 2012 Freedom to Marry Ballot Initiatives: On the Ground in Four Key States https://aclu-wa.org/blog/2012-freedom-marry-ballot-initiatives-ground-four-key-states <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Originally published on&nbsp;10/01/2012 on the <a href="http://www.aclu.org/blog/lgbt-rights/2012-freedom-marry-ballot-initiatives-ground-four-key-states" target="_blank">ACLU Blog of Rights</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.aclu.org/marriage-same-sex-couples">Marriage for same-sex couples</a>&nbsp;is on the ballot in four states this November, and it will be a pivotal moment for the LGBT movement. In Maine, Maryland and Washington voters have the opportunity to expand the freedom to marry to same-sex couples; and Minnesota voters could make that state the first ever to defeat a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.&nbsp; Even a single ballot box win would change the national debate and would reinforce the polls showing growing majorities across the country that support marriage for committed same-sex couples.</p> <p>In each of these states, ACLU affiliates are actively engaged in local coalitions committed to defending the freedom to marry. With less than 40 days until the election, we’ll be providing you with a window into the advocacy work happening on the ground. Check back every two weeks to learn about the organizations, people, and volunteers working tirelessly to protect all families. We’ll share photos, videos, victories and challenges in the states where marriage is on the ballot.</p> <p><strong>Maine – It’s Not a Partisan Issue</strong></p> <p>A diverse and growing coalition of over 100 partners has been working together, under the umbrella organization&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mainersunited.org/">Mainers United for Marriage</a>&nbsp;since February to demonstrate broad support for marriage for same-sex couples in Maine.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aclumaine.org/">The ACLU of Maine</a>&nbsp;is proud to serve as a coalition partner. Executive Director Shenna Bellows and Legal Director Zach Heiden serve on the Executive Committee for the campaign, helping to guide important strategic decisions for a win in November.</p> <p>For this campaign, the ACLU of Maine has chosen to make good on the promise that marriage&nbsp;for same-sex couples is not a partisan issue. In April, ACLU of Maine Marriage Project Coordinator Jill Barkley began outreach to supportive Republicans across the state. Working closely with the campaign, a group called "Republicans United for Marriage" was formed. The group consists of elected officials, former party chairs and active registered Republicans across the state of Maine. The goal is to reach Republicans who will in turn reach out to their friends, family and colleagues about this issue. For more information about the campaign in general, please visit<a href="http://www.mainersunited.org/">www.mainersunited.org</a>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Maryland – Taking Action</strong></p> <p>The ACLU of Maryland is a board member of&nbsp;<a href="http://marylandersformarriageequality.org/">Marylanders for Marriage Equality</a>&nbsp;which is a coalition of more than 130 groups across the state working to defend the Civil Marriage Protection Act of 2012 from referendum challenge this November. Together, we are recruiting volunteers for phone banks and canvassing, hosting house parties across the state, and supporting efforts to secure the TV and radio ads needed to reach voters.</p> <p>The ACLU is also helping to organize supporters to work on the ground: On Saturdays and Sundays throughout the rest of September and October, activists can join us for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aclu-md.org/our_work/marriage_fairness_action_network">Weekends of Action</a>. Volunteers across the state will knock on doors and call voters to talk to them about supporting The Civil Marriage Protection Act (Question 6).</p> <p>Contacting friends and neighbors in Maryland who vote is a crucial component of this campaign. Our opponents will spend millions on TV and radio ads that will mislead voters. Marylanders for Marriage Equality will be on the ground talking to Marylanders and making sure they get the facts on Question 6.</p> <p><strong>Minnesota – Many Voices Stand Together</strong></p> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aclu-mn.org/issues/glbtissues/marriagemattersinminnesota/">ACLU of Minnesota</a>&nbsp;took its first case fighting for LGBT equality over 40 years ago.&nbsp; In 1970 we filed the first marriage case in the country and we have not given up the fight for equality since.</p> <p>On November 6, Minnesota has a chance to become the first state ever to defeat a freedom-limiting marriage amendment. We have been a part of the coalition group opposing the marriage amendment in Minnesota,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mnunited.org/">Minnesotans United for All Families</a>, since day one.&nbsp; We are a strong and vibrant coalition with over 650 partner organizations ranging from religious organizations, to businesses to non-profits.&nbsp;</p> <p>We hope that as a coalition of many voices we can stand together and defeat this amendment!</p> <p><strong>Washington – Committed Couples and Communities of Color</strong></p> <p>The ACLU of Washington is a member of the Governance Committee for&nbsp;<a href="http://washingtonunitedformarriage.org/">Washington United for Marriage</a>&nbsp;(WUM), a coalition of more than 600 organizations, congregations, unions, and businesses working together in coalition to defend civil marriage for loving, committed same-sex couples.&nbsp; WUM is working to approve Referendum 74 which will uphold SB 6239 – a bill signed into law by Washington Governor Chris Gregoire in February of 2012.&nbsp;</p> <p>The ACLU is helping coordinate&nbsp;<a href="http://washingtonunitedformarriage.org/communitiesofcolor/">Communities of Color support for R74</a>.&nbsp;The site features links to fact sheets for different ethnic communities, as well as moving stories and videos that illustrate why marriage for gay and lesbian couples is important to all communities of color.&nbsp; They can be downloaded and shared with various community organizations and individuals.&nbsp;</p> <p>We are also coordinating Communities of Color phone banks in October and early November.&nbsp; These phone banks are part of an effort to reach voters who are still making a decision on this issue.&nbsp;&nbsp; Participants of past phone banks have found the conversations to be “incredibly moving and rewarding – to reach people who want to have meaningful discussion about the topic”.&nbsp; If you are interested in volunteering or even hosting a phone bank at your home please contact Dean Jackson at&nbsp;<a href="mailto:field@aclu-wa.org">field@aclu-wa.org</a>&nbsp;for more information.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/2012-freedom-marry-ballot-initiatives-ground-four-key-states#comments LGBT LGBT Marriage Mon, 01 Oct 2012 22:57:38 +0000 ACLU Marriage Team 2458 at https://aclu-wa.org Rights on the Line: Will Your Voice Be Heard? https://aclu-wa.org/blog/rights-line-will-your-voice-be-heard <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Are you ready to make a difference?&nbsp; This fall, Washington voters will fill out ballots that decide who will lead our country and our state.&nbsp; They will speak out on legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana.&nbsp; They will determine who can marry the person that they love.&nbsp; In other words, your civil liberties and those of everyone in the state are on the line.&nbsp; Will your voice be heard?&nbsp;</p> <p>Today is National Voter Registration Day.&nbsp; If you haven’t registered to vote, <a href="https://wei.sos.wa.gov/agency/osos/en/Pages/myvote.aspx" target="_blank">do it right now online</a>. &nbsp;If you are registered, talk to your friends and family and make sure that they are registered and ready to vote.&nbsp;</p> <p>The ACLU fights every day to defend your right to vote.&nbsp; Only you can exercise it.&nbsp; Be heard.&nbsp; Register and vote.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/rights-line-will-your-voice-be-heard#comments Voting Rights Tue, 25 Sep 2012 21:38:16 +0000 robick 2450 at https://aclu-wa.org Help Us Spread the Word about Voting Rights https://aclu-wa.org/blog/help-us-spread-word-about-voting-rights <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This month is <a href="http://blogs.sos.wa.gov/FromOurCorner/index.php/2012/08/september-is-national-voter-registration-month/" target="_blank">National Voter Registration Month</a>.</p> <p>As Washingtonians who witnessed the 2004 Washington gubernatorial election know, every vote counts. That was the historic contest which resulted in two recounts and a nail-biting 129-vote margin of victory for now-Governor Chris Gregoire</p> <p>Following the certification of that election, the state Republican Party filed suit seeking to reverse the outcome in the governor’s race. Because of extensive work we had done on voting rights issues, the ACLU took the unusual step of <a href="/sites/default/files/attachments/2005-04-20-ChelanVRAmicus.pdf">filing a friend-of-the-court brief</a> in a trial court. The ACLU brief supported neither side in the case, but rather sought to inform the court about the extremely complicated and confusing nature of Washington’s re-enfranchisement procedures for people with felony convictions at the time.</p> <p>Continuing our work, the ACLU for years urged the state legislature to pass a bill making the restoration of voting rights automatic upon the completion of incarceration and supervision by the state Department of Corrections. The legislature <a href="/news/voting-rights-reform-bill-passes">passed such a bill into law in 2009</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>That’s the good news. Unfortunately, many of the citizens affected by the new law may not be aware of it. We’re finding that many people with records are still uncertain as whether they can now register to vote.</p> <p>That’s why the ACLU is <a href="/blog/help-us-let-people-know-they-are-eligible-vote">working on educating Washington citizens</a> about who is eligible to vote and how one can register to vote.&nbsp; <strong>You can help</strong>: &nbsp;Please <a href="/quiz-voting-rights">take our voting rights quiz</a> and share it with others.</p> <p>Are you working with a candidate or campaign in this election? &nbsp;Or does your organization serve people with records? Then you definitely should have the <a href="/sites/default/files/attachments/0%20Voting%20Rights%20Restoration%20%28May%202012%29.pdf" target="_blank">ACLU’s pamphlet on voting rights restoration</a> in Washington. Still have questions? We’re happy to help: Call the ACLU at 206.624.2180.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/help-us-spread-word-about-voting-rights#comments Mon, 10 Sep 2012 19:57:31 +0000 nygren 2417 at https://aclu-wa.org The Union of Civil Liberties and Labor https://aclu-wa.org/blog/union-civil-liberties-and-labor <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>(This article is appearing in the September issue of King County Bar Bulletin.)</em></p> <p>Labor issues were much on the minds of the small group of people who began meeting in Seattle in 1920 to discuss civil liberties violations in Washington state. After all, this was the year after the famous (or infamous, depending on one’s politics) five-day Seattle General Strike, the first general strike by labor unions in an American city.</p> <p>Moreover, the whole area was a hotbed for radical activism. The militant Industrial Workers of the World – better known as the Wobblies – had a regional office in Seattle and was organizing strikes in logging camps and lumber mills. The previous year also had seen another high-profile event which labor activists called the “Centralia Massacre.” On Armistice Day of 1919, American Legionnaires attacked the Wobbly hall in Centralia. One Wobbly was lynched and seven received lengthy prison terms, but no Legionnaires were prosecuted for their role in the tragedy.</p> <p>Anxiety over labor and social unrest had fueled a backlash from the political establishment. DOJ officials seized the plant of the <em>Union Record</em>, Seattle’s labor-backed newspaper, and arrested staff members. The State Legislature gave legal teeth to the Red Scare in 1919 by passing a Criminal Syndicalism Law. This broad, vague legislation made it a crime to advocate, teach, publish, or further any doctrine promoting force as a way of bringing about social change. Eighty-six people were convicted under the law during its first year on the books.</p> <p>The people who met in Seattle felt the need for an ongoing group to protect basic rights. They hoped to establish a local branch of a newly formed national organization, the American Civil Liberties Union. Their first recruitment letter expressed their concerns in dramatic terms:</p> <p>“Continued violation of the Constitution and breaking of laws, together with forgery, perjury,&nbsp;&nbsp; and assault, are charged against the Department of Justice and the U.S . . ."</p> <p>“This lawless disregard for human freedom and constitutional rights turns to mockery our boast of a free America . . .”</p> <p>It would be another 15 years until a Washington branch of the ACLU was founded. Defense of free speech, assembly, and organizing rights for labor activists remained high on their agenda. An ACLU team investigated the use of the National Guard during a 1935 strike at Tacoma’s lumber mills. “To say that the city is an armed camp of terror is not an exaggeration,” reported a team member. During the bitterly fought Newspaper Guild strike in 1936 against the <em>Seattle P-I</em>, the ACLU acted to protect peaceful picketing and mass meetings.</p> <p>Two successful early campaigns completed work from the days of the Red Scare. The ACLU began lobbying to repeal the Criminal Syndicalism Law. In 1937, supporters of repeal led by Sen. Mary Farquharson, an ACLU chapter founder, maneuvered the bill out of committee. With the clock stopped to avoid ending the session and the bill the last measure of the day to be considered, the State Senate voted to get rid of the law. The governor signed the repeal measure. &nbsp;</p> <p>In 1939, Ray Becker, the last of the incarcerated Centralia Wobblies, gained freedom from Walla Walla penitentiary. Believing he had done nothing wrong, the Wobbly would accept nothing less than complete vindication and refused a pardon because it implied guilt. National ACLU founder Roger Baldwin arranged a job for him through a wealthy benefactor who admired the Wobblies’ courage. Finally, in 1939 Governor Clarence Martin commuted Becker’s sentence on condition that he be escorted out of state. ACLU board members Fred Shorter and Mary Farquharson met him at the prison and drove him to meet friends in Oregon.</p> <p>Since these early years, the ACLU has been involved in a wide range of cases and advocacy for worker rights. Here’s a small sampling.</p> <p><strong>Union Democracy</strong>: The ACLU group backed local labor activists in a longstanding battle for democratic control of their union. When members of Local 104 of the Brotherhood of Boilermakers had acted to cut officers’ salaries, officials of the International Union had seized control of the local. ACLU chapter founder Ed Henry, supported by an ACLU <em>amicus</em> brief by Mary Ellen Krug, gained a Washington Supreme Court ruling in 1949 saying the local had the right to run its own affairs.</p> <p><strong>Due Process</strong>: In 1953 trustees of Eastern Washington College of Education granted unearned academic credit to the school’s Director of Athletics. Prof. Obed Williamson was one of several faculty members to file protests saying that the man had failed to complete work for their courses. All the protesting professors were dismissed – without hearing or notice – and subsequently were denied pensions. While the other professors left the college for new positions, Williamson continued to press for a fair hearing. In 1958 a delegation from the ACLU-WA approached Gov. Albert Rosellini to urge that he appoint more fair-minded people to vacancies on the board of trustees. That was done, and a hearing was finally held. Williamson was reinstated and his pension rights restored.</p> <p><strong>Symbolic Speech</strong>: In 1969, Seattle City Light threatened to fire male employees who worked in trenches 10-15 feet below the ground for having long hair or sideburns below the middle of the ear. The official justification for this policy was the need to maintain a good public image. ACLU-WA executive director Mike Rosen informed a <em>Seattle Times</em> reporter, and the paper published a story with a cartoon which depicted citizens peering into a manhole and expressing shock at the sewer workers’ long sideburns. City Light quickly dropped the threat. Rosen explained that government control over personal habits was highly offensive, and the right to wear one’s hair as one pleased was a basic freedom of expression issue.</p> <p><strong>Invasion of Privacy</strong>: In the early 1980s, Michael Lloyd was suspended from his job as security officer at Seattle’s Cabrini Hospital for refusing to take a polygraph test. Hospital administrators were conducting an investigation because $20 was missing from a coin purse left in the lost-and-found area. Given the choice of taking the test, resigning, or being fired, Lloyd resigned. But he also called the ACLU, which took up his case. Washington state law prohibits an employer from requiring a lie detector test as a condition for hiring or continued employment. Handled by cooperating attorney Linda Cochran, the case was settled with Lloyd winning $25,000 in damages and Cabrini agreeing not to compel polygraph tests in the future. In 1985 the State Legislature passed an ACLU-sponsored bill strengthening the right of employees to sue for damages they suffer for refusing to submit to examination by lie-detector.</p> <p><strong>Sex Discrimination</strong>: Stacy Hegwine was fired from a job as an order checker for Longview Fibre Company after the company found out she was pregnant. When Hegwine sued the company for violating the Washington Law Against Discrimination, her former employer asked that the case be considered a disability matter. The ACLU and Northwest Women’s Law Center (now Legal Voice) submitted an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to treat Hegwine’s termination as sex discrimination. In 2007 the Washington Supreme Court ruled that the Longview company broke state laws against sex discrimination when it refused to employ a woman because she was pregnant. The brief was written by cooperating attorney Kathleen Phair,the ACLU’s Sarah Dunne, and Sara Ainsworth of the Law Center.</p> <p>Take Action! Sign up to recieve ACLU Action Alerts by clicking <a href="https://www.aclu.org/secure/wa-email-updates">here!</a></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/union-civil-liberties-and-labor#comments Fri, 31 Aug 2012 20:20:32 +0000 honig 2413 at https://aclu-wa.org Interactive Map: What Is Your County Spending On Marijuana Law Enforcement? https://aclu-wa.org/blog/interactive-map-what-your-county-spending-marijuana-law-enforcement <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Washington state’s war on marijuana has cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars over the last decade. Every one of Washington’s 39 counties has spent millions of dollars enforcing these laws.</p> <p>A new interactive map created by the ACLU of Washington (which can be accessed below), estimates how much each county has spent on adult marijuana law enforcement between the years 2000-2010. It also shows where this money goes in the criminal justice system. Millions are spent arresting, prosecuting, defending, convicting, jailing, and supervising adults for marijuana offenses.</p> <p>At a time when local government budgets are being squeezed thin, scarce public safety resources should be spent in a more productive manner, such as going after violent criminals. Please take a minute to see how much your county has spent on marijuana law enforcement and stay tuned for additional visualizations covering Washington's war on marijuana.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="https://public.tableausoftware.com/shared/RYM3SRWH8"><img alt="Dashboard 1 " src="https:&#47;&#47;public.tableausoftware.com&#47;static&#47;images&#47;AC&#47;ACLU-WA-MarijuanaEnforcementCostsbyCounty&#47;Dashboard1&#47;1_rss.png" style="border: none" /></a></p><p>This embed will serve content from public.tableausoftware.com.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/interactive-map-what-your-county-spending-marijuana-law-enforcement#comments Mon, 27 Aug 2012 07:00:00 +0000 mcooke 2403 at https://aclu-wa.org Help Us Let People Know They Are Eligible to Vote https://aclu-wa.org/blog/help-us-let-people-know-they-are-eligible-vote <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Changing the law is just Step One in extending legal rights. Step Two is making sure people know what their legal rights are, so that – and here’s Step Three – they can actually exercise those rights.</p> <p>A case in point is the reform passed by the state legislature in 2009 that changed the restoration of voting rights for people with felony convictions.&nbsp; The law now says that the right to vote is restored <strong>automatically </strong>upon completion of any prison term and period of community supervision by the State Department of Corrections.&nbsp; The ACLU led the effort to change the previous law which required people to fully pay off all legal system debts – known as Legal Financial Obligations or LFOs – before regaining the franchise. &nbsp;We pointed out that limiting the right to vote according to one’s finances was a modern form of the despised poll tax. (Similarly, ACLU affiliates around the country this year are opposing voter ID laws that erect unnecessary barriers to exercising the right to vote.)</p> <p>Despite the fact that this reform was adopted three years ago, many people remain unaware of the change and believe they’re still ineligible to vote – which means they don’t vote. The ACLU-WA is working hard help eligible voters understand that they <span style="text-decoration: underline;">do</span> have the right to vote under the new law and is encouraging them to use that right. &nbsp;</p> <p>To help educate the public about Washington’s reformed voting rights restoration law, the ACLU-WA is sending informational materials to affected communities, offering speakers to train organizations that work with those communities, and posting vital information online.</p> <p>Speaking of online resources, we’ve developed a <strong>new, easy-to-use guide to voting rights</strong> – <strong>“<a href="http://canivote.aclu-wa.org" target="_blank">Criminal Conviction: Can I Vote?</a>”</strong>. It’s a step-by-step tool that lets people with past convictions know whether they are eligible to register and cast their ballot.</p> <p>Want to help? First take our quiz, “<a href="/quiz-voting-rights">What’s Keeping Voters from Voting</a>”. Encourage anyone you know who may have been directly affected by the reform in voting rights restoration to register and vote. &nbsp;Let them and agencies which serve them know about our online voting rights page (<a href="/issues/voting-rights">https://aclu-wa.org/issues/voting-rights</a>).&nbsp; You can also let us know about any other groups or organizations we should contact to help spread the word.</p> <p>And if you’re eligible to vote and haven’t yet registered, you can do so online today via the <a href="https://wei.sos.wa.gov/agency/osos/en/voterinformation/Pages/RegistertoVote.aspx" target="_blank">Secretary of State’s website</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/help-us-let-people-know-they-are-eligible-vote#comments Voting Rights Thu, 16 Aug 2012 18:44:05 +0000 kmungia 2384 at https://aclu-wa.org Agreement with Justice Dept. Presents Opportunity for Lasting Reform https://aclu-wa.org/blog/agreement-justice-dept-presents-opportunity-lasting-reform <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>This op-ed article first appeared in the Seattle Times.</em></p> <p>WHEN the long-awaited agreement between the Department of Justice and city of Seattle was announced, The Seattle Times quite correctly reported that the ACLU and other community organizations greeted the news with "guarded optimism."</p> <p>After so much anticipation and anxiety, why not a full-scale celebration? Why just optimism tempered by caution?</p> <p>In part, it's a matter of history. The Seattle Police Department's problems with excessive use of force, especially against people of color, are longstanding. They have endured despite the pronouncements of city leaders and blue-ribbon panels. We are optimistic because now there is an agreement on a road map for reform to address the misuse of force, racially biased policing, and flaws in the oversight system. In coming to this agreement, the DOJ and the city have avoided a costly, divisive and drawn-out lawsuit.</p> <p>We are optimistic because the proposed consent decree requires a court-appointed independent monitor to oversee improvements. It directs the monitor to work closely with leaders from the most affected communities to develop policies and safeguards. Unlike previous Seattle police-reform proposals, this one will be enforced by the federal court and will include regular public progress reports. We have seen that in other large cities, including Los Angeles and Cincinnati, reforms mandated by the DOJ and enforced by the courts have made tangible improvements in policing.</p> <p>But we are cautious because the process of reform is just at a beginning point. Much hard work remains ahead, both to implement concrete reforms and to ensure they will be sustained. We want to see that the consent decree is more than just words on paper.</p> <p>We are cautious because we remember how we got here. The DOJ announced its investigation in response to a December 2010 letter written by the ACLU and cosigned by 34 civil-rights and community-based groups. It called for federal involvement "because disturbing incidents of excessive force inflicted on residents of Seattle, and especially on persons of color, have continued despite actions and statements from the Police Department and city leadership."</p> <p>Throughout the DOJ investigation and closed-door negotiations with the mayor, these organizations remained forceful advocates for change. In numerous meetings and public statements, the ACLU and our allies on the Minority Executive Directors Coalition Multi-Racial Task Force on Police Accountability prodded officials to embrace changes. We reminded them that failing to deal effectively with excessive force and biased policing undermined the community trust that is so essential to the police force's mission of protecting public safety.</p> <p>After years of blue-ribbon reports and recommendations, we want to see real reform. A key factor will be the selection of an effective monitor — the person who will have the responsibility for ensuring that reforms are carried out. This person needs to be a tough-minded individual prepared to set the tone and play an active role. Ideally, the monitor should be someone independent from any Seattle agency or organization, and with experience in overseeing court-ordered settlements.</p> <p>Meaningful reform will require continued involvement by the community groups that initiated this process. They represent communities that will be directly impacted by any changes in policing.</p> <p>One avenue for involvement may be the Community Police Commission that is part of the settlement agreement. This commission must not end up as simply window dressing. It must be composed of people with expertise in police accountability and police interactions with the most affected communities. It cannot be merely a collection of well-intended individuals selected to represent various constituencies. And the monitor and city leaders must listen to its guidance and recommendations and reasonably put them into practice.</p> <p>We will know that Seattle is on the road to effective police reform when we see:</p> <p>• Development of clear policies and protocols about constitutional use of force and prohibiting racially biased policing;</p> <p>• Training of officers to understand these policies and protocols;</p> <p>• Ongoing reinforcement by line supervisors;</p> <p>• Leaders at the top who hold themselves and officers accountable for following through on change.</p> <p>Seattle has a historic opportunity to ensure all its residents receive equal and fair treatment by its police force. It is in the interest of the police and citizenry alike that we seize this opportunity.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/agreement-justice-dept-presents-opportunity-lasting-reform#comments Criminal Justice Police Practices Mon, 06 Aug 2012 07:00:00 +0000 shaw 2373 at https://aclu-wa.org Incarcerating Communities: Why Faith Leaders Are Speaking Out on the War on Drugs https://aclu-wa.org/blog/incarcerating-communities-why-faith-leaders-are-speaking-out-war-drugs <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Last Tuesday evening, I attended a forum in Seattle that made some vital connections for people concerned about the enormous volume of people in our criminal justice system. Sponsored by the ACLU-WA, the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thechurchcouncil.org/" target="_blank">Church Council of Greater Seattle</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://fanwa.org/" target="_blank">Faith Action Network</a>, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.latinocommunityfund.org/" target="_blank">Latino Community Fund</a>, its topic was "Faith Communities and Mass Incarceration."</p> <p>The U. S. not only has the<a href="http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_pri_per_cap-crime-prisoners-per-capita" target="_blank">&nbsp;highest rate of imprisonment in the world</a>&nbsp;(715 per 100,000 people), but&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_pri-crime-prisoners" target="_blank">more people in prison that any other country in the world</a>&nbsp;(2,019,234). In fact,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2109777,00.html" target="_blank">even though America only has 5% of the world’s population, it has 25% of world’s incarcerated population</a>. Prison overcrowding is a continuing problem, and states are building more and more facilities to house inmates.</p> <p>Also troubling is racial disparity in enforcement.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sentencingproject.org/template/page.cfm?id=122" target="_blank">More than 60% of the individuals in prison are people of color</a>. In Washington, even though&nbsp;<a href="http://www.drugpolicy.org/washington-state" target="_blank">only 3.6% of the population is African-American, blacks make up 11.5% of all drug arrests</a>.</p> <p>For the forum, community members gathered at Southside Commons to hear a panel comprised of <strong>SpearIt</strong>, an assistant law professor at St. Louis University, <strong>Pastor Carl Livingston</strong>, founder of Kingdom Christian Center, and <strong>Reverend Paul Benz</strong>, Co-Director of Faith Action Network.</p> <p><strong>SpearIt</strong> began the conversation by explaining the correlations between the American criminal justice system and religious ideals and practices. For example, prison comes from the Catholic tradition of isolating oneself in a penitentiary to repent for one’s sins. In fact, another name for prison is a penitentiary. Even the jury trial has roots in Christianity, as the judge and 12 jurors parallel Jesus and his Apostles.</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/u101/spearit%20alt_0_0.jpg" width="400" height="602" style="BORDER-BOTTOM: black 1px solid; BORDER-LEFT: black 1px solid; MARGIN: 5px; FLOAT: right; BORDER-TOP: black 1px solid; BORDER-RIGHT: black 1px solid" /></p> <p>Somewhere along the line, however, things got off track. SpearIt explained how our criminal justice system no longer is based on trials and finding the truth, but on plea bargains and incarceration. Imprisoning people in droves, SpearIt asserted, is a method of social control stemming from resentment to civil rights victories won during the 1960s. Before civil rights reforms occurred, minorities made up about 25% of the prison population.</p> <p>The primary means driving incarceration was, and is, the War on Drugs.<a href="http://www.jfa-associates.com/publications/srs/UnlockingAmerica.pdf" target="_blank"> In 1970, there were less than 200,000 people in prison</a>. In 1971, the federal government enacted the Controlled Substances Act which made possession, sale, and manufacture of all drugs a crime. The current prison population is more than ten times what it was in 1970.</p> <p>Following up, <strong>Pastor Carl Livingston</strong> explained how the War on Drugs and the accompanying incarceration rate have had a disproportionate and devastating effect on communities of color. Because they are arrested and convicted at much higher rates than whites, minorities and their communities experience the consequences of drug laws much more frequently. These consequences include difficulty in finding housing and employment, obtaining financial aid for school (Livingston noted that there were more blacks in prison than in college), and being exposed to both physical and mental health risks while imprisoned. Often, when a person is incarcerated for a drug offense, the community is deprived of an otherwise productive and taxpaying member. Now the community’s taxes will be used to pay for his incarceration.</p> <p>Then, <strong>Rev. Paul Benz</strong> discussed why communities of faith should oppose the death penalty. Many, if not most, religions value life above all else. Even if a person has taken someone’s life, Benz asserted, there is not sufficient justification to take another. Instead, Benz said that our approach to high-level offenders, as our approaches to all other matters, should come from a place of love.</p> <p>The panel concluded by encouraging those in the faith community to take a stance against the mass imprisonment of fellow citizens. For those who are in need of help, we should be providing treatment and education, not incarceration. Community members who wanted to work for change were urged by the panelists to get involved in <a href="http://www.sjawa.org/home" target="_blank">Safe and Just Alternatives</a> (the state campaign to end the death penalty) and to support <a href="http://www.newapproachwa.org/" target="_blank">Initiative 502</a> (the ballot measure to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana for adults).</p> <p>When leaders of faith speak out against mass incarceration, their voices can reach audiences that have traditionally supported increased imprisonment of drug offenders. It is particularly important to reach faith communities of color because of the harms that our reliance on prisons has wreaked on them. All three panelists agreed that our society needs a new approach to criminal justice, one that ends the addiction to incarceration.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/incarcerating-communities-why-faith-leaders-are-speaking-out-war-drugs#comments Criminal Justice Drug Policy Racial Justice Death Penalty Incarceration Marijuana Marijuana Legalization Tue, 31 Jul 2012 22:28:16 +0000 krussoniello 2369 at https://aclu-wa.org From Fighting for the West Memphis Three to Ending the Death Penalty in Washington https://aclu-wa.org/blog/fighting-west-memphis-three-ending-death-penalty-washington <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>This article first appeared on the blog of Safe and Just Alternatives, a campaign working to end capital punishment in our state.</em></p> <p>At the age of 16, my boyfriend Jason Baldwin faced the death penalty for a crime he did not commit.&nbsp; Twice offered leniency in exchange for testifying against his best friend, Jason – without hesitation – refused both deals.&nbsp; Had he taken the second deal, he likely would have been released on good behavior within roughly two years.<br /><br />Instead, he ultimately received a sentence of life without parole; his best friend Damien Echols, then 18, was sentenced to die at a maximum security prison in rural Arkansas.&nbsp;Along with another young man, Jessie Misskelley, Jr., they became known as the West Memphis 3. They were convicted despite the lack of any physical evidence or plausible motive linking them to the crime. It is no small miracle that the support of hundreds of thousands of people, literally across the world, led to the release of Jason, Damien, and Jessie 18 years after the West Memphis 3 were first incarcerated.&nbsp;<br /><br />When I first read about this case in 2004, I had no idea how involved I'd become, and for how long.&nbsp; Even though these three men had already been incarcerated for 10 years by that time, I could never have imagined it would take almost that much longer for them to win their freedom (and even that was a bittersweet victory, under the “Alford plea” that required them to plead guilty even as they publicly maintained their innocence).&nbsp; There were so many days when we all wondered if they would ever be released, or if all of our rallying, letter-writing and protesting was futile.&nbsp;</p> <p>But, ultimately, the intense public scrutiny of the flaws in the case – publicized in the award-winning<em>Paradise Lost</em>&nbsp;documentary series – pressured prosecutors to agree to the plea deal.&nbsp; On August 19, 2011, Jason, Damien and Jessie walked out of an Arkansas court room free men.<br /><br />Now living in Seattle, Jason and I have turned our attention to a different fight – the effort to end the death penalty in Washington. Each day, when I look at Jason, I see what might have happened to him had he been sentenced to death, and to Damien had he not been released.&nbsp; Damien was one of the fortunate ones. He most likely is not the only innocent person ever to walk the halls of death row; he is, however, the first to ever leave Arkansas's death row alive.&nbsp;</p> <p>In fact, as I write this, a prisoner named Tim Howard languishes in the same supermax prison from which Damien was freed last year.&nbsp; Howard, like so many others, is kept there largely by sloppy, botched DNA testing and an unwillingness on the part of officials to admit they might have made a mistake.&nbsp;<br /><br />Innocent men and women like these, and countless more who have taken the responsibility to transform themselves while incarcerated, are looking to you and me for help – for help to reform a system that has failed them, that failed Jason, that has failed all of us.&nbsp; So on the days when momentum is lacking, we should draw strength from these men and women.&nbsp; And please, please don't forget:&nbsp; the campaign to end capital punishment is literally<em>&nbsp;life-saving&nbsp;</em>work.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/fighting-west-memphis-three-ending-death-penalty-washington#comments Criminal Justice Death Penalty Tue, 31 Jul 2012 22:07:56 +0000 hballard 2368 at https://aclu-wa.org King County Steps Up to Save Education for Inmates https://aclu-wa.org/blog/king-county-steps-save-education-inmates <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Education for inmates can be a vital part of preparing them to re-enter society successfully. <a href="http://www.ceanational.org/PDFs/EdReducesCrime.pdf">Multiple studies</a> demonstrate that individuals who receive educational opportunities while they are incarcerated are far less likely to re-offend when they return to their communities.</p> <p>That’s one reason why it was disconcerting when it was <a href="http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/why-cant-she-learn/Content?oid=14145224">reported earlier this month</a> that the King County Jail would be significantly reducing opportunities for adult basic education, ESL classes, and GED preparation courses. Even more disconcerting was the fact that due to cuts in the federal program that funded the classes they would be entirely eliminated for female inmates.</p> <p>The good news is that <a href="http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2012/07/20/womens-education-program-saved-at-king-county-jail">King County has stepped up to the plate</a> and agreed to replace the lost federal funds to preserve the programming for female inmates. The courses are presently planned to resume later this year. The decision not only saves these important education opportunities for incarcerated women, &nbsp;it also ensures a more stable source of funding in the future. "I was pretty impressed with the way people came to the table," the jail’s director Claudia Balducci recently told The Stranger. “When folks are motivated that way, it’s amazing what you can do."</p> <p>King County deserves kudos for treating male and female inmates equally and acknowledging the importance of educational opportunities for the incarcerated. By avoiding a “penny wise and pound foolish” approach, the county will make a big difference in the lives of its female inmates – and an important contribution to public safety for all of us.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/king-county-steps-save-education-inmates#comments Criminal Justice Women's Rights Incarceration Wed, 25 Jul 2012 20:12:17 +0000 nygren 2361 at https://aclu-wa.org Exploring Teen Dreams Shouldn’t Mean Sacrificing Privacy https://aclu-wa.org/blog/exploring-teen-dreams-shouldn-t-mean-sacrificing-privacy <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Teenagers need to be able to explore lots of educational and career possibilities – and to do so without having the military automatically know about their personal explorations.&nbsp; When you’re in high school (not to mention older), you may not know what you want to be. &nbsp;Personally, I remember that when I was 16, I dreamt of being a physician.&nbsp; A fan of <em>Grey’s Anatomy</em>, I thought that a rebellious doctor who happens to find a Prince Charming in an all-white lab coat epitomized the perfect job.&nbsp; <strong></strong><br /> Now 25 and on the road to realizing my current dream of becoming a lawyer, I am working as a Policy Advocacy intern at the ACLU of Washington.&nbsp; One of my first assignments has been looking at the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test.<br /> The test is often taken by students who would like to be a part of the military following graduation.&nbsp; However, many students take the test simply to explore different career opportunities.&nbsp; I was surprised to discover that, unbeknownst to thousands of students across Washington, their test results are being released to military recruiters.&nbsp; These results include a student’s name, social security number, date of birth, sex, ethic group identification, education grade, plans after graduation, individual item responses to ASVAB subtests, and ASVAB scores.<br /> How can such extremely personal&nbsp; information for a teen be released without parental consent—what about student privacy rights?&nbsp;<br /> The <em>problem</em> is that students must sign the waiver of privacy on the ASVAB test or they do not receive their test results.&nbsp; The <em>solution</em> is requiring schools to select “Option 8” on the <a href="http://www.comdsd.org/ASVAB/ASVAB_test_request_form.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">ASVAB form</a>, <strong>&nbsp;</strong>which states that “access to student test information is not provided to recruiting services.”<br /> Seems simple enough, right?&nbsp; Well, many schools are unaware that any options exist. &nbsp;Although some schools receive a form with the different options, many schools do not, or do not select any option. This results in the automatic selection of “Option 1,” which releases test information to recruiters after seven days. <strong></strong><br /> Students should be able to explore different career paths during high school, including the military.&nbsp; But sacrificing students’ right to privacy along the way should never be an option.<br /> You can do something to combat this violation to students’ privacy rights.&nbsp; Schools need to hear from the community, students, and their families about the importance of respecting students’ right to privacy. &nbsp;Help the students and act now by signing our <a href="https://www.aclu.org/secure/student-privacy-who-decides-families-or-military" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">petition</a>&nbsp;requiring schools to select “Option 8.”&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/exploring-teen-dreams-shouldn-t-mean-sacrificing-privacy#comments Privacy Youth Academic Freedom Information Privacy Military Recruitment Fri, 20 Jul 2012 21:36:56 +0000 aassemi 2360 at https://aclu-wa.org RESPECTING IMMIGRANT RIGHTS IS PATRIOTIC https://aclu-wa.org/blog/respecting-immigrant-rights-patriotic <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Is respect for immigrants’ rights patriotic?&nbsp; Yes, indeed, and now this has been recognized by no less an authority than the Washington Supreme Court.&nbsp; In its recent unanimous ruling in the case <em><a href="http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/index.cfm?fa=opinions.showOpinion&amp;filename=2009174MAJ" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">In re Discipline of McGrath</a></em>, the Court included this powerful statement:<br /> Except indigenous peoples, all of us who are privileged to enjoy this great nation do so either because we or our ancestors immigrated here or were brought here in bondage.&nbsp; When our ancestors arrived, many could not speak English and toiled for little or no pay.&nbsp; Diversity of origin was certainly the national circumstance when our founders made a declaration that "all men are created equal" and endowed "with certain unalienable Rights."&nbsp;(The Declaration of Independence para. 2) &nbsp;Perhaps McGrath meant to appeal to the judge's sense of nationalism, but certainly not his sense of patriotism.&nbsp;<br /> In the McGrath case, the Court upheld a significant period of suspension from the practice of law for a lawyer, in part because he included derogatory anti-immigrant remarks in a letter to the judge.&nbsp; In condemning his action in no uncertain terms, the Court reminded us all of an important history lesson:&nbsp; This country was founded on respect for immigrants, and it owes much to the labor and courage of immigrants. &nbsp;We should keep this in mind when considering the immigration issues facing our country today.<br /> As an organization devoted to safeguarding the heritage of the Bill of Rights, the ACLU considers it our patriotic duty to defend the rights of people who have immigrated to our country.&nbsp; We are working to overturn Arizona’s draconian law targeting immigrants that the US Supreme Court recently in large part struck down. &nbsp;In a suit that’s moving forward this week, the ACLU is challenging the law’s “show me your papers” provision that was allowed to continue, and we <a href="/blog/reject-arizona-s-racial-profiling-law-and-what-it-stands" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">continue to speak out</a> against efforts to enact copycat measures in other states.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> We’re <a href="/blog/administration-stop-deporting-dreamers-step-toward-upholding-constitutional-ideals" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">supporting young DREAMERs</a> who were brought to the US by others but face the constant risk of deportation. &nbsp; And here in Washington state, we and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project are <a href="/node/2309" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">challenging racial profiling of immigrants and others</a> by Border Patrol agents.<br /> Your supporting the ACLU’s immigrant rights work can help us win on these issues. And remember – doing so is patriotic!</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/respecting-immigrant-rights-patriotic#comments Immigrant Rights Thu, 19 Jul 2012 23:23:05 +0000 talner 2359 at https://aclu-wa.org CELEBRATE REAL PATRIOTISM THIS WEEKEND https://aclu-wa.org/blog/celebrate-real-patriotism-weekend-0 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Originally posted July 4, 2010</p> <p><span style="font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'Liberation Sans', FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 19px;">For our 4th of July BBQ,&nbsp;like many Americans, my family puts together a play list of Americana music.&nbsp; Ours includes&nbsp;Frank Sinatra singing&nbsp;<em>The House I Live In</em>, Bruce Springsteen’s&nbsp;<em>Born in the U.S.A</em>., and anything by Aaron Copland.&nbsp; We hang&nbsp;our flag, one that once flew over the Capitol in Washington, DC - and decorate the chocolate cake with stars and stripes.&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;<br />We are patriots.&nbsp; Not the “love it or leave it” kind, but the “liberty and justice for all” kind.&nbsp; The kind Michael Douglas talked about in the closing scene of the film&nbsp;<em>The American President</em>:<br />&nbsp;<br />“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship.&nbsp; You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free".<br />&nbsp;<br />But tolerating controversial speech is only part of it.&nbsp; Practitioners of advanced citizenship “know that we should measure our nation’s progress by whether every citizen has a fair shot to advance,” as Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer say in their little red book,&nbsp;<em><a style="text-decoration: underline; color: #24547a;" href="http://www.truepat.org/book/read">The True Patriot</a></em>.&nbsp; “Freedom&nbsp;without an equal chance to enjoy it is not freedom at all.”<br />&nbsp;<br />True patriotism requires us to&nbsp;get involved, stir up others, be activists, and insist that our country live up to its promise&nbsp;of freedom and equal opportunity.&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br />So while we are enjoying the holiday weekend, let’s&nbsp;celebrate true patriotism and recommit ourselves to acting on our beliefs, resisting cynicism, and&nbsp;insisting that America&nbsp;<a style="text-decoration: underline; color: #24547a;" href="http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15609">live up to its values</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br /><em>The American President</em>&nbsp;is still a great romantic comedy. For more civil liberties-themed movies for this weekend, see&nbsp;<a style="text-decoration: underline; color: #24547a;" href="http://www.aclu-tn.org/movies.htm">this list</a>&nbsp;recommended by our colleagues and friends at the ACLU of Tennessee.</span></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/celebrate-real-patriotism-weekend-0#comments Wed, 04 Jul 2012 16:31:30 +0000 ktaylor 2352 at https://aclu-wa.org To confront torture, America must first apologize for its own mistakes https://aclu-wa.org/blog/confront-torture-america-must-first-apologize-its-own-mistakes <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>(This op-ed first appeared in the June 20 edition of Real Change News)</p> <p>Martin Niemoller’s well-known insight (“first they came for the Socialists, I was not one… when they came for me, there was no one left to speak up”) affirms the urgency of speaking out against torture and seeking remedy for torture victims and survivors around the world. To speak out against organized harm requires courageous naming, as observed by writer and rights advocate Marge Piercy, who wrote that “we must name the giant in whose belly we are chained.”</p> <p>The International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, June 26, shines light on torture and insists torture – and those responsible for it – poses ethical and human rights concerns that have implications for public health. The specific date was selected because on June 26, 1987, the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT) was entered into force.</p> <p>The Convention is ratified by more than 145 nations including the U.S.; governments are obligated to make redress that can include investigation, prosecution and access to medical care part of the remedy. &nbsp;The UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture assures medical, psychological, legal and economic assistance to many of the 200 treatment centers in 50 nations.</p> <p>Consider the situation of Maher Arar, a Canadian-Syrian survivor of torture, who is now a human rights advocate in Canada. &nbsp;Arar, publisher of “Prism,” a magazine exploring security and human rights, was falsely viewed as a threat to national security, when he arrived at JFK Airport in New York, on his way home to Canada from a family visit in Tunisia.</p> <p>Arar had immigrated from Syria years earlier because of the repressive features of the Syrian government, which is one of the 80 nations that practices torture.</p> <p>Arar’s family members are Canadian citizens with advanced degrees from Canadian universities.</p> <p>They both value the civil liberty and multicultural understanding of Canadian society. The U.S. subjected Arar to extraordinary rendition for interrogation. Arar was then confined in a tiny cell in Syria, where he was interrogated under torture for one year. The U.S. assisted in the questioning during the torture.</p> <p>Although the initial few hours of the 2002 detention of Arar at JFK may conceivably have been an accident based on faulty information obtained by the U.S. from the Canadian authorities, the persistence of the U.S. to continue to detain him, the use of extraordinary rendition to Syria, and the systematic torture for one year were not simply careless accidents. These acts were deliberate policy as practiced by the U.S. with the governments of Canada and Syria in 2002-2003.</p> <p>CAT requires a remedy be made to a torture survivor. Arar attempted a legal remedy in the U.S., but in 2009 the courts refused to hear the case. The Supreme Court denied his subsequent appeal for exoneration.</p> <p>It’s necessary to apologize for the wrongs inflicted on Arar. It’s as necessary as the apology made in 1999 to the people of Guatemala by the U.S. for its role in the genocide of Guatemalans. It is as significant an apology as reparations legislation made by the U.S. in 1988 to 120,000 Japanese Americans, once ordered to live in internment camps.</p> <p>Looking back is a way to move forward. The Canadian government already has recognized its wrongdoing and made restitution, which included a monetary settlement and a formal exoneration to Arar and his family.</p> <p>President Obama and Congress can make a similar apology. I am one of some 60,000 people who signed statements that were presented to President Obama by Amnesty International USA, Center for Constitutional Rights, and National Religious Coalition to Oppose Torture. We are asking that the U.S. apologize to Maher Arar for the harms inflicted upon him. This apology is part of affirming the CAT and can contribute to Arar’s healing as a torture survivor.</p> <p>You can join us. At 6 p.m. on June 26, Amnesty International, the Washington State Religious Campaign Against Oppose Torture, the ACLU of Washington, United Nations Association Greater Seattle Chapter will hold a vigil at the Jackson Federal Building, Second Ave. at Madison St. We welcome your support.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/confront-torture-america-must-first-apologize-its-own-mistakes#comments Tue, 26 Jun 2012 17:48:15 +0000 lebersole 2346 at https://aclu-wa.org Reject Arizona’s Racial Profiling Law and What It Stands For https://aclu-wa.org/blog/reject-arizona-s-racial-profiling-law-and-what-it-stands <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Photo credit: One America<br /> (The&nbsp;ACLU-WA’s Shankar Narayan delivered this statement at a press conference today responding&nbsp;to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona’s racial profiling law, SB 10170.&nbsp;The event was held on the steps of the federal courthouse in&nbsp;Seattle, with&nbsp;speakers from the ACLU, One America, the NW Immigrant Rights Project, and&nbsp;several elected officials.)Laws like SB 1070 fly in the face of those freedoms and&nbsp;the core values of&nbsp;all Washingtonians – in&nbsp;particular, that everyone should be free from unwarranted intrusions by police&nbsp;and that everyone should have due&nbsp;process, fairness, and equality.&nbsp;The Supreme Court’s decision rejected the notion that the&nbsp;states make immigration law. Arizona wanted a green light for its law but&nbsp;instead got three red lights and one major caution. The court remanded the&nbsp;law’s “Show&nbsp;me your papers” Section 2(B) to the U.S. 9th&nbsp;Circuit&nbsp;Court of Appeals for further consideration. The court wants to know how it will&nbsp;be implemented in practice.&nbsp;We know that you simply cannot enforce a law like SB&nbsp;1070’s Section 2(B) without engaging in racial profiling, because people will&nbsp;inevitably be targeted based on how they look or sound. &nbsp;Laws like this&nbsp;harm citizens&nbsp;and non-citizens alike. &nbsp;And beyond the U.S. Constitution,&nbsp;we also have the protections of our Washington State Constitution, which has&nbsp;always been interpreted as being even more protective of individual rights and&nbsp;liberties than the federal constitution.While the court's upholding of the "Show me your&nbsp;papers" provision of the law is troubling, it is important to&nbsp;remember that today’s decision does not represent the end of either the legal&nbsp;battles&nbsp;over those values, or of the&nbsp;wider&nbsp;struggles&nbsp;to uphold them. &nbsp;The case&nbsp;decided by the Supreme Court today is a narrow ruling about federal preemption&nbsp;– and even that isn’t the end of the story. We will continue to fight it on&nbsp;remand and in many other&nbsp;lawsuits in state courts.&nbsp;Another&nbsp;lawsuit, called&nbsp;Friendly House,&nbsp;brought by the ACLU and its allies, also raises the issues of racial profiling&nbsp;by law enforcement,&nbsp;violation of the equal&nbsp;protection guarantee,&nbsp;and&nbsp;unreasonable&nbsp;seizures.&nbsp; That case and&nbsp;other challenges at the state court level that&nbsp;will become possible once the law is actually implemented.&nbsp;We should also remember that there’s a big difference&nbsp;between what’s constitutionally permissible and what’s good public policy – and&nbsp;laws like SB 1070 are bad policy. &nbsp;They are divisive, open the door to&nbsp;racial profiling,&nbsp;and are bad for our society and the economy. &nbsp;Law&nbsp;enforcement officers across the country have spoken out against such laws&nbsp;because they undermine public safety rather than promote it. &nbsp;That is why&nbsp;community leaders&nbsp;in Washington have always been vigilant to ensure that they&nbsp;never pass here. Indeed, such measures have never gotten traction in our state,&nbsp;whether through the legislature or via initiative.We intend to keep it that way. &nbsp;We will&nbsp;continue to be vigilant and fight back in rejecting laws like SB 1070 and all&nbsp;that they stand for – by organizing and advocating with our local, state,&nbsp;and&nbsp;federal elected officials. &nbsp;Already, the tide is turning across the country&nbsp;to reject such laws, and some of the states that have enacted them have paid a&nbsp;heavy economic price. &nbsp;And our&nbsp;community leaders and everyone in&nbsp;Washington who values due process, fairness, and equality –&nbsp;&nbsp;will turn out in force in the fall to vote&nbsp;for candidates who understand and support those&nbsp;beliefs. &nbsp;We cannot and&nbsp;will not allow Washington to go down Arizona’s&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/reject-arizona-s-racial-profiling-law-and-what-it-stands#comments Immigrant Rights Border Patrol Immigrant Detention Racial Profiling Mon, 25 Jun 2012 23:54:47 +0000 snarayan 2345 at https://aclu-wa.org We're Ready to Defend Washington's Marriage Law at the Ballot Box https://aclu-wa.org/blog/were-ready-defend-washingtons-marriage-law-ballot-box <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Originally posted on the <a href="http://www.aclu.org/blog/lgbt-rights/were-ready-defend-washingtons-marriage-law-ballot-box" rel="nofollow">ACLU Blog of Rights</a><br /> Last February, we cheered and cried with our friends and allies when Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire&nbsp;<a href="/blog/valentine-s-day-comes-early-celebrating-historic-victory-equality" rel="nofollow">signed a bill</a>&nbsp;that grants civil marriage to all loving, committed same-sex couples.&nbsp;But even as we celebrated, we knew that the opponents of marriage equality would continue to fight.&nbsp;Washington law allows the opponents of a piece of legislation to take their case to the voters by gathering enough signatures to place a referendum on the ballot.&nbsp;A “yes” vote on the referendum is a vote to protect the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.&nbsp; A “no” vote on the referendum is a vote to exclude same-sex couples from marriage."<br /> Over the past months, the opponents of marriage for same-sex couples have deployed volunteers and even paid canvassers to collect enough signatures to get a referendum on the November ballot.&nbsp;We knew that they would be well-organized and highly motivated to reinstate exclusion of some couples from marriage. And they have strong financial backing of outside groups, such as the National Organization for Marriage.&nbsp;<br /> So, the ACLU of Washington has been working as a leading member of the&nbsp;<a href="http://washingtonunitedformarriage.org/" rel="nofollow">Washington United for Marriage</a>&nbsp;coalition to prepare to defend the legislative victory in a statewide election. We were not surprised to learn last week that the Secretary of State certified the measure, Referendum 74, to appear on the November ballot.<br /> While we would have preferred the legislative victory to be the final word for couples in our state, we believe that Washington can successfully defend this important advance for equality at the ballot box.&nbsp;The bill passed with a solid majority of legislative votes. &nbsp;And a&nbsp;<a href="http://washingtonunitedformarriage.org/poll-shows-clear-majority-of-washington-state-voters-approve-of-marriage-equality-law/" rel="nofollow">recent poll</a>&nbsp;shows that 54 percent of likely voters support a law that allows everyone to be able to marry the person they love.&nbsp;<br /> Winning is not guaranteed – and we know that this will be a tough fight.&nbsp;But we believe that the people of Washington want to live in a state that&nbsp;<a href="http://washingtonunitedformarriage.org/why-marriage-matters/" rel="nofollow">values and respects</a>&nbsp;all families.&nbsp;To carry out these values and convince the majority of voters to Approve Referendum 74, we need the support of people in our state and across the country.&nbsp;With your help, Washington can provide a model for winning ballot campaigns in other states. &nbsp;Victory in Washington will move the nation closer to achieving the goal of civil marriage for all couples in our country.&nbsp;Please support this important campaign to defend Washington’s marriage law – whether you live in Washington State or not – by&nbsp;<a href="http://washingtonunitedformarriage.org/" rel="nofollow">signing the pledge</a>&nbsp;to defend&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aclu.org/marriage-same-sex-couples" rel="nofollow">the freedom to marry for all couples</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/were-ready-defend-washingtons-marriage-law-ballot-box#comments LGBT LGBT Marriage Marriage Equality Mon, 18 Jun 2012 18:48:49 +0000 shaw 2341 at https://aclu-wa.org Administration to Stop Deporting “Dreamers”: A Step Toward Upholding Constitutional Ideals https://aclu-wa.org/blog/administration-stop-deporting-dreamers-step-toward-upholding-constitutional-ideals <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>(Photo: &nbsp;"'Dreamers' at a Seattle press conference on Obama’s announcement," by One America)<br /> The due process and equal protection clauses embodied in our Constitution and Bill of Rights apply to every "person," and are not limited to U.S. citizens.<br /> But for the youth who are impacted by today’s announcement, their immigration status means that those basic principles of due process and equal protection are increasingly in jeopardy as applied to them.<br /> Because they are unlawfully present under our current broken immigration system, they have lived with the constant nightmare that they will be deported from the only home they have ever known, often without a full and fair day in court, for a violation they had no control over because they came here as young children.&nbsp; That is fundamentally unfair.<br /> But for more than a decade, the Department of Homeland Security has deported DREAMers around the country and Congress has failed to pass the DREAM Act, despite calls by business executives, military commanders, college presidents, mayors and faith leaders to pass the measure as necessary to safeguard and build America's economic future.<br /> While we applaud the Obama administration’s announcement today as a positive first step.&nbsp; But it does not provide a permanent solution to the problem.&nbsp; The administration cannot provide these youth with a path to U.S. citizenship, so we continue to call upon all members of Congress to pass the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for immigrants who came to the United States as children and graduated from high school.<br /> We also call for further reform of the immigration system as a whole, including curbing the unlawful activities of agencies such as the Customs and Border Protection agency, which have resulted in the racial profiling of immigrants and people of color in our state.<br /> The ACLU-WA and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project have filed a lawsuit to end the Border Patrol’s practice of stopping and interrogating people in vehicles on the Olympic Peninsula based on their ethnicity.<br /> Finally, I’d like to note that today's announcement comes on the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision, <em>Plyer v. Doe</em>, in which the high court made clear that all children, regardless of their immigration status, must be welcomed in the nation's public K-12 schools.<br /> Today’s announcement is a step towards upholding the same constitutional ideals that compelled that landmark decision.&nbsp; But let’s not let it be the last.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/administration-stop-deporting-dreamers-step-toward-upholding-constitutional-ideals#comments Immigrant Rights Youth Fri, 15 Jun 2012 22:24:18 +0000 ktaylor 2340 at https://aclu-wa.org “It Brought the Good Person Out in Me”: Powwows in Prison https://aclu-wa.org/blog/it-brought-good-person-out-me-powwows-prison <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A <a href="http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2018307718_prisonpowwow29m.html">great story in the Seattle Times</a> details the successful efforts of Seattle attorney Gabe Galanda to persuade Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) administrators to accommodate the religious rights of Native American inmates at DOC facilities around the state. Most significantly, family members of Native inmates, including children, are now allowed to attend annual powwows. A central ritual of Native American culture, the powwow involves dancing, singing, socializing and communal dining.</p> <p>"People die inside themselves in here," the Times notes Washington State Penitentiary inmate Herbert Rice as stating. "These elders here today remind us of who we are, they bring us back to who we are. And the kids, for us, remind us of what we used to be, and they remind us what tomorrow is going to be."</p> <p>This most recent development has roots in ACLU advocacy on behalf of Native Americans with concerns that the passage of Initiative 901 (banning indoor smoking) would impair their rights to engage in the religious use of tobacco and in smudging ceremonies. In response to these concerns, Washington’s <a href="/sites/default/files/attachments/AG%20opinion%206%208%2006.pdf">Attorney General issued an opinion</a> that the smoking ban did not apply to such religious activities. Subsequently DOC prohibited tobacco from all of its facilities. The ACLU persuasively argued that a blanket ban was contrary to the spirit of the Attorney General’s opinion; DOC agreed and implemented new policies allowing for the use of small quantities of tobacco and herbs like <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinnikinnick">kinnikinnick</a> in religious ceremonies.</p> <p>DOC’s reforms not only honor the religious rights of Native Americans –- they also promote strong family connections and support the efforts of inmates to mend their lives and move away from crime and towards recovery. DOC should be applauded for the positive steps it has taken to support the religious rights of prisoners – steps the ACLU has encouraged for some time as part of our efforts to <a href="/cases?issue=19&amp;status=active">protect religious freedoms of all Americans</a>.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/it-brought-good-person-out-me-powwows-prison#comments Wed, 30 May 2012 16:56:58 +0000 nygren 2330 at https://aclu-wa.org After 18 Years, Death Sentence and Murder Conviction Overturned https://aclu-wa.org/blog/after-18-years-death-sentence-and-murder-conviction-overturned <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>As of May 10, there is one less person on Washington’s death row. The Washington Supreme Court’s overturning of Darold Stenson’s murder conviction provides a vital lesson about the flaws of our system of capital punishment: Even convictions and death sentences that may appear to be supported by strong evidence actually have major elements of doubt, and it takes time to discover the problems.&nbsp;<br /> The state’s high court ruled 8-1 that Darold Stenson’s death penalty and conviction must be reversed and remanded for a new trial.&nbsp; Stenson was convicted and sentenced to die for the 1994 deaths of his wife and business partner.&nbsp; He asserted that the business partner was responsible for the deaths.&nbsp; Significant pieces of evidence used to convict Stenson were photographs, gunshot residue, and blood spatter evidence and expert analysis of those things.<br /> At Stenson’s trial, the Clallam County prosecutor’s office failed to disclose to his lawyer information from the FBI file about that evidence which might have been helpful to his defense.&nbsp; The potentially favorable evidence came to light 18 years later when Stenson’s appellate attorneys raised an actual innocence claim.&nbsp; In investigating the claim, they discovered the previously withheld evidence.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> In striking language, the Court explained that a serious constitutional violation had occurred and could not be overlooked, as this meant that the defendant did not have the necessary full benefit of due process protections.<br /> Stenson, in our judgment, has met his burden of showing that there is a reasonable probability that, had the FBI file and photographs been disclosed to the defense, the result of his trial would have been different. Because we believe the newly discovered evidence undermines confidence in the jury verdict, we reverse Stenson's convictions and death sentence and remand for a new trial. We conclude that the trial court correctly found that the FBI file and photographs are favorable to Stenson and that the evidence was wrongfully suppressed by the State. We conclude, as a matter of law, that the suppression of the photographs and FBI file prejudiced Stenson.<br /> Stenson might well have been executed and it would have been too late to correct the constitutional error that occurred. Too often in Washington and around the country, death sentences have been obtained based on some form of legal error.&nbsp;In this case, vigorous advocacy by Stenson’s defense team brought injustice to light, but in too many cases that does not happen.&nbsp;<br /> What can be done?&nbsp; The ACLU is working with the Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty in the Safe and Just Alternatives Campaign.&nbsp; It seeks to end the death penalty in our state and replace it with a sentence of life in prison without parole. &nbsp;&nbsp;Connecticut recently became the latest state to end capital punishment, recognizing that our criminal justice system is far from perfect and the State should not take a life when safe and just alternatives are available.&nbsp; To learn how to get involved in the campaign in Washington state, see <a href="http://www.sjawa.org/" rel="nofollow">sjawa.org</a>.<br /> The full opinion can be found <a href="http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/index.cfm?fa=opinions.showOpinion&amp;filename=836060MAJ" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">here</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/after-18-years-death-sentence-and-murder-conviction-overturned#comments Criminal Justice Death Penalty Replacing the Death Penalty Fri, 11 May 2012 19:31:29 +0000 talner 2324 at https://aclu-wa.org Eye-in-the- Sky Drones: Will Seattle Set Satisfactory Safeguards? https://aclu-wa.org/blog/eye-sky-drones-will-seattle-set-satisfactory-safeguards <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A week ago, on a Friday afternoon, a reporter called us with news that the Seattle Police Department (SPD) had received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to employ two unmanned aerial drones it had purchased. City officials declined to comment. Did the ACLU have anything to say? You bet! Police drones may have valuable uses, but they also provide an unprecedented ability for the government to engage in surveillance of the activities of law-abiding people. We called for the mayor and city council to develop clear and transparent policies to safeguard privacy and free speech rights, and for public dialogue about the use of police drones over Seattle’s skies. The dialogue quickly began. “Eye-in-sky SPD drones stir privacy concerns” proclaimed the top front-page article in the next morning’s Seattle Times. Garnering 337 online responses, it became the paper’s most commented upon story of the weekend. And the local Fox TV affiliate cited the national ACLU’s report, “Protecting Privacy from Aerial Surveillance,” and its warning that our nation’s current privacy laws are not strong enough to ensure that the new technology will be used responsibly and consistently with democratic values. A contrite assistant police chief appeared before the Seattle City Council this week to assure city leaders and the public that the drones would not be deployed until written policies for their use are in place. He promised that police would work with the ACLU and others in the community to draft them. We believe the elected city officials, not just the police department, need to take the lead in safeguarding our privacy. The ACLU is calling for the city to specify what kind of information can be collected, who can collect it, how the information can be used, and how long it can be kept. And we want an auditing process to make sure the policies are followed. After revelations of widespread police abuses, Seattle in 1979 became the nation’s first city to enact a strong law curbing police spying on lawful free speech activities. Our Police Investigations Ordinance prohibits law enforcement from maintaining files on the political activities of individuals and groups without suspicion of criminal activity. Now the ACLU-WA is pressing the city’s officials to show similar leadership – by acting to ensure that police drones are not used to engage in intrusive surveillance expeditions that do not respect the privacy of Americans.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/eye-sky-drones-will-seattle-set-satisfactory-safeguards#comments Free Speech Government Surveillance Privacy Police Practices Fri, 04 May 2012 17:11:08 +0000 ktaylor 2315 at https://aclu-wa.org Colleges Withdraw Proposals to Limit Free Speech on Campus https://aclu-wa.org/blog/colleges-withdraw-proposals-limit-free-speech-campus <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A version of this article appeared on <a href="http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2012/04/12/colleges-withdraw-proposals-to-limit-free-speech-on-campus" target="_blank">the Stranger Slog</a>.</p> <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> 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<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading" ></w> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" DefUnhideWhenUsed="true" DefSemiHidden="true" DefQFormat="false" DefPriority="99" LatentStyleCount="267"> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="0" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Normal" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="heading 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 7" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 8" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 9" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 7" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 8" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 9" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="35" QFormat="true" Name="caption" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="10" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Title" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" Name="Default Paragraph Font" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="11" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtitle" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="22" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Strong" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="20" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="59" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Table Grid" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Placeholder Text" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="No Spacing" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Revision" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="34" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="List Paragraph" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="29" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Quote" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="30" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Quote" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" 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{mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} --><!--[if gte mso 10]> <mce:style><! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} --><!--[endif] --><!--[endif] --></p> <p class="MsoNormal">It makes sense that the Bill of Rights begins with the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of <strong>speech and assembly</strong>. The ability to freely express thoughts and ideas is essential to maintaining a vibrant democracy. Our Washington State Constitution recognizes this, too, and likewise provides strong protection for freedom of expression.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">So it was no big surprise that Seattle Community College officials this week announced they were <a href="http://www.seattlecolleges.edu/DISTRICT/newsroom/publichearing.aspx" target="_blank">withdrawing proposals</a> for controversial regulations that restrict freedom of speech on campus. The ideas for changes came in the <strong>wake of Occupy Seattle activities</strong> at Seattle Central’s campus. Whatever the intention, the proposals didn’t live up to constitutional standards in several ways. 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SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="59" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Table Grid" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Placeholder Text" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="No Spacing" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Revision" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="34" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="List Paragraph" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="29" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Quote" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="30" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Quote" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading" ></w> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" DefUnhideWhenUsed="true" DefSemiHidden="true" DefQFormat="false" DefPriority="99" LatentStyleCount="267"> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="0" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Normal" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="heading 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 7" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 8" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 9" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 7" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 8" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 9" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="35" QFormat="true" Name="caption" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="10" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Title" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" Name="Default Paragraph Font" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="11" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtitle" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="22" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Strong" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="20" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="59" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Table Grid" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Placeholder Text" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="No Spacing" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful 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SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Quote" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="30" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Quote" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" 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mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} --><!--[if gte mso 10]> <mce:style><! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} --><!--[endif] --><!--[endif] --></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The Seattle Community Colleges Board of Trustees is considering greatly scaled-back regulations—having removed the proposals that the ACLU dinged as violating free-speech rights—at a 4:00 p.m. meeting today. We hope these controversial proposals are indeed dead.<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; color: #1f497d;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">To get a sense of why college authorities beat a <strong>hasty and welcome retreat</strong>—and as a lesson for the future in the pitfalls of trying to limit protest on a public college campus—here’s what the ACLU thought about the proposals:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Prior Restraint</strong>: The proposal required all “noncollege groups” to provide notice to the campus public safety department 24 hours prior to engaging in lawful protest activities. This is a classic example of what’s known as a “prior restraint” – that is, when you have to notify a government entity before you can engage in free speech activities. The courts have long held that such a restriction violates the state constitution – i.e., legally it’s a no-no. The requirement is even less tenable in an era when Facebook, Twitter, and texting allow people to mobilize protests very rapidly in response to the latest developments on an issue.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Time, Place, and Manner Restrictions</strong>: Government entities, like a community college system, can impose time, place, and manner restrictions on free speech, but in limited circumstances – among other things, the restrictions must be “narrowly tailored” to serve a compelling government interest. One proposal demanded that no individual carry more than one sign, no matter the size. This is what pundits like to call a “head scratcher” – something that so defies logical explanation as to reduce one to scratching one’s head in bewilderment. Judges would likely be very hard-pressed to understand what compelling government interest it serves.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Another proposal limited the amount of time an individual may engage in free speech activity on campus to eight hours for students, five hours for non-students. Arbitrarily limiting the time of free speech is not a narrowly tailored restriction. Still another proposed restriction limited non-student access to campus for free speech activities to a relatively small area of campus. Though such “speech zones” are popular with authorities, ease of administration is not a sufficient reason to justify limiting where people can express themselves.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Banning Material with Protected Speech</strong>: The administration proposed to ban the distribution of all material that advocates unlawful conduct. But the First Amendment bars the government from forbidding such advocacy unless it is meant to incite imminent lawless action and is likely to produce such action. A restriction like this would, for example, prevent an activist like Martin Luther King, Jr. from distributing flyers urging a peaceful sit-in at the college.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Overly Vague Regulation. A proposed rule allowed administrators to eject from campus a person who engages in a free speech activity that “disrupts the orderly functioning of the college.” Fair enough, one might think. But the regulation did not define what “orderly functioning” means, nor does it set any criteria for what activity rises to the level of a “disruption.” So in practice, it granted broad discretion to administrators to make the call. Courts typically strike down such rules for being impermissibly vague.</p> </blockquote> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/colleges-withdraw-proposals-limit-free-speech-campus#comments Free Speech Thu, 12 Apr 2012 23:18:04 +0000 honig 2296 at https://aclu-wa.org Warrantless Searches: Once again, Washington Supreme Court Protects Privacy https://aclu-wa.org/blog/warrantless-searches-once-again-washington-supreme-court-protects-privacy <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG ></o> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG ></o> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves ></w> <w:TrackFormatting ></w> <w:PunctuationKerning ></w> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas ></w> 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UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading" ></w> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" DefUnhideWhenUsed="true" DefSemiHidden="true" DefQFormat="false" DefPriority="99" LatentStyleCount="267"> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="0" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Normal" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="heading 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 7" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 8" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 9" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 5" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 6" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 7" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 8" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 9" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="35" QFormat="true" Name="caption" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="10" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Title" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" Name="Default Paragraph Font" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="11" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtitle" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="22" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Strong" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="20" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="59" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Table Grid" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Placeholder Text" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="No Spacing" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Revision" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="34" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="List Paragraph" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="29" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Quote" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="30" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Quote" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 1" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 2" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 3" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 4" ></w> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" 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Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} --><p>&nbsp;</p> <!--[endif] --><!--[endif] --><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal;"><span style="color: black;">Last Thursday, the Washington Supreme Court </span><span style="color: #1f497d;"><a href="http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/index.cfm?fa=opinions.showOpinion&amp;filename=842230MAJ"><span style="color: blue;">decided</span></a> </span><span style="color: black;">a case (<em>State v. Snapp/Wright</em>) involving the warrantless search of a couple of cars after the drivers had been arrested and secured in patrol cars. Both drivers had been arrested for drug offenses, and the police claimed there was reason to believe drugs would be found in the cars (although, in fact, no drugs were found in one case). Searches like that are allowed under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, due to an exception </span><span style="color: #1f497d;"><a href="http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/08pdf/07-542.pdf"><span style="color: blue;">created</span></a> </span><span style="color: black;">by the U.S. Supreme Court a couple of years ago (in the<em> Gantt</em> case). </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal;"><span style="color: black;">The question facing the Washington Supreme Court was whether those searches violated Article 1, Section 7 of </span><span style="color: #1f497d;"><a href="http://www.leg.wa.gov/LawsAndAgencyRules/Pages/constitution.aspx"><span style="color: blue;">our state constitution</span></a></span><span style="color: black;">, whose privacy protection is stronger than the Fourth Amendment. &nbsp;By a vote of 8-1, the Court agreed with the ACLU-WA that these searches violated the state constitution.</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; color: black;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal;"><span style="color: black;">We had submitted a </span><span style="color: #1f497d;"><a href="http://www.courts.wa.gov/content/Briefs/A08/842230%20ACLU%20amicus.pdf"><span style="color: blue;">friend</span><span style="color: #1f497d;">-</span><span style="color: blue;">of</span><span style="color: #1f497d;">-</span><span style="color: blue;">the</span><span style="color: #1f497d;">-</span><span style="color: blue;">court brief</span></a> </span><span style="color: black;">emphasizing the importance of a warrant issued by a neutral magistrate to effectively protect privacy. Without a magistrate’s intervention prior to the intrusive search, there is no effective check on overzealous police officers, since there is no practical remedy for an unlawful search after the fact. </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; color: black;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal;"><span style="color: black;">In addition, allowing a warrantless search based on a “reasonable belief” creates the wrong incentives for police, encouraging improper searches of innocent people. After all, if there truly is reason to believe there is evidence of a crime in the vehicle, it is easy enough for the officer to secure the vehicle and obtain a warrant. It’s only in cases where a warrant would be difficult to obtain—cases where there is nothing more than a hunch at play—that this exception comes into play. It encourages officers to go ahead and search, and then try to come up with justification after the fact (and after evidence/contraband is found) as to why there was reason to believe it would be found. Of course, that is likely to result in many searches of innocent people which turn up nothing. Only the certainty of inadmissibility will prevent such abuses.</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; color: black;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal;"><span style="color: black;">Especially pleasing is the language the Court used. It emphasized the difference between our state constitution and the Fourth Amendment. Under the latter, the most important question is the “reasonableness” of a search, and we have seen too often over the years how courts can decide after the fact that a search was reasonable. </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; color: black;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal;"><span style="color: black;">In contrast, under our Article 1, Section 7, the key question is whether or not a search is supported by “authority of law”—either a warrant, or a “narrowly applied” exception to the warrant requirement. Here, there is an historical exception to the warrant requirement, allowing searches incident to the arrest of a person. But the exception exists only for the narrow purposes of ensuring that an arrestee can’t grab a weapon or destroy evidence. As the Court recognized, those purposes no longer exist once an arrestee is handcuffed and placed in a patrol car. The Court refused to bend the line: “The authority of law to search under article I, section 7 is not simply a matter of pragmatism and convenience.”</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; color: black;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal;"><span style="color: black;">Once again, I’m proud to live in a state with such strong privacy protection in its constitution—and with a state Supreme Court that repeatedly embraces that protection, rather than looking for ways around it.</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; color: black;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/warrantless-searches-once-again-washington-supreme-court-protects-privacy#comments Criminal Justice Privacy Police Practices Searches Tue, 10 Apr 2012 20:37:59 +0000 dklunder 2295 at https://aclu-wa.org US Supreme Court Strips Away Rights, but Washington Law Covers Privacy https://aclu-wa.org/blog/us-supreme-court-strips-away-rights-washington-law-covers-privacy <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Monday mornings can be difficult for all of us, but this week an extra distressing piece of news arrived at the week’s start.&nbsp; It was the United States Supreme Court’s ruling grossly expanding the circumstances in which a person can be strip-searched.&nbsp; It’s a reminder of one reason I’m glad that I live in Washington state.</p> <p>The case is called <em><a href="http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-945.pdf">Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington</a></em><em>, a</em>nd I do mean the ruling was “gross.”&nbsp; The man who was strip-searched, Albert Florence, had been convicted of two minor unspecified offenses in 1998 and sentenced to pay a fine in monthly installments.&nbsp; In 2003 he fell behind on his payments and failed to appear at an enforcement hearing, so a bench warrant for his arrest was issued.&nbsp; He paid the full outstanding balance on his fine less than a week later.&nbsp; Case closed, you would think.&nbsp;</p> <p>But then things got worse.&nbsp; A lot worse.</p> <p>“For some unexplained reason,” (the Court’s own words), the warrant remained in the statewide computer database used by police to determine who should be arrested, even though the fine had been fully paid.&nbsp; Also unexplained by the Court is what basis the police had for stopping Mr. Florence while he was driving two years later.&nbsp; But because the warrant showed up in the database despite his having paid the fine, Mr. Florence was hauled off to jail (actually two different jails; six days in one and two in another).&nbsp; Here is what was done to him there:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Jail procedures required every arrestee to shower with a delousing agent. Officers would check arrestees for scars, marks, gang tattoos, and contraband as they disrobed. Petitioner claims he was also instructed to open his mouth, lift his tongue, hold out his arms, turn around, and lift his genitals. …</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">When petitioner was transferred [to the second jail], all arriving detainees passed through a metal detector and waited in a group holding cell for a more thorough search. When they left the holding cell, they were instructed to remove their clothing while an officer looked for body markings, wounds, and contraband. Apparently without touching the detainees, an officer looked at their ears, nose, mouth, hair, scalp, fingers, hands, arms, armpits, and other body openings.&nbsp; This policy applied regardless of the circumstances of the arrest, the suspected offense, or the detainee’s behavior, demeanor, or criminal history. Petitioner alleges he was required to lift his genitals, turn around, and cough in a squatting position as part of the process. After a mandatory shower, during which his clothes were inspected, petitioner was admitted to the facility. He was released the next day, when the charges against him were dismissed.</p> <p>Mr. Florence was understandably upset about the humiliating invasion of privacy the strip searches subjected him to.&nbsp; Even one of the Justices who voted to approve the strip search agrees:&nbsp; “Undergoing such an inspection is undoubtedly humiliating and deeply offensive to many.”&nbsp;&nbsp; A more accurate description is found in the dissent:&nbsp; “[P]ractices similar to those at issue here are ‘demeaning, dehumanizing, undignified, humiliating, terrifying, unpleasant, embarrassing, [and] repulsive, signifying degradation and submission.’”&nbsp;</p> <p>And remember, Mr. Florence had already paid the fine and it was the government that inexplicably failed to correct its records regarding the warrant.&nbsp; But it was all perfectly lawful, the Supreme Court majority said.&nbsp; Jails have “a responsibility to ensure that jails are not made less secure by reason of what new detainees may carry in on their bodies,” regardless of how little justification there was for Mr. Florence being in jail in the first place.&nbsp; As the ACLU’s national Legal Director pointed out, the ruling “jeopardizes the privacy rights of millions of people.” &nbsp;(<a href="http://www.aclu.org/criminal-law-reform/aclu-says-supreme-court-decision-upholding-strip-searches-puts-privacy-rights">http://www.aclu.org/criminal-law-reform/aclu-says-supreme-court-decision-upholding-strip-searches-puts-privacy-rights</a> )</p> <p>Fortunately, Washingtonians value their privacy more.&nbsp; We prohibit strip searches of minor offenders booked into jail.&nbsp;</p> <p>Our state law was passed in 1986 after ACLU-WA led the effort to get a bill restricting strip searches at jails. It’s RCW 10.79.130(1). We knew just how awful widespread strip searches could be from having litigated three cases in the early 1980s, in which women booked into jail after arrests for minor charges were strip-searched.&nbsp; We leveraged the publicity resulting from successful settlements to help gain passage of a statewide prohibition on strip searches of pretrial detainees unless there is reasonable suspicion the person is hiding weapons or contraband, or probable cause to believe they are hiding evidence.&nbsp;&nbsp; The statute isn't perfect;&nbsp; it doesn't apply to arrests for drug offenses, but it does protect most minor offenders – including protestors arrested for civil disobedience.</p> <p>Washington also has one of the strongest protections of personal privacy in the country in our state constitution, and the ACLU-WA regularly files friend of the court briefs defending the strength of that protection.&nbsp;</p> <p>We'll have to work carefully to maintain the law protecting our privacy from unwarranted strip searches.&nbsp; But we can take pride in the fact that our statute, along with those in several other states, was cited by the four dissenting justices as evidence that reasonable limitations on strip searches do not, in fact, threaten jail security.</p> </div> </div> </div> https://aclu-wa.org/blog/us-supreme-court-strips-away-rights-washington-law-covers-privacy#comments Criminal Justice Privacy Police Practices Searches Fri, 06 Apr 2012 22:14:37 +0000 talner 2292 at https://aclu-wa.org Secure Communities Program Makes Communities Less Secure https://aclu-wa.org/blog/secure-communities-program-makes-communities-less-secure <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Earlier today, the ACLU&nbsp;of Washington&nbsp;joined a number of allies in the immigrant rights community, including El Comite Pro-Reforma Migratoria and CASA Latina,&nbsp;at a press conference in opposition to the ever-expanding Secure Communities (S Comm) program.&nbsp; The press conference was a response to the federal government's move last week,&nbsp;with very little fanfare or publicity, to activate&nbsp;the program&nbsp;for all counties in Washington.<br /> Here's why that's bad news for every community in Washington.&nbsp; While S Comm&nbsp;is supposedly about protecting community safety, what it really does is the opposite&nbsp;–&nbsp;increase local communities' distrust of law enforcement, encourage racial profiling, and undermine basic due process protections.&nbsp; The program operates by running every single person arrested in Washington through an incomplete and error-ridden&nbsp;federal database&nbsp;–&nbsp;resulting in some people being flagged, detained, and turned over to the feds even if they committed no crime.&nbsp; Even worse, the feds are&nbsp;now forcing the program&nbsp;on all Washington counties with no public process, and after&nbsp;a period of years&nbsp;during which local governments had been assured that they didn't have to opt i