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Free Speech

State Supreme Court Upholds Free Speech Right to Criticize Police

In the case of a youth arrested in his house and accused of obstructing police (State v. E.J.J.), the Washington Supreme Court issued an important ruling for free speech rights this week. The Court reaffirmed that individuals have the right to criticize how police are handling a situation and that such criticism cannot be the basis of a criminal conviction for obstruction. Read More »
Juvenile Records

Supreme Court Ruling Preserves the Juvenile Justice System

More than 100 years ago, Washington lawmakers created a separate juvenile justice system because they recognized that society benefits when juvenile courts focus on both accountability and rehabilitation. Read More »
Clive Pontusson

Clive Pontusson: Working to Promote Change

The ACLU of Washington has many wonderful interns who assist with our work. We would like you to meet some of them. Read More »
Alea Carr

Alea Carr: Pursuing Her Passion for Reform

Alea Carr’s path to the ACLU-WA office in Seattle goes through Bellingham, where she majored in Political Science and Economics at Western Washington University. While in Bellingham, she worked for a public defender, a job which gave her a glimpse into the state of the U.S. prison system and the prevalence of mental health issues among inmates. Read More »
Hands behind bars

Let’s Take a Hard Look at Who Is in Jail and Why We Put Them There

In King County, the cost of keeping an inmate in jail is $192 a day, which translates into $70,000 annually. This means, the cost of holding a single individual in jail for a year greatly exceeds the $60,000 median household income of the citizens in King County who are paying to maintain the jail.   Read More »
Photo of Grace Wan

Grace Wan: Pride in Civil Liberties Online

Grace Wan is a rising junior at University of Michigan majoring in Political Science and French, and a graduate of Skyline High School in Sammamish who has long had an interest in political issues. Read More »
Police drone

Support Reasonable Regulations on Government Drones

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. Read More »
Stingray device photo

Washington Becomes a Leader in Restricting Use of Invasive Stingrays

Governor Inslee has signed into law a bill restricting the use of cell site simulator devices (popularly known as “Stingrays,” after a particular model).  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. Read More »
Eye icon

Military Internet Surveillance of Civilians Must Be Excluded From Criminal Trials

For years, with seemingly little to no oversight, the Naval Criminal Investigative Services has been monitoring vast amounts of non-military U.S. Internet traffic and communications, looking for evidence of criminal activity. Read More »
Capitol building with pickets

Pull the Plug on the Patriot Act

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.” Read More »