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A Broken System -- In More Ways than One

This week the ACLU and Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a joint report on people with mental disabilities in the US immigration system. Highlighting another tragic failing of our nation’s system for dealing with immigration, the report found that “people with mental disabilities, including US citizens and others with claims to remain in the US, receive unfair hearings and are at risk of erroneous deportation in the absence of courtroom safeguards.”

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Bring It On, Part II: Girls Sports in Washington Get a Big Boost from a Court in Connecticut

Under federal Title IX and state law, girls and boys in Washington state are supposed to have equal opportunities to participate in high school sports All too often, however, boys’ opportunities far exceed girls’ because schools offer more boys sports, more squads within a sport, or bigger team rosters.

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Civil Liberties Snapshot: Photographers’ Rights Ignored

feature story in the Washington Post this week highlighted what has become a nationwide problem since 9/11: police and security officers interfering with the rights of people to take photographs. As the Post put it, “Almost nine years after the terrorist attacks, which ratcheted up security at government properties and transportation hubs, anyone photographing federal buildings, bridges, trains or airports runs the risk of being seen as a potential terrorist.”

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O’Reilly: Out of the Closet about DADT

This morning, a co-worker sent around an amazing video clip from last night. Not being a late-night television watcher, I missed the earth-shaking revelation that it shows.

Bill O’Reilly (an avowed believer that the ACLU is terrorist organization) and the ACLU agreed on something!

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California ACLU Affiliates Back Move Toward Rational Marijuana Policy

Last week the California affiliates of the ACLU (Northern, Southern, and San Diego) endorsed Proposition 19, a cannabis reform initiative that will be on the ballot in November. Kudos to our ACLU peers in California. Prop 19 represents an important step forward in the development of rational marijuana policy. Read More »

Bring It On: Court Issues Ground-Breaking Ruling on Girls’ Athletics

This week a federal court in Connecticut issued a ground-breaking decision in a Title IX athletics case brought by the ACLU against Quinnipiac University.  Title IX is the landmark legislation passed in 1972 which prohibits educational institutions from discriminating against students based on sex.  Title IX applies to all aspects of educational programming, including extracurricular athletic programs. Read More »

The Utah Listgate Scandal: A Lesson In the Need for Real Data Privacy

Outrage erupted in Utah last week after an anonymous group delivered a detailed list of 1300 alleged undocumented immigrants to media outlets and law enforcement, with a demand that these individuals “be deported immediately.“ The immigration hit list contained birth dates, workplaces, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, names of children and the exact due dates for several pregnant women. All of the names appeared to be Hispanic. Read More »

"Top Secret America" Sheds Light on the Intelligence-Industrial Complex

This week, the Seattle Times is running a Washington Post expose on the vast American intelligence bureaucracy. Called Top Secret America, the series delves deep into the underbelly of the intelligence world and exposes a runaway freight train that costs a pretty penny and does little to keep us safe. Of particular significance to ACLU-ers, the series documents official frustration with data overload, notes the high cost and low efficacy of the expanding network of programs and agencies, and highlights concerns with the increasing role of private intelligence contractors. Those familiar with our work on surveillance and privacy will recognize these issues as common refrains. Read More »

Celebrating Culture, Ethnicity, and Civil Liberties in Pierce County!

On Saturday, July 24 and Sunday, July 25 from Noon–7:00 pm, the ACLU of Washington will be enjoying performance and visual arts, crafts, dances, foods and information from around the globe.

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Spokane Police Ombudsman – More Power to You!

People rarely think about police accountability until their city is faced with a disturbing and well-publicized incident of police misconduct.  In Spokane that incident was the 2006 death of a mentally disabled man during an arrest.  Community outrage came immediately, but it took two years of public debate and discussion for the City Council and Mayor to enact an ordinance creating the Office of Police Ombudsman.  A little over a year ago, the City of Spokane took the next major step toward advancing police accountability by hiring its first Police Ombudsman.    

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