Skip Navigation


Protect the Privacy of Your DNA

In America, our Constitution guarantees the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Many people who are arrested are never charged, let alone convicted. But proposed legislation would expand mandatory DNA collection and permanent storage to include people who are merely arrested.

DNA is a person's most private information. Collecting DNA from the innocent will do nothing to make us safer. Tell your legislators that you oppose this expansion of government power. Read More »


Rep. Dickerson Introduces Bill to Regulate and Tax Marijuana

State Representative Mary Lou Dickerson has introduced legislation that would regulate and tax marijuana for adults twenty-one and older. HB 1550 directs the Washington State Liquor Control Board to regulate marijuana production and sales. Read More »

Why We Need an Internet "Do Not Track" List

Imagine this scenario.  You walk up to a fast food counter for lunch and, before you say anything, the cashier asks if you'd like to order the same thing you ordered the last three times you visited.  The cashier then asks if you'd like to try a new dessert item, because she knows how much you like a similar item at a different restaurant.  While you are eating, you receive a phone call from a local gym suggesting you might be interested in a free personal trainer workout based on all the fast food you eat.  Then, just before you leave, your phone notifies you that you have received a new email offering a free cholesterol and heart disease screening from a clinic that is "concerned" about your fast food eating habits.    If this sounds creepy, it should.  But this sort of data sharing and behavioral marketing is taking place right under your nose every time you browse the web.  As explained on the National ACLU blog of rights, protecting your online privacy is exactly why we need a "Do Not Track" list for the internet.    Read More »

State Supreme Court Hears Appeal of Fired Medical Cannabis Patient

Last week the Washington Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Roe v. TeleTech. Roe was fired from her job as a customer service consultant, solely because of her lawful use of cannabis for medical purposes. Read More »

Don't Let Pregnancy Centers Deceive Women

There are 46 pregnancy centers in Washington State providing misleading information about the services they offer. Women facing unexpected pregnancies have entered these "clinics" expecting to receive medical care and information about all of their options. Instead they find that the their client privacy is not protected, their test results and pregnancy records are withheld, and they are denied needed referrals for reproductive health care. Proposed legislation would require all pregnancy centers to disclose what services they do and do not provide. Tell your legislators that you support the right of women to know what kind of services they can expect before they walk in the door. Read More »

Free Speech in a Free Society

Being married to a Jewish man and having spent many hours at synagogue, I have heard directly from people who are passionate and fearful about political attacks on Israel. And I recall with deep sadness the deadly attack in Seattle at Jewish Federation in 2006. 

I keep these perspectives in mind as the ACLU-WA challenges King County's refusal to honor its contract to place on Metro buses paid ads that are sharply critical of Israeli government actions toward Palestinians. Read More »


Protect Students from Discrimination

Our state's students need your support again. Last session, you helped us to pass Washington's first comprehensive law to protect students against discrimination. Now, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is considering rules that would roll back the civil rights we fought for and allow Washington School Districts to avoid legal liability for acts of discrimination. These proposed rules threaten to weaken the law and undermine existing protections. Submit your comment to Randy Dorn, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and tell him not adopt the proposed regulations. Read More »

Allowing All Students the Opportunity to Be On the Team

The benefits to students of playing high school and collegiate sports have been well-documented, from improved academic performance to better physical and emotional health.  In October 2010, the Women’s Sports Foundation and the National Center for Lesbian Rights released a ground-breaking report that provides policy recommendations for high school and college institutions on the inclusion of transgender student athletes.  On the Team: Equal Opportunities for Transgender Student-Athletes was drafted after WSF and NCLR held a national think tank in Indianapolis in October 2009, bringing together medical, legal, and athletic experts from all over the country. The report contains the think tank’s policy recommendations about how to include transgender students in sports while taking into account the competitive contexts of high school and collegiate athletics, along with medical and legal concerns.   Read More »

Improving Our Marijuana Laws Would Help Lawmakers Save Vital Public Services

The 2011 Washington state legislative session kicks off today, and budget-sensitive law makers will be presented with two opportunities not only to make our state marijuana laws work better for Washingtonians, but also to generate much-needed revenue that can save vital government services. Read More »

The Williams Inquest: Will Its Result Bring Justice?

On January 10, an inquest regarding the August 30, 2010, fatal shooting of First Nations carver John T. Williams by Seattle Police Officer Ian Birk will be held at the King County Courthouse. Reports indicate the police department’s Firearms Review Board preliminarily ruled the shooting was unjustified.

Does this mean the inquest verdict will be the same? Read More »