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Liberty Link: Como se dice “bullshit”?

Check out the fresh-on-the-newsstand print version of the Seattle Weekly for the article about the mayor of Mt. Vernon’s anti-Spanish bias – but with the more pungent headline “Como se dice ‘bullshit’?” 

And props to the Skagit Valley Herald – a great exemplar of local journalism – for breaking the story and following up on its reverberations in the community. Read More »


State Supreme Court: Disabled Students Don’t Have to Wait Years to Seek Justice

The Washington Supreme Court issued a great and unanimous ruling for disabled students this Thursday in a case (Dowler v. Clover Park School District)  in which the ACLU-WA submitted a friend-of-the-court brief.  The facts in the case were horrendous, and the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was being used to stop the students from getting relief.  Read More »

Want to Stop Outdoor Grow Operations? Change Our Marijuana Laws

The Seattle Times cover story on marijuana grow operations on Native American land highlights the fact that lots of marijuana is being grown outdoors in Washington -- as this blog has pointed out previously. The problem of large outdoor marijuana grows is a prime example of why we should be taking a new approach to marijuana policy in our state. Read More »

Software developers can put privacy first

Too often, user privacy is an afterthought in the design of computer software and online services.  For companies, the costs in lost consumer confidence, fines, and corrective measures can be substantial. Everyday users pay a price as well, and for victims of domestic violence, political protesters, whistleblowers, and others whose safety and livelihood could hinge on their privacy, those costs can be devastating. Read More »

A "Millennial" Interns at the ACLU

As a college student, I could have spent my last summer before graduation doing any assortment of activities. I could have embraced living in Seattle by getting a job in a hip coffee shop. I could have traveled, trying to see the world before I get a job that requires me to stay in one place. Or I could have taken a full load of classes, trying to get ahead on credits so that I could add an extra major or try classes for which I wouldn’t normally have time. Read More »

Who Are You? What Is ACLU?

Often, we take for granted our abilities to attend protests, to speak our opinions, to remain silent under arrest, and more – rights that are not guaranteed in many places.  As a communications intern, I got a vivid reminder of this when I recently helped staff an ACLU of Washington table at Hispanic Seafair. Read More »

Border Patrol: Bored at the Border?

On the heels of Seattle Weekly reporter Nina Shapiro’s in-depth examination of the Border Patrol’s aggressive tactics on the Olympic Peninsula (“Twilight for Immigrants”) comes a revelation that sheds light on the troubling situation. In a follow-up story, Shapiro reports about a Border Patrol whistleblower who has come forward to assert that BP agents don’t have meaningful work to do far from our northern border.  Read More »

Liberty Link: A Lesson in Open Government

 Compliance with the state’s public disclosure law is important to ensuring that government is open and accountable. King County just got a strong reminder of this and is paying a $125,000 settlement to a couple who alleged that officials wrongfully withheld public records. The Seattle Times tells the story behind the settlement.   Read More »

Title IX and Lessons for Life

From her career as an athlete came some important lessons: “Don’t fear a challenge, welcome it.” “The game ain’t over till it’s over – there are many quarters, many innings, and you have to play every one hard.” “You’ll never know the true joy of victory unless you have known defeat. Be humble in both.”

Maj. Margaret Witt found these maxims from the world of sports stood her in good stead during her years of service in the military – and during her long legal battle with the government over her dismissal from the military under the now-repealed “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.   Read More »