Consider for a moment how much you share about yourself over email, Facebook, Twitter, private blogs and the like. Many of us use these platforms to communicate far more than phones and snail-mail. Now imagine you are applying for a job, and your potential employer tells you that during application process they will be listening in on all your phone calls, reading your emails, and poking around your Facebook account - so please turn over your passwords. Only one of those things is illegal.
Freedom of religion is a fundamental right, one the ACLU will always fight for. It is protected by the constitutions of Maine and the United States. The Maine Human Rights Act explicitly protects people against discrimination based on their religion. And there are 13 individual statutes in Maine law that protect religious freedom.
Exciting news out of New York as Governor Andrew Cuomo plans this week to announce an executive action that will create a limited medical marijuana program. Nineteen of the fifty states now have medical marijuana laws on the books with nearly one- million patients nation-wide able to legally utilize marijuana to alleviate their medical symptoms.
Though he narrowly finished behind Pope Francis as a runner-up for Time’s 2013 Person of the Year, Edward Snowden no doubt had a significant impact on the world last year. The reverberations from his revelations on government spying are still being felt, and if we do indeed see progress on privacy issues in the year ahead there is no doubt that Snowden should share a considerable amount of the credit.
On Tuesday, November 26, 2013, Marlise Munoz suffered a pulmonary embolism that left her unconscious. She collapsed on the living room floor and was found by her husband Erick Munoz around 2am. When emergency vehicles transported Marlise to John Peter Smith hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, doctors found that she had sustained massive brain swelling. That was over four weeks ago. Marlise has yet to gain consciousness; her bodily functions are being sustained by life support. Erick would very much like to take his wife off of life support and allow her to die peacefully.
Two months ago, Federal Judge John Gleeson of the Eastern District of New York issued a powerful “statement of reason” in the case of the United States v. Lulzim Kupa, in which he asserted that mandatory minimum sentences in drug cases have essentially nullified our constitutional right to a trial.
This article first appeared in our Winter 2013 newsletter. We are running it here to celebrate one year since marriage equality became the law in Maine, and to celebrate the first anniversary of the first couples to get married under the new law as well as all those who have married since. Happy anniversary!