Nine years ago, Congress passed a law establishing September 17th as “Constitution Day” and requiring all schools that receive federal funding to observe the new holiday by providing educational programming on that day about the history of the U.S. Constitution.
In response to a letter we sent to the Town of Fairfield earlier this week, Fairfield's Town Council voted last night to temporarily suspend enforcement of the town's social media policy. The policy, adopted by the town over the summer, sought to govern town employee use of social media and the internet in order to protect the town's reputation and relationships. But in fact, the policy as written went much further - impremissibly restricting the free speech rights of town personnel.
A recent Portland Press Herald article featured the story of Thomas Schoolcraft, a New Hampshire man whose request for pardon of his felony conviction was denied last Wednesday by New Hampshire’s Executive Council.
After last year’s flop in the AFC Championship game, yesterday was the first step in redemption for the New England Patriots. Like many Mainers, I was excited to watch our new team kick off their season – and I was even more excited that they (barely) pulled out the win against Buffalo. But with all that’s gone on this offseason for the Pats, it was hard not to think back on differences between this year’s team and last – and no, I’m not talking about Wes Welker leaving for Denver.
Today is the first day in a long while that I stepped out of my door this morning and felt cold. The air felt brisk and wet, the leaves are not far from morphing into their splendid crimson autumn phases and then falling from the branches and I half expected my breath to issue from my mouth in a cloud of white. Fall is fast approaching, signalling the beginning of my last year of high school and the end of my time here at the ACLU. This summer has flown by and my time at the ACLU has been short but sweet.
Last Thursday U.S Attorney General Eric Holder made the much awaited announcement that the Department of Justice would allow laws legalizing the use of marijuana for adults in Colorado and Washington to go into effect. Though contingent on the states’ abilities to “implement strong and effective and regulatory enforcement systems,” this directive marks a significant shift in federal thinking on marijuana policy reform.
Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
It was a day of celebration, but also a day of reflection. It was time for us to as a nation reflect on Dr. King’s message, the goals of the civil rights movement and what, half a century after Dr. King’s speech, are the new challenges to racial equality in America.
It used to be just LGB (Lesbian Gay Bisexual). Now the official acronym is LGBTQIA, a veritable alphabet soup of different ways to identify oneself by gender or by sexual orientation. I must admit I had to look up what some of those letters represented, notably the 'QIA' part, and according to my research this rainbow of letters (the new ROY G BIV if you will) stands for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning/Queer Intersex and Asexual. Each term is simultaneously a separate category with specific criteria or no category at all.
Last night I had dinner with friends of mine -- a biracial couple with two beautiful biracial children. We started discussing racism in Maine and across the country. We agreed that in fifty years since the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, we've made tremendous progress toward the goals of racial equality and justice. The presidency of Barack Obama sends a powerful message to every black child that someday he could be President too. At the same time, the death of Trayvon Martin sends an equally powerful message to mothers and fathers of black children that their sons c