Today, the Washington Post published an article title Ex-Cons But Still Barred, looking at the city of Chicago’s reconsideration of restrictions on people with criminal records living in public housing.  


It’s been nearly a year since Edward Snowden first began revealing just how abusive the government’s surveillance programs really are. Back then, Snowden was asked what his greatest fear was. While acknowledging obvious concerns for his own safety, he ultimately gave a much nobler answer: that “nothing will change.”


I meet with Ruth Lockhart at Bard Coffee to discuss her work in partnership with the ACLU of Maine, and to attempt to (impossibly) capture her lifelong commitment to reproductive rights in a single blog post.

Each Friday, we’ll bring you updates on the latest civil liberties news from Maine and the nation.

Prayer Allowed at New York Town’s Public Meetings

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Greece, N.Y., a town that begins its public board meetings with a prayer. The majority concluded that prayers that open town meetings do not violate the Constitution.


On Monday, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rep. Nita Lowey (NY-17) reintroduced the Peace Corps Equity Act in the Senate and the House. The late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) originally introduced the bill in April 2013.

Each Friday, we’ll bring you updates on the latest civil liberties news from Maine and the nation.

Wisconsin Throws Out Voter ID Law

Victory! On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman struck down Wisconsin's voter ID law, stating that it was discriminatory toward poor and minority voters. The law, which was passed in 2011, required voters without ID to overcome large obstacles to obtain a photo ID to be able to vote.


The ACLU of Maine was honored to present its annual Justice Louis Scolnik Award to Jack Simmons of Falmouth at a dinner in Freeport on May 1.


Until recently, when you Googled “abortion clinics,” there was a high likelihood that ads for so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) would appear among the search results. According to research conducted by NARAL Pro-Choice America, ads for CPCs appeared 79% of the time when using Google to find abortion clinics. CPCs use lies and manipulation to discourage individuals from seeking an abortion. Contrary to what their ads imply, CPCs do not offer abortion services and counseling. When you call the center, you may be told that abortion is physically and psychologically damaging.


Last week, the Department of Justice announced it will be expanding the criteria used to decide which drug offenders are eligible for presidential clemency. This is likely to affect thousands of federal inmates currently incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses. 

In a video posted on the DOJ’s website on Monday, U.S Attorney General Eric Holder said: 


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