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: 

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


ACLU Releases Briefing Paper of Women in Solitary Confinement

On Thursday, the ACLU launched a briefing paper, Worse than Second-Class: Solitary Confinement of Women in the United States, that documents the repercussions of subjecting women prisoners to solitary confinement and the reforms needed to address them.


Approximately 20 million Americans, myself included, report some type of hearing problems.  As we age, this problem only grows more acute.  Hearing loss affects a staggering 29% of persons 65 and older.

As the 2014 legislative session comes to a close, I’m still holding my breath for five bills that have made their way to the governor’s desk. The governor has until next week to decide whether to sign, veto, or let the bills pass into law without signature.


The passage of Roe v. Wade in 1973 didn’t just secure women’s constitutional rights to privacy and autonomy in their reproductive health decisions, it also drastically reduced the number of women who die due to complications from illegal abortions. The estimated number of abortions performed in the US has not changed much since the passage of Roe v. Wade. Prior to Roe, it was estimated that approximately 1 million women terminated their pregnancies. In 2008, that number was 1.21 million. In 2011, that number dropped to 1.06 million.


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