Updates on the latest civil liberties news from Maine and the nation:

Celebrating Maya Angelou


At last year’s Pride Parade, the ACLU of Maine crew marched through the streets of Portland with bright blue signs declaring “I’m On Team Edie!” This was our show of support for Edie Windsor, the ACLU’s client in the groundbreaking laws


This month, the ACLU is working with Planned Parenthood in Alabama and Wisconsin to reverse restrictive Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws that were passed in the two states last year. Last month, I wrote about TRAP laws being used as a tool to prevent access to safe and legal abortions.


Our partner profiles highlight the broad range of individuals and organizations we work with to advance and protect the rights of all people in Maine.

I meet with Representative Sara Gideon at Bard Coffee to discuss the success of LD1686, the bill - now law - that expands the availability of a drug called Naloxone, an “opioid antagonist” that counters the effects of opioid overdose.


To me, the term "debtors' prison" immediately conjures images of 19th century England and of something found in the pages of Charles Dickens novels. However, as a recent special segment by NPR revealed, de facto debtors' prisons – where we imprison people for failure to pay fines – are increasingly common practice throughout the United States today.


Earlier this year, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services proposed to change the eligibility guidelines for the General Assistance program to exclude many non-citizens (including asylum seekers who came to this country fleeing religious and political persecution).

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

ACLU Sues U.S. Border Patrol’s Parent Agency, Customs and Border Protection

On Thursday, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in federal court to demand Customs and Border Protection (CBP) release a report critical of use-of-force practices.


This week, the ACLU of Pennsylvania sent Pennsylvania's Attorney General a letter asking her to enforce the 2010 Healthy Birth for Incarcerated Women Act. The 2010 bill (SB 1074) bans the use of handcuffs, leg shackles, and other physical restraints on pregnant incarcerated individuals who are in the second and third trimesters of their pregnancies.


Last Saturday we marked the anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark civil rights case that ruled state-sanctioned public school segregation is unconstitutional. In a friend-of-the-court brief in that case, the ACLU and partnering organizations argued that “segregation and equality cannot co-exist.


Each year the ACLU of Maine teaches over 100 workshops to students, which gives us plenty of chances to cite both new and old decisions by the Supreme Court. Hypotheticals can be fun, but students routinely tell us that they enjoy hearing about real cases - and why wouldn’t they? Disputes that make it to the Supreme Court are often fascinating, and the big cases involving students tend to be particularly juicy and ripe for debate.


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