On Wednesday night at Bowdoin College (my alma mater), I'm going to give a talk on the first nine years of the Roberts Court. The focus will be on four areas of law - free speech, racial justice, privacy and criminal law - that are connected to my work as an ACLU lawyer who litigates questions of civil rights and civil liberties.
Does this biology textbook’s page on contraceptives seem inappropriate? According to a school district in Arizona, some of the content on the page is so inappropriate, it needs to be removed. Last week, officials on the Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board voted 3-2 to redact content from a textbook used in the district’s honors biology classes. Alliance Defending Freedom, a Scottsdale-based conservative Christian legal and advocacy group, brought the offending content to the board’s attention.
Tuesday is Election Day and with it comes the opportunity to exercise one of our most cherished constitutional rights. Whether you're a first-time voter, looking to brush up, or hoping to provide information to friends and family members who are getting ready to vote tomorrow, you'll want to check out the ACLU of Maine's handy guide to your rights at the polls.
The following statement can be attributed to Alison Beyea, executive director of the ACLU of Maine:
"Kaci Hickox is a trained medical professional complying with medical guidelines, including those laid out in the New England Journal of Medicine. She shows no symptoms and is carefully monitoring her health. She poses neither a clear nor imminent threat to public safety. While there are situations where protecting public health would justify limits on civil liberties, this isn't one of them.
The journal Women and Health just published a special issue on abortion stigma research. Abortion stigma has been under reasearched in the academic world. This issue, Bringing Abortion Stigma Into Focus, is groundbreaking. The stigma associated with abortion is based on a belief that abortion is socially or morally wrong. Culturally, the stigma manifests as silence and shame.
Yesterday we held one of our three annual student conferences. One of the workshop sessions we offered was titled “Privacy and New Technology: Can the Government Track Your Phone?” The lesson is structured around a mock legislative hearing with students acting as lawmakers and debating a bill requiring police to obtain a warrant before obtaining information from a cellphone.
Last week, the public radio show “This American Life” dedicated an entire show to the connection between school discipline policies and involvement in our criminal justice system, a phenomenon known as the school-to-prison-pipeline.
This election season, three states are going to see anti-abortion amendments on their ballots. Voters in Colorado and North Dakota will be voting on personhood measures. Voters in Tennessee will be voting on an amendment that will make it easier for the legislature to pass anti-abortion bills.