Edward's blog


The campaign for marriage equality is officially off and running as Mainers United for Marriage.  There's a ton of work to done between now and November 6th but you can start by going to www.mainersunited.org and making a vow to advocate for marriage equality. 

As Jon Gaither wrote about in his blog yesterday, the ACLU is celebrating “40 Years of Title IX” this week with a blog series that will explore the importance of this groundbreaking statute on the American education system, while at the same time underscoring just how far we still have left to go.

This is today's entry from Tiseme Zegeye of the ACLU Women's Rights Project:
If you are not concerned about Women's Rights, then you are not paying attention.

We were relieved in January when the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted unanimously against LD 1095, a bill designed to facilitate the creation and use of private prisons in Maine.  Of course, as we like to say, no civil liberties victory ever stays won.  Last month, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) sent letters to Governors across America offering to buy up their prisons as a remedy for "challenging corrections budgets." 

Reading about drones, lately?  It might not be long before we are actually seeing them.

Kathleen Maxian has advanced-stage ovarian cancer that could have been prevented. When Myriad Genetics patented the two genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer they put Kathleen and thousands like her at risk.

A U.S. Court of Appeals has granted companies the right to patent genes, but the Supreme Court is now reviewing a petition to hear the case submitted by the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation on behalf of plaintiffs.

Today's Bangor Daily News features an article on the first Maine inmate to come back from an out-of-state prison since a new policy was put in place last May.

Maine Department of Corrections Commissioner Joseph Ponte deserves credit for following through on his promise to establish clear guidelines for when a prisoner can be moved out of state and criteria on which they can return.

According to the Bangor Daily News:
This morning Laura Murphy, Director of our Washington Legislative Office appeared on NBC’s Today to discuss the recent controversy surrounding the Obama administration’s announcement that it would keep in place a proposed rule that ensures that new insurance plans include coverage of contraception.

Yesterday, the Transportation Security Agency held its official unveiling of three new full-body scanners at the Portland International Jetport.  These are, of course, the same scanners that notoriously produced "nude" images of passengers and the corresponding heavy handed TSA policy of patting down anyone who refused to go through the machine.

In Sunday's Washington Post, Jonathan Turley highlights ten sobering reasons why the United States is not the "land of the free".

Turley cites the following expanded powers that have dangerously eroded individual rights and liberties post 9/11:
  1. Assassination of U.S. Citizens
  2. Indefinite Detention
  3. Arbitrary Justice
  4. Warrantless Searches
  5. Secret Evidence


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