Jon's blog

Jon

In just two weeks we’ll host our first Bill of Rights Student Conference of the 2013-14 school year. We’ve got more than a dozen schools coming to our conference in Portland, and nearly a dozen more for the Farmington and Belfast conferences in the subsequent weeks. We’ll be covering lots of different topics at our conferences – from free speech to equal protection to police stops – but perhaps the freshest topic of them all will be bullying.

Jon

In 1967, the Supreme Court famously ruled that “Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival.” In doing so, the Court rejected Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute as unconstitutional, thus ending all race-based restrictions on marriage across the United States. Like most landmark rulings, the story behind Loving vs. Virginia is not just about the legal issues, it’s also about the people who were affected and how they fought to get justice. On Wednesday, you can hear that amazing story.

Jon

Happy Banned Books Week! This is the 31st year that the freedom to read will be officially honored. If you visit a local bookstore this week you may well find displays of challenged books or other events dealing with censorship. Here at the ACLU of Maine, we’re also getting in on the weeklong celebration – and you can join us!

Jon

Nine years ago, Congress passed a law establishing September 17th as “Constitution Day” and requiring all schools that receive federal funding to observe the new holiday by providing educational programming on that day about the history of the U.S. Constitution.

Jon

After last year’s flop in the AFC Championship game, yesterday was the first step in redemption for the New England Patriots. Like many Mainers, I was excited to watch our new team kick off their season – and I was even more excited that they (barely) pulled out the win against Buffalo. But with all that’s gone on this offseason for the Pats, it was hard not to think back on differences between this year’s team and last – and no, I’m not talking about Wes Welker leaving for Denver.

Jon

With a new school year upon us, the ACLU of Maine is eager to begin our work educating students about the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Last year we reached 41 schools in all 16 counties, with more than 1,650 students taking part in our workshops.

Jon

Last week the Washington Post reported that the NSA has been violating restrictions on surveillance powers thousands of times a year.

Jon

Today, a federal judge ruled that the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practices are unconstitutional. The ACLU’s affiliate in New York has been on top of this issue for years, and the data they’ve compiled clearly shows that this is not just a minor problem.

Jon

The CHEETA Project is an exciting new program in Portland that’s empowering youth to promote social justice and equality through service learning projects and community building. Their students are primarily refugee and immigrant teens, and last week I had the pleasure of visiting with them to talk about Maine’s new anti-bullying law.
 

Jon

The CHEETA Project is an exciting new program in Portland that’s empowering youth to promote social justice and equality through service learning projects and community building. Their students are primarily refugee and immigrant teens, and last week I had the pleasure of visiting with them to talk about Maine’s new anti-bullying law.
 

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