Zach's blog

Zach
Today, a federal court in Florida ruled that my home state's program of randomly drug testing state employees violates the Constitution.  It was a great victory, after years of hard work by our ACLU colleagues in Florida and the Florida chapter of AFSCME, who were the plaintiffs in the suit.

Zach
Yesterday, we filed suit in U.S. District Court with our colleagues at Maine Equal Justice Partners and our fantastic cooperating counsel Jennifer Archer of Kelly Remmel and Zimmerman to challenge the denial of MaineCare coverage to some lawful permanent residents of our state.

Zach
Our friend Rev. Rich Kilmer from the National Religious Coalition Against Torture wrote an outstanding blog post on the ACLU site this week, called Solitary Confinement: Torture In Your Backyard.
Zach
Last week, I shared the news that the Maine Legislature's Education Committee voted to recommend the rejection of bill that would authorize religious school funding using taxpayer dollars--something Maine has refused to do for over 30 years.

Today, the Maine House agreed, voting 84-59 against the proposal.  The Senate will take up the bill next, and we believe that the result will be the same.  

Zach
At the ACLU of Maine, we were having a hard time remembering how many bills the legislature considered last year that would have given taxpayer dollars to fund private religious schools.  Was it 4? Was it 5?  In any case, we all remember the results: every one of those bills was voted down by the legislature, with votes in opposition coming from all points on the political spectrum.
Zach
There has been a growing interest in the criminalization of protest, in connection with Congress's consideration of HR 347, which amends current law relating to trespassing in federal buildings or areas under Secret Service control.  Here is an explanation of the bill by the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office.

Zach
On Thursday, the ACLU of Maine filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in case revolving around technical legal questions with life-and-death consequences.  The brief was jointly filed by all of the ACLU offices in the First Circuit: the Rhode Island ACLU, the ACLU of Massachusetts, the ACLU of NH, and the ACLU National Chapter in Puerto Rico

Zach
The best thing I've seen on Netflix lately is Werner Herzog's "Cave of Forgotten Dreams"--a documentary about the Chauvet cave paintings in France, which are the earliest known examples of representational art in the world, created 30,000 years ago.  The worst thing I've seen is a 20-way tie among all the Barney the Dinosaur videos my daughter watches while I am getting her breakfast.

Zach
This week, a group of legislators gathered together at the statehouse (along with the Governor and the Attorney General) to announce the expansion of the Legislative Prayer Caucus,  One of the organizers of the event told WABI, "I think that everyone's right to worship as they choose is one of the fundamental privileges that have made our nation great and it needs to be preserved,"
Zach
This holiday season, the ACLU is celebrating one of the most important freedoms in the Constitution--Freedom of Religion.  Actually, it is more than one freedom, since it includes our individual rights to believe and practice the religion of our choice, as well as freedom from government preferences of particular religions or religion over non-religion.

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