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

 Victory for Religious Freedom in New York City

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) filed a brief in support of New York City barring religious groups from holding services in school buildings. On Thursday, the federal appeals panel ruled that the city’s ban was in accordance with the U.S. Constitution and did not violate the First Amendment right to free expression.

Donna Lieberman, executive director of the NYCLU, stated that the ruling is “a victory for religious freedom.” Lieberman added, “When a school is converted to a church in this way, it sends a powerful message to students and the community at large that the government favors that particular church.”

To read more about the ruling, click here.

Senate Panel Votes to Declassify CIA Interrogation Report

On Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to release a 480-page report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation program.  Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union stated that the vote is “a big step toward making sure that all Americans know the truth about torture, so that we can make sure that torture is never used again." 

As you may have read in Rachel’s press release yesterday, both Senators Collins and King voted for declassification. The ACLU of Maine applauds our senators for choosing to release the report in the name of government accountability.

Legal Director Zach Heiden states, “Maine should be proud that both of our senators have taken a stand for the rule of law and the right of Americans to know what our government is up to. With the support of our senators, we are one step closer to knowing the truth about a heinous and unlawful program that was carried out in our name. Torture is wrong, and only by bringing the facts to light can we ensure that history is not repeated.”

Read more about the vote to declassify here.