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  •  I'd like you to name... (0+ / 0-)

    ...one thing the ACLU has done in the past year to advance the cause.  And I don't mean running around talking about problems, i mean a problem-solving step that they've taken.

    Sorry to be rude, but I was just thinking about it and i can't name a single thing.

    •  Which cause? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sberel, Big River Bandido

      And what do you generally read reporting ACLU activities that would lead you to expect that you could name a single thing?

    •  Active cases for ACLU - Northern CA alone. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sberel, dharmafarmer, Seneca Doane

      Two involve LGBT rights, if that's the cause you're talking about.  NB: I used Teh Google and found this information within a minute: U can 2!

      A select list of ACLU-NC active cases.

      Ahmadi v. Chertoff (2009)

      Seeking to address years-long delays in the processing of citizenship applications, the ACLU-NC and other civil rights organizations filed a class-action lawsuit against the federal government for its violation of the Constitution and federal law. Ahmadi v. Chertoff sought to enforce federal laws that require the government to decide a citizenship application within 120 days of the naturalization test.

      Strauss v. Horton (2009)
      On Nov. 5, 2008, ACLU-NC, along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Lambda Legal, filed a writ petition in the California Supreme Court challenging the validity of Proposition 8. Proposition 8, passed by a narrow majority of California voters in the November 2008 election, purports to amend California's Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Equality California and six couples who did not marry before the election but would like to be able to marry now.

      Committee for Immigrant Rights of Sonoma County et al. v. County of Sonoma et al. (2008)
      The ACLU-NC filed a lawsuit in September 2008 charging that the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been collaborating beyond the law to target, arrest, and detain Latino residents of Sonoma County. For three years sheriff deputies and ICE agents have stopped and searched people who appear to be Latino, interrogated them about their immigration status, and detained them in the county jail without lawful authority. The lawsuit charges that the actions by the local sheriff and ICE violated constitutional guarantees of due process, equal protection, and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, and that the Sheriff’s Department acted beyond its authority in enforcing federal immigration law.

      Legal Services for Prisoners with Children; Immigrant Legal Resource Center; and Asian Law Caucus v. California Department of Corrections (2008)
      The California corrections department is using underground, non-public guidelines, rather than lawful regulations, to decide whether to transfer California prisoners to other states as far away as Mississippi and Tennessee. This means that inmates and their families do not know how the prisons decide whom to transfer. It also leaves open the possibility that prison officials are using arbitrary and subjective judgments regarding race, ethnicity, and immigration status to transfer inmates thousands of miles from their families. The ACLU-NC is representing three advocacy groups in seeking to require that the prison system follow the law and make these crucial decisions using fixed, public rules, developed with input from the public.

      Kincaid v. City of Fresno (2008)
      A Federal judge approved a historic $2.35 million class action settlement to hundreds of Fresno’s homeless residents. United States District Judge Oliver W. Wanger had previously ordered that the City and the California Department of Transportation had violated homeless residents’ constitutional rights in the practice of immediately seizing and destroying personal property. Throughout a two-year period City employees had conducted a number of raids in areas where homeless people live, indiscriminately seizing and immediately destroying clothing, medication, tents and blankets, as well as irreplaceable personal possessions such as family photographs.


      Williams et al. v. City of Antioch (2008)

      The ACLU and co-counsel filed a class action lawsuit in federal court July 16, 2008, charging that the city of Antioch and its police department are engaged in a concerted campaign of intimidation, harassment, and discrimination against African Americans who receive federally funded Section 8 housing rent assistance. The lawsuit charges violations of state and federal laws, including the Fair Housing Act; the Fourth Amendment; and the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which prohibits intentional discrimination on the basis of race. It seeks an injunction against the city of Antioch to force it to stop its targeting of African-American tenants.

      ACLU-NC & Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the SF Bay Area v. U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (2008)
      ACLU-NC and co-counsel filed a lawsuit on June 2, 2008, to compel U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to comply with a request for documents under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The FOIA request stems from concerns over alleged violations of law and due process during immigration raids in Northern California since May 2006. Despite repeated assurances from ICE staff, the agency has failed to provide any records since documents were first requested in March 2007.

      San Leandro Teachers Association and California Teachers Association v. Governing Board of the San Leandro Unified School District, San Leandro Unified School District, Christine Lim and Mike Hernandez (2008)
      Can a school district employer censor political messages concerning the local school board election in a teachers’ union’s newsletter distributed through school district employee mailboxes? Our amicus brief in support of the teachers’ association argued that the California Supreme Court should follow its tradition of providing broader speech protection than the U.S. Constitution and, in particular, that it should apply a "functional compatibility" test, rather than the federal "public forum" analysis. Under a functional compatibility test, the teacher’s union’s use of the mailboxes would be protected because the newsletters and their political content would not be incompatible with the District’s own use of employee mailboxes.


      In re Marriage Cases (2008)

      On May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional for the state to ban same-sex couples from civil marriage. The ACLU-NC and co-counsel represent a group of committed lesbian and gay couples as well as two non-profit organizations, Equality California and Our Family Coalition. Our co-counsel are the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, Heller Ehrman LLP, and the Law Office of David C. Codell.

      N.P. and M.H. v. Antioch Unified School District (2008)
      Does a school district have the authority to expel students based on an incident involving a school resource officer that occurred off campus and after school? A Contra Costa County Superior Court ruled in May 2008 that the Antioch Unified School District violated the rights of two students when it expelled them from school following an off-campus incident in which police officers pepper-sprayed the students and forcefully arrested them. The judge overturned the expulsions. The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and Berkeley attorney Jivaka Candappa sued the district on behalf of the students, arguing that it lacked the authority to expel the students based on the incident, and that the students’ due process rights were violated during the expulsion hearings.

      Internet Archive v. Mukasey (2008)

      On November 26, 2007, the FBI served a National Security Letter (NSL) on the Internet Archive, a digital library. The letter sought personal information about one of the Archive’s users, including the individual’s name, address, and any electronic communication transactional records pertaining to the user. The NSL also included a gag order, prohibiting the Archive and its counsel from revealing the existence of the letter.

      San Francisco Gang Injunctions (2008)
      The ACLU-NC has historically opposed civil gang injunctions because of their unfair impact on civil liberties, their potential for racial profiling, and due process concerns. In September 2006, the City Attorney of San Francisco sought the city's first civil gang injunction in the Bayview neighborhood. On June 21, 2007, the city filed two new gang injunction cases, targeting the Mission and Western Addition neighborhoods. The ACLU-NC filed amicus briefs in all three cases, first successfully bringing the court's attention to due process concerns in the Bayview case and then raising concerns about excessive breadth, vagueness, and racial profiling in the two following cases . However, the San Francisco Superior Court ultimately issued injunctions in all three cases. In order to make these injunctions as fair as possible, the ACLU-NC and LCCR worked with the City Attorney to develop a process so that people who are not active gang members can seek removal from the gang injunction enforcement list. This process, which includes a periodic review of the underlying need for each injunction, will now be implemented by the City Attorney.

      ACLU v. AT&T and Verizon (2008)
      In May 2006, the three California ACLU affiliates sued AT&T and Verizon Communications on behalf of their members and a distinguished group of plaintiffs, including former member of Congress Tom Campbell, noted criminal defense attorney Dennis Riordan, other defense attorneys, journalists, and members of the clergy and the medical profession. The suits allege that AT&T and Verizon have been turning over confidential customer calling records to the National Security Agency in violation of state constitutional and statutory provisions. The lawsuits are part of a much larger group of lawsuits filed across the country against the telephone companies that gave the NSA access to the calling records and contents of the electronic communications of millions of their customers. Those lawsuits have now all been consolidated in federal district court in San Francisco. The government has asked the court to dismiss these cases, arguing that letting the truth out about how the telephone companies help the government spy on innocent Americans will harm national security. Those motions are currently under submission.

      Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc. (2008)
      Can private companies be held responsible for their actions in helping the CIA fly kidnapped terrorism suspects to foreign countries where they are imprisoned and interrogated under torture? Working with the national ACLU, the ACLU-NC sued San Jose-based Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc., a subsidiary of Boeing Company, charging that Jeppesen knowingly provided logistical services to the CIA in connection with the clandestine flights that took our five clients to secret overseas locations where they were subjected to torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Jose under the Alien Tort Statute, which permits non-U.S. nationals to sue in American courts for violations of the law of nations or a United States treaty. The government asked the court to dismiss the case, arguing that litigation over the CIA’s program, known as extraordinary rendition, would harm national security by revealing "state secrets." As the ACLU pointed out in its opposition to the motion, a great deal of detailed information about the rendition program is already in the public domain, including a sworn statement by a former Jeppesen employee that shows Jeppesen knew it was helping with "torture flights." The court granted the government’s motion to dismiss the case on Feb. 13. The ACLU has appealed the decision. The ACLU is appealing the decision to the Ninth Circuit.


      In re E.J., S.P., J.S., K.T., et al on Habeas Corpus (2008)

      Can the state retroactively enforce Proposition 83’s residency restrictions against sex offenders who committed their offenses before the law went into effect? In November 2006, California passed Proposition 83, which made it unlawful for a registered sex offender to live within 2000 feet of a school or a park. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation decided to start enforcing the law against anybody with a sex offense on his or her record who was in prison for any reason on or after the day the law passed. In October 2007, the Prison Law Office filed a petition in the California Supreme Court asking the court to declare that the residency restrictions in their entirety were unconstitutional. The ACLU-NC filed an amicus brief in support of the petition, arguing that the department is improperly applying the residency restrictions to people who committed their offenses before the law took effect.

      Bank Julius Baer & Co. LTD. v. Wikileaks (2008)

      The ACLU of Northern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) successfully defended the First Amendment when they persuaded a federal district court judge in San Francisco to dissolve an order requiring a domain registrar to shut down the domain name Wikileaks.org in a dispute over documents allegedly posted on the site by a former employee of Swiss Bank Julius Baer.

      Sheehan v. San Francisco 49ers (2007)
      Should San Francisco 49ers’ fans have to give up their privacy as the price of admission to the game? Dan and Kathleen Sheehan think the answer is no and have a filed a lawsuit challenging the 49ers' requirement, instituted in 2005, that requires every man, woman, and child attending a 49ers home gain to submit to a pat-down search of their bodies. In a split decision in July, the Court of Appeal held that because our clients knew of the 49ers’ pat-down policy at the time they renewed their season tickets, they "consented" to the searches and therefore could not challenge the practice. The ACLU argues that this so-called "consent" is not determinative. In deciding whether the searches are legal, the court must balance the severity of the privacy intrusion against the 49ers’ asserted justification for it, something that can only occur after a full evidentiary record has been developed. At the urging of the ACLU, the California Supreme Court has agreed to review the lower court’s decision.

      Pacific News Service v. Woodford (2006)
      Does California’s three-drug execution protocol for capital punishment violate the public and the media’s First Amendment rights because it conceals important information? The three-drug combination includes: first, sodium pentothal, a short-acting barbiturate; second, pancuronium bromide, which paralyzes all voluntary muscles; third, potassium chloride, which causes cardiac arrest. The Pacific News Service (PNS) says the second drug, pancuronium, is a chemical curtain serving no legitimate purpose in the execution and only masks any pain or suffering inflicted on the inmate by the potassium chloride. In an earlier ACLU case, CFAC v. Woodford, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2002 held that the prison’s use of an actual curtain to hide the condemned inmate from spectators during the first part of California’s first lethal injection "was motivated at least in part by a desire to conceal the harsh reality of executions from the public." On behalf of the PNS, the ACLU-NC filed a lawsuit in March 2006 raising a constitutional challenge to the three-drug execution protocol and seeking a permanent injunction to stop the Department of Corrections and San Quentin State Prison from using pancuronium bromide, also known as Pavulon.

      "Justice is indivisible." - MLK

      by Bob Love on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 03:41:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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