NEWS ABOUT: ACLU

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School Pays Student $70K for Facebook 'Interrogation'

They forced her to hand over password to Facebook, email

(Newser) - A Minnesota school has agreed to pay a student $70,000 to settle a lawsuit stemming from an incident in which administrators forcibly perused her Facebook account, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. It began when Riley Stratton, then 13, posted on Facebook complaining that a hall monitor was mean, and the... More »

Michigan: We're Protecting Kids From 'WAR SUX' Plate

State defends rejection of personalized license plate

(Newser) - Michigan rejected a Washtenaw County man's request for a personalized license plate reading "WAR SUX," and the state says it's all about protecting the children. David DeVarti, with the help of the ACLU, sued over the rejection, accusing officials of violating the First Amendment, but lawyers... More »

Woman Gets $5K Bill After Cavity Searches for Drugs

Those searches turned up no sign of drugs, by the way

(Newser) - A 54-year-old New Mexico woman is suing US customs and a hospital after an escalating series of drug searches that took six hours and yielded no sign of drugs—only a $5,000 hospital bill for her trouble. Some details, as rounded up by Raw Story , Reason , and the AP... More »

Judge to Baker: You Must Serve Gay Weddings

Colorado cake-maker refused to contribute to same-sex ceremony

(Newser) - A baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony must serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs or face fines, a judge said today. The order from administrative law judge Robert N. Spencer said Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver discriminated against a couple "because of... More »

Woman Sues Catholic Bishops Over Hospital Miscarriage

Catholic hospitals' abortion rule puts women at risk: lawsuit

(Newser) - A Michigan woman is suing US Catholic bishops after having a painful miscarriage at a Catholic hospital that did not offer her an abortion, the Detroit Free Press reports. In her lawsuit, Tamesha Means says she went to Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon in 2010 when her water broke after... More »

3.3K US Prisoners Serving Life for Non-Violent Crimes

ACLU report slams 'grotesquely' out of whack sentencing

(Newser) - When you think of criminals who get locked away for life with no hope of parole, murderers or rapists might come to mind. But a guy who shoplifted a $159 jacket? He is one of 3,278 prisoners serving such a sentence in federal or state prisons in the US... More »

Next Stop for 'Boobies' Bracelets: Supreme Court?

Pa. school board votes to appeal federal court decision

(Newser) - The court battle between two girls and their Pennsylvania school over "I (heart) Boobies!" bracelets could be settled by the US Supreme Court. The Easton Area School District board voted 7-1 last night to appeal a federal appeals court's decision that rejected its claim the bracelets are... More »

ATF to Whistle-Blower: You Can't Publish a Book

John Dodson wrote account of Operation Fast and Furious

(Newser) - ATF agent John Dodson blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious , in which feds accidentally handed Mexican drug cartels 2,000 guns. Now Dodson's bosses say he can't publish a book on the scandal—though he plans to do so anyway, Fox News reports. Dodson gave the... More »

Father of Slain Tsarnaev Friend Will Sue FBI

He wants to know the truth about Florida shooting

(Newser) - The father of the Chechen man shot dead by the FBI while being interviewed about his friendship with Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev says he plans to sue the agency—not for compensation, but for the truth about his son's death. Abdulbaki Todashev, father of 27-year-old Ibragim, has traveled... More »

ACLU: Millions of Innocent Drivers Being Tracked

Vast databases store info on your plate, movements

(Newser) - You know about speed cameras and red-light cameras. But did you know about plate-reading cameras? Few people do, and that's a worry for the ACLU, which says the cameras are infringing on our civil liberties. Unlike the speed and red-light cameras, which are activated only when someone violates a... More »

ACLU Sues for Gay Marriage in Pennsylvania

Sets sights on Virginia, North Carolina

(Newser) - The ACLU isn't wasting any time in expanding gay marriage following the Supreme Court's big rulings. First up: a lawsuit in Pennsylvania seeking to end the state's ban on same-sex vows, the New York Times reports. The suit has 23 plaintiffs including a truck driver, a stay-at-home-mom,... More »

NSA Gets to Decide Who's Foreign

New documents reveal rules on surveillance targets

(Newser) - For weeks, President Obama and other senior officials have touted the special FISA court as a safeguard on NSA surveillance. Well, the Guardian and Washington Post have obtained top-secret documents submitted to and approved by that court that outline the rules and limits placed on the program. How reassuring they... More »

ACLU Sues White House Over Phone 'Dragnet'

Group says its constitutional rights have been violated

(Newser) - The ACLU usually sues on behalf of others, but this time it's going to court on behalf of itself. The civil-liberties group has sued the federal government over the "dragnet" it uses to collect information about phone calls , reports Talking Points Memo . Because the ACLU is itself a... More »

Gay Couple: Bakery Wouldn't Make Us Wedding Cake

They file discrimination claim in Colorado

(Newser) - Do you have a right to not bake a cake for someone? Or the right to not be discriminated against by cake bakers? That's the issue at hand in a Colorado discrimination claim. David Mullins and Charlie Craig went into Masterpiece Cakeshop hoping to get a wedding cake to... More »

Hey, IRS: Even the Tea Party Deserves Free Speech

ACLU execs says the scandal highlights the dangers of limiting political speech

(Newser) - The IRS' stunning admission that it singled out Tea Party groups for more aggressive tax enforcement should be a warning to all Americans to guard their free speech rights jealously, ACLU officials Michael Macleod-Ball and Gabe Rottman write for CNN . There's been a rush to regulate political speech since... More »

Detroit Cops Dumping Homeless Outside City: ACLU

Police 'deserting them miles away', it claims

(Newser) - Detroit police are ushering homeless people out of a tourist area and leaving them miles away—in some cases outside the city itself, the ACLU alleges in a federal complaint. Officers are "approaching individuals who appear to be homeless in the Greektown area, forcing them into police vans, and... More »

IRS Might Be Peeking at Emails Without Warrants

ACLU calls for a clear explanation of policy

(Newser) - It's probably not wise to talk about all your deep, dark tax-dodging secrets via email, but if you do, know that the IRS might be poking into them without a warrant. So says the ACLU, which complains that it can't get a straight answer from the agency about... More »

Court: CIA Can't Say There's No Drone Program

ACLU records request alive once more.

(Newser) - The CIA can't just pretend its drone program doesn't exist to avoid releasing its records, a federal appeals court ruled today, reviving an ACLU lawsuit to obtain them. The CIA had rejected the ACLU's Freedom of Information Act request, saying it couldn't confirm or deny that... More »

Seattle Mayor: Fine, We Won't Use Drones

Outcry ends program before it begins

(Newser) - Bowing to a fierce public outcry, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has decided to ground the city's plan for an unmanned drone program, reports Reuters . Seattle bought two Draganflyer X6 drones in 2010 using an $80,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security, and planned to use the miniature,... More »

Teen's Sentence: 10 Years of Church

ACLU files complaint against judge's decision

(Newser) - What sounds better to you: Having to attend church for 10 years, or going to prison for manslaughter? If you said the former, you're not the ACLU. Tyler Alred, 17, was behind the wheel in a 2011 alcohol-related crash that killed his passenger, and Oklahoma Judge Mike Norman last... More »

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