ACLU

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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 »

Pepper-Sprayed UC Students Get $30K Each

Davis campus must pay out about $1M total

(Newser) - One of the more notorious incidents of the Occupy movement will result in a payday for the students involved. The University of California will pay $30,000 to each of the 21 students who were methodically pepper-sprayed by a Davis campus cop, reports the San Francisco Chronicle . The school also... More »

Dad-Daughter Dances Axed for 'Gender Discrimination'

District also bans mom-son sports events after ACLU steps in

(Newser) - A Rhode Island school district has banned father-daughter dances—and mother-son sports events—because of "gender discrimination" after a challenge by the ACLU. A single mom complained that her daughter was shut out of a dance in Cranston, and the civil rights organization argued in a letter that the... More »

ACLU's New Target: License Plate Trackers

Widespread use is threat to liberty, group says

(Newser) - ACLU affiliates in 38 states are filing requests with police agencies today to gather more info about Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPRs), which the group says are "fundamentally threatening our freedom on the open road." Police at the state and local level use the devices to snap photos—... More »

Tweens Hit With Felony Over Fake Facebook Page

Girls impersonated classmate, made threats, cops say

(Newser) - Two middle-school girls in Texas have been arrested after police say they created a Facebook page in a classmate's name—and used it to fire off threats to other students. The girls, ages 12 and 13, face third-degree felony charges for online impersonation, NBC News reports. The messages caused... More »

Al-Awlaki's Dad Sues US

Along with mother of another American killed in drone strike

(Newser) - The families of three Americans killed in US drone strikes in Yemen are suing the government, arguing that it had no right to assassinate them without a trial. The wrongful-death suit was filed yesterday by Nasser al-Awlaki, father of Anwar al-Awlaki, and Sarah Khan, mother of Samir Khan, the BBC... More »

ACLU Agrees to Defend KKK

Georgia highway dispute creates unlikely bedfellows

(Newser) - The Ku Klux Klan has a right to adopt a highway , the American Civil Liberties Union said yesterday, announcing that it would accept the white supremacist group's request for representation in its dispute with the Georgia Department of Transportation. The ACLU has previously said it views the case as... More »

KKK Asks ACLU for Help in Highway Case

Civil rights group considering protecting Klan's free speech

(Newser) - The Ku Klux Klan is turning to a surprise choice for help in its fight to sponsor a highway cleanup: the ACLU. And the civil rights group is considering taking the case, representatives tell the Guardian . Georgia refused the KKK's request to sponsor a portion of highway where members... More »

ACLU Backs Girls Expelled for Facebook 'Death Threats'

Chat was just 'teenage banter,' says lawyer

(Newser) - Genuine death threats don't tend to come with "LOL" and a smiley face attached, notes the ACLU, which has filed a lawsuit on behalf of three expelled eighth-graders in Indiana. The 14-year-old girls were kicked out of school for a Facebook conversation in which they talked about which... More »

Tennessee's Anti-Evolution Bill to Become Law

Critics: Move 'undermines science education'

(Newser) - Tennessee was the site of the infamous Scopes monkey trial nearly 90 years ago (spoiler alert: creationists lost), but the state is still fighting evolution. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said yesterday he'll allow a bill to become law that protects teachers who criticize evolution, as well as global warming... More »

Girl, ACLU Sue School Over Facebook Flap

Suit alleges invasion of privacy after she has to hand over password

(Newser) - Maybe this kind of thing will start sounding familiar soon? A 12-year-old girl in Minnesota is suing her school with the help of the ACLU because she says administrators made her hand over her Facebook password and pored over her account, reports CNN . The move came after the girl got... More »

23 States Considering Welfare Drug Tests

Lawmakers follow lead of Florida

(Newser) - Lawmakers in 22 states think Florida had the right idea with its law requiring welfare recipients to pass a drug test . States like Wyoming, Illinois, Maryland, and Colorado are all considering similar laws that would make a clean drug test a prerequisite for food stamps, welfare, and other forms of... More »

Atheists Raise $44K for Teen Prayer Foe

'Evil little thing' Jessica Ahlquist awarded scholarship

(Newser) - Rhode Island teen Jessica Ahlquist's fight against a school prayer banner didn't win her many friends in her strongly Catholic hometown—but it has won her a hefty college fund. Prominent atheists, who praise the 16-year-old for standing up to critics "with class and style," are... More »

Town Slams Teen Atheist's Fight Against Prayer

8-foot prayer hung in school in Cranston, RI, for 49 years

(Newser) - A 16-year-old Rhode Island atheist has her heavily Roman Catholic town of 80,000 in an uproar after she successfully sued her school to take down a eight-foot-tall prayer that hung in the school auditorium for 49 years, reports the New York Times . One state representative called Jessica Ahlquist “... More »

Cops Fired for Opposing War on Drugs

New York Times examines case of border patrol agent

(Newser) - Bryan Gonzalez was working as a Border Patrol agent in New Mexico when he made the fatal mistake of musing to a colleague that legalizing marijuana would end Mexico’s violent drug war. He was fired soon afterwards; his termination letter said he held “personal views that were contrary... More »

Judge Orders Florida to Stop Welfare Drug Tests

Says it will likely be ruled unconstitutional

(Newser) - A federal judge has ordered Florida to suspend its “suspicionless drug testing” of would-be welfare recipients, writing that “there is a substantial likelihood” that the law requiring such tests will be deemed unconstitutional. The ruling comes thanks to an ACLU lawsuit on behalf of one welfare recipient—an... More »

Alabama Town Enacts 'Jesus or Jail' Plan

Misdemeanor offenders can choose between church and jail

(Newser) - Petty offenders can choose between Jesus and jail time in Bay Minette, Alabama. The town kicked off Operation Restore Our Community this week, giving misdemeanor lawbreakers the choice between a year of church-going or fines and jail, Raw Story reports. Pastors invented the program because crime is caused by "... More »

Mississippi to Vote to Define Embryos as People

Redefinition could lead to murder charges for abortion

(Newser) - Mississippi conservatives have won the all-clear from the state Supreme Court, allowing them to put their abortion-busting initiative that would label embryos as "people" on the November ballot. The vote could totally shut down abortion rights by defining a "person" as existing from the "moment of fertilization,... More »

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