Tag Archives: ACLU

Oklahoma Supreme Court Blocks First US Religious Public Charter School

One coalition said the ruling “safeguards public education and upholds the separation of religion and government.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 6-25-2024 by Common Dreams

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled against St. Isidore of Seville Virtual Catholic Charter School on June 25, 2024. Photo: Brian J. Matis/CC

Faith leaders, parents, and educators on Tuesday applauded the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s ruling against the establishment of the first U.S. taxpayer-funded religious charter school—which was widely seen as a test case for Christian nationalists’ broader efforts to break down the barrier between church and state as well as further undermine public education.

The court’s decision against St. Isidore of Seville Virtual Catholic Charter School came in a case filed last October by Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond. Unlike some fellow Republicans, he argued that the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board’s approval of the online institution violated the state and federal constitutions.

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Rights Groups To Sue as Louisiana Requires Ten Commandments Displayed in Classrooms

“Our public schools are not Sunday schools,” the groups said, “and students of all faiths, or no faith, should feel welcome in them.”

By Edward Carver. Published 6-19-2024 by Common Dreams

Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry. Photo:gov.louisiana.gov

Rights groups expressed outrage and promised legal action on Wednesday as Louisiana became the only state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in public classrooms.

The law requires all public classrooms, from kindergarten to university-level, to display the commandments in “large, easily readable font” by the start of 2025. Republican Gov. Jeff Landry signed House Bill 71 into law Wednesday after declaring recently that he “could not wait to be sued.”

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US Supreme Court Accused of ‘Full-On Gutting of the Equal Protection Clause’

The right-wing majority’s ruling in South Carolina case will make it “nearly impossible for any plaintiff to prove racial gerrymandering in court,” said one legal expert.

By Julia Conley Published 5-23-2024 by Common Dreams

Activists gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court for oral arguments in the Alexander v. South Carolina Conference of the NAACP gerrymandering case in Washington on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Upholding a district map that was previously found by a lower court to be unconstitutional due to its racially gerrymandered boundaries, the U.S. Supreme Court’s right-wing majority demonstrated on Thursday that it is “a MAGA Court,” according to one advocate for judicial reform.

In a 6-3 decision along partisan lines, with Justice Samuel Alito writing the majority opinion, the court ruled in favor of a South Carolina district map which was drawn by the GOP-controlled state legislature and moved 30,000 Black voters from the state’s 1st District to the 6th District.

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Jewish Groups Decry House Passage of Bill Defining Criticism of Israel as ‘Antisemitism’

“Antisemitism is a serious problem, but codifying a legal definition could have dangerous implications for free speech,” said one campaigner.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 5-1-2024 by Common Dreams

House vote on the Antisemitism Awareness Act. Photo: Jacob N. Kornbluh/X

House lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to approve legislation directing the U.S. Department of Education to consider a dubious definition of antisemitism, despite warnings from Jewish-led groups that the measure speciously conflates legitimate criticism of the Israeli government with bigotry against Jewish people.

House members approved the Antisemitism Awareness Act—bipartisan legislation introduced last year by Reps. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Max Miller (R-Ohio), and Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) in the lower chamber and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) in the Senate—by a vote of 320-91.

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‘Everyone Should Celebrate’: FCC Restores Net Neutrality Rules

“Today marks the last day that internet service providers can continue to put profit over people,” said one advocate.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 4-25-2024 by Common Dreams

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel at State of the Net 2015. Photo: Internet Education Foundation/flickr/CC

Open internet advocates on Thursday applauded the Federal Communications Commission’s long-anticipated vote to revive net neutrality rules and reestablish FCC oversight of broadband.

The 3-2 vote along party lines to reclassify broadband as a public service under Title II of the Communications Act came seven months after FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel announced the push in the wake of the U.S. Senate confirming Commissioner Anna Gomez.

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House Dems, GOP Team Up to Expand Warrantless Spying on Americans

“The House has voted to allow the intelligence agencies to violate the civil rights and liberties of Americans for years to come,” said the ACLU’s senior policy counsel.

By Jake Johnson. Published 4-12-2024 by Common Dreams

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson speaking with attendees at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s 2023 Annual Leadership Summit at the Venetian Convention & Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

The U.S. House on Friday passed legislation to expand a major mass spying authority after voting down a bipartisan push to attach a search warrant requirement to the heavily abused surveillance law.

The bill to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for two years passed by a vote of 273-147, with 59 Democrats and 88 Republicans voting no. More Democrats voted for the bill than Republicans.

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US Supreme Court Lets Texas Enforce ‘Unconstitutional and Extreme’ Border Law

“Allowing this law to be implemented as the case makes its way through the legal process needlessly puts people’s lives at risk,” said one campaigner. “We remain committed to the fight to permanently overturn S.B. 4.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 3-19-2024 by Common Dreams

Migrants who crossed the border illegally, surrender near El Paso, TX U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo by Mani Albrecht

Rights advocates on Tuesday blasted the conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court for allowing Texas to enforce Senate Bill 4, a contested law empowering local and state authorities to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants.

“Today’s decision is disappointing and threatens the integrity of our nation’s immigration laws and bedrock principles of due process,” said Anand Balakrishnan, senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “But it is only preliminary and turned on the specific posture of the case. We’ll continue to fight against S.B. 4 until it is struck down once and for all.”

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Tracking of Planned Parenthood Visits ‘Should Terrify Every Single American’

Sen. Ron Wyden warns that “if a data broker could track Americans’ cellphones to help extremists” send ads to clinic visitors, “a right-wing prosecutor could use that same information to put women in jail.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 2-14-2024 by Common Dreams

Planned Parenthood- Manitowoc, WI. Photo: Michael Steeber/flickr/CC

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and privacy rights advocates this week are sounding the alarm about an anti-abortion group using cellphone location data to send misinformation to people who visited hundreds of Planned Parenthood clinics across the country.

“If a data broker could track Americans’ cellphones to help extremists target misinformation to people at hundreds of Planned Parenthood locations across the United States, a right-wing prosecutor could use that same information to put women in jail,” Wyden (D-Ore.) said in a statement Tuesday.

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Drowning of Women, Two Children Intensify Disgust Over Illegal Border Operations by Texas National Guard

“Gov. Abbott’s inhumanity has no limit. Everyone who enables his cruelty has blood on their hands.”

By Jon Queally. Published 1-14-2024 by Common Dreams

U.S. Border Patrol agents perform a water rescue and assist a migrant family in distress near Eagle Pass, Texas, August 20, 2019, CBP photo by Jaime Rodriguez Sr.

The drowning of a woman and two young children along the U.S.-Mexico border have sparked outrage and rebuke over the weekend after it was reported that U.S. Border Patrol agents attempting a rescue operation were denied access to the area by Texas security officials operating under the direction of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

According to Texas Public Radio:

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‘This Is Madness’: Supreme Court Denies Solitary Confinement Appeal

Rep. Cori Bush, who is leading the End Solitary Confinement Act, argues that “we are using taxpayer money to torture people.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 11-15-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Matthew Thompson/flickr/CC

The U.S. Supreme Court’s three liberal justices issued a scathing dissent this week as the tribunal’s right-wing supermajority rejected the appeal of an Illinois inmate with mental illness imprisoned in solitary confinement without access to fresh air for three straight years.

The nation’s high court declined to hear the appeal of Michael Johnson, an inmate at Pontiac Correctional Center northeast of Peoria, whose attorneys argued he was being subjected to unconstitutional “cruel and unusual punishment” as he was deprived of fresh air and outdoor exercise while enduring horrific conditions in a tiny, filthy cell.

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