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NEWS
December 3, 2002
EVER USE this brand of shorthand? In deciding what you think of an issue, you look to see who's for it and who's against it - at least to get started. If retiring Congressmen Bob Barr and Dick Armey - or their colleague Henry Hyde - were against something, liberals would be for it. Yet the war on civil liberties - er, terrorism - has removed that simple short cut. Since Sept. 11 , Attorney General John Ashcroft has moved to put increasing numbers Americans under surveillance without benefit of court orders, harnessing new technologies to track the buying and reading habits, as well as the travel itineraries, of ordinary citizens.
NEWS
September 27, 1988
Quick, what do the following people have in common: astronomer Carl Sagan, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, D.C., and former American Bar Association president Chesterfield Smith? Time's up. They're not only American Civil Liberties Union sympathizers. They're on its national advisory council! That's ACLU, in case you don't recognize it written out. George Bush is banking that voters will take his shorthand description of that organization as a bunch of left-wingers, maybe even Commies, since they're "card-carrying" types.
NEWS
August 18, 1988 | By I.F. STONE, From the New York Times
When Vice Pesident George Bush, before the Republican platform committee, called Gov. Michael S. Dukakis "a card-carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union," he injected into the campaign a pale whiff of the witch- hunting McCarthyite '50s. How desperate Bush must be to become so shrill and so ill-advised! The accusation might be hot stuff at Yale's Skull and Bones but it's too esoteric to set Peoria ablaze, where few have ever heard of the ACLU. Does Bush think it's subversive to care enough about the First Amendment to join an organization devoted to its preservation?
NEWS
June 8, 1990 | By Jim Smith, Daily News Staff Writer Staff writer Cynthia Burton contributed to this report
Downingtown public school officials seem hellbent on bedeviling the principle of separation of church and state, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union contend. In a federal suit filed yesterday against the Downingtown schools, ACLU lawyers said permitting Christian clergy to pray at school events is unconstitutional and could make non-Christians "feel like second class citizens. " ACLU legal director Stefan Presser, in a hearing in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, initially sought to block a minister from praying or preaching at tonight's commencement exercises for Downingtown Area High School in Chester County.
NEWS
May 27, 2011 | Associated Press
DENVER - A civil-liberties group plans to provide free representation to a 35-year-old Colorado man who faces criminal prosecution and a jail sentence for giving the finger to a Colorado State Patrol trooper. The American Civil Liberties Union says the gesture may be rude, but it is protected free speech. The ACLU says Shane Boor was driving to work in April when he saw a state trooper pull over a car. As Boor passed by, he extended his middle finger in the trooper's direction.
NEWS
May 17, 1995 | By Claude Lewis
I tremble at the thought of what America would be like without the existence of the American Civil Liberties Union. Since 1920 when it was founded, the ACLU has been one of the foremost agencies in the battle to keep the flame of freedom alive. As citizens of the freest nation in history, we owe a measure of our liberty to this organization that has existed in controversy all the years it has fought to expand the rights of individual Americans. Despite the fact that the Bill of Rights was adopted almost 130 years before the founding of the ACLU, the rights of Americans were routinely denied both by government officials and political demagogues.
NEWS
May 27, 1999 | by April Adamson, Daily News Staff Writer
Imagine a work world where bosses search their employees' desks at will. Now, imagine being a kid and dealing with things like that regularly in school. Children's rights can be dramatically different. Schools can have some control over their students' clothing, behavior, writings, e-mail, locker content and under some circumstances, can even monitor their blood for drugs. The shootings in Littleton, Colo., in April intensified many of these regulations and even spurred new ones.
NEWS
August 2, 1989 | By Gloria Campisi, Daily News Staff Writer
An official of the American Civil Liberties Union said yesterday it appeared that the district attorney's office was handling prosecution of the Sean Daily and Stephen Crespo murder cases differently because one victim was white and the other Puerto Rican. In a letter to District Attorney Ronald D. Castille, Stefan Presser, legal director of the Philadelphia chapter of the ACLU, called on Castille to "re- examine both the charges and bail of the defendants in the Daily case. " In a letter of response, Castille denied any partiality and said, "The charges and the bail in these two cases accurately reflect individual culpability and nothing more.
NEWS
May 17, 2000 | by David E. Bernstein
The American Civil Liberties Union's name is becoming a paradox, as the organization's commitment to a robust defense of civil liberties against the government continues to diminish. Take the issue currently before the U.S. Supreme Court of whether the Boy Scouts of America have a First Amendment freedom-of-association right to exclude homosexuals. Instead of defending the Boy Scouts' right of association, the ACLU has filed a brief arguing that the government can and should compel the Boy Scouts to accept gays as Scout leaders and members.
NEWS
October 2, 1988 | By Tom Fox, Inquirer Editorial Board
This is about the American Civil Liberties Union and the interesting role it is playing in the presidential campaign. This is not a commentary on the virtues of the ACLU, virtues that some say are enormous; nor is it an audit of the ACLU's warts - warts that others contend are considerable. This is about the political image of the ACLU and how that image is perceived by the voters as the presidential campaign winds down to an ultimate moment of truth in November. There's an old wives' tale that suggests that in politics, perception is fact.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
January 29, 2016 | By Harold Brubaker, Staff Writer
The ACLU of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services on Wednesday announced the settlement of a federal lawsuit over treatment delays for defendants who courts had ordered be given mental-health care. In an October lawsuit, the ACLU and its co-counsel, Arnold & Porter, alleged that severely mentally ill defendants languished in Pennsylvania's county jails, sometimes for more than a year, while awaiting treatment to restore competence, so they could stand trial. Under the settlement, Pennsylvania agreed to add nearly 200 treatment slots, including at least 50 in supportive housing in Philadelphia.
NEWS
January 8, 2016 | By Maria Panaritis, Staff Writer
Mummers in sombreros and brownface, some dressed as tacos. "Wench Lives Matter" signs. Caitlyn Jenner's face superimposed on a box of "Froot Loops. " Call these displays from the most recent Mummers Parade offensive, in poor taste, or unacceptable, as many have since New Year's Day. But don't expect the city to censor any of next year's acts, a top civil rights lawyer says, because that would be illegal. Even though tax dollars help support the South Broad Street spectacle, it is a private parade, and the city would violate the Mummers' freedom of speech if it vetted or vetoed any planned act, said Mary Catherine Roper, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.
NEWS
January 2, 2016 | By Michael Boren, Staff Writer
The Cumberland County (N.J.) Prosecutor's Office is reviewing a report from the American Civil Liberties Union saying blacks were arrested at a much higher rate than whites for minor offenses in Millville. The report, which came out Dec. 21, said that for the combined offenses of disorderly conduct, trespassing, loitering, and marijuana possession, blacks were 6.2 times more likely than whites to be arrested. "We're always concerned about how neutral policing strategies affect communities, and obviously the data's important to assess that," Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said Tuesday.
NEWS
October 24, 2015 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
Criminal defendants found incompetent to stand trial in Pennsylvania courts are supposed to be sent to a state hospital for "competency restoration treatment. " Federal courts have ruled that a wait of more than seven days for hospitalization is unconstitutional, according to the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Instead, patients are waiting in county jails for months, and sometimes a year or more, according to a federal lawsuit filed against state officials Thursday by the ACLU.
NEWS
October 23, 2015 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
THE ACLU OF Pennsylvania is suing the secretary of the state Department of Human Services and two other officials for what it calls a "consistent and continuing failure" to provide adequate mental-health care for people ruled incompetent to stand trial in criminal cases. In the suit, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court, the ACLU rails against the state for having "the longest delays in the country" for competency restoration treatment, which would allow the cases to proceed. It claims the lack of resources violates the patients' rights to due process, as well as the American Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act. "Our clients in this case are the forgotten among the forgotten," said Witold Walczak, the ACLU of Pennsylvania's legal director.
NEWS
October 22, 2015 | By Chris Palmer, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's civil forfeiture program contradicts the U.S. Constitution because it can allow prosecutors to take property from innocent people, even those not charged with a crime, a state senator said Tuesday. "Unintentionally, we have just totally gotten away from these rights that have been given to us," said State Sen. Mike Folmer (R., Dauphin), speaking at a committee hearing in the Capitol. Folmer has sponsored legislation that would change certain aspects of the law, which allows prosecutors to seize assets they believe have been acquired through illegal activity, such as drug dealing, even if the owner is not charged.
NEWS
May 20, 2015 | By Michael Boren and Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writers
The Camden police read to children, enjoy the trust of the community, and match "courage with compassion," President Obama said Monday. "More like the Peace Corps," Chief Scott Thomson said. Or, the department is overly aggressive and risking escalating tensions, the American Civil Liberties Union says. Two years after it was formed, drawing controversy as it replaced Camden's old police department, the county-run force still arouses strong feelings on either side. Crime statistics - sharp drops in homicides, robberies, and other major offenses - allow the department and its boosters to claim that its community-policing strategies are making the city safer.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 14, 2015 | By Howard Gensler
P ATRICIA ARQUETTE made a big deal of the country's male-female pay disparity during her acceptance speech at this year's Oscars. Hopefully, folks in the audience listened, because the American Civil Liberties Union is asking federal and California civil-rights agencies to investigate what it calls "the systemic failure" to hire female directors in the entertainment industry. The ACLU of Southern California and the national ACLU Women's Rights Project said yesterday that they were moved to act after compiling statistical evidence of "dramatic disparities" in the hiring of women as film and TV directors.
NEWS
December 5, 2014
IN AN OLD "Saturday Night Live" skit called "White Like Me," Eddie Murphy went undercover as a white person. The punch line: When blacks aren't around, white people behave differently, giving one another free stuff, including no-strings bank loans. The skit played on the idea that whites and blacks suspect one another of having tribal loyalties and behaviors that they keep secret from one another, and only bring out when they're in "safe" company. Murphy's bit was funny. Not so funny is the belief among some blacks that police are out to get them, and that white society thinks their lives are expendable.
NEWS
October 9, 2014 | By Angelo Fichera, Inquirer Staff Writer
The recent repeal of a juvenile curfew in a North Jersey town has renewed questions about the constitutionality of such measures, prompting some local officials to review their laws. The widespread effects were clear Tuesday night, when Paulsboro's borough council approved rescinding its curfew, a measure in place since 1983. The decision to ax the law has brought at least a temporary end to nights when a siren's wail at 10 p.m. signaled those under 18 should be home. "It's going to be a problem," Police Chief Chris Wachter said Tuesday afternoon.
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