ACLU Leads Efforts to Stop Government Silencing of
Info Uncovered in ACLU Torture FOIA Case Continues to
High Court Affirms That Government Cannot Indefinitely
Detain Mariel Cubans
On the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade the ACLU Asks
"Whose Moral Values?"
Judge Orders Georgia School District to Remove Evolution Disclaimers
to Surrender Campaign - A Resounding Success
Sun Profiles ACLU Clients
ACLU Sponsors Lewis Black Performance
CAN HELP PROTECT OUR BASIC FREEDOMS by joining with over
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the very foundation of our great democracy -- depend on our willingness
to defend them, and as an ACLU member, you'll be doing your part. Click
below to safeguard our Bill of Rights by becoming an ACLU member.
now to safeguard our Bill of Rights by becoming an ACLU member.
Refuse to Surrender
Campaign – A Resounding Success
>From November to January, more than 90,000 people took the ACLU's
"I Refuse to Surrender My Freedom" pledge. The pledge campaign was a
resounding success, helping to build the reach of the ACLU's online
advocacy program by attracting over 50,000 new participants to the
ACLU's Action network. If you took the time to take the pledge or were
one of the thousands of people who asked their friends to take the
pledge, thank you!
There's still time to get involved. On Inauguration Day, President Bush
vowed "to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
You can help the ACLU hold the President accountable to his oath by
telling your Senators and Representatives: "I Refuse to Surrender My
take a moment now to send your pledge to your Senators and
Baltimore Sun Profiles
In July, Nigel Simon and Alvin Williams became one of nine gay couples
challenging the Maryland law that bars same-sex marriage. The
plaintiffs are represented by the ACLU, which is working with the
advocacy group Equality Maryland to educate the public and organize
political support for the lawsuit.
The Baltimore Sun recently ran a story about Nigel Simon and Alvin
Williams' story and the ACLU's efforts to overturn the Maryland
same-sex marriage ban. You can find
the complete story here. **New users will have to register to read
the article - registration is free.**
ACLU Sponsors Lewis Black Performance
This Saturday, January 29, 2005, the ACLU is proud to sponsor a
sold-out performance by comedian Lewis Black at San Francisco's
Warfield Theater. A regular on Comedy Central's "Daily Show with Jon
Stewart," Black performs hundreds of shows a year on college campuses
nationwide, including a sold-out show in November at Ohio State
University for the ACLU's 2004 College Tour: Stand Up for Freedom.
Do you know somebody who would be interested in getting news about the
ACLU and what we're doing to protect civil liberties? Help us
spread the word about ACLU Online -- forward this newsletter to a
Jan 27, 2005
Surrender Your Freedom: Take action to hold the President to his oath
The ACLU believes that government
employees who risk their careers to expose deception and misconduct are
true American patriots, and is reaching out to national security
whistleblowers across the country.
On Wednesday, together with the ACLU, an unprecedented group of
national security whistleblowers and family members of 9/11 victims
gathered to demand that the government stop silencing employees who
expose national security blunders, and called on Congress to
investigate the government's actions against them.
"The government is taking extreme steps to shield itself from political
embarrassment while gambling with our safety," said Ann Beeson,
Associate Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union. "The
government has fired whistleblowers, retroactively classified public
information and used special privileges not to protect us but to
The ACLU is urging the D.C. Court of Appeals to reinstate the case of
Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator who was fired in retaliation for
repeatedly reporting serious security breaches and misconduct in the
agency's translation program. Fourteen 9/11 family member advocacy
groups and public interest organizations filed a friend-of-the-court
brief this month in support of Edmonds. Many of them joined her
Wednesday at a news conference in Washington, along with national
security whistleblowers Michael German, Coleen Rowley, Manny Johnson,
Robert Woo, Ray McGovern, Mel Goodman and Bogdan Dzakovic, among
more about the ACLU’s efforts.
The ACLU has set up a complaint form for whistleblowers who feel they
have been retaliated against for exposing misconduct or corruption, the form
can be found online here.
Investigative files released on
Monday, January 24th by the American Civil Liberties Union suggest that
the Army failed to aggressively investigate allegations of detainee
abuse. Some of the investigations concern serious allegations of
torture including electric shocks, forced sodomy and severe physical
"Government investigations into allegations of torture and abuse have
been woefully inadequate," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D.
Romero. "Some of the investigations have basically whitewashed the
torture and abuse. The documents that the ACLU has obtained tell a
damning story of widespread torture reaching well beyond the walls of
The release of these documents follows a federal court order that
directed the Defense Department and other government agencies to comply
with a year-old request under the Freedom of Information Act filed by
the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Physicians for Human
Rights, Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans for Peace. The New York
Civil Liberties Union is co-counsel in the case.
the full ACLU press release on this story here.
the New York Times story on these latest revelations. **New users
will have to register to read the article - registration is free.**
Take Action! The ACLU is continuing to press the
government to disclose more documents and will return to court if
necessary to ensure that all relevant documents are released.
Urge your senators to oppose voting on the nomination of Alberto
Gonzales until the Bush Administration agrees to full disclosure of
torture-related documents and Gonzales commits to appoint an outside
special counsel to investigate the use of torture and relevant
here for more information and to take action!
The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 on
January 12, 2005 that the government violated the law by indefinitely
detaining "Mariel" Cubans who cannot be deported because Cuba will not
allow their return.
"Once again, the Court has rebuked the administration for claiming the
authority to indefinitely imprison immigrants," said Judy Rabinovitz, a
senior staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project and an
author of the ACLU's friend-of-the-court brief who has successfully
argued against such policies in the lower courts. "Today's ruling is a
vindication of the ACLU's position that the government has been
violating immigrants' rights in disregard of the Supreme Court's 2001
decision prohibiting indefinite detention."
out more about the Supreme Court's ruling.
Following one of the closest and
most contentious elections in recent memory, pundits across the country
identified "moral values" as the social fault line dividing America.
Two and half months later, as President Bush begins his second term and
as we celebrate the 32nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade - the
landmark Supreme Court decision recognizing abortion as largely a
private matter - we would do well to revisit the question of abortion
and more broadly of women's reproductive health care and ask, "Whose
moral values?" For just as reproductive health care is much broader
than abortion, the assaults on reproductive rights reach far and wide
and play no part in a moral nation.
the full essay by Louise Melling, Director of the ACLU Reproductive
A federal judge recently ruled
that placing disclaimer stickers warning that evolution is "a theory,
not a fact" in public school science textbooks is an unconstitutional
government intrusion on religious liberty.
The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit against the Cobb County
School District brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of
Georgia on behalf of five local parents. The parents argued that the
disclaimer stickers would send the message to their children that they
should reject the scientific theory of evolution in favor of religious
viewpoints on origin.
"The school district gave evolution second-class status among all
scientific theories and, at the same time, gave advantage to a specific
religious viewpoint that rejects evolution," said Maggie Garrett, an
ACLU of Georgia staff attorney who argued the case.
more about the Georgia school district case.