Submitted by ACLU of Oregon on December 5, 2013 - 7:14am
December 5, 2013 - Today, the ACLU of Oregon is joining a nationwide day of action calling for reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the law that says the government can access your email and documents in the cloud without a warrant.
ECPA is one of the Internet’s most outdated laws – it was enacted in 1986, before most people had access to a home computer or email. While the public has been rightfully outraged over reports that the NSA accesses communications without a warrant, ECPA says that hundreds of other government agencies—like the IRS, FBI, and DEA, as well as state and local law enforcement agencies—can access many of our stored emails, private social media messages, and documents in the cloud without getting a warrant from a judge. The law flies directly in the face of our Fourth Amendment values.
October 29, 2013 - We are offering unpaid summer intern/externships to interested law school students. A minimum commitment of 35 hours per week for nine weeks is expected.
At the ACLU, law students gain exposure to a broad range of civil liberties and civil rights issues and an opportunity to improve legal writing and research skills. Students work closely with the Legal Director and will conduct legal research, write legal memoranda and draft correspondence to individuals in response to documented complaints of civil liberties and civil rights violations. Students also assist ACLU attorneys in the development of cases for litigation, preparation of cases for trial, and submission of amicus curiae briefs in courts of appeal.
Oregon Safe Roads Coalition to monitor signature verification process and stay vigilant in protecting the public safety law
October 7, 2013 – Last week, opponents of SB 833, a bipartisan law passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2013 that directs the Department of Transportation to issue driver cards to Oregonians who pass a driver’s test and provide proof of Oregon residency, submitted signatures to the Secretary of State’s office in an effort to repeal the law.
The Oregon Safe Roads Coalition, made up of leaders from the business, law enforcement, and faith communities, express disappointment in SB 833 opponents’ attempt to repeal the bipartisan law by confusing the issue and causing a delay in its implementation.
SB 833 is a common sense, public safety measure designed to improve traffic safety and reduce the number of unlicensed and uninsured motorists on Oregon’s roads.
Submitted by ACLU of Oregon on September 22, 2013 - 9:26am
In celebration of Banned Books Week (September 22-28), we have a guest blog post by Barbara Gordon-Lickey, member of the ACLU of Oregon Education Committee.
I was in high school when I first learned that maintaining the freedom to read requires vigilance. I wanted to read Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov. Although Lolita received much critical acclaim, it was controversial, to put it mildly, because it dealt with a sexual relationship between an adult man and a 12 year old girl. After its initial publication in France in 1955, Lolita was banned for several years in France and Great Britain, as well as several other countries. Surprisingly, it was published in the United States in 1958 without major incident, although some local libraries refused to buy it. Lolita was on the New York Times best seller list for two years and sold over 50 million copies, possibly because of its controversial subject matter. It was not an obscure piece of erotic literature.
Conservationists and ACLU of Oregon urge reconsideration, highlight freedom of speech protections under Oregon Constitution
UPDATE: September 26, 2013 – The ACLU Foundation of Oregon has filed a lawsuit against the Port of Portland for refusing to allow Oregon Wild to run an advertisement at the Portland Airport. The lawsuit, filed in state court, says the Port’s refusal to accept the ad because of it is political violates the right to free expression under the Oregon Constitution.
September 19, 2013 - The Port of Portland, which manages the Portland Airport, has refused to allow a coalition of conservation organizations to run advertising in the Portland Airport that opposes destructive clear-cut logging on public “O&C” lands in Western Oregon. Oregon Wild and the ACLU Foundation of Oregon submitted a letter today notifying the Port of its legal obligation as a government agency to abide by the Oregon Constitution and its safeguards for freedom of speech.
“The Portland airport routinely takes advertising from corporations of all stripes,” observed Sean Stevens, Executive Director of the conservation group Oregon Wild. “It cannot play favorites by rejecting advertising from conservationists who oppose clearcutting simply because it makes the logging industry and some politicians uncomfortable.”
“The ACLU has no position on forest practices, but an important part of our mission is to prevent government censorship of expression,” said David Fidanque, Executive Director of the ACLU of Oregon. “The Port of Portland refuses to allow advertising they conclude is too controversial or political and that is exactly the type of content-based restriction our constitutional free speech protections are designed to prevent.”
September 12, 2013 - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently announced that the federal government would no longer seek the "one-size-fits-all" mandatory minimum sentences for low-level, non-violent drug offenders. He stated that the war on drugs leads to prison overcrowding, racial disparities and is "both ineffective and unsustainable." What does Holder's announcement mean for Oregon and how do we reform the criminal justice system at the state and local level? ACLU National Deputy Legal Director Vanita Gupta will discuss the state of criminal justice reform in Oregon and around the country, as seen through both legislative efforts and current cases.
Join us for our 2013 Annual Membership Meeting which will take place on Thursday, September 26, at 6:30 p.m. at the Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland. This event is free and open to the public.