Oregon Voter Guide 2014

Oregon Ballot Measure Recommendations 

Oregon ballots have arrived! We have taken positions on four ballot measures that will impact civil liberties and/or civil rights in Oregon. Please check out our recommendations -- and thank you for exercising your right to vote.

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A Great Day for Seven Americans Formerly on the No-Fly List

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU

An extraordinarily secret government blacklist just got a little bit less secret.

Seven American citizens who were banned by the government from air travel received word yesterday evening that they are cleared to fly. For them, the notice ends a years-long struggle to find out why they were blacklisted and clear their names. As of last night, the seven can finally make plans to visit family, travel for work, and take vacations abroad.

The seven – six men and one women – had been on the government No Fly List, which prevented them from flying to, from, and over U.S. airspace. Even after they were surrounded by TSA agents at the airport and questioned by the FBI, the government refused to officially confirm that they were included on the list. They were also never provided reasons for being banned from air travel, or given a meaningful opportunity to contest the ban. In short, our clients have been locked in a fight to regain their freedoms with virtually no information.

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Rick Steves: Travel as a Political Act - Ending Marijuana Prohibition in Oregon

Travel guru Rick Steves launches Oregon Tour, October 7 - 12

Rick StevesRick Steves is touring Oregon in support of Vote Yes on 91, the ballot measure to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana for adults over 21. You probably know him best from his radio and television shows on OPB. He also produces a syndicated column and revises more than 50 guidebooks a year from his hometown of Edmonds, WA.

In “Travel as a Political Act: Ending marijuana prohibition in Oregon,” Steves will share how travel has shown him how different societies tackle the same problems. Steves and the ACLU of Washington co-sponsored Washington’s successful 2012 ballot measure to regulate, legalize and tax marijuana. “One thing I’ve learned in 30 years of travel is that treating marijuana as a crime does not work,” he said. “A better approach is to regulate it, legalize it and tax it. I’m an advocate for better policy, and that’s what Oregon will get once Measure 91 passes.”

The ACLU of Oregon is an endorser of YES on 91 and is cohosting the Rick Steves tour. As a part of the tour, Steves will be the special guest at our annual membership meeting in Eugene on October 9.

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Voter ID Laws: What do they accomplish?

Guest blog post by Barbara Gordon-Lickey, a member of the ACLU of Oregon Education Committee.

Ruthelle was born at home in rural Wisconsin in 1927. She has been an elected member of her Village Board since 1996. But she has no accepted form of photo ID and no certified birth certificate.

Amanda used to be able to vote using her student ID card. But in South Carolina, student identification is no longer acceptable.  Adopted in Georgia, Amanda’s name is different from the name on her birth certificate.  Amanda has tried, unsuccessfully, to change the name on her birth certificate.  

José is an 83-year-old wheelchair user. He does not have a photo ID. He does not drive, and, in order to get an ID, he would need to take two or three buses to get to the closest Department of Public Safety office.

Eddie Lee Holloway, Jr. is an African-American resident of Wisconsin who cannot get any of the accepted forms of photo ID because his birth certificate incorrectly reads “Eddie Junior Holloway.” He cannot afford $400-600 to get his birth certificate amended.

All of these people are U.S. citizens of voting age, and yet voter ID laws prevent them from voting. The ACLU represents many people with similar stories in legal challenges to several state voter id laws.  

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Constitution Day: ACLU to Award $25,000 to Schools Nationwide

By Justin M. Loveland, Outreach Intern

In 2004, Congress created Constitution Day – a day on which we can all celebrate our fundamental rights and responsibilities set forth by the U.S. Constitution. The same piece of legislation requires that all schools receiving federal funds teach something about the U.S. Constitution on September 17.

The law was spearheaded by Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), who was worried – and perhaps rightly so – that not enough Americans could list the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, recall the number of senators there are, explain the three branches of government, or decide whether the Constitution establishes the United States as a Christian nation. For the record, it does not.

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National Organization for Marriage Appeal for Intervention Dismissed!

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismisses the National Organization for Marriage’s ("NOM") appeal for intervention in Geiger vs. Kitzhaber and Rummell vs. Kitzhaber

August 27, 2014 - On May 19, Judge Michael McShane struck down Oregon’s laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage. NOM had sought to intervene in that case, which Judge McShane denied. NOM then tried to appeal that decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Today’s decision dismissing NOM’s appeal confirms that NOM has no standing to participate in the case.

“In the past year there have been more than 30 court rulings overturning state bans on marriage between same-sex couples,” said David Fidanque, Executive Director of the ACLU of Oregon. “The legal consensus is clear that these bans are unconstitutional. Marriage is a fundamental freedom, and freedom means freedom for everyone.”

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