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Why The Fight for Paid Sick Leave is a Civil Rights Issue

Why The Fight for Paid Sick Leave is a Civil Rights Issue

Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that among those suffering the most are those who typically get paid the least: the “essential workers” who tend to the sick, care for our elders, grow our food, stock our supermarket shelves, and operate the public transit necessary for these and other frontline workers to get to their jobs. These mostly Black and Latinx workers, also disproportionately women, already live in a state of economic precariousness. For months now, they have…

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“The Very Prescription is to Stay Home”: What it’s Like to be Evicted During a Global Pandemic

“The Very Prescription is to Stay Home”: What it’s Like to be Evicted During a Global Pandemic

One of the first and most fundamental safety precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic is to shelter in place. But that may soon become impossible for millions of people as eviction moratoriums begin to lift across the country. Tens of millions have lost their jobs due to the pandemic itself, and many are still unemployed.  Kansas City resident Tiana Caldwell is one of them. In March, she was laid off from her job teaching business skills at a local community college….

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The U.S. Postal Service Was Never a Business. Stop Treating it Like One.

The U.S. Postal Service Was Never a Business. Stop Treating it Like One.

When the Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General, our nation had not yet been founded. The Bill of Rights would not be drafted for another 16 years. Yet nearly two and a half centuries later, the United States Postal Service’s ability to provide every person in America with a private, affordable, and reliable means to exchange information transformed it from a mail delivery service into a baseline for the exercise of American constitutional rights. Recent news…

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Dismantle the Department of Homeland Security. Its Tactics are Fearsome.

Dismantle the Department of Homeland Security. Its Tactics are Fearsome.

This piece originally appeared in USA Today. As an organization dedicated to civil liberties, civil rights, and the rule of law, we at the American Civil Liberties Union believe that the government has both the authority and responsibility to enforce its laws — laws that promote justice, equality, and the general welfare. In recent weeks, the actions of federal agents have shown us all that the Department of Homeland Security isn’t capable of acting consistently with the Constitution, and should…

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Not Just a Bad President, Trump is a “Holmesian Bad Man.” Act Accordingly.

Not Just a Bad President, Trump is a “Holmesian Bad Man.” Act Accordingly.

“If you want to know the law, you must look at it as a bad man does, who cares only for the material consequences,” wrote legendary Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, “Not as a good one, who finds his reasons for conduct, whether inside the law or outside of it, in the vaguer sanctions of conscience.”   Donald Trump is a Holmesian bad man, and an even worse president, pushing the bounds of corruption and authoritarianism, unbound by norms, the…

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Amendment 4 is Back in Court as Florida Fights Our Victory Over its Modern-Day Poll Tax

Amendment 4 is Back in Court as Florida Fights Our Victory Over its Modern-Day Poll Tax

Betty Riddle, a grandmother and university graduate, stood in line to vote for the first time in her life in Florida’s 2020 presidential primary. Marq Mitchell, a peer support specialist and advocate, also proudly voted for his first time in March. Jeff Gruver, a local activist for people experiencing homelessness, is yet another of our clients who cast his vote and finally had a say in our democracy earlier this year.  It is on their behalf, and on behalf of…

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High school closets, Haaz Sleiman in love & conversion therapy, oh my! Our Outfest 2020 preview

High school closets, Haaz Sleiman in love & conversion therapy, oh my! Our Outfest 2020 preview

COVID-19 be damned, Outfest will go on this year, albeit in slightly different form. The world-famous LGBTQ film festival lands online this year due to the pandemic, and while we’ll miss the usual parties, galas, and screening in historic Los Angeles venues, we still call that a win. This year, the entire festival will take place online, meaning anyone can take part and view the lineup of films from anywhere in the world. The lineup features a number of titles…

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Tracking Apps are Unlikely to Help Stop COVID-19

Tracking Apps are Unlikely to Help Stop COVID-19

Proposals to use the tracking capabilities of our cell phones to help fight COVID-19 have probably received more attention than any other technology issue during the pandemic. Here at the ACLU, we have been skeptical of schemes to use apps for contact tracing or exposure warnings from the beginning, but it is clearer than ever that such tools are unlikely to work, and that the debate over such tracking is largely a sideshow to the principal coronavirus health needs.  We…

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Retired Federal Probation Officer: Stop Sending People to COVID-Filled Prisons Unnecessarily

Retired Federal Probation Officer: Stop Sending People to COVID-Filled Prisons Unnecessarily

In early April, the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City suffered its first coronavirus death: Michael Tyson. Mr. Tyson, 53, had been arrested in late February not because he had committed a crime, but for a technical violation of his parole. As a retired federal probation officer, I can tell you that incarcerating someone for a technical rule violation should be a last resort. But during a pandemic, it should be ceased completely. Our federal, state, and local…

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Gay Former Trump official is absolutely furious at Kamala Harris for being… straight?

Gay Former Trump official is absolutely furious at Kamala Harris for being… straight?

View this post on Instagram Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband, @douglasemhoff. Thank you for always being patient, loving, and supportive. Love you Dougie. A post shared by Kamala Harris (@kamalaharris) on Aug 22, 2019 at 6:44am PDT A former member of the Trump administration, who also happens to be gay, is blasting Joe Biden for choosing a straight running mate. Because how dare Kamala Harris be heterosexual! This week, Richard Grenell said Biden “still thinks gays are security risks”…

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