Join the ACLU of Utah for a morning of FUN, SOLIDARITY,
and the largest celebration of EQUALITY in Utah! Walk with us in the Utah Pride Parade Sunday, June 2nd, Downtown Salt Lake City More information >>
Short Video Highlights Some Of 2013 ACLU of Utah Work Posted 5/23/13 -This short, emotionally powerful film celebrates the Emerald Anniversary (55th) of the ACLU of Utah by highlighting a portion of the major civil liberties issues and cases that were addressed this past year, which advocate for reproductive rights, religious liberty, and immigrant rights. Most importantly, the film asks the question," What would you do without the ACLU?" Watch the video >>
Meet the amazing recipients of our 2013 Youth Activist Scholarship Awards! Posted 5/23/13 - This years winners perform activism on a range of issues including advocating on behalf of religious liberty, equal access to education, and comprehensive sexual health education. A selection committee composed of educators and community leaders reviewed qualified candidates from across the state to award students who exhibit dedication to civil liberties, leadership, strength in the face of adversity, and academic excellence. Winners were honored at the 2013 Bill of Rights Celebration, and additionally will receive $1,000 towards their first year of college. Watch the video on YouTube >>
Legislative Report From a civil liberties perspective, the 2013 Legislative Session was thankfully somewhat milder than previous years. Immigration and reproductive health legislation, typically fertile ground for Utah legislators, was uncharacteristically muted compared to measures introduced in previous sessions, and in other states around the country. Conversely, for the first time in many years, an LGBT nondiscrimination bill made historic progress in the legislature! Despite the more moderated tone on the Hill, we vigilantly monitored many legislative attempts to threaten civil liberties in Utah.
The Constitution Applies to All Americans, No Matter What They Are Accused Of Posted 4/22/13 - (From the national ACLU's Blog of Rights) Statement of Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the national ACLU, on the tragic Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Read more >>
ACLU Statement on Boston Marathon Bombings Posted 4/19/13 -American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony D. Romero today released the following statement on the Boston Marathon tragedy. Read more >>
Americans Overwhelmingly Support a Fair Immigration System Posted 4/18/13 - (From the national ACLU's Blog of Rights) For over 90 years the ACLU has defended the rights of everyone in the United States, whether born in this country or abroad, because the Constitution protects the civil liberties and civil rights of all of them. The data from a new poll released yesterday that was commissioned by CAMBIO, a new coalition for immigration reform, confirms what we have long known – that the American people agree wholeheartedly that all people in the United States, including immigrants, have fundamental rights under our Constitution.
Mandatory E-Verify: A Giant Plunge Into a National ID System Posted 4/18/13 - (From the national ACLU's Blog of Rights) Yesterday's release of a national immigration reform proposal from the Gang of Eight raises a host of civil liberties issues, many of which the ACLU will undoubtedly be commenting on in the coming days and weeks. We would like to focus on concerns with one particular program, E-Verify. Currently, E-Verify is a largely voluntary system where employers can check with the Department of Homeland Security to see if someone is allowed to work. Basically it's a giant list of everyone – immigrants and citizens – legally in the United States.
Challenging Patents On Cancer Genes Updated 4/17/13 - On April 15, 2013 the ACLU argued before the Supreme Court that patents on two human genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2, are invalid. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of researchers, genetic counselors, women patients, cancer survivors, breast cancer and women's health groups, and scientific associations representing 150,000 geneticists, pathologists, and laboratory professionals. The lawsuit, Association for Molecular Pathology v. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, was filed against the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as well as Myriad Genetics (a Utah based company) and the University of Utah Research Foundation which hold patents on those genes. It charges that patents on human genes violate the First Amendment and patent law because genes are "products of nature" and therefore can't be patented.
2013 Annual Civil Liberties Forum: The School-to-Prison Pipeline Wednesday, April 3, 10:30 am, at Weber State University. This year’s forum will focus on the SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE, a phenomenon that sees thousands of students of color each year targeted for discipline through the criminal justice system, rather than through the educational system, for school-based offenses. Read more >>
TAKE ACTION: Tell HHS: Stand your ground on affordable access to contraception Posted 4/3/13 - In a breakthrough for women's health, the Obama administration has ensured that millions of women have access to affordable, effective contraception. But anti-family planning forces are waging an all-out campaign to prevent women from getting affordable access to this basic health care. They are claiming that your boss should be able to control your health care decisions. Urge the Obama administration to stand firm and not yield to those seeking to undo a major victory for women's health.
Free Film & Panel Discussion To commemorate the 50th anniversary of our right to counsel through the historic Supreme Court decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, we invite you to a free screening of the award winning HBO film "Gideon's Army." This will be followed by a panel discussion, with local experts, to explore how problems with our criminal justice system impact Utah. Monday, April 1 6:30 p.m. @ SLC Downtown Library More info >> Read the Media Advisory (PDF) 03/28/13 >> Share the Facebook page for this event >>
ACLU Argues For Equality Before the Supreme Court Updated 3/27/13 - The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the ACLU case Windsor v. United States. The ACLU is challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on behalf of Edie Windsor. The history of this case including filed court documents >> Watch videos of plaintiff Eddie Windsor and her attorneys after the hearing, as well as a wonderful slide show of happenings outside the court. See more >>
First Amendment Concerns Result In Letter to Gov. Herbert Urging Veto of H.B. 44 Posted 3/20/13 -The ACLU of Utah has delivered a letter to Governor Herbert asking him to veto H.B. 44, "Election Polling," saying it violates the First Amendment because it compels disclosures that chill political speech. The bill would require disclosure of the person who pays for a poll regarding a candidate or ballot proposition and impose a fine for failure to disclose.
ACLU OpEd Highlights Need For Utah Criminal Justice Reform Posted 3/18/13 -In an opinion piece published in the Salt Lake Tribune on 3/17/13, ACLU of Utah Executive Director Karen McCreary, and Legal Director John Mejia explain our concerns, "For several years now we have been ringing the alarm bell that Utah is failing to fulfill Gideon’s promise to its people. Utah is one of only two states where there is no direct state funding, oversight or other assistance for public defense. Instead, Utah places an unfunded mandate on counties to provide indigent defense. We thus have a patchwork of 29 different methods of providing defense, with varying funding and operational standards."
ACLU Delivers Letter In Support of Equality Bill Posted 3/7/13 - The ACLU of Utah sent a letter to all of the members of the Senate Economic Development and Workforce Services Standing Committee, in support of S.B 262, "Employment and Housing Antidiscrimination Amendments."
This bill would provide protection from discrimination for members of the
LGBT community and focus on the need to treat all Utahns fairly and
TAKE ACTION: Support Employment And Housing Equality Across Utah Posted 3/6/13 - SB 262, Employment and Housing Antidiscrimination Amendments, will be heard in committee tomorrow, Thursday March 7, 2013 at 4 pm in Room 215 of the Senate building. Contact members of the Senate Economic Development and Workforce Services Standing Committee and tell them to vote YES on SB 262, Employment and Housing Antidiscrimination Amendments.
ACLU Launches Nationwide Investigation into Police Use of Military Technology & Tactics Posted 3/6/13 -The ACLU of Utah and 22 other ACLU affiliates across the country are simultaneously filing over 255 public records requests to determine the extent to which local police departments are using federally subsidized military technology and tactics that are traditionally used overseas.
ACLU of Utah Announces 2013 Youth Activist Scholarship Recipients
Posted 3/5/13 - A selection committee composed of community leaders and educators reviewed qualifying candidates from across the state and have selected three high school seniors to receive the 2013 Youth Activist Scholarship awards. The recipients will each receive a $1,000 scholarship and will be honored at the ACLU of Utah’s 2013 Bill of Rights Celebration on May 17, 2013. The winners include: a religious liberties advocate who has used her personal challenges to fight for the rights of polygamous families; a young Latino immigrant working to expand education opportunities for minorities; and an activist for sex education, who has spoken at schools, youth groups and public events to talk about issues surrounding reproductive health.