The ACLU of Utah Activist
The Somali-language version of our "New Laws in Utah about Juvenile Justice" brochure is now available!
The Spanish-language version of our "New Laws in Utah about Juvenile Justice" brochure is now available!
This week marks the SIXTH anniversary of the release of "Failing Gideon: Utah's Flawed County-by-County Public Defender System," the ACLU of Utah's report on Utah's failing county-by-county public defense system. How, if at all, have things changed?
The ACLU of Utah is thrilled to announce that MaríadelMar González, a local grassroots activist and community advocate, has been hired to fill a brand new position. She will assist our integrated advocacy efforts to advance our priorities at the state and local level while strengthening community connections and supporting coalitions in protecting civil rights and civil liberties for all people in Utah.
The ACLU of Utah has learned that the State of Utah is requesting comment from the public on new administrative rules about who can be admitted to juvenile detention facilities, and for what reasons.
This blog post is the first in a series of writings by Abed Alsolaiman about the Trump Administration's attempts to ban travel by refugees and others from predominantly Muslim countries, including Syria. Abed is an intern at the ACLU of Utah for the summer. In the fall, he will enter his senior year of high school at Rowland Hall in Salt Lake City.
We have a simple formula (overly simple, really) for explaining the issues the ACLU of Utah gets involved in.
On May 24, the ACLU of Utah and cooperating attorneys will be in court arguing about the constitutionality of Ogden’s so-called “gang injunction.” Again.
As Remick v. Utah, our lawsuit against the state of Utah over the sorry state of our public defense system, slowly moves forward, we bring you a couple updates from our Yes On Six! Campaign, as we work to realize the constitutional right to an attorney for all Utahns (not just those who can pay for one).
This article was first published in the Liberty Reporter: 2017 Spring Newsletter >> Cassie Taylor joined the team at the ACLU of Utah in November 2016, one day before the Presidential Election. Cassie has been a performing artist and competitive pianist since she was 7 years old. She is part of the performing ensemble The Ladies in Red, and has performed in New York, Washington D.C., California, and St. Petersburg, Russia. Prior to coming to the ACLU of Utah, she was an Adjunct Assistant Professor on the Piano Faculty at the University of Utah, as well as the Music Department Chair at the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts. During her time at the University of Utah, Cassie restructured and expanded what is now the University of Utah Piano Outreach Program, serving several schools in the Salt Lake City School District by providing free after-school piano lessons to over 250 children in Title 1 elementary schools. While at the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts, Cassie worked closely with many young students in the LGBTQ community and helped the school educate others about transgender youth. She has often been humbled and inspired by the perseverance, activism, and courage of…
This article was first published in the Liberty Reporter: 2017 Spring Newsletter >> The 2016 election changed everything except how the ACLU of Utah does its work. We have spent nearly 60 years defending and advancing civil liberties in this state, and preparing for the dangers that are manifesting at this moment in time. The road will be long and uncertain, but we are strengthened by our members and heartened by our supporters. The dedication of our ACLU Sustainers, those who have chosen to make recurring monthly or quarterly contributions, allows for us to combat unjust policies and protect Utahns’ rights and liberties. At a time when the news is a cringe-worthy and seemingly endless reel of frightening announcements and information, the ACLU has not been complacent. We put up a fight on day one of the Trump Administration, and we have not backed down since. We will not become numb to the barrage of negative actions, and we will not waiver in our opposition. The last two months bore a shocking number of challenges, and we are expecting the next four years to follow suit. It is now that we need to prepare, and it is now that we need…
This article was first published in the Liberty Reporter: 2017 Spring Newsletter >> On March 23, the ACLU of Utah sent a letter to all 153 law enforcement agencies (LEAs) in Utah, advising them to carefully exercise discretion in complying with requests for resources and cooperation by the federal Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agency. The letter reminds LEAs that their mission of protecting and serving their own local communities cannot be altered by federal command, and warns that nationwide, obeying ICE’s requests has entangled many LEAs in civil rights violations and liability that lies solely with the LEAs and not ICE. “The enforcement of immigration laws is a role assigned to the federal government under Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution and you have no obligation under federal law to participate,” the ACLU of Utah states in the letter. “The Tenth Amendment of the Constitution protects you from being compelled to perform the functions of the federal government.” - This outreach effort by the ACLU of Utah comes in the wake of an Executive Order signed by President Trump at the end of January 2017, which directed ICE agents to pursue for deportation a much broader group of immigrants…
This article was first published in the Liberty Reporter: 2017 Spring Newsletter >> On March 27, we filed objections to a federal magistrate judge’s recommendation to enforce a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) subpoena seeking records from the Utah Controlled Substance Database (UCSD). In a separate filing, the State of Utah joined in the ACLU’s objection. The focus of the underlying lawsuit is a state law requiring that any law enforcement agency must first obtain a warrant before accessing UCSD records. Last year, the DEA petitioned the federal court to force Utah to comply with a subpoena to access UCSD records related to a federal criminal investigation, after the state of Utah, in accordance with the law, had refused to turn over the requested records. The ACLU of Utah partnered with the national ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project to intervene in the case on the side of the state. The ACLU, also representing Equality Utah, IAFF Local 1696, and two individual Utah residents, asserted the privacy interest of thousands of Utahns whose sensitive prescription records are kept in the UCSD. The ACLU is arguing that the DEA’s refusal to get a search warrant from a judge violates not only Utah law,…