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In The Media 

Follow the links below to view ACLU of Utah press releases.

ACLU of Utah in the Media:

Prior Years:  [2017] [2018] [2019] [2020]


July 2020 

 Woman claims officer profiled her in DUI arrest because she is Black, lawsuit states
Deseret News 
(07/01/2020) 

59 inmates test positive for coronavirus in outbreak at Washington County jail
Deseret News 
(07/01/2020) 

Peaceful protests in Provo Wednesday night
KSL News Radio 
(07/01/2020) 

Family, friends of inmates gather at Washington County jail, site of COVD-19 outbreak
St. George Spectrum and Daily News
(07/04/2020) 

Telling It Like It Is
City Weekly
(07/08/2020)

Purgatory turns corner as positive COVID-19 test numbers drop following outbreak
St. George Spectrum
(07/09/2020) 

Protesters rally for more inmate releases during Weber jail's COVID-19 outbreak
Ogden Standard Examiner 
(07/10/2020) 

Speed of COVID-19 spread shown at Washington County jail where 92 inmates were infected
St. George Spectrum and Daily News
(07/10/2020)

 Protesters rally at Washington County Attorney's office over COVID-19 outbreak at jail
St. George Spectrum
(07/11/2020) 

Federal inmates sue Weber County over the coronavirus outbreak in the jail
Salt Lake Tribune 
(07/13/2020) 

Inmates sue Utah jail to allege inadequate virus response
AP
(07/14/2020) 

Utah Judicial Council creates new office to tackle racism and bias in court system
ABC4 
(07/15/2020) 

New hot spots, sick politicians, mask fights: News from around our 50 states
USA Today 
(07/15/2020) 

ACLU Utah condemns 'disproportionate and militarized' police response to recent protests
FOX13 
(07/18/2020) 

ACLU denounces 'demonstration of militarized' police force at Utah protests
KUTV
(07/18/2020) 

Protesters against police brutality call for greater community control
Deseret News 
(07/18/2020) 

Inside Sources: One traffic stop, two stories regarding the arrest of a Black woman in Utah
KSL
(07/22/2020) 

Supreme Court decision reignites the fight over Utah’s 18-week abortion law
Salt Lake Tribune 
(07/22/2020) 

ACLU says Utah police have used unnecessary force against protesters
Salt Lake Tribune 
(07/22/2020) 

ACLU, inmates at Weber Co. Jail continue to ask for early releases after COVID-19 outbreak
ABC 4
(07/23/2020) 

20 Men With Guns Confront Solo Armed Black Protester at Utah Capitol
Newsweek 
(07/23/2020) 

The birth of a militia: how an armed group polices Black Lives Matter protests
The Guardian 
(07/27/2020) 

June 2020 

 Panel addresses racism in Utah while protesters gather downtown for 11th rally in 12 days
Salt Lake Tribune 
(06/11/2020) 

18 Utah counties don’t provide prepaid postage on by-mail ballots. They can still vote, ACLU says.
Salt Lake Tribune 
(06/17/2020) 

Weber County Jail tests for more COVID-19 infections; inmates allege insufficient protections
Ogden Standard Examiner 
(06/24/2020) 

Salt Lake County DA will not prosecute curfew violations after May 30 protest
KSL 
(06/25/2020) 

Postage On Mail-In Ballots? ACLU Raises Issue For June Primary
KPCW 
(06/25/2020) 

Wednesday Night’s Protest Allowed Back On Streets
KUER
(06/25/2020) 

Black Woman Sues Murray City Over 2018 Arrest, Alleging Racial Bias
KUER 
(06/29/2020) 

Black Lives Matter Utah founder talks racism, police brutality and what needs to happen next
Deseret News
(06/29/2020) 

U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Louisiana abortion clinic law
AP 
(06/30/2020) 

Black woman sues Utah police officer for unlawful arrest
AP
(06/30/2020) 

Utah woman sues Murray City on claims of racial profiling, wrongful arrest
KUTV 
(06/30/2020) 

Weber County voting, purely via mail-in ballots, unfolds quietly, without hiccups
Ogden Standard Examiner
(06/30/2020) 

Utah woman sues Murray police alleging racial bias in traffic stop
Ogden Standard Examiner 
(06/30/2020) 

Five inmates at the Weber County jail have coronavirus
Salt Lake Tribune 
(06/30/2020) 

May 2020 

Experiment ends as only 1 of 13 arrivals in Utah bothered to fill out requested health forms
Salt Lake Tribune 
(05/02/2020)

Government contracts with Banjo could be on pause for months as state conducts audit
Salt Lake Tribune 
(05/04/2020)

Robert Gehrke: Utah should have hit pause on Banjo even before we learned of its CEO’s ties to white supremacists
Salt Lake Tribune 
(05/05/2020) 

Utah prosecutor weighs in on suit demanding release of inmates
KSL News Radio
(05/07/2020)

Banjo CEO steps down as fallout from revelations of past ties to KKK continues
Deseret news
(05/08/2020) 

Former Operation Rio Grande collaborators now face off in governor’s race
Salt Lake Tribune 
(05/10/2020) 

Crime victims challenge ACLU's Supreme Court petition requesting faster inmate releases amid pandemic
Ogden Standard Examiner
(05/10/2020) 

Weber, Box Elder jails dropped from accelerated inmate release petition by ACLU
Ogden Standard Examiner 
(05/14/2020) 

ACLU drops its coronavirus lawsuit against Utah’s county jails, but not the prison
Salt Lake Tribune 
(05/14/2020) 

Groups seeking release of Utah inmates amid pandemic drop case against county jails
Deseret News 
(05/15/2020) 

Putting personal privacy first: Libertas wants new government tech screened for invasive potential
Deseret News 
(05/15/2020) 

April 2020 

Can mail-in voting save the 2020 election?
Deseret News
(04/07/2020)

Utah officials react to demands that more prisoners be released due to coronavirus
Ogden Standard Examiner
(04/07/2020)

Uinta County Immigration Detention Center Plans Canceled
AP
(04/09/2020)

Victims of violent crimes in Utah file to motion to block release of prisoners because of COVID-19
The Washington Times 
(04/09/2020)

Second company abandons Evanston immigration jail project
Wyoming File
(04/09/2020)

Utah nixes cellphone alert five days after system began
Moab Sun 
(04/13/2020)

Utah June Primaries Could Be Conducted Almost Entirely Through Mail-In Ballots And Drive-Up Voting
KUER
(04/16/2020)

Salt Lake County jail won’t talk about its coronavirus outbreak
Salt Lake Tribune
(04/21/2020)

Robert Gehrke: The Salt Lake County jail is refusing to give the public access to coronavirus info we’re entitled to
Salt Lake Tribune
(04/22/2020)

Why Teenagers Seeking Abortion Care Are Texting ‘Abby’
Rewire News
(04/24/2020) 

Salt Lake County responds to ACLU-led lawsuit to release inmates
ABC4
(04/27/2020)

Salt Lake County Jail traces virus spread, boasts no current known cases
Deseret News 
(04/27/2020)

Utah jailers say they’re proud of their coronavirus response, reject lawsuit
Salt Lake Tribune 
(04/27/2020)

Utah jailers say they’re proud of their coronavirus response, reject lawsuit
Salt Lake Tribune 
(04/27/2020)

Utah A.G. halts $21 million Banjo contract as founder’s past ties with KKK unveiled
Deseret News 
(04/28/2020)

 

 

March 2020 

Utah proposal to add warning label to porn moves forward
AP
(03/01/2020) 

Utah ultrasound abortion bill greenlighted by House committee
Deseret News
(03/03/2020) 

Utah Senate votes to ban all elective abortions — if Supreme Court ever allows it
(03/02/2020) 

Utah ultrasound abortion bill greenlighted by House committee
Deseret News 
(03/03/2020) 

Weber County conducting 'pilot', elects for one polling location
FOX13
(03/03/2020) 

Weber County move to Election Day voting at Union Station surprises, miffs some
Standard Examiner
(03/03/2020) 

Pre-abortion ultrasound mandate progresses to Utah House
Salt Lake Tribune
(03/03/2020) 

Weber County has just one polling station. Is that enough?
KUTV 
(03/04/2020) 

Bills to widen public access to jail documents advance in Utah Legislature
Ogden Standard Examiner 
(03/05/2020) 

Utah company Banjo is building a massive surveillance system with the help of the state’s attorney general
Salt Lake Tribune
(03/08/2020) 

Utah abortion ban, ultrasound requirement bills approved by committees
Deseret News 
(03/09/2020) 

Anti-Abortion Bills Advance As Lawmaker Draws Criticism For ‘Magic Word’ Comments
KSL TV
(03/10/2020) 

The Utah State Legislature declines to fund Banjo, and now could look at regulating it
FOX 13 
(03/10/2020) 

Utah Takes Cues From Courts On Anti-Abortion Bills
KUER
(03/10/2020) 

Exclusive: Utah tech CEO tells 2News he welcomes an audit after privacy criticism
KUTV
(03/10/2020)

Provo representative’s prosecutor, county jail data bill advances through Senate committee
Provo Daily Herald
(03/10/2020) 

Utah spent $250K on a surveillance company instead of a lifesaving overdose drug
Salt Lake Tribune
(03/10/2020)

Bill aims to ‘create civility’ in public meetings by increasing penalties for disruptive behavior
St. George News
(03/10/2020)

Coronavirus and crime: Jail counts fall as police give non-violent offenders citations, not handcuffs
Ogden Standard Examiner
(03/30/2020)

February 2020 

Highland lawmaker introduces bill to require warning labels on pornographic material
Daily Herald 
(02/04/2020) 

Utah bill requires warning label for pornographic material
KUTV
(02/04/2020) 

Utah anti-pornography bill would require labels warning of ‘low self-esteem,’ ‘addictive sexual behavior’
Salt Lake Tribine
(02/04/2020) 

Lawmaker wants warning labels on pornography
Utah Policy
(02/04/2020) 

A Proposed Utah Law Would Require Porn to Have Warning Labels About Its Dangers
Relevant
(02/05/2020) 

Utah Lawmaker Proposes Bill Requiring Pornography to Have a Warning Label
ChristianHeadlines.com
(02/06/2020) 

Salt Lake City’s Homeless Relocation Plan Backfires
Invisible People
(02/10/2020) 

Bigamy is a felony in Utah. A new bill would change it to an infraction
CNN 
(02/11/2020) 

Polygamy bill passes Utah Senate committee
FOX 13 
(02/10/2020) 

Porn warning label bill passes out of Utah House committee
FOX 13 
(02/11/2020) 

Bill sponsored by Provo lawmaker would require prosecutors to track data on race, gender
Daily Herald
(02/10/2020) 

Utah porn warning label proposal gains despite some mocking
AP
(02/12/2020) 

Committee approves bill requiring warning on pornography
Deseret News/KSL
(02/11/2020) 

More Tweaks To Utah’s Medical Cannabis Law Aim To Clear Criminal Records
KUER
(02/12/2020)

Polls shows Utahns aren’t concerned about facial recognition software. Lawmakers and privacy advocates say they should be.
Salt Lake Tribune
(02/13/2020) 

Pornography warning label bill clears House committee
Salt Lake Tribune
(02/11/2020) 

Utahns, lawmaker disagree on police use of DNA databases
Salt Lake Tribune
(02/17/2020) 

Bill to protect children from parental drug, alcohol abuse moves to the Senate
KUTV
(02/18/2020) 

Porn warning label bill passes the Utah House
FOX 13 
(02/18/2020) 

Utah bill would impose a pre-abortion ultrasound requirement
SLTrib
(02/20/2020) 

A ban on elective abortions has been introduced in the Utah State Legislature
FOX 13
(02/21/2020) 

Utah lawmakers eyeing more restrictions on abortion
Deseret News
(02/23/2020) 

Utah’s bill on fetal remains highlights abortion battle lines
Salt Lake Tribune 
(02/23/2020) 

Poll suggests most Utahns oppose additional abortion restrictions
ABC4 
(02/24/2020)

Poll: Utahns say state doesn't need more restrictions on abortion
KSL
(02/24/2020) 

A bill to ban elective abortions in Utah won't take effect unless Roe v. Wade is overturned
FOX 13 
(02/24/2020) 

Polygamy bill clears a Utah House committee
FOX13
(02/24/2020)

Utah Abortion Ban Bill Doesn't Represent Will Of The People, Planned Parenthood Says
KUER (NPR) 
(02/24/2020) 

Lehi could be Utah's next sanctuary city for the unborn
KUTV 
(02/24/2020) 

Poll: Most Utahns would oppose tighter abortion restrictions
Salt Lake Tribune
(02/24/2020) 

Utah woman takes plea deal in case of stepchildren seeing her topless
Deseret News
(02/25/2020) 

Utah woman pleads guilty to lewdness for being topless in her own home
SL Trib
(02/25/2020) 

Utah could charge for mandated pre-abortion ultrasounds under new bill language
SL Trib
(02/25/2020) 

Utah woman accused of being topless with stepkids takes plea deal
AP
(02/26/2020) 

Black Lives Matter Chapter Opens In Southern Utah
KUER
(02/26/2020) 

Pornography labeling bill sponsored by Highland representative passes through Utah Senate committee
Herald Extra 
(02/26/2020) 

Utah abortion ban proposal gets early nod from lawmakers
AP
(02/27/2020) 

Robert Gehrke: Making laws to make political points is nothing new, but here are a few glaring examples
SL Trib 
(02/27/2020) 

Utah abortion ultrasound bill fuels heated debate in House committee
Deseret News
(02/28/2020) 

Bill to regulate facial recognition technology in Utah is unveiled in the legislature
FOX 13
(02/29/2020) 

January 2020 

Homeless Hearts
City Weekly
(01/02/2020)

Police could be banned from accessing home DNA test data under a bill in the Utah legislature
Fox 13
(01/02/2020)

Utah DPS facing scrutiny over face recognition
Planet Biometrics
(01/03/2020) 

Catholic Community Services, Pulse for Good aim to improve experience for homeless clients
Salt Lake Tribune
(01/03/2020) 

Big data, high-tech tools enhancing law enforcers’ jobs
Deseret News
(01/06/2020) 

Give Them Shelter
City Weekly
(01/09/2020) 

Davis sheriff's office cites 100% compliance in latest annual jail inspection
Standard-Examiner
(01/08/2020) 

Court rejects Allred's request to disqualify judge in gang injunction case
Standard-Examiner
(01/09/2020) 

Weber County loses bid to remove a judge for calling an attorney a ‘liar’
Salt Lake Tribune
(01/09/2020) 

Summit County aims to highlight the census at Monday town hall
Park Record
(01/13/2020) 

Reese: Homeless Utahns Are Being Ignored
Daily Chronicle 
(01/12/2020) 

Polémica por placa de auto con mensaje antiinmigrante
Telemundo Utah 
(01/13/2020) 

Tampon tax discussion must include every person who menstruates.
City Weekly
(01/15/2020) 

The Justice Files: Legislation would restrict DNA usage
ABC 4 
(01/17/2020) 

LGBT activists say new bills, including ones in Utah, target transgender youth
Salt Lake Tribune/AP
(01/19/2020) 

Proposed Bill Would Block Law Enforcement From Accessing Your DNA Test Kit Info
KUER
(01/20/2020) 

Why did Utah officials approve a ‘FUHRER’ license plate? They won’t say.
SLTrib 
(01/20/2020) 

Judge deals blow to woman charged for being topless at home
ABC 4 
(01/21/2020) 

Judge won’t toss charges for woman who was topless in front of stepchildren
Deseret News
(01/21/2020) 

Judge upholds Utah’s lewdness statute in case involving topless woman inside her own home
FOX13
(01/21/2020) 

Judge rejects challenge from Utah woman charged for being topless in her own home
SLTrib 
(01/21/2020) 

Utah Judge Upholds Lewdness Law in Case of Woman Charged with Being Topless at Home
Newsweek
(01/21/2020) 

Judge deals blow to Utah woman charged for being topless at home in front of stepchildren
AP
(01/22/2020) 

Mayors Erin Mendenhall and Jenny Wilson ask Utah courts to let ‘Dreamers’ practice law
FOX13
(01/22/2020) 

Utah court rules against Salt Lake City woman charged with lewdness after stepchildren saw her topless
New York Daily News 
(01/22/2020) 

Utah woman charged after going topless in front of stepkids inside own home faces setback in court
FOX News
(01/22/2020) 

Utah Judge Rules Against Woman Who Was Topless in Her Own Garage
New York Times
(01/22/2020) 

Previewing the 2020 Utah Legislative Session
KCPW
(01/23/2020) 

Utah Judge Rules Against Topless Stepmom's Equal Protection Challenge
Reason.com
(01/23/2020) 

Stepmom in Utah Could Still Go to Jail for Hanging Drywall Topless in Her Own Home
VICE 
(01/22/2020) 

Orem lawmaker drafting bill to ban hormone therapy, surgery for transgender minors
Daily Herald
(01/25/2020) 

Undocumented ‘Dreamers’ can now become attorneys in Utah
Salt Lake Tribune 
(01/30/2020) 

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ACLU of Utah 2013 Youth Activist Scholarship Recipients Announced

21 February 2013 Published in Newsroom
The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah has selected three high school seniors in Utah to receive the organization’s 2013 Youth Activist Scholarship. The recipients will each receive a $1,000 scholarship, in recognition of their commitment to civil liberties through activism. The winners will be honored at the ACLU of Utah’s 2013 Bill of Rights Celebration on May 17, 2013.

Civil Rights Coalition in Court Friday to Challenge Utah’s Anti-Immigrant Law Press Conference To Take Place After Hearing

12 February 2013 Published in Newsroom
Download a PDF of this advisory >> Attorneys from the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the American Civil Liberties Union, and the ACLU of Utah will ask a federal judge on Friday to continue to block the state’s anti-immigrant law.

Brigham City "Free Speech Zone" Ordinance Lawsuit Settled After City Repeals Ordinance

10 February 2013 Published in Newsroom
The Main Street Church of Brigham City has settled its lawsuit challenging Brigham City’s “Free Speech Zone” Ordinance. The suit alleged that the Ordinance violated the Utah and United States Constitutions because it required a permit for almost any conceivable form of public expression and imposed civil and criminal penalties for failing to comply. The ACLU of Utah filed the suit on behalf of Main Street Church after the City relied on the Ordinance to bar the church from passing out pamphlets on certain sidewalks during the Brigham City LDS Temple Open House. After the lawsuit was filed, the City agreed to allow a limited number of Main Street Church representatives to pass out pamphlets on all sidewalks. Brigham City later repealed the Ordinance entirely. That repeal cleared the way for the out-of-court settlement the parties reached.

After Returning Book to Shelves, Utah School District Agrees Not to Remove Library Books Containing LGBT Content

14 January 2013 Published in Newsroom
In the wake of its decision to return “In Our Mother’s’ House,” a book about a family with same-sex parents to the shelves of elementary schools, Davis School District in Utah has agreed to never again remove the book based solely on its content. The agreement settles a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Utah on behalf of a mother with children in the district that had remained pending after the book’s return.

ACLU Files Lawsuit Over Unlawful Sweep at Utah School Targeting Students of Color

12 December 2012 Published in Newsroom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:December 13, 2012 Police Detained and Interrogated Students Based on Their Race And Ethnicity The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit against school and police officials over a “gang sweep” in which students of color were detained, interrogated and falsely accused of participating in gang activity. The complaint stems from a December 2010 incident during which between 14 and 40 West High School students of color were detained, interrogated, searched and forced to be photographed holding signs identifying them as gang members.  Their personal information was entered into a “gang database,” making them subject to additional police scrutiny even though they did not commit a crime. All of the detained students were of Latino, African-American or Pacific Island descent, even though they make up only half of the student body. “Schools should be a place where everyone can learn and grow, not a location where students of color are targeted and harassed,” said Courtney Bowie, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Racial Justice Program, which filed the complaint along with the ACLU of Utah. “Instead of policing our classrooms and criminalizing students of color, school and government officials must focus on educating our youth, and do…

ACLU of Utah Settles Claim Of Man Stopped And Cited For "Flipping The Bird" At Orem Police Officer

14 November 2012 Published in Newsroom
ACLU of Utah Settles Claim Of Man Stopped And Cited For "Flipping The Bird" At Orem Police Officer - The ACLU of Utah has successfully settled a freedom of expression case in Orem City. On June 25, 2010, Seth Dame "flipped the bird" at an Orem City police officer who was driving by. The officer then stopped the car Seth was riding in and questioned Seth and the others in his car for about 20 minutes. The officer then issued a disorderly conduct citation against Seth for "flipping the bird" at him. Orem City later declined to prosecute the citation. After hearing from Seth, the ACLU of Utah contacted Orem City to inform them that the officer had violated Seth's rights under the First and Fourth Amendments. The ACLU of Utah also conducted an investigation into the Orem Police Department's practices in issuing disorderly conduct citations.

ACLU of Utah Files Complaint Challenging Brigham City's Unconstitutional "Free Speech Zone" Ordinance

09 November 2012 Published in Newsroom
PRESS RELEASE -- Today, the ACLU of Utah filed a complaint on behalf of the Main Street Church of Brigham City challenging Brigham City’s “Free Speech Zone” Ordinance. The suit alleges that on its face, the ordinance violates the Utah and United States Constitutions because it requires a permit for almost any conceivable form of public expression and imposes civil and criminal penalties for failing to comply. This ordinance could subject many unsuspecting people in Brigham City to liability for engaging in activities protected by the First Amendment.

Brigham City Suspends Enforcement of Free Speech Ordinance: Free Speech For All Returns to Brigham City

08 November 2012 Published in Newsroom
Posted 9/14/12 - As of yesterday evening, representatives of the Main Street Church have been peacefully handing out their literature on the public sidewalks surrounding the LDS Temple. The Main Street Church agreed to limit the number of its representatives to four on each side of the street. This agreement does not suspend the lawsuit filed against Brigham City. Main Street Church and the ACLU of Utah have not conceded that any past enforcement of the ordinance was constitutional. They also continue to contend that the ordinance is unconstitutional on its face and that it should be completely struck down by the court.            

ACLU Scholarship Offers Financial Aid For College To Utah Youth Activists

09 October 2012 Published in Newsroom
ACLU Scholarship Offers Financial Aid For College To Utah Youth Activists   For Immediate Release October 9, 2012 SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – The ACLU of Utah’s Youth Activist Scholarship Program, now in its sixth year, recognizes Utah high school seniors who are passionate about civil liberties, and have taken a stand to show it. Three winners, selected by a committee of educators and community leaders, are each awarded a $1000 scholarship to be used toward their first year of college. Past scholarship recipients have come from many parts of Utah including Logan, Ogden, Provo, St. George, Orem, Moab, and Salt Lake City. They have positively impacted their communities by advocating for: racial justice; immigrants' rights; equal treatment for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students; increased reproductive health education; women's rights; and free speech and expression. “Every year we look forward to reviewing the scholarship applications from graduating senior high school students,” says Anna Brower, Development Director at the ACLU of Utah. “It is an inspiring experience to learn more about the outstanding Utah high school youth who advocate for civil liberties in their schools and communities.” The winners of the 2011-2012 ACLU of Utah Youth Activist Scholarship…

ACLU Scholarship Offers Financial Aid For College To Utah Youth Activists

08 October 2012 Published in Newsroom
MR_Scholarship_10-04-12.pdf For Immediate Release  October 9, 2012 SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – The ACLU of Utah’s Youth Activist Scholarship Program, now in its sixth year, recognizes Utah high school seniors who are passionate about civil liberties, and have taken a stand to show it. Three winners, selected by a committee of educators and community leaders, are each awarded a $1000 scholarship to be used toward their first year of college. Past scholarship recipients have come from many parts of Utah including Logan, Ogden, Provo, St. George, Orem, Moab, and Salt Lake City. They have positively impacted their communities by advocating for: racial justice; immigrants' rights; equal treatment for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students; increased reproductive health education; women's rights; and free speech and expression. “Every year we look forward to reviewing the scholarship applications from graduating senior high school students,” says Anna Brower, Development Director at the ACLU of Utah. “It is an inspiring experience to learn more about the outstanding Utah high school youth who advocate for civil liberties in their schools and communities.” The winners of the 2011-2012 ACLU of Utah Youth Activist Scholarship awards certainly exemplify this commitment to and passion for civil liberties.…

Utah Supreme Court Grants Hearing on “Gang Injunction”

30 September 2012 Published in Newsroom
The ACLU of Utah, along with cooperating attorneys from the Salt Lake City law firm Parr, Brown, Gee & Loveless, will be appearing before the Utah Supreme Court on October 25th for a hearing on whether a controversial injunction issued in Weber County should be subject to immediate appeal in the state’s highest court. On August 20th, Weber County attorneys filed a complaint with the Second District Court in Ogden, asking the court to declare the “Ogden Trece” a public nuisance and impose a multi-faceted injunction regulating the activities of Ogden residents identified by the police as alleged members of the Ogden Trece The Ogden Trece has been described in various court filings and newspaper articles as a “criminal street gang” consisting of several hundred members and operating largely within the Ogden City limits. “Law enforcement certainly has an interest in stopping organized crime,” states ACLU of Utah Legal Director Darcy Goddard. “But there is no evidence here or elsewhere that so-called ‘gang injunctions’ are actually effective long-term. Nonetheless, in exchange for the County’s tenuous and unsupported promise of the possibility of ‘reduced crime,’ this injunction criminalizes a wide range of otherwise legal and constitutionally-protected activity, for literally hundreds of people,…

Brigham City Suspends Enforcement of Free Speech Ordinance: Free Speech For All Returns to Brigham City

13 September 2012 Published in Newsroom
As of yesterday evening, representatives of the Main Street Church have been peacefully handing out their literature on the public sidewalks surrounding the LDS Temple. The Main Street Church agreed to limit the number of its representatives to four on each side of the street. This agreement does not suspend the lawsuit filed against Brigham City. Main Street Church and the ACLU of Utah have not conceded that any past enforcement of the ordinance was constitutional. They also continue to contend that the ordinance is unconstitutional on its face and that it should be completely struck down by the court.

Free Speech for All Returns to Brigham City

13 September 2012 Published in Newsroom
Brigham City Suspends Enforcement of Free Speech Ordinance: Free Speech For All Returns to Brigham City       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    September 13, 2012                                                        SALT LAKE CITY— As of 6:30 p.m. today, Brigham City, Utah has agreed not to enforce its “Free Speech Zone Ordinance” that was challenged in federal court just two days ago by the ACLU of Utah, on behalf of Main Street Church of Brigham City. Since 6:30 p.m. today, representatives of the Main Street Church have been peacefully handing out their literature on the public sidewalks surrounding the LDS Temple. The Main Street Church agreed to limit the number of its representatives to four on each side of the street.   This agreement does not suspend the lawsuit filed against Brigham City.  Main Street Church and the ACLU of Utah have not conceded that any past enforcement of the ordinance was constitutional.  They also continue to contend that the ordinance is unconstitutional on its face and that it should be completely struck down by the court.   “We are thrilled that our clients are no longer being banned from public sidewalks merely because they would like to express their views,…

ACLU of Utah Appeals Ogden's "Gang Injunction" To Utah Supreme Court And Requests Immediate Stay

12 September 2012 Published in Newsroom
The ACLU of Utah, together with cooperating attorneys David Reymann of Parr Brown Gee & Loveless and Randy Richards of Allen, Richards & Pace, today filed a Notice of Appeal in the Second Judicial District Court for Weber County appealing the court’s so-called “gang injunction” to the Utah Supreme Court. The ACLU of Utah also requested that the district court suspend the enforcement of the injunction while the appeal is pending.

ACLU of Utah Files Complaint Challenging Brigham City's Unconstitutional "Free Speech Zone" Ordinance

11 September 2012 Published in Newsroom
ACLU of Utah Files Complaint Challenging Brigham City's Unconstitutional "Free Speech Zone" Ordinance   For Immediate Release September 11, 2012 SALT LAKE CITY— Today, the ACLU of Utah filed a complaint on behalf of the Main Street Church of Brigham City challenging Brigham City’s “Free Speech Zone” Ordinance. The suit alleges that on its face, the ordinance violates the Utah and United States Constitutions because it requires a permit for almost any conceivable form of public expression and imposes civil and criminal penalties for failing to comply. This ordinance could subject many unsuspecting people in Brigham City to liability for engaging in activities protected by the First Amendment. Because Brigham City is actively barring Main Street Church from two public sidewalks in the city, Main Street Church has also moved for a temporary restraining order to immediately prohibit Brigham City from continuing to restrict Main Street Church’s First Amendment rights to assembly, free speech, and free exercise of religion in a traditional public forum. The ACLU of Utah believes that Brigham City’s “Free Speech Zone” Ordinance turns the entire city into a place where free speech, free assembly and free exercise of religion are prohibited until people are granted a…

The ACLU of Utah Commemorates the Life of Brian Barnard

04 September 2012 Published in Newsroom
The ACLU of Utah Commemorates the Life of Brian Barnard   For Immediate Release: September 4, 2012 Brian’s death is a huge loss to the community. Whenever anyone thinks of a civil rights lawyer in Utah, they think of Brian Barnard. He has stood up for the rights of the marginalized and vulnerable for decades and has been instrumental in moving civil rights forward. Brian worked with the ACLU since the mid-1970s. He has partnered with the ACLU of Utah for nearly 40 years as a cooperating attorney on all manner of civil liberties cases. Brian had a wicked sense of humor, a passion for individual rights, and an unwavering commitment to the protection of the people on the fringes of society whose rights were most frequently under attack. One of his very first Free Speech cases with the ACLU of Utah came in 1975, when he defended a theater owner who showed the film "Deep Throat," and in so doing attacked a vague and overly broad obscenity ordinance that stifled free expression. Brian also worked on ACLU cases related to law enforcement excessive force, jail overcrowding and lack of mental health facilities, school-sanctioned prayer, the rights of protestors and…

ACLU of Utah Helps Launch Free Deferred Action Workshops for Childhood Arrivals

04 August 2012 Published in Newsroom
The Utah Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), in collaboration with other public interest groups, is sponsoring a series of free workshops throughout Utah to help those eligible for relief from deportation under the recently announced deferred action program. Supporting partners include the ACLU of Utah, Catholic Community Services, Holy Cross Ministries, the Mexican Consulate, SLC Dream Team and Mestizo Arts and Activism.

ACLU Seeks Details On Automatic License Plate Readers In Massive Nationwide Request

30 July 2012 Published in Newsroom
ACLU Seeks Details On Automatic License Plate Readers In Massive Nationwide Request   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 30, 2012 INFORMATION SOUGHT ON HOW CAMERAS ARE USED BY POLICE AGENCIES AND HOW DATA IS STORED SALT LAKE CITY –American Civil Liberties Union affiliates in 35 states, including Utah, sent requests today to local police departments and state agencies that demand information on how they use automatic license plate readers (ALPR) to track and record Americans’ movements. In addition, the ACLU’s national office filed federal Freedom of Information Act requests with the departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Transportation to learn how the federal government funds ALPR expansion nationwide and uses the technology itself. ALPRs are cameras mounted on patrol cars or on stationary objects along roads – such as telephone poles or the underside of bridges –that snap a photograph of every license plate that enters their fields of view. Typically, each photo is time, date, and GPS-stamped, stored, and sent to a database, which provides an alert to a patrol officer whenever a match or “hit” appears. ALPRs are spreading rapidly around the country, but the public has little information about how they are used to track motorists’ movements, including…

ACLU of Utah Files Amicus Brief In Utah Supreme Court Arguing That Ban On Electronic Signatures In the Initiative Process Is Unconstitutional

19 July 2012 Published in Newsroom
Today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, along with cooperating attorneys David C. Reymann and Chad R. Derum, filed an amicus curiae brief to the Utah Supreme Court in the case of Utahns for Ethical Government v. Clerks for All Counties in the State of Utah. In its brief, the ACLU of Utah argued that a ban on counting electronic signatures in the initiative process violates the Utah Constitution.

ACLU of Utah Reaches Out To Davis School District To Discuss Constitutional Requirements

12 June 2012 Published in Newsroom
ACLU of Utah Reaches Out To Davis School District To Discuss Constitutional Requirements   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 12, 2012 SALT LAKE CITY— Today the ACLU of Utah sent a letter to Superintendent Bryan Bowles of the Davis School District to request a meeting to discuss the constitutional implications of the district’s recent removal of the book “Our Mothers’ House,” by Patricia Polacco, from the shelves of a school in the district. “Federal courts have consistently concluded that the First Amendment protects student access to books in their school libraries, free from limits based on the administration’s disagreement with the viewpoints expressed in the books,” said John Mejia, Legal Director of the ACLU of Utah. “From what we know of the district’s removal of the book, we have serious concerns that the district may have fallen short of these protections.” In the letter, the ACLU of Utah pointed to several cases in which courts have ruled that the First Amendment prevents schools from limiting student access to library materials containing portrayals of LGBTQ people and noted that this situation is factually similar to those cases. The letter further casts doubt on whether the removal of the book is justified by…

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