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Newsroom

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) 

View items...

Booksellers, Artists, ACLU Seek to Bar Utah Law Restricting Speech on Internet

08 June 2011 Published in Newsroom
Florence v. Shurtleff (2011) On June 8, 2011, the ACLU of Utah along with a coalition of booksellers, media companies, and artists asked the federal district court in Salt Lake City to issue a permanent injunction, barring enforcement of a Utah statute that restricts constitutionally-protected speech on the Internet. Utah’s law seeks to regulate all Internet speech that may be considered “harmful to minors.” This law, however, is too sweeping in its scope, as it would result in restrictions on visual art, photography, graphic novels, and information about sexual health and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. In August 2006, the district court entered a stipulated preliminary injunction, which blocked the enforcement of the challenged sections of the statute.

Court Blocks Implementation Of Utah “Show Me Your Papers” Law

10 May 2011 Published in Newsroom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. SALT LAKE CITY - Ensuring that Utah law enforcement will not be required to demand "papers" from all people residing in or traveling through Utah, a federal district court in Salt Lake City today blocked implementation of the state’s “show me your papers” law, scheduled to go into effect today. The law, passed earlier this year, authorizes police to demand “papers” demonstrating citizenship or immigration status during traffic stops, invites racial profiling of Latinos and others who appear “foreign” to an officer and interferes with federal law. Today’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Utah and National Immigration Law Center challenging the Utah law. The following can be attributed to Darcy Goddard, Legal Director, ACLU of Utah: “We are pleased the court has ordered that the law cannot take effect until the court has ample time to review the case in full. We anticipate proving to the court that this discriminatory law threatens the rights of all people in Utah. Like Arizona's SB 1070, the Utah law violates the Constitution and is even worse in requiring all Utahns to carry their 'papers' at all times…

ACLU And NILC File Lawsuit Challenging Utah “Show Me Your Papers” Law

03 May 2011 Published in Newsroom
Law Would Turn Utah Into Police State And Invite Racial Profiling, Groups Say – The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Utah, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olsen filed a class action lawsuit today charging that Utah’s recently passed law, HB 497, like Arizona’s notorious SB 1070, authorizes police to demand “papers” demonstrating citizenship or immigration status during traffic stops, invites racial profiling of Latinos and others who appear “foreign” to an officer and interferes with federal law. "America is not a 'show me your papers' country. No one should be subject to investigation, detention and arrest without any suspicion of criminal activity,” said Cecillia Wang, managing attorney with the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project. “Utah’s law violates the Constitution and we are confident that we will prevent it from taking effect.” The lawsuit charges that the Utah law is unconstitutional in that it unlawfully interferes with federal power and authority over immigration matters in violation of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution; authorizes and requires unreasonable seizures and arrests in violation of the Fourth Amendment; restricts the constitutional right to travel freely throughout the United States; violates the Equal…

ACLU OF UTAH FILES PETITION SEEKING IMMEDIATE REVIEW OF WEBER COUNTY “GANG INJUNCTION”; REQUESTS COURT ORDER BLOCKING ENFORCEMENT OF INJUNCTION SALT LAKE CITY

04 October 2010 Published in Newsroom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        October 4, 2010                                    ACLU OF UTAH FILES PETITION SEEKING IMMEDIATE REVIEW OF WEBER COUNTY “GANG INJUNCTION”; REQUESTS COURT ORDER BLOCKING ENFORCEMENT OF INJUNCTION SALT LAKE CITY The ACLU of Utah and cooperating attorneys David Reymann and Clemens Landau of the law firm Parr Brown Gee & Loveless, along with co-counsel Michael J. Boyle, today filed petitions with the Supreme Court of the State of Utah seeking immediate appellate review of the “gang injunction” entered last week by Second District Court Judge Ernie W. Jones. The ACLU of Utah also requested that the Supreme Court block Weber County from enforcing the injunction until after the appeal is decided. The injunction, which was officially entered on September 28, prohibits the Ogden Trece (Trece), and all of its over 475 alleged members, from, among other things, associating with other alleged members of Trece (including family, friends, and co-workers), possessing legal firearms, drinking alcohol (on both public and private property), and engaging in numerous other kinds of constitutionally protected expressive speech and activities.  These prohibitions apply to anyone identified by law enforcement, in its own discretion and with no judicial oversight, to…

ACLU of Utah Seeks to Intervene in "Gang Injunction" Case

09 September 2010 Published in Newsroom
ACLU OF UTAH SEEKS TO INTERVENE IN “GANG INJUNCTION” CASE, RAISES SERIOUS CONSTITUTIONAL CONCERNS WITHWEBER COUNTY’S PROPOSED INJUNCTION The ACLU of Utah and cooperating attorneys David Reymann and Rita Cornish of the law firm Parr Brown Gee & Loveless filed motions today seeking to submit an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief or for limited intervention in the lawsuit recently filed by Weber County seeking an unprecedented “gang injunction.” The proposed injunction would prohibit the Ogden Trece organization, an alleged “street gang,” and any of its alleged members from associating or otherwise engaging in numerous lawful activities anywhere within the City of Ogden. In its lawsuit, Weber County asks the Court to label Ogden Trece, and all of its alleged members, a “public nuisance,” and to issue a permanent injunction that would prohibit those alleged members from, among other things, associating with other alleged members of the group (including, presumably, family, friends, and co-workers), possessing legal firearms, drinking alcohol (on both public and private property), and engaging in numerous other kinds of constitutionally protected expressive speech and activities. These prohibitions would apply to anyone identified by law enforcement, in its own discretion and with no judicial oversight, to be…

UACDL Files Amicus Brief in Support of ACLU's Motion for Expedited Appeal of Ogden "Gang Injunction"

17 August 2010 Published in Newsroom
For Immediate Release October 18, 2010 The Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers today filed with the Utah Supreme Court an amicus curiae (or "friend of the Court") brief (http://www.acluutah.org/UACDL_amicus_brief_Weber_v_Ogden_Trece.pdf) in support of the ACLU of Utah's Petition for Permission to Appeal Interlocutory Order and Motion for Stay Pending Appeal in the Ogden Trece "gang injunction" case. (See ACLU of Utah papers here:http://www.acluutah.org/OgdenTrece.html). A summary of the UACDL's request to be permitted leave to file an amicus brief is reproduced below: *** UACDL’s involvement in this case would ensure that the constitutional issues are fully briefed. Contrary to Weber County’s claims that its request for an injunction is not out of the ordinary, the County’s motion appears to be suspect on its face. One of the principal cases that the county relies on, People v. Acuna, 929 P.2d 596, 609 (Cal. 1997), is readily distinguishable from this matter given the vast geographical area that the County’s motion seeks to address. As opposed to the small area at issue in Acuna, the County seeks to ban a large area of Ogden City. Indeed, on August 28, 2010, the Ogden City police chief described the goal of the injunction in the Salt…

ACLU Of Utah Joins Nationwide Letter To DHS Secretary Napolitano Criticizing DHS’s Response to and Potential Use Of “The List"

29 July 2010 Published in Newsroom
The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah (ACLU of Utah) this week joined with 120 other civil rights organizations and individuals nationwide to urge Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano categorically to reject use by DHS of the now-infamous “list” of 1,300 Utah residents who are allegedly in the country unlawfully. Noting the almost universal condemnation of the list across the political spectrum, the letter asks that Secretary Napolitano: • Issue a public statement unequivocally rejecting the Utah blacklist and this kind of vigilante approach to immigration enforcement;• Commit not to rely on information furnished in the blacklist to pursue any immigration investigations or enforcement actions;• Notify all ICE officers and trial attorneys that they may not rely on the blacklist for purposes of immigration investigations, arrests, detention, prosecutions, or removals; and• Inform all 121 organizations that signed the letter of what actions, if any, ICE undertook when it first received the blacklist in early April. “This type of list, created illegally by state employees utilizing confidential government databases, serves only to inspire fear and distrust in our communities,” said ACLU of Utah Executive Director Karen McCreary. “For the government to utilize information that was compiled and released…

Utah Supreme Court Validates Use of E-Signatures in Electoral Process

22 June 2010 Published in Newsroom
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – The Utah Supreme Court today issued an opinion validating the use of e-signatures in the electoral process. The Court’s opinion, the first of its kind nationwide, has the potential to increase significantly the ability of independent candidates to access the general election ballot, and thus to increase the opportunity for minority viewpoints to be heard and considered in election years.

Execution In Utah Highlights Need To Abolish Death Penalty, Says ACLU

09 June 2010 Published in Newsroom
Execution By Firing Squad Inhumane And Brings Needed Attention To Death Penalty's Systemic Injustices The execution of Ronnie Lee Gardner, who was put to death by firing squad early Friday, highlights the inhumanity and inequity of the death penalty system in the United States, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. The execution of Gardner, who was strapped into a chair, had a hood placed over his head and a small white target pinned over his heart before five anonymous men fired at him with identical .30 caliber rifles, was the third death sentence carried out by firing squad since 1976, and the first since 1996. The state of Utah has executed just seven people in the last 35 years, and currently there are only nine people on the state's death row. The following can be attributed to John Holdridge, Director of the ACLU Capital Punishment Project: "Gardner's execution was both savage and inhumane and highlights the systemic injustices that plague the entire death penalty system in Utah and the rest of the United States. Those who are executed in this country are casualties of an unequal system of justice, in which decisions about who lives and who dies are…

ACLU OF UTAH RELEASES REPORT ON OGDEN ELECTION IRREGULARITIES

24 January 2010 Published in Newsroom
  Report details reported incidents of electioneering, over-reaching voter challenges and provisional ballot issues, concluding that legislative changes and increased oversight are necessary. click here for a pdf version of this press release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 25, 2008 Contact: Karen McCreary This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (801) 521-9862 ext 102 April 25, 2008 – SALT LAKE CITY – The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah released a report today detailing the results of an investigation into election irregularities surrounding the Ogden 2007 municipal election. The ACLU of Utah received numerous complaints from Ogden elections following the November 6 election, alleging inappropriate use of voter challenges, denial of provisional ballots, voter intimidation and electioneering at polling places. “The individuals who contacted our office had serious concerns that their right to vote was compromised,” says Marina Lowe, ACLU of Utah Staff Attorney. “They arrived at the polling place, ready to vote, and were shocked when they were turned away, or when they discovered later that their provisional ballot went uncounted. The right to vote is one of our most fundamental liberties; these individuals felt that their access to that right was unfairly compromised.” In response to these complaints, the ACLU of Utah conducted an…

ACLU of Utah Deeply Troubled By Attorney General's Website Featuring Arrest Video

28 August 2008 Published in Newsroom
  The Office of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff recently launched a website featuring arrest videos of alleged Internet predators. Shurtleff unveiled the site, which he heralded as a means to deter sex offenses, at a public press conference on August 27, 2008. At that time, members of the press and public were shown a video of a man being led away in handcuffs; the video also featured interviews with law enforcement officials who commented on the danger that this arrested man poses to society. The ACLU of Utah is deeply concerned by the Attorney General’s actions. At the time of the press conference, the ACLU of Utah issued an official statement condemning the tactics used as part of this new website. In particular, the ACLU of Utah stated emphatically that fundamental to the United States’ legal system is the principle that individuals are innocent until proven guilty; mere arrest does not equate to guilt. However, widely publicizing an arrest in this sensational manner can cause members of the public to conclude that the arrested man is guilty. While news media often documents and airs arrests, there is a particular danger that an arrested individual will be found guilty in…

National ACLU Statement on the Texas Raid of FLDS Ranch

02 May 2008 Published in Newsroom
On April 3, 2008, Texas law enforcement officials obtained a search warrant related to the suspected sexual assault of a child and then conducted a raid on the YFZ Ranch near Eldorado, Texas. Based upon news reports and other available information, the ACLU has serious concerns that the state’s actions so far have not adequately protected the fundamental rights at stake.

Planned Parenthood & ACLU Rally for Choice Utahns Need Birth Control Not Bans

01 December 2007 Published in Newsroom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 12, 2007  SALT LAKE CITY -- On Thursday, February 15 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. a rally will be held at the Utah State Capitol Plaza to oppose House Bill 235, a bill that would criminalize abortion in Utah. Today the House substituted a so-called “trigger” bill. Either way one bill would directly challenge Roe v. Wade if it is signed into law and the other would impose an abortion ban at some uncertain time in the future. Both versions violate a woman’s constitutional right to decide whether or not to have a child, which is among the most fundamental and private decisions a person can make. Instead of preventing abortion by providing access to family planning and comprehensive sex education, this legislature wants to take away a woman’s choice, a private personal and medical decision that is made by roughly 3,000 women in Utah a year. 66% of women who have abortions in Utah are mothers, mothers who have to make gut wrenching decisions for the welfare of their families. Even in a recent Dan Jones & Associates poll conducted for the Deseret Morning News and KSL-TV, 52% of Utahns oppose adopting a law that would outlaw…

Judge Permits Challenge to Utah Harmful to Minors Act to Proceed

28 November 2007 Published in Newsroom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 29, 2007 Salt Lake City, UT - In an opinion and order issued today, Judge Dee Benson of the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City denied an attempt by Attorney General Shurtleff to dismiss a challenge to the Utah Harmful to Minors Act, as recently amended. The challenge was brought by local and national booksellers, including locally owned The King’s English Bookstore and Sam Weller’s Zion Bookstore, mainstream national media groups, and internet providers, among others. The lawsuit was brought by plaintiffs on grounds that the Utah Harmful to Minors Act, although meant to protect children from sexually explicit material on the Internet, instead unconstitutionally restricts the access of adults to First Amendment-protected material, limits the free speech rights of Internet content providers, could negatively impact Internet users who have no wish to restrict the sites to which they have access, acts as a prior restraint on Internet service providers’ speech, and violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. As to the primary challenge to the definition of “harmful to minors” and the application of the law to Internet transmissions, the Court found today that eight of the plaintiffs have standing to challenge these…

ACLU of Utah Investigates Ogden City Election Complaints

18 November 2007 Published in Newsroom
For Immediate Release November 19, 2007 SALT LAKE CITY -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah will be looking into complaints it has received regarding election irregularities in the November 6th mayoral race in Ogden, Utah, as it considers potential action. “We have received complaints of election irregularities including inappropriate use of voter challenges, denial of provisional ballots, intimidation of voters and electioneering at the polling places,” states Karen McCreary, Executive Director.  “If substantiated, these actions not only undermine the trust and confidence Utah voters should have in the electoral process but they also violate the Utah constitution and state law.” The ACLU of Utah is seeking information from any one who encountered problems voting in the Ogden mayoral election on election day or who observed incidents in which fellow voters were discouraged from voting. Information should be directed via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone to 801-521-9862, extension 101.

ACLU of Utah Asks the Utah Supreme Court to Invalidate State Tax Law That Censors Free Expression

15 November 2007 Published in Newsroom
 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 16, 2007  SALT LAKE CITY – Citing First Amendment violations, the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Utah Supreme Court today in a case challenging a state law that imposes a substantial tax on businesses deemed to be “sexually explicit.”  “The power to tax is an awesome responsibility, and lawmakers must be careful that they do not run afoul of the Constitution by singling out particular speech or expression for taxation,” said ACLU of Utah Staff Attorney Marina Baginsky Lowe. “Unfortunately, this law does exactly that.” At issue in the case is a 2004 law that imposes a 10 percent tax on all gross income from businesses that feature “any nude or partially denuded individual.” While courts have upheld time, place, and manner restrictions on businesses featuring nude dancing, they have not allowed governments to selectively restrict that practice absent a compelling state interest. At the time the Utah State Legislature considered the law, the ACLU of Utah and others lobbied against it, warning that legislators’ unsupported assertions that there is a connection between the types of businesses targeted by the bill and sex crimes were not enough to provide…

“Torture and the Rule of Law: Three Narratives About Abu Ghraib,” A Presentation by the Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project

19 September 2007 Published in Newsroom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 20, 2007  SALT LAKE CITY -- On Thursday, September 27, 2007 at 7:30 p.m., the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah will host an event at the Gore Auditorium, Westminster College, 1840 South 1300 East. The event will feature a presentation by Jameel Jaffer on “Torture and the Rule of Law: Three Narratives About Abu Ghraib.” This presentation is free and open to the public. Jaffer is a litigator for the American Civil Liberties Union and Director of the ACLU's National Security Project.  Jaffer and ACLU attorney Amrit Singh, successfully forced the Department of Defense to release documents which exposed the widespread use of torture and other concerns regarding the treatment and detention of prisoners held by the U.S. in Afghanistan, Iraq, and at Guantanamo Bay, after they filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that was litigated in Federal Court. “We now possess overwhelming evidence that political and military leaders endorsed interrogation methods that violate both domestic and international law,” said Jaffer, “The documents that have been released make very clear that senior military officials and civilian leaders should be held accountable for what took place.” Jaffer's book, about the FOIA case, titled "Administration…

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