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Moving Justice Forward For 60 Years!

Articles, Resources, and Position Papers

Following is a partial list of ACLU of Utah articles, resources and position papers. Additional materials can be found on our issue pages.

Students! Know Your Rights: A Guide For Utah High School Students

SKYRlrgIn school, young people not only learn about their constitutional rights, but they also see firsthand how those rights may be affected by the actions of others. The ACLU of Utah is dedicated to protecting the constitutional rights of students and to helping students understand their rights in school.

The material provided on this website is for basic informational purposes only. It is not meant to be and should not be taken as legal advice, nor should you rely on this information instead of seeking the advice of an attorney. The legal issues surrounding civil rights and civil liberties are among the most complex in the law, and a person’s rights may vary from case to case depending on small and subtle details. Only a lawyer who has taken the time to become fully aware of the facts in a given case can provide you with sound legal advice.

If you feel your rights have been violated, please let us know the details by filling out a complaint form on our website.

National ACLU links for youth & students

A Guide For Utah High School Students

Other Utah Material

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2020 Utah Voter Empowerment Guide

11 June 2020 Published in Articles, Resources, and Position Papers
  The ACLU doesn't endorse or oppose any candidate or party, but we believe voting is the cornerstone of our democracy and a fundamental right upon which all our civil liberties rest. This information is designed to help you protect your own right to vote. 

Know Your Rights: Protest and Engage in Other Free Speech Activities in Utah

02 June 2020 Published in Articles, Resources, and Position Papers
Download a PDF of this pamphlet >>  Where can I protest?   Public forums: You have a constitutionally protected right to engage in peaceful protest in public forums such as streets, sidewalks, or parks. You may also be able to protest in front of government buildings and the legislature. Salt Lake County has designated protest zones, areas that are specifically designated for public demonstrations and protests. There may be restrictions on the time, place, and manner of how your exercise your free speech rights. However, these restrictions must serve a substantial government interest (like traffic safety), and they must be narrowly tailored to serve that interest. They also may not unreasonably limit alternate avenues of expression. Finally, the government may not place greater restrictions on anyone because of their point of view.

Endgame for Operation Rio Grande

04 November 2019 Published in Articles, Resources, and Position Papers
 As the high-profile law enf­­orcement campaign in downtown Salt Lake City winds down, addressing the long-term damage that it created is just beginning.

Jails Deserve Justice

11 October 2019 Published in Articles, Resources, and Position Papers
Sara Wolovick returns to the ACLU of Utah for a two-year fellowship focused on jail reforms.\ Who says you can’t go back? When Sara Wolovick left the ACLU of Utah in 2017 at the end of a summer legal internship, she returned to Georgetown Law School to finish her degree. And now, as a newly minted J.D., Sara is returning to the ACLU as an Equal Justice Works Fellow to address the injustices and abuses within Utah’s jail and prison system that she researched as an intern.

Unblocking the First Amendment

11 October 2019 Published in Articles, Resources, and Position Papers
Announcing a new toolkit to help Utahns regain access to government social media pages.  Clicking the “block” button on social media pages is now much more perilous for Utah politicians and government agencies. Not only have more courts ruled that silencing online critics violates the First Amendment, but the ACLU of Utah has released a new toolkit to help people regain access to official government social media pages. 

2020 Legislative Preview

11 October 2019 Published in Articles, Resources, and Position Papers
Prepare for next year’s legislative session with the ACLU of Utah’s chief lobbyist. With only 45 days to make laws, Utah’s lawmakers and lobbyists rely on months of prep time to focus priorities and hone talking points. To find out what to expect when the next legislative session begins on January 28, 2020, we sat down with Marina Lowe, the ACLU of Utah’s Legislative & Policy Counsel and long-time lobbyist.

A Day in the Life of a Community Outreach Coordinator

11 October 2019 Published in Articles, Resources, and Position Papers
Ever since Sydni Makemo talked her way into a job at the ACLU of Utah in 2018, we knew she was a go-getter. As the first ACLU staff member based in Southern Utah (she lives with her husband, Hilkiah, and two children in St. George), Sydni is responsible for introducing the ACLU to hundreds of new supporters and allies. How does she do it? Let’s examine a typical day for Sydni.

State of Surveillance

11 October 2019 Published in Articles, Resources, and Position Papers
To protect our right to privacy, we first need to realize what we might lose. Download this article as a PDF Imagine two streets in a Utah city.  On the first street, the neighbors know each other and talk often. They share tools, care for each other’s pets, and watch out for children playing in the street. No security cameras scan the sidewalks, and people speak freely without fear of being recorded. In the evening, families go for walks to visit on front porches and talk about ways to improve their neighborhood.  But on the second street, people don’t know their neighbors and never visit each other. Every house is ringed by a network of security cameras linked to a government database, and “No Trespassing” signs are planted in every yard. A police surveillance camera on a telephone pole scans passers-by with facial recognition software, while watchful eyes behind curtained windows report every strange car and person to the authorities.

Data-Driven Justice

11 October 2019 Published in Articles, Resources, and Position Papers
Criminal justice reform won’t happen unless we learn what’s going on inside the system. Even for insiders, the grinding gears of the criminal justice system can be as mysterious as a secret machine. That is why the Campaign for Smart Justice in Utah has been demanding more data collection, transparency, and accountability since we launched our effort in 2018. This is a summary of the progress we have made so far. 

“We Will See You In Court”

11 October 2019 Published in Articles, Resources, and Position Papers
Six months ago we filed a lawsuit to stop the state’s 18-week abortion ban. Here’s where it stands. On Wednesday, April 10, the ACLU of Utah Foundation joined with the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah to file a lawsuit in federal court to block H.B. 136—the state’s 18-week abortion ban passed during the 2019 legislative session. At the press conference at the Utah Capitol announcing the lawsuit, ACLU of Utah Senior Staff Attorney Leah Farrell reminded the audience that we successfully challenged a similar 22-week ban in the 1990s, adding “And once again we are standing up to hold the line and to say, ‘we will see you in court.’”

Making Voting Easier

11 October 2019 Published in Articles, Resources, and Position Papers
Helping more Utahns vote is the goal of our  new full-time colleague, Niki Venugopal. Voting is a fundamental right, no matter where you live. To realize that goal, the ACLU of Utah’s new Voting Rights Coordinator, Niki Venugopal, is launching an 18-month campaign to ensure equal and adequate access to the ballot box across the state. 

Dixie State Aids Immigrants (Fall 2019 Liberty Reporter)

11 October 2019 Published in Articles, Resources, and Position Papers
A new fingerprinting service helps Washington County immigrants secure driving privilege cards. In June, Dixie State University’s (DSU)campus police began offering fingerprinting services to immigrants seeking a Utah driving privilege card after the ACLU of Utah noticed the service was not offered anywhere in Washington County. Driving privilege cards (DPC) allow immigrants to maintain and operate a vehicle regardless of their legal status, including recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Perspectives (Fall 2019 Liberty Reporter)

11 October 2019 Published in Articles, Resources, and Position Papers
How do you balance the benefits of new technology with the loss of privacy it can bring?

Endgame for Operation Rio Grande

29 September 2019 Published in Articles, Resources, and Position Papers
  We are still working on our updated report on Operation Rio Grande. We received important feedback and information from several partners who read a preview of the report, and we are busy incorporating these changes in to the final report.  In the meantime, you can read a preview of the report here, ORG Endgame, from the ACLU of Utah's Fall 2019 Newsmagazine, Liberty Reporter.  

The Deadliest Year: Map of Officer-involved Fatal Shootings

14 May 2019 Published in Articles, Resources, and Position Papers
Read the article, "The Deadliest Year" (link) (PDF) Review infographics and maps of the 2018 incidents (PDF)

COVER STORY: The Deadliest Year (Spring 2019 Liberty Reporter)

14 May 2019 Published in Articles, Resources, and Position Papers
Review infographics about the 2018 incidents (PDF) View an interactive map of the 2018 incidents ...from the Spring 2019 Liberty Reporter Officer-involved shootings increased three-fold in Utah in 2018, but why? A cell phone.A silver pellet gun.A screwdriver.A .45-caliber handgun. These were the objects found with the bodies of four of the 19 people killed by law enforcement officers in Utah last year. In each case, officers fearing for their lives or the lives of others, shot and killed the person holding the item. After the shootings, the objects were recovered, cataloged, and more details about them emerged. A screwdriver was “modified.” A knife was 10 inches long. Sometimes, the investigations revealed how police misidentified non-lethal objects as dangerous weapons. A perceived gun was actually a cell phone. What looked like a rifle became a realistic-looking BB gun. When violence occurs and someone dies, every detail is important to try to understand what happened.  These objects, both lethal and harmless, joined the complex narrative that grows around each shooting, which police departments call Officer-Involved Critical Incidents (OICI). Add in body camera footage, witness interviews, and social media commentary, and the events become tragic, self-contained stories unfolding on lawns, sidewalks, and parking…

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