The FBI could soon be getting access to Ohio’s law enforcement records, including the state’s facial recognition database.
A recent report by the Government Accounting Office raised serious concerns about how the FBI manages its use of technology. They pointed to failures to determine error rates and test data accuracy, non-existent privacy policies, and an overall lack of transparency and notice to the public about how their data was being used.
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SIGN THE PETITION! » TELL CLEVELAND OFFICIALS AND ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS WE NEED POLICE REFORM
Friday, May 26, 2017 marks two years since Cleveland officials agreed to make major reforms to its unconstitutional police department. This anniversary comes just weeks after Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered the Department of Justice to review all existing police reform agreements like Cleveland’s, a sign that he doesn’t think the reforms they guarantee are necessary. Jeff Sessions doesn’t take police reform seriously, and there are signs that Cleveland officials aren’t taking it seriously either.
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Ohio legislators introduced three bills that will create stiffer penalties for drug-related offenses and send more Ohioans to our overcrowded jails and prisons. House Bill 4, Senate Bill 1, and Senate Bill 42 continue the misguided “War on Drugs,” even though criminalization has failed to solve drug use and addiction for decades.
All three bills will increase penalties for drug mixtures while doing nothing to curb drug use and addiction in Ohio. For instance, a person arrested with 3 grams of an illegal drug mixed with 7 grams of another substance, would be charged as if all 10 grams are the illegal drug. Rather than continuing down this troubled path, Ohio should treat drug use and addiction for what it is — a public health issue.
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The Ohio Senate has only been back in session for a month, but anti-choice legislators have wasted no time resuming their crusade against reproductive rights. Last week, state senators reintroduced an unconstitutional bill designed to stigmatize a woman’s personal decision to end a pregnancy, and make abortion care less accessible.
Senate Bill 28 is a transparent attempt to make it more difficult for Ohio’s abortion clinics to serve the women who rely on them for safe and nonjudgmental care, by requiring the burial or cremation of embryonic and fetal tissue. Like Ohio’s other health-care providers, abortion clinics already follow state-regulated procedures for the safe and appropriate handling of all forms of biological tissue. This legislation is among the most radical in the nation as it includes not only fetuses, but also zygotes and other collections of cells. There is no medically justifiable reason for forcing abortion clinics to adhere to this new, highly burdensome requirement.
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Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, Ohioans have the right to marry who they love. But now our politicians are trying to enshrine anti-LGBTQ discrimination into law with a “Pastor Protection Act” that was just introduced on February 7 and is already being rushed through committee hearings the next day.
House Bill 36 purports itself to be the Pastor Protection Act because it would allow ministers to refuse to perform any marriage that doesn’t conform to their sincerely held religious beliefs. Let’s be clear: the First Amendment already protects pastors’ freedom of religion, including their right not to perform marriages that may violate their beliefs. Just as Catholic priests were never required to marry non-Catholic couples, they would not be required to marry same-sex couples. At the same time, government officials and businesses should treat all couples equally.
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Stop the death penalty in Ohio. Contact Governor Kasich and urge him to halt all executions.
Learn about our priorities for the year by reading our ACLU of Ohio Foundation 2016 Work Plan.
Writing your legislators? Use these tips.
Are you concerned a judge has acted improperly in a court case? See our step by step explanation of how to file a complaint against a judge.
Not sure who represents you in the statehouse? Click here to find out.
Check out our legislative priorities for the Ohio General Assembly this session.
We look forward to working with legislators on both sides of the aisle to:
See the current Ohio General Assembly Committee Hearing Schedule for legislation with a civil liberties component.