On Friday, January 27, ACLU of Ohio senior policy director Mike Brickner spoke to participants at a symposium on criminal justice reform, which was held at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Brickner touched on a familiar but too often ignored problem: Ohio’s growing prison population.
As part of our “tough on crime” mentality, many elected officials and members of the public have supported the belief that people convicted of serious violent crimes are deserving of death, yet few of us look beyond the crime to see how these sentences are handed down.
In modern America’s contentious political climate, we often hear about “activist judges” writing laws from the bench. The Supreme Court, consisting of nine judges who are appointed by the President and Congress for life, may seem far removed from the populist democracy created by the founders, and while voters appear to have very little say in how the Supreme Court decides cases, David Cole’s book Engines of Liberty: the Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law shows that community members have great influence over Constitutional law, even before an stately body such as the Supreme Court.
The ACLU of Ohio held a voting rights tele-town hall meeting on Tuesday, September 27 as part of National Voter Registration Day.
Our town hall meeting was moderated by activist and media personality Basheer Jones, and featured panelists Crystal Bryant, co-director and partner at Cleveland VOTES, and Katrice Williams, policy associate at the ACLU of Ohio.
The first 2016 American presidential debate is sure to spark angst and ire from the two major political parties. Both sides are eager to prove why the other is uninformed, unqualified and unfit for the presidency, vilifying large swaths of Americans.
Imagine showing up to your local polling place and you are not sure of the rules around how to cast your ballot. You ask for assistance from poll workers, but none of them can speak your language or communicate easily with you.
Many Americans believe a felony or other criminal conviction prevents you from voting. In reality, it depends on the state.
The patchwork of state laws feeds the myth that people with criminal records cannot vote. This lack of consistency in state laws makes it confusing for returning citizens.
The last days of July marked the end to both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, where Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have risen as their parties’ presidential nominees for November’s general election.
But limiting November’s general election to just the presidential race is short-sighted, especially given the open seats in the U.S.
Voting is a sacred American value. It gives each citizen their say in a government “of the people, by the people, for the people” While we may not agree on values or even the means to achieve shared objectives, we can agree that every eligible voter deserves unimpeded access to the ballot.
For many Clevelanders, the Republican National Convention will be the first time they witness a major political event of this kind. The last time Cleveland hosted the RNC was in June 1936. The RNC will also be an outstanding opportunity for residents to join one of the greatest cornerstones of the American democratic process, watching the presumed Republican nominee, Donald Trump, become one of the nation’s presidential candidates.