In Ohio and across the nation, civil liberties issues are constantly evolving. New and unique cases come up everyday, cases that may not fit neatly into any previously defined issue.
What's Happening in Ohio
The United States government is using “predictive judgment” to prevent certain people from using commercial air transportation. In other words, the government is trying to predict whether people might commit a terrorist act, whether or not they have a criminal record.
According to Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU National Security Project, the feds “launched its predictive judgment model without any evidence whatsoever about its accuracy…or the extent to which it results in errors.”
Because the government predicts these people—innocent U.S. citizens—might engage in violence at some unknown future time, it has grounded them indefinitely on a federal “no-fly list.”
People on this list need ways of redress to demonstrate their innocence of crimes they haven’t committed. The government refuses to provide these safeguards in its current system. It also declines to tell these people the reasons it has for predicting misconduct or what evidence it has collected, leaving them to guess. Finally, it will not provide a hearing for people to press their case and challenge government witnesses.
The ACLU has asked the courts, on behalf of victims of predictive judgment, to strike down the government’s current redress process and make it responsive to those wronged by predictive judgment.
Civil libertarians from across Ohio are coming together in Columbus on July 26 for the 2014 ACLU of Ohio biennial conference, Resist. Reclaim. Restore Your Rights!
Be there to get the latest information from nationally recognized experts on the state of civil liberties in Ohio, and find out how you can be a part of our work on privacy, debtors’ prisons, disability rights, death penalty reform, LGBT rights, religious liberty, reproductive freedom, prison privatization, and more.
Visit the conference page for more information and registration.
Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself.
August 28, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, one of the largest civil rights rallies in history.
Here you will find a collection of articles, videos, photos and planned events that commemorate that day in 1963, when a quarter of a million people descended upon the nation’s capital to demand liberty and justice for all.
- 50 Years of Dreaming (ACLU of Ohio blog post on the march)
- ACLU History: Fighting for Racial Justice
- A Timeline of the Civil Rights struggle
- The Unfinished March: a report from the Economic Policy Institute
- Color Photographs from the march
- Documentary Footage from the march
- Footage of Martin Luther King Jr. delivering his “I Have a Dream” speech at the march
- Songs of Struggle, (An event of interest on Friday, August 23, 2013, sponsored by the First Unitarian Universalist Church and the Columbus Folk Music Society)
Your Voice! Your Power!, held in Columbus in July of 2012, connected over 200 activists who are fighting for civil liberties across the state of Ohio. With plenary sessions, workshops, resources and opportunities to network, activists returned home with the tools to make a difference in their communities.
Information about the 2012 conference agenda and speakers is available here.
The American Legislative Exchange Council – an organization formed to promulgate pro-corporate, often anti-civil libertarian legislation through a network of local legislators. They are a major force behind efforts to undermine the Bill of Rights by privatizing public services and assets.
Here’s how it works…
Corporate ALEC members vote behind closed doors with ALEC member legislators to approve “model” legislation designed to undermine civil liberties. In the Ohio General Assembly, ALEC member legislators push for those ALEC bills to become law without any disclosure of the role ALEC played in writing or pre-voting on the bills.
ALEC in Ohio
- About 43% of Ohio’s current legislators are ALEC members.
- From January to October of 2011, 33 bills were introduced in Ohio identical to or containing elements from 64 different ALEC “model” proposals.
- Nine of those bills were signed into law.
ALEC’s fingerprints are everywhere. They’re behind…
- The Voter ID bill, requiring voters to provide photo identification at the polls;
- Efforts to privatize Ohio’s prisons; and
- Attempts to undermine public education, immigrant rights, and more.
The ACLU of Ohio is fighting back…and winning!
With help from coalition partners and members, Voter ID was scuttled and only one prison was sold to a private corporation.
The ACLU is using every tool in its arsenal to turn the tables on ALEC. Advocating and lobbying in order to protect our fundamental freedoms. Taking Ohio back from special interest groups who are trying to hijack our rights. Advocating for laws that expand freedoms and protect constitutional rights.
Help us fight back ALEC’s agenda and protect freedom!
Learn more about ALEC at ALECExposed.org.