American Civil Liberties Union

BREAKING: Michigan Judge Allows RTW Lawsuit to Move Forward

BREAKING: Michigan Judge Allows RTW Lawsuit to Move Forward

A small victory was won today in the battle against Right-to-Work. Ingham County Circuit Court Judge William Collette refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and labor unions against the law. The ACLU argued that the law is invalid because it was passed while the public was locked-out of the capitol building in the 2012 lameduck session — a violation of The Open Meetings Act.

The Assoicated Press reports that Collette referred to the plaintiffs case as a “real uphill battle”. However, this development means the discovery process will move forward, with lawmakers, staff, and state police among those tentatively to be deposed. The Detroit News reports that the ACLU alleges that lawmakers filled the galleries with staff members to block the public from entering.

Legal discovery will be interesting to say the least.

Amy Kerr Hardin from Democracy Tree

democracy tree-vltp

ALEC Experimental Privatization Agenda: Public Policy Failure, Corporate Success

While ALEC legislators still insist on implementing ALEC experimental policies and legislation claiming they are cost effective.  But, at the same time, the public is being inundated with more and more research that privatization of governmental agencies does not benefit anyone – except the ALEC corporate profit sector member who gets the state contract or buys state assets.

Two of the on-going experimental legislative projects that ALEC has pushed for several decades include:

  •     Privatization of governmental goods and services
      “government cannot provide goods or services as cheaply as the private sector can.”

and

  •     Turn Capital Assets into Financial Assets: Sell or Lease Government Assets and Enterprises
    states own over $226 billion in infrastructure assets that could be sold to the private sector.”

A current case in point is the on-going privatization issue: More →

N.C. switches stance on drivers licenses for illegal immigrants

Crap!  We’ve know it was coming, but the shitstorm of rad-right legislation that is only to be expected by a state led by a Duke Energy exec–paytoplaypat, Art Pope, an ALEC-dominated State Legislature – a supermajority in Raleigh.

Recently I reposted an article from Mother Jones talking about the Democracy Initiative where they reported that this new, amply funded liberal action group (” The groups in attendance pledged a total of millions of dollars and dozens of organizers to form a united front on these issues…) would be making North Carolina one of its top targets, where “the fight is more about countering the influence of a single powerful donor, the conservative millionaire Art Pope, whose largesse helped install a Republican governor and turn the state legislature entirely red.”

  • North Carolina was the first state to file against Obamacare.
  • North Carolina will not have a state insurance exchange, a recommended action in ALEC’s Plan to Repeal Obamacare. More →

Texas AG threatens to arrest monitors observing US election

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe has monitored several previous elections in the US. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

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State Attorney General calls international group’s plan to watch for fairness at the polls ‘legally irrelevant in the United States’

The Texas attorney general, Greg Abbott, has threatened to arrest international election monitors invited by liberal groups to observe the conduct of next month’s presidential vote in states accused of attempting to disenfranchise minorities.

Abbott has written to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe warning that its monitors have no right to monitor the vote even though they have observed previous US elections.

“The OSCE’s representatives are not authorized by Texas law to enter a polling place. It may be a criminal offence for OSCE’s representatives to maintain a presence within 100 feet of a polling place’s entrance,” he said. “Failure to comply with these requirements could subject the OSCE’s representatives to criminal prosecution for violating state law.”

The OSCE is sending 44 observers to voting stations across the US at the request of various groups, including the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union, because of “an unprecedented and sophisticated level of coordination to restrict voting rights in our nation”. These include attempts by several states, including Texas, to introduce voter identification laws and other measures blocked by federal courts which have ruled they were motivated by racial discrimination.

Well, we’re finally regarded as a nation that cannot conduct honest democratic elections, as reported in this article from the Guardian U.K., and as essentially verified by conservatives’ reaction to this action by the OSCE.  Isn’t that something to be proud of.  Brought to you by the same Party that increased our deficit by getting our nation’s credit rating lowered.  There is a lot more to read in this article, so please click here to read it all.

Judge Won’t Block Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law

I wonder if Judge Robert Simpson is among those judges who have been paid to attend right wing “seminars”–Trips For Judges.  Watch for a future report on www.vltp.net

A state judge on Wednesday refused to block Pennsylvania’s controversial voter ID law. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson’s 70-page order ruled that opponents of the law failed to establish “that disenfranchisement was immediate or inevitable.”

Simpson did not rule on the case’s merits, only on whether it could be enjoined. Opponents of the law are expected to appeal to the state’s Supreme Court.

Simpson ruled that the law “does not expressly disenfranchise or burden any qualified elector or group of electors. The statute simply gives poll workers another tool to verify that the person voting is who they claim to be.”

To read the entire article about this miscarriage of justice, please click here

ACLU: U.S. is paying dearly for elderly inmates

On Wednesday, the ACLU released “At America’s Expense: The Mass Incarceration of the Elderly,” a report examining the mushrooming number of prisoners in the U.S. over 50 and the resultant stresses exerted on the corrections system and on our society as a whole. The civil rights group said that states on average could save $66,000 per year for each elderly prisoner they release from the system.

To read this article, see the embedded video, and access the full ACLU report, please click here