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Councilman strip-searched for using profanity in complaint to police

A city councilman in Pennsylvania has filed a federal lawsuit against Gilberton mayor Mary Lou Hannon and police chief Mark Kessler after being arrested and strip-searched for using profanity in a voicemail. The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania filed the lawsuit (PDF) Thursday on behalf of Gilberton Borough Councilman…

Principal allegedly assaulted student for wearing Gay-Straight Alliance shirt

A 17-year-old senior at Sequoyah High School, Chris Sigler, claimed his principal shoved and verbally harassed him last week for wearing a t-shirt in support of establishing a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club. A teacher had told Sigler he could not wear his homemade shirt, which said “GSA: We’ve Got Your…

‘Occupy Chicago’ enters eleventh day of protest

The “Occupy Chicago” protest against corporate influence on the United States government has lasted for eleven straight days. “Occupy Chicago” began on September 23, when around 20 people gathered at Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, and then marched to the Federal Reserve Bank to show their solidarity…

Sen. Dick Durbin: Koch brothers spearheading voter suppression effort

At the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois’ 2011 Bill of Rights Celebration in Chicago, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) applauded the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” but warned that other civil rights issues needed to be addressed. “At the top of our list of priorities is protecting the right…

Man faced 15 years in prison for recording police officer

An Illinois man faces a felony and up to 15 years in prison for recording a traffic stop using his cell phone. Illinois has one of the most restrictive eavesdropping laws in the country. Someone recording audio must have the permission of everyone being recorded. “I’m in a private car…

Virgin Mobile and Verizon retain content of text messages

The cell phone service providers Virgin Mobile and Verizon retain the content of text messages, according to a Justice Department memo obtained by the America Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina. Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, Nextel, and Virgin Mobile all retain information relating to text messages, such as who…

LRAD Corp. disputes ACLU lawsuit over G-20 protest

LRAD Corp., manufacturer of a sonic device deployed against protestors during the 2009 G-20 Summit, has disputed the claims made in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit. Last week, a bystander who suffered permanent hearing loss after Pittsburgh police deployed a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) against protestors during the…

Court allows ACLU to challenge government wiretapping

The American Civil Liberties Union was allowed Wednesday to move forward with their case against government wiretapping. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the court would not have to reconsider a case the ACLU brought against the government challenging the FISA Amendments Act (FAA), which…

Tea party backs ACLU lawsuit against Florida voting law

Tea party groups in Florida have found themselves in the surprising position of supporting lawsuits brought against the state by the American Civil Liberties Union. The Florida Legislature passed and Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed a law that bans candidates for public office from switching parties. Doug Guetzloe, the head…

Kansas judge recommends letting anti-abortion law stand

A Kansas judge Monday recommended that federal courts deny an American Civil Liberties Union request that would allow abortion clinics in Kansas to operate unhindered by new, restrictive standards, The Wichita Eagle reported. A bill was passed in May that requires women to purchase an add-on to their insurance if…

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