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This Week in Civil Liberties (6/22/12)

Rekha Arulanantham,
Litigation Fellow,
ACLU National Prison Project
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June 22, 2012

Which legislative body convened the first-ever hearing on the dangers of long-term solitary confinement?

Which standardized testing group announced a new, fairer lactation policy for nursing moms?

In which state are gay and lesbian parents banned from adopting their partners’ kids?

Which government agency found that a Texas school violated a student’s civil rights under Title IX when it failed to investigate the sexual assault she reported?

Which religious lobbying group is holding a “fortnight for freedom” because it wants to use religious liberty as a license to discriminate?

An Innocent Man’s Tortured Days on Texas’s Death Row

Anthony Graves spent years in solitary confinement on Texas’ death row before being proven innocent in 2010. This week, he testified about the experience at a Senate subcommittee hearing on solitary confinement.This was the first-ever congressional hearing on the subject.

Victory! Nursing Mothers Taking the LSAT Finally Catch a Break

Following action by the ACLU and numerous sister organizations, the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), the organization that administers the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), recently announced a new lactation policy for nursing mothers. The new policy allows nursing mothers, to request extended or additional breaks to pump during the LSAT, for up to one year following childbirth.

Why Our Family Is Fighting North Carolina’s Second Parent Adoption Ban

This month, we filed a federal suit in North Carolina to ensure that kids being raised by lesbian or gay parents can have legally protected relationships with both of the parents who are raising them. North Carolina bans second-parent adoption – which is the name for that kind of protection – and the stories of two of our plaintiff families illustrate just how harmful the ban is. Here is the story of one of them.

Title IX Victory: Civil Rights Office Condemns School’s Actions in Sexual Assault Case

Last week, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) of the U.S. Department of Education issued a decision finding that ACLU client “Faith’s” school violated Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in schools. OCR concluded that the school had discriminated against Faith by relying on the police and failing to independently investigate the assault she reported. OCR also determined that the school had retaliated against Faith by disciplining her after she reported the assault.

Religious Freedom Cannot Be a License to Discriminate

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has designated the fourteen days from June 21 to July 4 as its “fortnight for freedom,” during which time the bishops will make claims, as they have in the past, that their faith, and indeed the entire state of religious liberty in this nation, is under attack. Don’t be fooled.

This is your week in civil liberties. Let us know if this is useful or if you’d like to see changes. Share your thoughts:

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