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ACLU Sues Smithfield for Enforcing Unconstitutional Ban on Anonymous Literature

Posted: Apr 15, 2014 |Category: Free Speech

The ACLU of Rhode Island today filed a federal lawsuit to prevent the Smithfield Police Department from continuing to enforce an overly broad state law that makes it a crime to circulate anonymous political literature, including unsigned newspaper editorials. The statute, which carries a potential one-year prison sentence, unconstitutionally bars the distribution of any anonymous political literature that relates to ballot questions or that criticizes a political candidate’s “personal character or political action.”

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Following RI ACLU Complaint, R.I. Judiciary Announces Improved Interpreter Services for Defendants

Posted: Apr 14, 2014 |Category: Immigration

Following a ten-year U.S. Department of Justice investigation prompted by an ACLU of Rhode Island complaint, the state judiciary has adopted a plan to ensure adequate language interpreter services are available to all clients in the state’s courts. 

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ACLU Agrees to Raise Concerns about Pension Settlement Voting Process at Court Fairness Hearing

Posted: Apr 02, 2014 |Category: Workplace Rights

With the first round of voting in the controversial pension reform settlement set to conclude tomorrow, the ACLU of Rhode Island has announced plans to submit testimony at an anticipated “fairness hearing,” if one occurs, in order to raise concerns about the settlement’s opt-out voting process.

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ACLU Report Shows Record High Racial Disparities in School Discipline Rates Last Year

Posted: Mar 10, 2014 |Category: Discrimination Students' Rights

A report issued by the ACLU of Rhode Island today shows that Rhode Island’s public schools last year disproportionately suspended black students at the highest rates in nine years, while white students were suspended at record low rates. Like black children, Hispanic students remained severely over-suspended, with these disparities reaching all the way to the lowest grades. In addition, students generally – including elementary school children – were given out-of-school suspensions at alarming rates for minor disciplinary infractions.

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National Experts Submit Legislative Testimony Against “High Stakes Testing”

Posted: Feb 26, 2014 |Category: Students' Rights

National education experts are submitting written testimony today to express support for legislation that would delay or halt the RI Department of Education’s “high stakes testing” requirement for high school seniors. According to the latest RIDE statistics, almost 1,600 seniors remain at risk of not getting a diploma because of the testing requirement.

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ACLU Files Suit on Behalf of Community Group to Obtain Records on Enforcement of Immigration Laws

Posted: Feb 24, 2014 |Category: Immigration Open Government

The ACLU of Rhode Island has filed an open records lawsuit on behalf of the Olneyville Neighborhood Association (ONA) in an effort to obtain documents relating to the state’s cooperation with federal immigration officials that the group wants to share with the community. The lawsuit, against the RI Department of Corrections and the RI State Police, seeks a court order waiving the significant fees the agencies want to charge ONA before turning over the requested records.

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Residents Sue City of Cranston over Redistricting Plan that Counts Incarcerated People as Residents

Posted: Feb 19, 2014 |Category: Voting Rights

Local residents and the ACLU of Rhode Island are suing the City of Cranston, charging that the 2012 redistricting plan for the City Council and School Committee violates the one person, one vote principle of the U.S. Constitution by counting incarcerated people in their prison location as if they were all residents of Cranston.

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