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Proposed Rules Limit Public Access To Court Documents, Open Government Groups Allege

Posted: Oct 20, 2014 |Category: Open Government

Five local organizations dedicated to open government have raised concerns that rules proposed by the Rhode Island Judiciary to implement a new electronic filing system for court documents could lead to increased secrecy and limited access to important court records by the public.

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ACLU Statement In Response To “Rhode Island Traffic Stop Statistics Data Collection Study”

Posted: Oct 15, 2014 |Category: Discrimination Racial/Ethnic Discrimination Police Practices

ACLU of Rhode Island executive director Steven Brown released the following the statement on the Rhode Island Traffic Stop Statistics Data Collection Study. The report includes data for all local police departments and State Police. It is available here

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Judge Rules Unconstitutional State Ban On Anonymous Political Literature

Posted: Oct 07, 2014 |Category: Active Case Free Speech

Ruling in an ACLU lawsuit, U.S. District Court Judge William Smith in October struck down a state law that makes it a crime to circulate anonymous political literature, including unsigned newspaper editorials. The ACLU of Rhode Island sued over the legality of the statute earlier this year to halt the Town of Smithfield’s stated plans to enforce it. The statute, which carries a potential one-year prison sentence, 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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“A Constitutional Convention: The General Assembly’s Kid Brother” by Steven Brown

Posted: Oct 03, 2014 |Category: Civil Rights

If you like how the General Assembly operates, you’ll love a constitutional convention. If you’re concerned about legislative shenanigans, though, you should reject Question 3 on November’s ballot.

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ACLU Calls On DMV To Stop Sharing Drivers’ Personal Information with Anti-Terrorism Database

Posted: Sep 29, 2014 |Category: Privacy

The state Division of Motor Vehicles is sharing personal information about innocent Rhode Islanders with a growing federal anti-terrorism database, the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island charged. The ACLU has called on the DMV to stop sharing the data and to publicly justify its decision to participate in the first place.

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ACLU Commends Brown University President’s Response to Kelly Lecture Protests

Posted: Sep 25, 2014 |Category: Free Speech

ACLU of Rhode Island and the Brown University Chapter of the ACLU commended Brown University President Christina Paxson’s response to the reports on the incident surrounding former New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly’s planned lecture on the Brown Campus last year.


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Police Departments Still Fail To Post Complaint Forms and Procedures Online, In Violation of Law

Posted: Sep 24, 2014 |Category: Police Practices

Ten years after Rhode Island law began requiring police departments to post online their police complaint forms and procedures, some departments are still not in compliance with some of the law’s basic requirements, a report issued Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island has found. The requirement, contained in the Racial Profiling Prevention Act of 2004, was designed to make it easier for victims of police misconduct to file complaints with departments. 

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All 2014 News Releases