American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is our nation’s
guardian of liberty. We work daily in courts, legislatures
and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights
and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by
the Constitution and laws of the United States. Read
NEW LEADERSHIP AT THE ACLU OF ALASKA
The American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”) of Alaska Foundation Board has selected Joshua Decker to serve as Interim Executive Director, effective May 20, 2013. Decker, who is a staff attorney for the ACLU of Alaska, has litigated cases relating to erasing criminal records that were caused by police misconduct, free speech rights in public places, protection of confidential organizational information, and other areas. Decker will replace Jeffrey Mittman, who leaves Alaska to continue his work with the ACLU in the Lower 48. Read the full press release.
Join us in thanking Jeffrey Mittman for his leadership over the last five years, and meeting Joshua. Read more.
Thursday, Aug. 1: Liberty Raffle Party
Join us at our 22nd Annual ACLU of Alaska Foundation Liberty Raffle Party on Thursday, Aug. 1st from 5:30 to 7:00pm at Ginger (425 W. 5th Avenue, Anchorage, AK).
There will be a drawing of the $5000 Grand Prize, along with a $1000 second prize, and many regional and special prizes. While you don't have to be present to win, there is a special $250 prize awarded only to a person present at the party.
For more information about the party, contact the ACLU at email@example.com or (907) 258-0044.
ACLU of Alaska Investigates State's Unconstitutional Censoring of Juneau Pro-Life Protest
The ACLU of Alaska Foundation has asked the Governor's Office and the Alaska Department of Administration to share the public records of how, for 45 minutes on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, official vehicles from the Department of Administration blocked a peaceful pro-life protest outside the Capitol in Juneau. The First Amendment comes first for a reason: the ACLU will vigorously defend the right of all activists to peacefully protest and present their views. While the ACLU supports a woman's constitutional right to reproductive choice, everyone has the right to peacefully protest and the government may not pick and choose who gets to speak. Read the full press release and the public records request to the Governor and the Department of Administration.
House Bill 3 would make it nearly impossible for many rural Alaskans and Alaska Natives to vote
If passed, HB 3 would require a voter to either show photo identification before she can vote, or produce two forms of identification, such as a birth certificate and a marriage certificate. There's just one problem: Alaskans who live in rural communities don't have photo IDs because the DMV has decided it's too expensive to provide them. So if this law passes, a resident in Wasilla will be able to show up with just her driver's license and vote, but a resident in Elim would not; she will have to dig up her birth certificate and her marriage license just to vote.
Tell your Legislators to vote NO on HB 3!
We should not be erecting barriers or creating unreasonable standards for voter identification when the head of Alaska's Division of Elections has affirmed they are unnecessary. The fundamental right for every voter to have her vote counted is essential to the democratic process. Read more (PDF) »
A broad coalition of Anchorage residents – a performance artist, labor unions, peace activist group, former political candidates, and others – sued Anchorage to protect the rights of free speech and protest for everyone who lives in and works in Anchorage.
In November 2011, the Anchorage Assembly passed an ordinance that restricts the right to protest and speak throughout Anchorage. The Assembly passed the law in part because it received incorrect information that the ordinance was constitutional. In December 2011, and again in May 2012, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alaska gave the Municipality of Anchorage detailed analyses of the ordinances ' constitutional shortcomings, and offered to work cooperatively to craft acceptable language. In September 2012, portions of the unconstitutional provisions were repealed by the Assembly, but Mayor Sullivan issued a veto. Lacking any other way to fix these constitutional problems, these eight plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU of Alaska Foundation, sued Anchorage on January 31, 2013. Read a copy of the lawsuit and our press release.
Teeka Ballas speaks at press conference
2013 Scholarship Winners Announced
Sharon Hildebrand and Samuel Kurland are this year 's recipients of the ACLU of Alaska Foundation scholarships. The announcement was made as part of the Liberty Brunch held February 2nd at the Marriott in Anchorage, Alaska. Read more »
TOP STORIES —
Protecting Alaska Native Religious Freedom Last summer, 21 Yup'ik fishermen were charged with violating the orders of the Commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game, because they – as Yup'ik fishermen have done for thousands of years – fished for king salmon in the Kuskokwim River. The attorney defending the fishermen has argued to the trial court that they are protected by the right to free exercise of their religion. The taking of fish and game is intrinsic to the Yup'ik belief about harmony and balance in nature; the seasons change only because humans and animals are equal partners in a continuous cycle of death and rebirth. The state had no means to grant religious exceptions for fishermen who had religious beliefs at stake. For this reason, the ACLU of Alaska filed a "friend of the court" brief to support the fishermen's claim that they were protected from prosecution by the Free Exercise clause. Read the complete brief.
Alaskans Lack Needed Protections Against Permanent Record of Unconstitutional Arrests and Prosecutions. MatSu Couple Sues State of Alaska Seeking Expungement and Return of Improperly Held Property.
Samantha Clymer and Robin Kling filed a lawsuit today seeking to establish the right of all Alaskans to clear their names when they are unconstitutionally arrested or prosecuted. Under current law, even when government agents have engaged in misconduct, there is no mechanism for clearing the record and removing information from the state's database of arrests, court cases, or prosecutions.
Additional details are in our press release, or you may read a copy of the lawsuit.
MUNICIPALITY OF ANCHORAGE UPDATE
A hand recount has been completed in response to the unusual and contested Municipality of Anchorage Election on April 3, 2012. In addition, in response to ACLU recommendations, the Assembly has appointed an independent counsel to ensure an appropriate and impartial review of the election and make suggested changes for future elections. The counsel's report will be submitted by July 1, 2012.
Victory in K.L. v. DMV Case
The Alaska Superior Court issued its Opinion in the K.L. matter (regarding the right of transgender Alaskans to have a gender appropriate license). The Court said that 1) Refusing to change the sex designation on a driver's license for any reason violates a basic privacy right; 2) The DMV is ordered to provide a regulation within 180 days; and 3) K.L.'s license cancellation is stayed for the duration of the regulatory process, and she may reapply for a license after the regulation is promulgated and adopted. You made read the Court's Opinion.
Alaska Court Rules In Favor of Lesbian and Gay Families. Excluding Same-Sex Couples from Tax Exemption Benefit Violates Alaska Constitution The Superior Court in Anchorage ruled that the state's tax-assessment rules unconstitutionally discriminate against same-sex couples by denying them equal access to a property tax exemption for senior citizens and disabled veterans. The State is appealing the case despite an evenhanded ruling from the Superior Court. The State continues in its attempt to deny equal treatment to same sex couples. Additional details are in our Press Release, or you may read the Court’s Opinion.
Court To Hear Facts Regarding Challenge to Parental Notice Act. Important Decision for Young Women of Alaska. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Alaska have challenged the so-called “Parental Notice Act,” which threatens the safety of Alaska’s young women. The Initiative Sponsors and the state had asked a Judge to declare–without any hearings or trial–that the Act’s provisions were acceptable. Instead, the Court agreed with the ACLU and our partners that evidence about the difficulties faced by residents of rural Alaska and other issues required a full hearing. You may read the Court’s Ruling.
ACLU to Argue for Protection of Private Medical Records. Court to Hear Arguments in Sitka on December 16. In the Cadle matter, the ACLU is arguing for the protection of the private medical information of approximately 400 patients of a Ketchikan midwife clinic. Their files were improperly seized and reviewed by the State. The matter has been set for argument before the Court in Sitka on Friday, December 16 at 2:00 p.m. For details, contact the ACLU at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Presentation by National Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Anthony Romero available online.
Mr. Romero addressed the ongoing struggle for equal rights, and the continuing challenges faced by minority and underprivileged communities, along with the work of the ACLU in fighting for equal rights.
FEDERAL COURT VICTORY for Free Speech. Judge Voids Alaska Statute to Protect First Amendment Rights: Holds Restrictions on Internet Speech Violate Constitution. In a lawsuit brought by Alaska booksellers, libraries, a photographer, and other First Amendment and media organizations, Chief U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline held that an Alaska criminal statute threatened to reduce all speech on the Internet “to only what is fit for children,” and permanently barred its enforcement because it violates the First Amendment.
Asks Court To Rule In Challenge To Tax Law That Treats Gay
Families Unfairly. The ACLU of Alaska filed a motion
for summary judgment in a lawsuit challenging the state’s
tax-assessment rules, which discriminate against same-sex
couples by denying them equal access to a property tax exemption
for senior citizens and disabled veterans. Those who qualify
and who live with same-sex partners are only permitted, at
most, half of the exemption available to opposite-sex married
couples because they are treated as roommates rather than
as families. You may read the briefing
memo or additional details in
our press release.
the Legislative Session winds down, here is a summary
(PDF) of the Legislation the ACLU has been working on.
For more details on some of these bills, go to our Legislature
Allowing Destruction of Homeless Property Unconstitutional. Court
Finds Multiple Violations of Due Process; ACLU Invites Municipality
to Work Together on Fashioning Appropriate Policy. The Superior
Court granted Summary Judgment in favor of Plaintiffs Dale Engle
and homeless persons, finding that the Anchorage Municipality’s
Ordinance allowing summary destruction of their personal property
is facially unconstitutional. The ACLU is extremely pleased that
the Court found that the initial 5-day notice period is inadequate
and violates due process. The Court also held that the provision
allowing for destruction of property 2-days after a decision
by a municipal hearing officer - which effectively denies homeless
persons access to the courts – is
unconstitutional. You may read the Judge’s
Opinion or additional
Survey to Assess Discrimination Against LGBT Alaskans. A new
survey will gather information about experiences of discrimination
and bias in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)
community in Anchorage, Alaska. The Anchorage LGBT Discrimination
Survey is the product of a coalition effort by organizations
that serve the community, including Identity, Inc., Alaskan AIDS
Assistance Association, Alaskans Together for Equality, Equality
Works and the ACLU of Alaska. It is the first survey of its kind
in over 20 years, and the first to collect information about
Survey collection finished on March 31 and researchers
are currently processing the data. Check back at the ACLU
of Alaska website and the survey website itself, www.alaskacommunity.org,
for updates on when results of the survey will be available.
Trial Court in Anchorage Blocked the Worst Parts of Proposition
2, which endangers the health and safety of Alaska’s most
vulnerable teens. The ACLU and our partners were able
to successfully argue before the Court, which ruled that “the initiative
adopts an unduly controlling and punitive approach to this public
health matter.” You can read
the Judge’s Order at PP
v SOA.PI Order, or review
which provisions have been blocked at PP
v SOA.Revised PNL. For additional details, see In
Resources for Dealing with TSA “Naked Scanners.” The
ACLU of Alaska and National ACLU are concerned with recent government
initiatives that invade Americans’ privacy. While security
is important to all of us, procedures should be effective and
pose the least threat to our civil liberties.
We’re collecting individuals' stories in order to determine
the scope of this problem and evaluate future action. While there
is currently no “naked scanner” in Alaska, we want
to avoid improper intrusions into our privacy. If you wish to
be involved in the effort to protest these scanners, please contact
the ACLU at email@example.com.
Alaska’s Teens. The ACLU of Alaska has joined
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest in seeking to block
the recently passed Ballot Measure 2, which threatens the health
and safety of Alaska’s teens. The recently filed lawsuit
asks the court to enjoin the “parental notice” law,
which is unconstitutional and would have a particularly harsh
impact on young women who live in abusive homes. You can read
a copy of the Complaint, and check back to our website
for updates on this lawsuit.
Planned Parenthood and the physician plaintiffs
are represented by Janet Crepps, Center for Reproductive Rights;
Laura Einstein and Eve Gartner, Planned Parenthood; Diana Kasdan
and Thomas Stenson of the ACLU, and Jeffrey Feldman and Susan
Orlansky from the law firm of Feldman, Orlansky & Sanders.
2010 update to the Alaska Prisoners’ Rights Guide
is now available in both print and online versions.
The Guide provides a summary of prisoners’ rights in Alaska
and is intended as a comprehensive resource for prisoners and
their advocates seeking to challenge conditions of confinement
or enforce constitutional rights. Free online versions are available
on AKCLU's Prison Rights
page. Prisoners may purchase a print
copy by mail at a reduced cost of $10, and others may purchase
a copy for $20. Additional details are available in the Press
Release. The Prison Rights page of the ACLU of Alaska website
contains links to the Guide
with Department of Corrections Forms; Basic
Rights at a Glance; and Grievance
Court Grants Preliminary Injunction to Protect Alaskans’ First
Amendment Rights. The Federal District Court in Anchorage has granted
a Preliminary Injunction requested by Alaska booksellers, libraries, and other
First Amendment and media organizations. Chief U.S. District Judge Ralph
Beistline's ruling blocks portions of recently passed Senate Bill 222, which
could have made anyone who operates a website criminally liable for posting
material deemed “harmful to minors,” and would have banned from
the Internet information that adults and older minors have a First Amendment
right to view. Additional details can be read in the Press
Release, and the Court’s Order can
also be viewed.
Hamilton to be Honored with Scholarship. ACLU to
Award Students Focused on Alaska Native & Rural Communities. The
ACLU is pleased to announce creation of a scholarship to honor the life and
work of Joan Hamilton, a Cup’ik Eskimo from Qissunaq, impassioned proponent
of Native culture and civil rights, and member of the Board of Directors of
the ACLU of Alaska for close to ten years just prior to her death in 2008. Details
about the scholarship and Joan’s work can be read in the Press
Release. The full Scholarship
Application Packet is available for
of Alaska seeks applicants for the 2011 Alaska Youth Activist Scholarship
Program, granting up to $2,500 for first-year college expenses. Applications
may be submitted by high school seniors or vocational students who have a
passion for civil liberties. The complete Scholarship
Application Packet can be downloaded. Teachers and counselors can download
a flyer for posting at school. Additional information
is available by contacting the ACLU of Alaska.
Seeks Records About FBI Collection Of Racial And Ethnic Data. According
to an FBI operations guide, FBI agents have the authority to collect information
about and create maps of so-called "ethnic-oriented" businesses,
behaviors, lifestyle characteristics and cultural traditions in communities
with concentrated ethnic populations. While some racial and ethnic data collection
by some agencies might be helpful in lessening discrimination, were the FBI
to collect and map demographic data using race-based criteria for targeting
purposes it would invite unconstitutional racial profiling by law enforcement.
You can review the FOIA Request
to the Anchorage Field Office or read
Alaska Same-Sex Couples Challenge Discriminatory Tax Law. The State
of Alaska’s tax-assessment rules discriminate
against same-sex couples by denying them equal access to a property tax exemption
for senior citizens and disabled veterans. Lesbian or gay families who qualify
are only permitted to half the exemption available to opposite-sex married
couples because they are treated as “roommates.” The law firm
of Davis Wright Tremaine and the ACLU have filed
against this unconstitutional practice. The ACLU had asked the State in July
to end this discrimination without litigation, in light of the Supreme
Court’s ruling in ACLU v Alaska. The State declined
to act. Further details can
be read here.
Grants TRO Against Provision of Governor’s Bail Bill. The
ACLU and Alaska Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers won a Temporary Restraining
Order in their lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of certain provisions
of HB 324, the Governor’s “Bail Bill.” The ACLU argued
to the court that, as the Alaska Constitution guarantees the right to bail,
allowing the Bail Bill to be implemented would have improperly denied Alaskans
charged with certain crimes of their liberty, and that such a denial required
emergency action. Details may be read in the recent press
release, or the Judge’s
Grants TRO Against Anchorage “Camping Ordinance.” The
Superior Court in Anchorage found serious questions as to constitutionality
of Anchorage Municipal Ordinance AO 2010-43(S), and granted the ACLU’s
request for a Temporary Restraining Order. Agreeing with our contentions that
all persons are constitutionally guaranteed actual notice, and a real opportunity
to be heard, the judge blocked enforcement of the newly revised law. Further
details are available along
with a copy of the link.
has filed a lawsuit asking the courts to declare provisions of H.B. 324,
the Governor’s “Bail Bill,” unconstitutional. The
Alaska Constitution guarantees the right to bail, and in our judicial system,
all persons are entitled to a fair trial and are presumed innocent until
proven guilty. The Bail Bill dismantles constitutional protections Alaskans
have come to expect. The ACLU is representing the Alaska Association of Criminal
Defense Lawyers along with experienced individual defense attorneys throughout
the state. Follow these links to read the complete
story, or the complaint and Motion
for Temporary Restraining Order.
Seeks Return of Seized Medical Records, and Challenges Improper Denial of
Parole Hearing. In two new court filings the ACLU of Alaska is seeking
Court intervention to protect medical record privacy, and to halt an improper
denial of parole board review of a mentally ill prisoner. In Cadle v. Dept.
of Law, Div. Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing, the ACLU
and the Ketchikan law firm of Keene & Currall are challenging the unconstitutional
state seizure of over 400 entire patient files, along with reports that private
information in the files was read and then disclosed. Follow these links
more about the suit or review
the Complaint. In the Palmer court, the ACLU along with the Disability
Law Center of Alaska are asking that the right of a 68 year old prisoner,
who has suffered from a mental illness, be afforded fair procedures to determine
whether parole is appropriate. Follow these links to review
the Complaint or learn more about the
background of the State’s denial.
of Alaska issues a Travel Alert informing Alaskans of their rights when stopped
by law enforcement when traveling in Arizona. Resources
provided in response to civil liberties threats caused by the recent passage
of Arizona’s unconstitutional racial profiling law – SB 1070 – which
requires law enforcement agents to demand "papers" from people
they stop who they suspect are not authorized to be in the U.S., include: “Alert
to Travelers”, “Alerta
a Viajeros”, and a wallet sized card with information on what to
do when stopped by police in both English (bust
card) and Spanish. Additional
details are available in the
full press release.
to Testify Before Anchorage Assembly Regarding Legal Requirements for Protection
of Homeless Persons’ Property. On Tuesday,
May 25 after 6:00 p.m. at the Loussac Library in Anchorage, the ACLU will provide
testimony to the Assembly regarding necessary changes to the Municipal Ordinance
on posting homeless encampments for property removal. Click
here for a copy
of the ACLU’s written testimony and the complete story.
and Alaskans Against Government Mandates Urge You to Vote NO ON 2 in the August
24 Primary! Alaskans are facing a dangerous initiative that attempts
to force government mandated family communication and require parental notification
or consent for a minor’s abortion. No law can mandate family communication
and Measure 2 threatens teen health and safety. To find out what you can do,
and for more information, click here.
Challenges Unconstitutional Destruction of Homeless Property. The
ACLU filed suit in the Superior Court in Anchorage seeking an order prohibiting
the Municipality of Anchorage, and the Anchorage Police Department, from raids
on homeless camps, and the seizure and destruction of homeless individuals’ tents,
clothing, and other personal items with as little as 12-hours’ notice.
You can read the COMPLAINT or
review the whole
ACLU of Alaska remembers and honors Irwin Ravin, the champion of privacy
rights. Irwin Ravin, the attorney who put himself on the line to
challenge Alaska’s marijuana laws, died recently at the age of 70. “The
case brought on behalf of Irwin Ravin was about more than smoking marijuana.
Irwin Ravin stood up for the privacy rights of all Alaskans, the right, in
Justice Brandeis’s words, ‘to be let alone’. Irwin Ravin
helped to define the meaning of the unique right to privacy in the Alaska
Constitution. The Ravin case has been cited favorably by Alaska courts 86
times and remains the law of the land, having never been overruled. Irwin
Ravin’s case has been used to establish the rights of Alaskans to privacy
from unwarranted government intrusion in other spheres, including their reproductive
choices, their rights against warrantless searches, and their right to bodily
integrity” (Thomas Stenson, Prison Rights Attorney, ACLU of Alaska).
YOUR CALLS NEEDED NOW
TO STOP ALASKA’S PATRIOT ACT! The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska calls on the Senate Finance Committee to reject
a proposed PATRIOT ACT-type provision that would allow the Attorney General to issue his own subpoenas without any court
review. Section 19 of Senate Bill 222, calendared for consideration in the Senate Finance Committee on April 9, would
authorize the attorney general to issue his own subpoenas. Internet service providers would be forced to turn over records
of Alaskans, and no judge would review the request. Click here for complete story.
LINK to the ACLU’s complete
testimony on SB 222.
Rules Summary on Initiative Misleading; Orders Lieutenant
Governor Rewrite: The Court today issued its ruling in the matter
of Planned Parenthood and Wingrove v. Campbell, and agreed that
Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Alaska were right to bring
the lawsuit challenging certification of the proposed initiative,
which seeks to impose government restrictions on medical care.
The Court stated that that the summary prepared by the Lieutenant
Governor was misleading and must be corrected, because it did
not tell the voters the full story. For the full press release, click
here. A copy
of the ruling is also available.
announces publication of Rethinking Alaska’s
Corrections Policy: Avoiding an Everyday Crisis. The
culmination of a two-year project reviewing the general conditions
in the correctional system in Alaska, the ACLU team interviewed
more than 150 prisoners. The Department of Corrections cooperated
and supplied substantial information. The report addresses issues
including: overcrowding; contract facility understaffing; quality
of medical care; prisoners with mental illness; rehabilitative
programs; and treatment of Alaska Natives and women. The ACLU
intends the Report to support continuing improvement in the criminal
justice and correctional systems in Alaska. Click
here for a
full e-copy of the Report.
Bristol Bay Area
Women’s Health Needs Survey: A coalition of Bristol
Bay area health care providers, women’s
advocates, and community members is interested in what
prevents area women from getting the health care they
need and deserve. Our goal is to improve health
care in the Bristol Bay region by learning what
works and what doesn’t.
Seeks Amendment of Hate Crimes Legislation to Protect Free Speech
and Associational Rights. The ACLU provided testimony
to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the constitutional balance
between protecting historically disfavored groups from violence
and harassment, and ensuring First Amendment rights – no
matter the viewpoint – are protected. To see the complete
written testimony click here.
Announces State Approval of Alternate Testing Dates for Russian
Old Believer Students, Important Religious Freedom Accommodation
in Administration of HSGQE.
Feodor Reutov, Tatiana Reutov,
Kiril Kalugin, Anfisa Kalugin, Stan White, and Effimia Basargin,
and other Voznesenka community students’ family members
met with ACLU of Alaska Executive Director Jeffrey Mittman
to discuss a formal request to the State to allow alternate
The Alaska State Department of Education
and Early Development has agreed to respect the religious freedom
of Russian Old Believer families and arrange alternate testing
dates and security procedures for administration of the High
School Graduation Qualifying Exam (HSGQE) which, as currently
scheduled, conflicts with Holy Week for Russian Old Believer
students. Rather than being forced to miss the testing on April
6 – 8, or violate their religious dictates which require
that Russian Old Believers not work or attend school during
Holy Week, students will now have the opportunity to take the
test on March 29 to April 2, under special security procedures
and agreements which protect the validity of the tests. See
of Alaska’s Press Release. See correspondence
to the Department of Education.
ACLU Joins NARF, Northern Justice
Project, and State Of Alaska in Announcing Settlement In
Yup'ik Language Voter Assistance Case. The ACLU
of Alaska Foundation, the ACLU Voting Rights Project, and
the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) joined the Northern
Justice Project, four Alaska Native elders and four tribal
governments and the Alaska Attorney General's Office in announcing
a settlement of litigation in Nick, et al. v. Bethel, et
al. According to the settlement, the state of Alaska will
make enhancements to language assistance for Yup'ik-speaking
voters available at elections in the Bethel area. “The
right to vote – to have an equal voice in the political
process – is the most fundamental of civil liberties,” said
Jeffrey Mittman, Executive Director of the ACLU of Alaska. “The
ACLU is pleased to have partnered with NARF in vindicating
the Constitutional rights of the Alaska Native community,
and ensuring the right to vote regardless of what language
one speaks.” See the full
press release and a copy of the settlement
ACLU Advises Legislature of Unconstitutionality of Proposed Drug and Alcohol Testing Scheme. The
ACLU testified in Juneau regarding the standards for drug and
alcohol testing, and advised the House Health & Social Services Committee that proposed legislation ran afoul of federal and state standards. To see the ACLU ‘s
written testimony click here. Download PDF >
ACLU Urges Inclusion of Same-Sex Domestic Partners in Benefits Conferred by SB 278. In keeping with the Alaska Supreme Court’s ruling in Alaska Civil Liberties Union v. Alaska, regarding the conferral of benefits by the State on legally married spouses, the ACLU has asked the Alaska Legislature to recognize and honor the service of military families headed by couples in same-sex committed partnerships. Download PDF >
Alaska Legislature is considering a bill that has multiple constitutional
flaws. The House Judiciary Committee has passed the
bill with Amendments that make it even worse. Your urgent help
is needed to let your Representatives know to oppose
For more information you can review the ACLU of Alaska’s
testimony to the House and Senate
Judiciary Committees opposing HB 298, and the Senate version,
addition, the ACLU of Alaska is opposing SB 252 and HB 324, which
would unconstitutionally restrict the rights of the criminally
testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee opposing
this legislation is also available. PLEASE send this information to friends!
SCHOLARSHIP WINNER ANNOUNCED: Celaena
Celaena Powder is
this year’s recipient of the 2010
ACLU of Alaska Student Activist Scholarship. The announcement
was made as part of the annual Liberty Awards Gala held
January 23rd at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage,
Alaska. Read more >
to media reports on the lawsuit challenging the Lt. Governor's
improper certification of the extreme "embryo personhood" initiative.
and gay couples in Alaska are not being treated equally under
the state’s Senior
Citizen Property Exemption laws.
Alaska married residents 65 years of age
or older are exempt from taxation on the first $150,000 of
the assessed value of their homes, whether the property is held
in the name of the husband, wife, or both.
Same-sex domestic partners can’t receive the full exemption. State
law treats same-sex partners as roommates and the exemption is
If You Are:
In a long-term, committed relationship with your
At least one partner is 65 or over AND
You are living with your partner in a home that one or both
of you own
The ACLU of Alaska would like your help
in challenging the state’s
unequal treatment of same-sex partners. Please contact Tiffany
McClain at firstname.lastname@example.org or
258-0044 ext. 101 to learn more.
CIA inspector general’s report about “Enhanced
Interrogation” was made public as part of the ACLU’s
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit and Attorney General
Eric Holder announced his decision to appoint a prosecutor to
conduct a preliminary investigation into whether federal laws
were violated during the interrogation of detainees in U.S. custody.
The ACLU will continue to demand full Accountability for Torture.
To learn more, click
here or the button on the left.
employers such as a municipal governments, state agencies, and
school districts have an obligation to provide the same benefits
to same-sex domestic partners that they provide to spouses. The
ACLU of Alaska wants to ensure that all Alaskans are receiving
equal benefits, and conducted a survey of all public agencies
in the State of Alaska. Click
here to read an initial summary of our findings to date,
and learn what you can do to receive your benefits or help
ACLU to Fight Discrimination
Against People with Criminal Records
Do you have a criminal record? Have you experienced
employment discrimination? Many employers do routine background
checks, but refusing to hire or firing someone because of his
or her criminal record could violate Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act, particularly if it’s based on an old conviction that
is unrelated to the job sought.
The ACLU of Alaska along with the national ACLU
Women’s Rights Project is launching an initiative to help
people with criminal records who are barred from rebuilding their
lives through employment discrimination. We want to challenge
barriers to employment by enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights
here to learn more >
ACLU and Equality Works Seek Truthful Discussion
on Proposed Ordinance: A coalition of Alaska Organizations working
to end discrimination in Anchorage seeks to ensure that debate
about the proposed Anchorage Equal Rights Ordinance protecting
LGBT Alaskans focuses on the facts. Read
the News Release >
The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska
announced today that the Alaska Prisoners’ Rights Guide is
available online. The Guide provides
a summary of prisoners’ rights in Alaska and is intended
as a comprehensive resource for prisoners and their advocates
seeking to challenge conditions of confinement or enforce constitutional
All Claims Settled in Landmark "Bong Hits 4
Jesus" Case of Morse v.
Frederick. Read more >>>
Highlights from ACLU of AK —
to ACLU of Alaska Foundation staff attorney Jason Brandeis interviewed
regarding recent recall petitions in the City of Bethel. The
City Clerk has improperly refused to review the petition signatures
for certification. While the ACLU of Alaska Foundation
has no opinion on the underlying recall petitions, we are concerned
with ensuring citizens’ constitutionally-protected right
to the democratic process. Special thanks to KYUK 640 AM
for providing the audio excerpt.
to the ACLU of Alaska present oral arguments before the
Alaska Supreme Court to overturn a state law re-criminalizing
possession and use of small amounts of marijuana in the home.
We have revised the ACLU of Alaska Privacy Statement
because we want to clarify and provide more information about
our collection, use and protection of information collected on
this website, particularly as technology has evolved. In addition
to clarifying our collection practices, the revisions include
a description of our use of Short-Term Cookies. Check out our
revised Privacy Statement.
This is the web site of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska
and the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska Foundation. Learn more about the distinction between these two components of