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Should Va. reinstate parole? YES, sentencing reform makes practical sense

OP ED: Last week, Governor McAuliffe announced the establishment of a commission to study and make recommendations about Virginia’s parole system. This is an important step toward creating an effective, commonsense Virginia justice system. read more »

Twenty-Three Years and Counting: Abortion Access and the Anniversary of Planned Parenthood v. Casey

BLOG: When the U.S. Supreme Court established in Roe v. Wade that women have a fundamental right to abortion, it helped to ensure that women could control their own lives. This was a huge victory for women’s equality – by ensuring that women could control their own reproductive lives, the Court helped ensure that women could control their economic and social future. read more »

The Story of Loving to Marriage – Part 5 (What’s DOMA Got to Do With It? A Lot!)

BLOG: As we anxiously await the U.S. Supreme Court’s freedom to marry decision, we look back at the landmark ACLU case that set the legal stage for the cases now before the Court. Two years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in United States v. Windsor, which struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and required the federal government to recognize the lawful marriages of same-sex couples. read more »

Two Years After Gutting the Voting Rights Act: What’s the Damage?

BLOG: It’s been two years since the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the most powerful tool in the Voting Rights Act (VRA). The decision, Shelby County v. Holder, struck down Section 5, the pre-clearance formula---a provision that spent nearly 50 years stopping and deterring discriminatory voting measures in their tracks in jurisdictions with a history of nefarious voting practices. read more »

The Story of Loving to Marriage – Part 4 (Protecting my Family by Fighting for a Place for Me)

BLOG: There simply wasn’t a place for me. Virginia’s marriage and adoption laws had made sure of it. On the night our daughter was born, the nurse had asked flatly, “Who is the baby’s father?” read more »

The Story of Loving to Marriage – Part 3 (Why I Fought for Marriage Equality)

BLOG: People often ask Jessica and me about our journey towards marriage. We always find this question confusing. We immediately wonder, “What do they mean?” Is this person questioning our journey towards love and commitment or are they questioning our journey through the injustice and prejudice in our fight for marriage equality? read more »

What is Bigelow v. Virginia and Why Does the Case Matter for Reproductive Freedom?

BLOG: Today is the 40th anniversary of Bigelow v. Virginia, a landmark ACLU case in which the Supreme Court of the United States first ruled that some types of advertisements—including advertisements for abortion services—are protected by the First Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Bigelow, however, is not just about free speech. It was the first in a long line of Supreme Court cases dealing with states’ attempts to restrict women’s access to abortion services. read more »

The Story of Loving to Marriage – Part 2 (Why Loving Matters)

BLOG: In 1973 I moved to Richmond for grad school, and met my future wife. It was love at first sight, or pretty damn close at least on my part. And so we started a relationship that just a few years earlier would have been illegal. read more »

Moving Toward Equality for Transgender Students in Virginia

BLOG: Things were going just fine at Gloucester High School for sophomore Gavin Grimm, a transgender boy. It was the first school year he was fully out as male and the school was doing everything it should. Then . . . read more »

Is This What Democracy Looks Like?

BLOG: Imagine your local police department wants to obtain a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle (MRAP). Leaving aside the obvious question of why a local police department would need this vehicle, in a system where the people make the rules, one would think that the department would need approval from the peoples’ representatives, right? Wrong. read more »

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