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A Step Forward In the Fight Against Warrantless ICE Detainer Requests

BLOG: Today, we applaud the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office for their decisive action and for recognizing the critical importance of fostering trust between immigrant communities and local law enforcement. read more »

Anti-Abortion Laws: Whose Rights Are at Stake? Everybody’s.

BLOG: The rationale for many anti-abortion measures - that fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses are people or have separate rights that the state must protect - can be used to justify depriving a pregnant woman’s right to life, liberty, privacy, bodily autonomy, and medical decision making during her pregnancy, labor, and delivery. read more »

Good News from Tuesday’s Election!

BLOG: The headlines and political pundits are still focused on how last Tuesday’s election impacts our partisan political system. Less discussed are the series of major civil liberties victories that also took place last Tuesday. These victories need to be recognized and celebrated! read more »

Fixing Our Broken Mental Health System and Protecting Civil Liberties is Not an Either/Or Proposition

BLOG: It’s often the case that tragedy mobilizes communities to action. But, in the face of the crisis involving Virginia’s Mental Health System, tragedy has led to well-intentioned yet flawed, constitutionally suspect, and counterproductive proposals. read more »

What do you need to Vote this Election Day?

BLOG: Tuesday is Election Day and Virginia’s first statewide test of the voter photo ID law, which requires all voters to show an approved, valid photo ID to cast their votes. Because we’re concerned that the photo ID requirement may prevent some eligible voters from casting their ballot, we’ve set up a hotline to answer questions and fix problems voters may encounter at the polls and have prepared volunteers to monitor polls throughout the Commonwealth. We hope that local general registrars and state officials are getting ready too. read more »

Virginia’s Ever Growing Surveillance State

BLOG: The Hampton Roads Telephone Analysis Sharing Network, as the police agreement is called, is a system that allows local law enforcement agencies in Hampton Roads to store data collected from cell phone records. Police departments are saying this data is obtained legally, through a court order, subpoena, or warrant. Under the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the five cities, each agency stores that data so that if at some point in the future, some other law enforcement agency decides it wants to use some of the data, the agency can get the data for a different purpose – this time, theoretically, without a warrant, subpoena, or court order. read more »

Marriage Equality in the Commonwealth, and What’s Next …

BLOG: It’s been a great week. Almost 50 years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage was unconstitutional; we now have true marriage equality in the Commonwealth! read more »

Science and Medicine Prevails Over Politics: Virginia Health Commissioner Decides to Amend TRAP

BLOG: This summer, thousands of Virginians spoke out to say that medicine and science, not politics, should govern rules for women’s health centers. Yesterday, in a major victory for women’s health, the Virginia Health Commissioner publicly agreed with thousands of women, doctors, and advocates that current, medically-unnecessary regulations for women’s health centers should be amended. read more »

Stingrays – Bringing Dragnet Surveillance to a Town Near You

BLOG: Here’s something you may not know. And, you may not know it largely because of law enforcement efforts to keep it a secret from you. We’re talking about a mass surveillance device known as a cell site simulator or IMSI catcher (International Mobile Subscriber Identity). In one of the latest revelations of domestic spying, we know that at least one (likely more) Virginia law enforcement department (Chesterfield) owns one of these cell site simulator devices manufactured by the Harris Company called a “Stingray.” read more »

Marriage Equality and the U.S. Supreme Court: What to Expect and When

BLOG: As you undoubtedly know, on July 28, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that Virginia’s laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying and prohibiting the state from recognizing their out-of-state marriages are unconstitutional. read more »

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