It can be hard to keep up on the all the latest issues during the workweek, but don’t worry, we’ve collected some of the civil liberties news stories you may have missed this week.
- It’s Time to Lift the Gag Order. We announced on Monday that we had sent a letter to R.I. Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter requesting the gag order issued for the settlement discussions in the pension case be lifted. Gag orders are intrusive on the freedom of speech, can erode trust in the judicial process, unfairly limit the public’s right to know, and generate widespread confusion.
- Fairness for Pregnant Workers. The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned lower courts’ rulings that employers could deny pregnant workers light-duty accommodations, even when the employer gives temporary accommodations to many other groups of workers. We’re also working to ban pregnancy discrimination here in Rhode Island.
- One Person, One Vote. We joined the call to end prison-based gerrymandering in Rhode Island by testifying before the House Judiciary Committee. The practice allows those incarcerated at the ACI to be counted as Cranston residents for redistricting purposes, artificially inflating that district while diluting the voting strength of the communities from which the individuals truly live. Coincidentally, Thursday was the anniversary of the coining of the phrase “gerrymander.”
- Drones and Privacy Rights Up in the Air. Our policy associate Hillary Davis shared her thoughts on the need for proactive privacy protections from police surveillance by drone as the devices become more and more common.
- At the State House. We testified in support of bill that would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before tracking the location of a cell phone and a bill that would require schools to establish policies and review procedures for Internet filtering, which often blocks students’ access to educational websites.
- Is This Equality? We’ve been prepping for a forum on women’s issues in Rhode Island scheduled for Wednesday, April 1, and hope you’ll join us. Check out the details here.