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"Privacy Under Attack: How the Government is Watching You"
Date: Thursday, February 5, 2015
Location: North Carolina Legislative Building, Raleigh, NC

The ACLU of North Carolina's 2015 Frank Porter Graham Awards Dinner
Date: Saturday, February 28, 2015
Location: Chapel Hill, NC 
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A longtime civil rights advocate. A courageous English teacher. Nine families who shared personal stories to help defeat a discriminatory law. A pair of lawyers who have saved people from executions. And a devoted volunteer who has given many hours of his time to the ACLU-NC. These are the civil liberties heroes who will be honored at the ACLU-NC’s 2015 Frank Porter Graham Awards Dinner in Chapel Hill on Saturday, February 28, featuring our keynote speaker, national ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero.

Make your reservations to attend today!

This year’s Frank Porter Graham Award, our highest honor awarded for longstanding and significant contributions to the fight for individual freedom and civil liberties in North Carolina, is being presented to Jim Grant, who has worked to advance and defend civil liberties in North Carolina for nearly as long as the ACLU of North Carolina has existed.

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GREENSBORO – To commemorate the 50-year anniversary of its founding in Greensboro in 1965, the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) is unveiling a 10-panel history exhibit, “ACLU of North Carolina: Fifty Years of Protecting Liberty,” which chronicles the nonprofit civil liberties organization’s work defending civil liberties in North Carolina over the past half century.

The exhibit, which recounts the ACLU-NC’s work on eight key civil liberties issues – free speech, voting rights, privacy rights, criminal justice reform, LGBT rights, women’s rights, racial justice, and religious liberty – is opening at the International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro, which celebrates its fifth anniversary on Feb. 1. An opening reception for the exhibit is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. on  Thursday, January 15.  

“This exhibit provides the public with an opportunity to learn about the history of civil liberties in our state and the unique role the ACLU of North Carolina has played in many important struggles for individual rights over the last half century,” said Jennifer Rudinger, who has served as executive director of the ACLU-NC since May 2004. “Much has changed in North Carolina over the last fifty years, but the core principle guiding the ACLU-NC has remained the same: If the rights of society’s most vulnerable members are denied, everyone’s rights are imperiled. Those who see this exhibit will hopefully walk away remembering that freedom can’t protect itself, and that the ACLU of North Carolina, while controversial to some, has spent five decades working on the front lines to protect and advance civil liberties for all North Carolinians.”    

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The Top 10 ACLU-NC Stories of 2014

Posted on in Legal News

As another year in the fight to protect civil liberties draws to a close, it’s time to look back at the ACLU-NC’s Top 10 stories from 2014, in reverse chronological order:

  1. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a decision blocking a 2011 N.C. law that would have required doctors to show a woman an ultrasound and describe the images in detail four hours before performing an abortion, even if the woman objects. The ACLU and other groups had challenged the law on behalf of health care providers.
     
  2. The ACLU-NC won two federal lawsuits giving LGBT couples the freedom to marry and to adopt their partner’s children.
     
  3. The ACLU-NC helped uncover information about law enforcement’s use of secretive Stingray surveillance technology in Charlotte, Durham, Raleigh, and Wilmington.
     
  4. ACLU lawyers twice argued against North Carolina’s voter suppression law, widely considered the worst in the country, in federal court. The full trial will take place this summer. 
     
  5. The ACLU released a report finding that the majority of SWAT raids in N.C. and other states are for low-level crimes and disproportionately target people of color.
     
  6. The N.C. House passed a bill to “raise the age” of juvenile jurisdiction so that 16 and 17 year olds charged with misdemeanors would no longer be automatically sent to adult prisons following advocacy from the ACLU-NC and others. 
     
  7. An ACLU-NC report showed that virtually all of North Carolina’s county jails failed to comply with new federal regulations set by the Prison Rape Elimination Act.
     
  8. The ACLU-NC and others helped protect the freedom to read by defeating a ban on Isabel Allende’s “The House of the Spirits” at Watauga High School in Boone. 
     
  9. A federal appeals court unanimously ruled North Carolina’s one-sided “Choose Life” license plate law unconstitutional. ACLU-NC Legal Director Chris Brook argued the case.
     
  10. The ACLU-NC teamed up with student Basil Soper to persuade Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College to allow transgender students to use their preferred name on public documents.

Help the ACLU-NC keep up the fight for civil liberties in 2015 by making a tax-deductible donation today!

RICHMOND, Va. - In a unanimous decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has permanently blocked a 2011 North Carolina law that would force women to undergo a narrated ultrasound before receiving abortion care. Today’s ruling states that "the state cannot commandeer the doctor-patient relationship to compel a physician to express its preference to the patient."

The law—which requires abortion providers to display the ultrasound and describe the images in detail to every woman before performing an abortion, even if the woman objects— was preliminarily blocked in October 2011 following a lawsuit filed on behalf of several North Carolina physicians and medical practicioners by the Center for Reproductive Rights, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, Planned Parenthood, and the firm of O’Melveny & Myers.  The measure was later permanently struck down as unconstitutional by a federal district court in January 2014.

North Carolina’s coercive ultrasound law violates the First Amendment rights of physicians by forcing them to deliver politically motivated communications to a patient even over the patient’s objection. Today’s ruling affirms that "transforming the physician into the mouthpiece of the state undermines the trust that is necessary for facilitating healthy doctor-patient relationships and, through them, successful treatment outcomes."

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