American Civil Liberties Union

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union says it has reached a settlement with officials of a southern Delaware town in a lawsuit over its restrictions on political signs.

The ACLU sued the town of Milton in May on behalf of a retired schoolteacher who had posted four signs on her property after the November 2016 elections with messages including "Love Trumps Hate" and "Women's Rights Human Rights."

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A decision to resume recreational time for the inmates of the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center has some prison guards concerned there may not be enough staff to handle the activity.

The inmates at the maximum security prison would have 17 and a-half hours a week.

The policy is part of a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Community Legal Aid Society of Delaware.

But it was suspended following the prison uprising earlier this year that resulted in the death of prison guard Steven Floyd.

ACLU

NEW YORK (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union is reeling from criticism inside and out for defending the right of white supremacists to march in Charlottesville, Virginia.

After the death of a counter-protester at the rally, some critics said the ACLU had blood on its hands, and a leader of the organization in Virginia resigned.

The furor has set off soul-searching inside the ACLU and an announcement that it will no longer stand with hate groups seeking to march with guns.

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A group of civic organizations is urging a Delaware state taskforce to speed up its decision on which new voting machines will be used in the future.

The coalition including the American Civil Liberties Union, the League of Women Voters and the Sierra Club.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the state legislature has provided $15 to $20 million in funding for the new equipment in next year’s budget.

The First State began using voting machines in the mid- 1990’s and are among the oldest in the country.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - The organizer of a weekend rally that's expected to draw hundreds of "alt-right" activists and white nationalists is suing a Virginia city over its decision to relocate the event.

Attorneys for right-wing blogger Jason Kessler filed the federal lawsuit Thursday against Charlottesville.

The city says Kessler's Saturday event can't take place in its downtown Emancipation Park. Citing safety considerations, they ordered it moved to a park about a mile away.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and other groups are asking Gov. Terry McAuliffe to investigate police's response when protesters gathered in Charlottesville to condemn a Ku Klux Klan rally.

The ACLU, Legal Aid Justice Center, Rutherford Institute and National Lawyers Guild Central Virginia Chapter sent a letter to McAuliffe this week criticizing what they called the "outsized and militaristic" police presence to the July 8 protest.

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The battle over political signs in Milton will be decided in the courts.

The American Civil Liberties Union said that the removal of four signs critical of the Trump administration from the property of 62-year old Penny Nickerson was unconstitutional.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the city has responded saying that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that municipalities may impose the reasonable regulation of signs as necessary.

It adds that the regulations do not discriminate on the basis of political points of view.    

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Federal officials are opening an investigation into accusations that public schools in Virginia's capital city more frequently and more harshly punish black students and those with disabilities than their classmates.

The Department of Education's Office For Civil Rights said in a letter this month that it's opening an investigation into the complaint filed in August by the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and Legal Aid Justice Center.

Correctional Officers Association of Delaware

The correctional officers union in Delaware has issued a set of demand as it begins contract negotiations.

The union wants an end to the agreement between the Department of Correction and the American Civil Liberties Union that it says led to the death of Officer Steven Floyd during inmate upraising at the Vaughn Correctional Center.  

WBOC reports that the union said that mental health requirements led to dangerous inmates being placed in lower security facilities.

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GREENBELT, Md. (AP) - A Maryland judge is scheduled to hold a hearing on a lawsuit stemming from President Donald Trump's travel ban.

Several individuals and groups including the American Civil Liberties Union originally filed the lawsuit in February over the initial ban, which was blocked in court and later revised. On Wednesday, the groups will be asking a Maryland judge to issue an order that would keep the revised ban from taking effect. It's scheduled to take effect Thursday.

A federal judge in Hawaii has also scheduled a hearing Wednesday on the revised ban.

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During a Delaware Senate panel hearing correctional officers told lawmakers that staff were so outnumbered many of the inmates have unprecedented power.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the officers said this power contributed to the 18 hour hostage standoff that resulted in the death of Officer Steve Floyd.

Officer Aaron Forkum described the situation as “a three ring circus” at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center where the uprising took place.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A measure before Maryland lawmakers would end the requirement for the governor to approve parole for someone serving a life sentence, after the Maryland Parole Commission has recommended the person be paroled.

Supporters are holding a news conference on Tuesday to talk about the bill. The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and the Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative are supporting the measure.

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GREENBELT, Md. (AP) - A Maryland lawsuit is challenging President Donald Trump's travel ban.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Maryland by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Maryland, and National Immigration Law Center.

The groups argue that the executive order violates federal laws and the Constitution, saying it was "substantially motivated" by an intent to discriminate against Muslims. Plaintiffs include U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents from countries named by the ban.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Civil rights advocates will be speaking in favor of a measure in Maryland designed to increase transparency in police misconduct investigations.

The American Civil Liberties of Maryland will gather Wednesday in Annapolis, along with several other groups.

They will be joined by Del. Erek Barron and Sen. Joan Carter Conway, who are sponsoring the legislation.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A judge is set to being hearing testimony in a lawsuit over a disputed New Castle County school district tax referendum.

The trial beginning Monday involves a 2015 referendum approved by residents of the Red Clay Consolidated School District.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued on behalf of a district resident and her elderly parents who opposed the tax increase but say they were unable to gain access to the polls.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland public defenders and the ACLU of Maryland are calling for laws to regulate police surveillance techniques out of privacy concerns, but authorities say the technology is needed to better fight crime.

The Maryland House Judiciary Committee held a hearing Tuesday on the use of techniques such as clandestine cellphone-surveillance devices, known as stingrays.

Daniel Kobrin, an assistant public defender in the appellate division, says comprehensive legislation is needed to define when such technology can and can't be used.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware prison officials have reached a tentative settlement in a federal lawsuit alleging that mentally ill prisoners have been subjected to solitary confinement without proper evaluation, monitoring and treatment.

As part of the settlement, the Department of Correction has agreed to undertake steps to better classify, track and care for prisoners with mental health issues and in restrictive housing. Prison officials also have agreed to create a special needs unit at the women's prison in New Castle.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - An attorney for a transgender teen in Virginia is urging the U.S. Supreme Court not to bar him from using the boys restroom when he returns to school this fall.

In a brief filed Tuesday in the high court, Josh Block of the American Civil Liberties Union says the Gloucester County School Board has failed to show that it will be irreparably harmed by allowing Gavin Grimm to use the restroom that corresponds with his gender identity while his case plays out in lower courts.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A new report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia says that nearly three quarters of the commonwealth's attorney elections held over a 10 year period were uncontested.

The ACLU looked at every commonwealth's attorney election held between 2005 and 2015. The group says that of the 381 total races during that period, 72 percent of them were uncontested.

The ACLU says that means commonwealth's attorneys' broad powers often go unchecked.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Advocates are urging federal officials to investigate the death of a 24-year-old mentally ill inmate at a Virginia jail.

Representatives from the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Virginia, the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and other groups sent a letter to the U.S. Justice Department on Monday calling for an investigation into Jamycheal Mitchell's death.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union is reporting that 21 people have died after encounters with police officers in Maryland in 2015.

The briefing paper, released Tuesday by the organization's Maryland office, is an update to data published last year reporting that 109 people died after encounters with law enforcement officers in the state between 2010-2014.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Supreme Court has allowed the American Civil Liberties Union and Harvard University academics to weigh in as it prepares to answer questions regarding the constitutionality of Delaware's death penalty statute.

The justices on Tuesday agreed to accept friend-of-the-court briefs from ACLU-Delaware and the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice.

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A lawyer has confirmed the identity of a Baltimore school police officer seen on video slapping and kicking a 16-year-old inside a school.

Attorney Mike Davey tells The Baltimore Sun that his client Anthony C. Spence of Baltimore thought the boy was trespassing on school grounds and questioned him. Davey said he could not go into specifics because of the ongoing investigation.

The 44-year-old Spence hung up when The Associated Press contacted him by phone.

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Neither police nor prosecutors have told Delaware officials how they spend money that come from a special fund made up of cast and property seized from citizens who are suspected of a crime but not necessarily convicted.

A Wilmington News Journal investigation found that law enforcement has not been complying with the law in detailing for the state auditor spending under the Special Law Enforcement Assistance Fund.

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EASTON, Md. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and the Talbot County branch of the NAACP are challenging the way the county decided to keep the Talbot Boys monument honoring Confederate soldiers.

The two groups announced Tuesday in a release that they filed a complaint asking the Open Meetings Compliance Board to rule that the county council violated the Maryland Open Meetings Act. They allege that while the council held public forums on the matter, it didn't provide minutes of closed door discussions about it.

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A measure in the Virginia legislature would allow state government officials from having to perform same-sex marriages if it violates their religious beliefs.

The bill also would allow religious organizations and their employees to deny services and facilities for marriage related activities.

The bill was approved by a legislative committee despite the opposition of the American Civil Liberties Union and Equality Virginia.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the legislation was introduced after the U.S. Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal.

Dover police

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a man who suffered a broken jaw when he was kicked in the head by a Dover police officer.

Attorneys for the ACLU, Dover, and Cpl. Thomas Webster IV filed a stipulation of dismissal last week.

Neither the stipulation nor Monday's order approving the dismissal contained details on the settlement.

Dover Police

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Officials say Dover has paid its $15,000 insurance deductible in settling a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union after a white police officer kicked a black suspect in the head and broke his jaw

Officials last week confirmed a resolution to the lawsuit, but released no details.

Dover City Manager Scott Koenig told the Delaware State News on Wednesday that under the city's insurance policy, Travelers Insurance would cover the rest of any settlement above the deductible.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A federal judge has refused to force the Red Clay school district to enroll three children living outside the district.
 
The children previously attended a Red Clay school but have been living outside the district since their mother was placed on unpaid leave and lost her apartment. Their father, who shares custody, enrolled the children in the Christina school district, and the children now reportedly live with their godmother in the Colonial district.
 

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Pocomoke City has been hit with a second complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland.

The civil liberties organization charges that there has been a violation of Maryland’s Open Meetings Act in late June when the town council decided behind closed doors to fire its police chief.

The complaint was filed on behalf of Stephen Janis who is a reporter for the Baltimore-based non-profit The Real News Network.   

The meeting in question occurred on July 13th when City Police Chief Kelvin Sewel was dismissed.

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