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Opinions & Editorials

Nov
30
2016
Column: Civil Rights and Liberties in the Age of Trump (New York Law Journal)

by Christopher Dunn* The election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States poses a dramatic threat to civil liberties and civil rights around the country and in New York. Trump’s campaign was fueled by an animosity towards progressive values of dignity and respect, and his Presidency threatens not only to unwind important reforms of the last fifty years but also raises the prospect of repressive measures that recall some of the darkest times of our country: the crackdown on dissent during World War I, the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and the McCarthy-era witch hunts of the 1950s.

Nov
17
2016
Op-Ed: No More Compromise on New York (Huffington Post)

By Donna Lieberman The past week in our country has been devastating. Our president-elect has endorsed racism, homophobia and xenophobia. White supremacists are celebrating. And fearless New Yorkers are shocked and scared. I’m not surprised: There is no question of how much our state has to lose.

Nov
10
2016
Op-Ed: Trump is President, but ACLU of NY is Stronger than Ever (Huffington Post)

By Donna Lieberman Many Americans are shocked and angry. Our country has just elected a president on a platform of proposals shaped by hate and fear and bigotry. This is not our America. In the past weeks you have seen self-interested politicians who are sworn to uphold the Constitution and the laws of our land show tremendous weakness, kowtowing and supporting a candidate who brazenly vows to oppose freedom, equality and justice. You have seen voting rights stripped away while the government failed to act.

Oct
19
2016
Op-Ed: Saratoga Should Rescind Sidewalk Law (The Saratogian)

by Melanie Trimble Saratoga Springs’ June ordinance against sitting or lying on public sidewalks is part of an ugly national trend. Similar anti-homeless laws have passed in scores of American cities as far flung as Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami and Boise. Such laws are band-aids enacted by municipalities that have failed to address the real problems of homelessness and inequality in their midst.

Oct
11
2016
Op-Ed: When Minority Report Becomes Our Reality (Huffington Post)

By Simon McCormack Tucked into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s presentation on his $100 billion plan to invest in the state’s infrastructure last week was an initiative that will put New Yorkers’ privacy in peril.

Sep
26
2016
Op-Ed: In Syracuse, A Child Can Be Thrown In Solitary For Singing Whitney Houston (Huffington Post)

By Simon McCormack Charnasha still suffers through sleepless nights because of her experience at the Onondaga County Justice Center. The Syracuse, New York, jail keeps 16- and 17-year-old children — many of whom have mental illness — locked up in solitary, often for weeks or even months for transgressions as insignificant as wearing the wrong shoes or getting into a water fight. For the benign “offense” of speaking too loudly, Charnasha was sentenced to solitary for 32 days.

Sep
23
2016
Op-Ed: What Donald Trump Got Wrong About Stop-And-Frisk (Huffington Post)

by Donna Lieberman Short answer: Everything. As executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, I’ve learned a lot about stop-and-frisk over the years. At a “town hall” meeting on Wednesday with Sean Hannity of Fox News, Trump, in a quote now heard around the world, said about black violence: “I would do stop-and-frisk, I think you have to. We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well...” No, Mr. Trump. Stop-and-frisk in New York did not work incredibly well by any single metric. Let us count the ways.

Sep
6
2016
Op-Ed: New Yorkers Deserve to Know the History of the Cops Involved in Eric Garner's Death (NY Daily News)

By Donna Lieberman It’s been two years since the death of Eric Garner and New Yorkers still don’t know whether the officers involved in his death will be disciplined. The grand jury process was shrouded in secrecy and failed to indict a single officer for what the medical examiner called murder. This case is emblematic of law enforcement policies that disproportionately harm people of color: a criminal justice system that does not hold officers accountable for wrongdoing and where secrecy is the order of the day.

Aug
27
2016
Op-Ed: City Must Step in to Save Body Camera Program (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)

By Iman Abid As of this month, the first police body cameras are in operation in Rochester. Our city deserves great credit for being among the first to adopt a brand-new technology specifically intended to increase police accountability. When body cameras came to national attention after the killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, Mayor Lovely Warren showed tremendous initiative by announcing that Rochester’s entire police force would be outfitted with them.

Aug
26
2016
Op-Ed: NYPD Ignored Court-Imposed Rules While Spying on American Muslims (Huffington Post)

By Simon McCormack The New York Police Department repeatedly violated important court-imposed safeguards when it secretly investigated American Muslims for years, according to a new report released this week by the police’s own watchdog.

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