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News & Press Releases

Nov
20
2016
Governor Proposes Important Protections for New Yorkers Targeted by Hate Crimes

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a list of proposals following the rise in hate crimes in New York since the last presidential election. His proposals included expanding New York’s Human Rights Law to protect children in public and private schools, and creating a “public-private legal defense fund” to provide immigrants with legal assistance who cannot afford it. The following statement is attributable to Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union:

Nov
8
2016
Election 2016: NYCLU to Run Voter Hotline, Monitor Polls, Provide Resources

The New York Civil Liberties Union’s election protection initiative today will include running an Election Day hotline in highly contested counties in Western New York that voters can call if they encounter intimidation and other problems at the polls. The NYCLU also partnered with Common Cause New York to conduct poll monitor trainings across the state, and recruited volunteers and members to monitor polls in Monroe, Nassau and Suffolk. The NYCLU’s main office will also be taking calls from voters statewide who encounter barriers at the polls.

Oct
24
2016
Landmark Farmworker Suit Moves Forward After Farm Bureau Intervention

The New York State Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that the New York Farm Bureau can intervene as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the Workers’ Center of Central New York, the Worker Justice Center of New York and farmworker Crispin Hernandez. The lawsuit, the first of its kind in New York, challenges a Jim Crow-era state law that unconstitutionally denies farmworkers the right to organize without fear of retaliation.

Oct
6
2016
Cuomo’s New Crossings Project Ushers in New Era of Surveillance

Governor Cuomo unveiled his plan on Wednesday to “Reimagine New York’s Crossings”-- an initiative that includes several technological updates to transportation systems in New York. However, among these updates the “crossings project” also calls for installing controversial advanced cameras, license plate readers and facial recognition technology, which is known to be notoriously inaccurate and misidentifies people of color at a higher rate than white people.

Sep
8
2016
Outdated Abortion Law is Inconsistent with Women’s Rights, Says Attorney General

The New York Civil Liberties Union welcomed an opinion today by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman clarifying that women’s reproductive rights affirmed in Roe v Wade supersede restrictions in New York’s older and existing abortion laws. The Supreme Court has found it unconstitutional to deny women the right to abortion later in pregnancy if a woman’s health is at risk or the fetus is not viable, yet New York law, drafted earlier and left uncorrected, has criminalized abortion care later in pregnancy.

Aug
30
2016
NYCLU: Ruling Modernizes Definition of Parent

The New York Court of Appeals today ruled that the current legal definition of a “parent” must be broadened to include partners who are not a child’s biological or adoptive parent. The court overturned a series of its past decisions by finding the state’s current definition “has become unworkable when applied to increasingly varied familial relationships.”

Aug
19
2016
Overbroad Campaign Finance Bill Threatens Free Speech

The New York Civil Liberties Union sent a letter this week to Governor Cuomo raising serious concerns about a bill that could chill constitutionally protected speech and discourage people from contributing to nonprofit organizations that fight for causes they care about. The governor could sign this bill into law within a matter of days.

Jul
8
2016
NYCLU: After National Spate of Killings, We Must Rebuild Trust Between People and Police

In response to the police killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and the murder of five police officers by snipers in Dallas, Texas, the New York Civil Liberties Union released the following statement, attributable to Executive Director, Donna Lieberman:

Jun
17
2016
Historic Public Defense Reform Passes in New York

In the final hours of the 2016 legislative session lawmakers passed historic legislation that promises to fundamentally reform the state’s public defense system. Provided the governor signs the bill (S.8114/A.10706) into law, the state will take responsibility for funding public defense for the first time since the Supreme Court held, more than fifty years ago, that the state must provide a lawyer to criminal defendants who cannot afford to pay for a private attorney.

Jun
16
2016
NYCLU Applauds Senate for Passing Public Defense Bill, Urges Assembly to Pass Before End of Session

The New York State Senate today unanimously passed a statewide public defense bill that would fundamentally reform public defense services. The New York Civil Liberties Union is among groups that have advocated for passage of the bill. It now goes to the Assembly where it is expected to pass.

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