This month, in Shadrick v. Hopkins County, the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a private, for-profit corporation providing medical services to prisoners may be liable for violating the federal constitutional rights of prisoners by failing to adequately train its medical staff. The court also held that the for-profit corporation was not entitled to governmental sovereign immunity as a protection against being sued for state law negligence claims.
Prison holds a particular set of horrors for the transgender community. Until recently, American prisons housed transgender inmates by genitalia, and gender-confirming treatments of any kind were unavailable to the vast majority of transgender inmates. Inside of prison walls, transgender inmates face elevated instances of physical and sexual violence from other inmates and from prison staff.
It has been discovered that the Oregon Department of Justice has been conducting digital surveillance on Oregonians who used the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
The Urban League of Portland and others have released a letter which can be found here: https://ulpdx.org/news/a-statement-to-our-members/
The Urban League of Portland also sent a letter to Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum you can letter the letter below.
It was in 2006 that the AETA was passed into law. The AETA was crafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group of corporate power players who write pieces of model legislation that suit their interests, and then ALEC passes off the legislation to members of Congress. Many members of ALEC are part of the pharmaceutical, big agriculture, and other industries that exploit and kill animals for profit—industries that have a huge interest in stopping animal liberation activists from being effective.
We couldn’t wait any longer to expand our legal team and right now we have an opportunity to permanently fund two new attorney positions. In October we brought on two new staff attorneys, who have both been working with us as law clerks for years. We are excited to have them on board and we wanted to tell you a little bit more about Amanda & Cooper.
Last month, First Amendment defenders won two significant victories in New York. First, protestors of Donald Trump’s racist run for President secured the right to protest in front of Trump Tower in downtown Manhattan. Second, Occupy Wall Street demonstrators won the first step in a class action lawsuit against the City of New York for evicting them from their demonstration site in Zuccotti Park in 2011.
Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued sweeping reforms to jail phone-call rates. In many states, prior to the reforms, the cost of a 15-minute in-state call could cost upwards of $5. In extreme cases, as a group of US Senators pointed out in a letter to the FCC Chairman, by the time “all associated fees are incorporated in the aggregate cost, a phone call can cost as much as fourteen or fifteen dollars for a single minute.
In light of the shortcomings of the legal system and growing police violence against people, there are many ways that communities can help each other to defend their rights to be free from unlawful searches, seizures, and cruel and inhumane treatment by law enforcement officers.
Last week, in Hassan v. New York, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court and held that a lawsuit may move forward against the NYPD for spying on Muslims. The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit against the NYPD for discriminating against them as Muslims in violation of the First Amendment right to freely exercise religion, the First Amendment right to be free from establishment of government religion, and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. They seek expungement of any unlawfully obtained records pertaining to them, a judgment declaring that the NYPD has violated their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and an order enjoining their future discriminatory surveillance.