The Coastal Packet: Some good civil liberties news in Maine this year

Monday, December 21

Some good civil liberties news in Maine this year

Maine ACLU

Mainers stand in solidarity with refugees.

Free speech is victorious over Portland median ban. “In a victory for free speech that will have nationwide implications, a federal appeals court ruled that the City of Portland’s ban on being in medians is unconstitutional.”

A settlement in our case affirms the right to record the police. “This case was about making sure the police, and the public, understand and respect the first amendment right to observe and record.”

Anti-choice measures are defeated in the Legislature. “Two anti-abortion bills were soundly defeated and two bills supporting women’s reproductive rights were passed in both chambers of the legislature.”

Maine ends the dangerous practice of shackling of pregnant prisoners.
 “All women, whether they are incarcerated or not, deserve the right to a safe and healthy pregnancy.”

We defeat a dangerous discrimination bill.
 “While religious freedom is a fundamental right, this bill goes far beyond those protections and could allow individuals to use their religion as a reason to discriminate against others

Voting rights endure. “Many Americans – particularly poor people, people of color, transgender Mainers, and the elderly – do not have the necessary identification that these laws require, and face barriers to voting as a result.”

Maine’s highest court upholds fairness in the legislative process. “The legislative process only works if every knows (and follows) the same set of rules, and the Maine Supreme Judicial Court is, ultimately, the umpire when there is a dispute about those rules.”

Important civil liberties bills become the law in Maine. “No one agrees with all of Maine’s new laws. But one thing they all have in common is that – in order to even reach the governor’s desk – they all had bipartisan support in both houses of the Legislature.”

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