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My So-Called Privacy

Like many awkward teenagers in the mid-90s, I was obsessed with the television drama My So-Called Life. But while some peers dyed their hair red and wore their fathers’ flannels and others picked up sheet music to learn “Blister in … Continue reading

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Brown administration finally agrees to more comprehensive criminal justice reform

Today’s order from the three-judge panel overseeing the standing federal court order to reduce the state’s prison population to 137.5 percent of capacity gives the state an additional two-year extension to comply, and plaintiffs’ attorneys’ are justifiably concerned about ongoing … Continue reading

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Hollywood, why are there so few women behind the camera?

It’s award season in Hollywood, and on top of the nominations buzz, you typically see an uptick in people noticing the stark gender disparities in film. For the past five years, only about 30 percent of character actors on the … Continue reading

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Are you eligible for paid family leave?

This morning, I testified before the Los Angeles City Council about how important it is to give working parents paid time off to care for their newborn, newly-adopted or sick children. I asked the council to adopt a resolution to … Continue reading

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New Sheriff in town–for now

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca stepped down today. In so doing, he kept his word. He is now part of the department’s past and not its future. He leaves behind a scandal-ridden department that is at the center of … Continue reading

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It’s like you’re sold a dream

I lost my drive after my older brother Rufus was sentenced. I didn’t care. I didn’t trust. That was my attitude. Rufus was the father figure I looked up to. When he went to jail for the rest of his … Continue reading

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L.A. cops should release Automatic License Plate Reader records

On Friday, ACLU SoCal and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed the opening brief in our lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department for information on how the agencies are using Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPR). We argue the … Continue reading

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Immigration raids end in Kern County courthouses

When Gurvinder Singh and Kuldeet Kaur went to the Kern County Courthouse in 2012 to get married they believed it would mark the beginning of a new chapter in their lives. The couple’s trip to the Bakersfield court quickly turned … Continue reading

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I live in a state that respects women. And sadly, that’s unique.

Forty-one years after the historic Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, politicians across the nation are falling all over themselves to take away a woman’s right to decide when and whether to have a child. For the worst restrictions on … Continue reading

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Believe it or not, there’s something exciting in the governor’s budget proposal

Nine years ago, as part of the landmark Williams settlement, the state promised school districts $800 million to fund the Emergency Repair Program (ERP), established to help schools address facility conditions that pose urgent threats to students’ health and safety. … Continue reading

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Notorious Sheriff Baca finally retires

Sheriff Lee Baca stunned the public this week by announcing that he will immediately retire as the head of Los Angeles County jails. His announcement marks another milestone in the ACLU’s campaign to end the culture of rampant deputy-on-prisoner violence … Continue reading

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Gov. Brown releases proposed budget with mixed news on prison spending

Governor Jerry Brown on Thursday unveiled his proposed budget for 2014-2015, a budget that contains some elements that would actually move California in the direction of criminal justice reform that remains so urgently needed. Expanding medical and elderly parole will … Continue reading

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Bye, Bye, Baca

On Tuesday, Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy David “Lee” Baca finally exercised the kind of leadership that has sorely been lacking from his office when he announced his retirement at the end of this month. His decision to step aside … Continue reading

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ACLU SoCal and Advancing Justice – LA continue to seek truth about detention and torture of SoCal resident

Was our government involved in the overseas abduction and torture of an American citizen? Do we have the right to know the answer to that question? That is the issue the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals must decide in an appeal … Continue reading

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Bratton shouldn’t bring LAPD’s stop model back to NY

Since a federal court ruled the NYPD’s practice of aggressively stopping and searching residents unconstitutional, New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has been looking for someone to lead and reform the NYPD. He’s now tapped Bill Bratton, who steered the … Continue reading

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Know your rights

Because freedom can't protect itself.