Grassroots Celebration Showcases ACLU of Hawaii's 45th Anniversary (12/18/2009)
Honolulu, Hawaii: The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii (ACLU) presents a grassroots celebration in honor of its 45th anniversary in Hawaii protecting the civil liberties guaranteed in the Hawaii and United States Constitutions.
The Grassroots Celebration is set for Saturday, February 20, 2010 at the Blaisdell Center Hawaii Suites. The celebration consists of a free, public "Freedom Fair" from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, followed by an awards luncheon ($45 per person) from noon to 2 p.m.
ACLU of Hawaii 45th Anniversary Committee Chair Paula Myers said: "The ACLU celebrates our 45th with gratitude to our amazing 'ohana, and a focus on ever-increasing our local advocacy going forward. We are thrilled to welcome Anthony Romero and excited about the Freedom Fair - new this year - which will mix performers, banned books readings, music and art alongside diverse community groups who support the Bill of Rights in a free, public showcase of the First Amendment in action!"
ACLU of Hawaii Celebrates national Bill of Rights Day on Tuesday, 12/15/09 (12/11/2009)
Tuesday, December 15th marks the 218th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii ("ACLU") continues its tradition of offering free copies of the Bill of Rights to the public.
ACLU volunteers will distribute free copies at the following locations:
Oahu (Honolulu): Corner of Bishop St. and King St. from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Maui (Wailuku): Fronting Maui County Building, 200 So. High St. from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
ACLU of Hawaii Joins National Resolution for Ending School Pushout (12/08/2009)
Learn more at the Dignity in Schools Campaign website - http://www.dignityinschools.org
Read the Resolution (including list of signatories) - http://www.dignityinschools.org/files/DSC_National_Resolution.pdf
The ACLU of Hawaii has joined over 180 organizations and individuals from across the country to support the Dignity in Schools Campaign National Resolution for Ending School Pushout, a call to action for our school systems to end harsh discipline policies and law enforcement tactics that push too many young people out of school each year. The National Resolution calls for schools to implement positive alternatives that protect the human rights of young people and keep students in school.
The National Resolution is being released as states submit applications for Race to the Top Funds made available under the federal stimulus package. Federal Department of Education guidelines recommend that states and districts use these funds to promote positive school climates and discipline.
Legislative Action Alert:
Protect Women's Access to Abortion Care in Health Care Reform
You have a critical role to play in the fight for women’s reproductive freedom in this country. We need everyone to let their senators know that we want health reforms that will protect reproductive freedom not put it in peril as the House did with its Stupak-Pitts amendment.
The current Senate bill does not include the Stupak-Pitts language, but we are still a long way from victory. If we want to make sure the Senate stands up for women’s reproductive rights, we all need to come together and take action right now.
1) Join us for a sign waving event this Friday, December 4th from 3:00-5:00 pm at the Prince Kuhio Federal Building, 300 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI.
2) Contact Senator Akaka and Senator Inouye today. Let them know that you want health care that will improve women’s lives – not interfere with them.
Hawai`i’s Medical Cannabis Program to be discussed at public Talk Story event (10/21/2009)
HONOLULU – The Medical Cannabis Working Group (“Working Group”) announced today that they will be holding a public Medical Cannabis Talk Story on October 27, 2009 from 6:30-8pm at the Hawai`i State Capitol, Conference Room 329. The Working Group invites all members of the public to share their concerns about Hawai`i’s medical cannabis program (also referred to as the medical marijuana program).
ACLU Civil Liberties Talk-Story Set for Hilo (10/15/2009)
Hilo – As part of its 45th anniversary celebration, the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i (“ACLU”) will hold a free, public meeting on Friday, October 30th at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, room UCB 330, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
ACLU Community Event Set for Kahului (09/28/2009)
Kahului – As part of its 45th anniversary celebration, the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i (ACLU) will hold a free, public meeting on Friday, October 16 at Maui Community College, Ka Lama 103 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
ACLU Kicks off 45th Anniversary with Civil Liberties Symposium (09/16/2009)
Honolulu – The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i (ACLU) announced that it will kick off its 45th anniversary in Hawai‘i by hosting a free Civil Liberties Symposium on “Government-Imposed Morality” on Saturday, November 14th from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. The Honorable Ronald T.Y. Moon, Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court, will be the keynote speaker. Workshops for activists will offer the latest developments on issues such as discrimination based on sexual orientation or immigration status, reproductive rights, crime deterrence and prison reform, and privacy in an age of increased surveillance in all aspects of American life.
Victory In “Media Shield” Case (09/03/2009)
HONOLULU – The ACLU of Hawaii today announced a victory for all journalists in Hawaii in the wake of Kauai Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe’s ruling yesterday that Hawaii’s new “media shield” law applies to independent filmmaker Keoni Alvarez and that he cannot be forced to reveal his unpublished work or his confidential sources. After a court hearing, Judge Watanabe granted Alvarez’s request for a protective order, meaning that Alvarez will not be subjected to an invasive deposition and is not required to respond to subpoenas demanding his work product.
Nominations Sought for ACLU of Hawai‘i Youth Award (08/28/2009)
Honolulu – The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i Foundation’s Guardians of Liberty and Justice Youth Award is now open to local youth up to the age of 21. Nominations are now open for youth who have taken a stand and made a difference on a constitutional or civil liberties issue.
Past Award recipients include students who overcame opposition by school officials to the formation of a Gay Straight Alliance school club, opposed to being “tagged” for electronic tracking at school, organized grassroots protests, and fought for fair application of school uniform policies.
ACLU of Hawaii 2009 Legislative Report (07/28/2009)
ACLU of Hawaii releases comprehensive legislative end-of-session report on civil liberties. Take a look and see how your civil rights fared in the Hawaii Legislature.
A .pdf version:
The full HTML version:
Hawaii's Media Shield Law is the Topic of "Town Square" on KIPO (07/22/2009)
Learn more about Hawaii's media shield law.
ACLU HI Senior Staff Attorney Daniel Gluck joins host Beth-Ann Kozlovich and University of Hawaii Professor of Journalism Jerry Kato on KIPO's "Town Square" this Thursday, 7/23/09. The show runs from 5PM to 6PM on KIPO 89.3FM (also webcast live & archived on the website, hawaiipublicradio.org).
Interested in Hawaii's media shield law? Read the text of the law here:
ACLU of Hawaii at Honolulu Pride Festival! Sat., 7/18/09 (07/14/2009)
Visit the ACLU-HI table and volunteers at the Honolulu Pride Festival, Saturday 7/18! Near McCoy Pavilion, Ala Moana Beach Park. 11am to 7pm. Enjoy music, dancing, food, drink, and celebrate with a multitude of interesting booths and activities that highlight awareness to, and the culture of, Hawaii's wonderful LGBTIQ communities. No pets allowed, $5 entry fee directly supports the festival.More info: http://www.honolulupff.org
Urge the Legislature to Override Governor Lingle's Veto of SB 1058, and Establish a Medical Cannabis Task Force
Unfortunately, Governor Lingle vetoed Senate Bill 1058 (“SB 1058”), establishing a task force to examine issues relating to medical cannabis patients and current medical cannabis laws. However, the Legislature can vote on July 15, 2009 to override the Governor’s veto and pass the bill. We need your help to convince the Legislature to pass this important bill and to help to improve our compassionate medical cannabis program for those in Hawaii who suffer from serious illness.
Here is what you can do:
• Call, fax and/or email Legislators and ask them to please override the Governor’s veto and pass SB 1058. Click "read more" for contact information and a sample message.
• Forward this information to your friends and family and encourage them to ask the Legislature to please override the Governor’s veto and pass SB 1058.
Urge Governor Lingle to Pass S.B. 539, which Supports Re-entry and Rehabilitation Programs for Prisoners
The Governor has announced her intent to veto Senate Bill 539 (“SB 539”). SB 539 supplements the Community Safety Act of 2007, our comprehensive reentry and rehabilitation system for criminal offenders, and:
• Renames the Department of Public Safety’s Intake Service Center Division to the Reentry Intake Service Center Division;
• Directs the reentry intake service centers to work closely and collaborate with the work furlough programs in each county, the Hawaii paroling authority, and the correction program services division to ensure that the reentry needs of inmates are being met; and
• Establishes an oversight committee and reentry commission.
The Governor has until July 15, 2009 to sign or veto the bill. We need your help to convince the Governor to pass this important bill and provide Hawaii’s inmates with the support and services they need to become productive and responsible community members.
Here is what you can do:
• Write, email and/or call Governor Lingle and ask her to please sign SB 539. Click on "more" below for contact information and sample text for a letter/email.
• Forward this information to your friends and family and encourage them to ask the Governor to please sign SB 539.
The Honorable Linda Lingle
Governor, State of Hawaii
Honolulu, HI 96813
Fax: (808) 586-0006
Phone: (808) 586-0034
Urge Governor Lingle to Pass the Comprehensive Sexuality Health Education Act! (SB 777) (07/09/2009)
The Governor has announced her intent to veto Senate Bill 777 (“SB 777”), the Comprehensive Sexuality Health Education Act. SB 777 will ensure that state-funded sex education programs provide medically accurate, factual, comprehensive, and age-appropriate information. The Governor has until July 15, 2009 to sign or veto the bill. We need your help to convince the Governor to pass this important bill.
Here is what you can do:
• Write, email and/or call Governor Lingle and ask her to please sign SB 777. Here is her contact information, click "read more" below for a sample letter.
• Forward this information to your friends and family and encourage them to ask the Governor to please sign SB 777.
The Honorable Linda Lingle
Governor, State of Hawaii
Honolulu, HI 96813
Fax: (808) 586-0006
Phone: (808) 586-0034
Senator Akaka’s PASS ID Act: Resurrecting the National ID Card(07/08/2009)
Learn more about the problems with PASS ID here.
Read the ACLU's press release on PASS ID here.
On June 15, Senator Akaka (D-Hawaii) introduced S. 1261, the “Providing for Additional Security in States’ Identification Act of 2009” or the “PASS ID Act”, which repeals and replaces the Real ID Act of 2005 with new national requirements for driver’s licenses. While this bill stems from a sincere attempt to fix the unworkable Real ID Act of 2005, PASS ID actually resurrects the essentially dead Real ID and re-institutes many of Real ID’s privacy and constitutional problems - in some cases making them even worse. For more information about Real ID and the PASS ID Act of 2009, please visit www.realnightmare.org. PASS ID will be given a hearing in the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Wednesday, July 15th. We need your help to get Senator Akaka to pull the bill or to at least fix some of the more problematic provisions of PASS ID.
Here's what you can do:
Please contact Senator Akaka today and ask that he either pull PASS ID (S. 1261) in favor of negotiated rulemaking or amend PASS ID to:
ACLU of Hawaii Invokes "Media Shield" Law in Defense of Documentary Filmmaker (06/30/2009)
HONOLULU – The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii (“ACLU”) and Honolulu attorney James J. Bickerton (of Bickerton Lee Dang & Sullivan) announced today that they will use Hawaii’s new “media shield” law to protect a documentary filmmaker’s work from sweeping subpoenas issued by a private homeowner over a land-use dispute on Kauai.
Board of Education moves forward with controversial misconduct rule changes for Hawaii's public schools.
As the Board of Education moves forward with controversial misconduct rule changes for Hawaii's public schools, ACLU asks school officials and students to help monitor and confidentially report any possible abuse of sweeping new powers.
On Thursday, 6/18/09, the Board of Education voted 8-4 to enact sweeping changes to Chapter 19 - the administrative rules governing student discipline and misconduct - despite widespread community opposition to the Board's proposals to erode student privacy. The Board received testimony from law professors, sociology professors, students, concerned parents and a wide range of community organizations informing the Board that it should focus on educating our students - giving our youth the tools to make responsible decisions and become civically minded adults - rather than spending its time trying to find ways to make our schools function more like prisons.
Daniel Gluck, ACLU Senior Staff Attorney, stated: "The ACLU is disappointed that the Board has ignored our warnings that these changes are unconstitutional and will lead to lawsuits. We will continue to monitor the implementation of these rules, and we encourage any parent, student or school official subjected to a random locker search or an intrusive drug-dog sniff to contact the local ACLU immediately via email to <email@example.com>
or via mail to Box 3410, Honolulu, HI 96801. Reports will be held in confidence.
For more information, including the full text of our testimony, please visit: www.acluhawaii.org/ch19
Teacher Drug Testing Policies Declared Unconstitutional in North Carolina, Louisiana (06/04/2009)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2009
HONOLULU – The ACLU of Hawaii today announced two more cases in which courts have ordered an end to suspicionless drug testing of teachers. On Tuesday, a North Carolina appellate court struck down a program that subjected all school employees to random drug tests; last Friday, a federal court in Louisiana issued a consent decree ending a policy that required any teacher who suffered an injury on the job to submit to a drug test – even if that “injury” resulted from being punched by a student.
Governor Lingle’s is an increasingly lonely voice in the push for random drug testing. On June 2, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that suspicionless drug testing of all school employees violated the North Carolina Constitution (1). The court explained that the North Carolina Constitution – like the Hawaii Constitution – provides greater privacy protections than the United States Constitution; the court also ruled that the school board could not merely declare all school employees to have “safety sensitive” positions (equivalent to nuclear power plant operators or employees in chemical weapons factories) to circumvent long-standing rulings from the United States Supreme Court.
BOE Expected to Vote on Student Privacy 5/26/09, Will Hear Final Testimony at Meeting Prior to Vote
Over the last month, the Board of Education held hearings on proposed changes to the Hawaii Administrative Rules regarding student privacy and discipline. The Board of Education will be voting on these proposed changes on Tuesday, but you have one more chance to submit testimony. The vote will be very close – every piece of testimony will help defend students’ constitutional rights!
Please take 30 seconds today to e-mail testimony to BOE_Hawaii@notes.k12.hi.us. Sample testimony is below to cut and paste, or write your own.
We also strongly encourage everyone to attend Tuesday’s BOE meeting in person – 3:00 p.m., Queen Liliuokalani Building
1390 Miller Street, Room 404 (across from Queen’s Hospital).
For ACLU’s testimony, or to see the proposed changes, visit www.acluhawaii.org/ch19
To: Hawaii State Board of Education
Via E-mail: BOE_Hawaii@notes.k12.hi.us
Date/Time: Tuesday, May 26, 2009, 3:00 p.m. Queen Liliuokalani Building, Room 404
Re: Proposed Changes to Chapter 19
Dear Chair Toguchi and Members of the Hawaii State Board of Education:
I strongly oppose the proposed changes to Chapter 19 because they erode student privacy without making our schools any safer.
First, the list of “contraband” is overly broad. The new rules would allow school officials to search every pocket of a student’s backpack, pants, or purse just because the student might have a cell phone. Students with braces could be sent to detention because rubber bands are “contraband.” Any student suspected of having chewing gum could be suspended. School are not prisons, and students shouldn’t be treated like inmates.
Second, some of the proposed definitions are so vague that they will inevitably lead to claims of discrimination. For example, the rules prohibit “inappropriate physical contact” – including consensual physical contact – between students. But the rules don’t explain what conduct is “appropriate” or what is “inappropriate” and will vary from person to person. School officials might believe that it’s “appropriate” for boys and girls to hold hands but “inappropriate” for two girls to do so. Similarly, the rules prohibit “using words in an inappropriate way” and “low-intensity failure to respond to adult requests” – completely meaningless phrases that could have parents screaming at teachers if they enforce – or they fail to enforce – the rules.
Third, I strongly disagree that school officials should be able to search students’ lockers – and their personal property contained in the lockers – at any time, without cause. The rule changes for locker searches are unnecessary (as well as unconstitutional): current rules already allow for searches of students whenever there is reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. The rules also allow for the immediate search of any locker if school officials believe there is imminent danger from the locker's contents. Therefore, as currently written, the rules in Chapter 19 already give school officials ample ability to keep our kids safe, while preserving their constitutional rights to privacy and free speech.
Fourth, I think that the use of drug-sniffing dogs is invasive, unnecessary, and a waste of scarce educational resources. Even the best drug-sniffing dogs are wrong between 12.5% and 60% of the time. Large numbers of completely innocent students may be detained and questioned by school officials and even the police, creating an administrative nightmare without making schools any safer.
Fifth, the rules now authorize suspensions of up to 92 days and drug testing of kindergarteners. This move towards “zero tolerance” in schools simply makes no sense: children and teenagers will make mistakes; it’s the Board’s job to make sure that children get the tools they need to become productive, responsible members of society – not to give them criminal records and punish them with suspensions so lengthy that the students may never catch up to their peers.
We are teaching our children the wrong civics lesson. The U.S. Constitution protects Americans from unsubstantiated searches, but allowing school officials to search through students' personal effects without cause is a glaring affront to this bedrock constitutional right and teaches a miserable civics lesson to our students. By allowing suspicionless searches, we are mistakenly teaching young people that they must choose between being safe and free. Our constitution was built on the foundational idea that Americans can be safe AND free.
These changes take our school system in the wrong direction. Please do not implement these proposed changes.
Urge Governor Lingle to Sign SB 777 Relating to Medically Accurate Sexuality Education (05/08/2009)
S.B. 777, which requires any recipient of state funding specifically for sexuality health education programs to provide comprehensive medically accurate sexuality education, has passed its final reading and will soon be on its way to the Governor for her signature. Please take a few minutes to send a formal letter to Governor Lingle and ask her to sign the bill into law.
Here is some sample text you can cut and paste into your letter:
The Honorable Linda Lingle
Governor, State of Hawai‘i
Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96813
Dear Governor Lingle:
I write to encourage your signature on an important bill to give our teens the information they need to make healthy and responsible life decisions. SB 777 will ensure that sex education funded by Hawai‘i provides medically accurate, factual, and comprehensive information that is age appropriate. The legislation makes sure that Hawai’i teens learn how to make healthy decisions about waiting to have sex, using contraception, and preventing unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection.
Our students are best served by programs that educate and inform, not dangerously limit information and mislead. The Comprehensive Sexuality Health Education Act provides our teens with balanced and accurate information. That is why major medical organizations including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Society for Adolescent Medicine, the American Nurses Association, the American Public Health Association, and the Institute of Medicine, support responsible sexuality education that includes information about both waiting to have sex and contraception.
Please ensure that sexuality education in Hawai’i gives our teens the information they need to make healthy and responsible life decisions and sign SB 777.
"Islam Day" Violates Separation of Church and State, ACLU Says (05/07/2009)
HONOLULU – The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii (“ACLU”) voiced its opposition to the Hawaii Legislature’s declaration of September 24, 2009 as “Islam Day.”
As Daniel Gluck, Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU of Hawaii explained, “This resolution sends the State down a dangerous path. The Legislature should not be picking and choosing among religions to honor, no matter how well-intentioned the action.”
Legislative Action Alert (04/24/2009)
Your kokua needed for our final push to pass the Civil Unions Bill this year.
Voting Rights - UPDATE (04/01/2009)
Unfortunately SB619 - to ensure the right to vote for all Hawaii residents - was not scheduled for a hearing before the House Judiciary committee by the 3/27/09 deadline. The ACLU of Hawaii appreciates your support and will continue to advocate strongly for fair and equal voting rights for all.
Civil Unions - UPDATE (04/01/2009)
On 3/25/09, Senator Gary Hooser moved to pull HB 444, but only had six of the nine needed votes to pull the bill from committee and put it up for a floor vote. The ACLU is grateful for your support and to the six Senators who stood up for equality and justice. We encourage you to contact and thank them as we look forward to continued debate and movement on this important issue.
Rosalyn H. Baker: senbaker@Capitol.hawaii.gov - 808-586-6070
Suzanne Chun Oakland: senchunoakland@Capitol.hawaii.gov - 808-586-6130
Carol Fukunaga: senfukunaga@Capitol.hawaii.gov - 808-586-6890
Gary L. Hooser: senhooser@Capitol.hawaii.gov - 808-586-6030
Les Ihara: senihara@Capitol.hawaii.gov - 808-586-6250
Michelle Kidani: firstname.lastname@example.org - 808-586-7100
Upcoming Public Forums Focus on Restoring the Bill of Rights
Events with Ben Wizner, Attorney with the ACLU National Security Project (03/05/2009)
Flier (PDF: 84 KB)
Honolulu - What is the state of civil liberties? How can we restore America’s promise of freedom at home and in the world? Aiming to broaden public awareness of the nationwide outlook for civil rights, the Davis Levin First Amendment Conference Distinguished Lecture Series presents Ben Wizner, attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) National Security Project. Wizner has litigated several important post-9/11 civil liberties cases for the ACLU in which the government has invoked the state secrets privilege, including El-Masri v. United States (a challenge to the CIA’s abduction, detention, and torture of an innocent German citizen) and Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc. (a suit against a private aviation services company for facilitating the CIA’s kidnap to torture of five Muslim men). Oral arguments in Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc. were held last month in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals with Ben Wizner representing the five plaintiffs. He has traveled to Guantanamo Bay to observe and report on Military Commission trials. Wizner was a law clerk to the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
He is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University School of Law.
Immediate Action Needed
Urge The Hawaii Senate To Pass The Civil Union Bill (02/20/2009)
Senate members need to hear from you today!
On Tuesday February 24, 2009 at 9:00 a.m., the Hawaii Senate Committee on Judiciary and Government Operations (JGO) will be voting on a comprehensive Civil Union Bill (H.B. 444, HD1). The bill would provide same-sex couples with full relationship protections and responsibilities. The bill has already passed the House but our opposition has mobilized. Opposition groups are currently flooding the Capitol with phone calls and emails asking Senate members to oppose H.B. 444, HD1.
Hawai‘i ACLU Elects Board of Directors, New Officers (01/21/2009)
Honolulu, Hawai‘i - The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i recently concluded elections for its Board of Directors and its leadership.
Second Federal Court in Two Weeks Halts
Suspicionless Drug Testing of Teachers (01/15/2009)
Honolulu – The ACLU of Hawaii welcomed an order issued today by a federal court in Louisiana halting an unconstitutional teacher drug testing policy. The policy, instituted by the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board, subjected any teacher who suffers an injury while on the job to a drug test without any suspicion of drug use. The American Civil Liberties Union and the East Baton Rouge Federation of Teachers filed a lawsuit last month seeking an immediate halt to the policy in order to protect teachers' constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches.
West Virginia Court Decision Bodes Ill for Hawaii Scheme to Randomly Drug Test Teachers
Judge rules that random drug testing program would likely violate teachers' constitutional rights.
Today’s order may be found online at: www.aclu.org/drugpolicy/testing/38266lgl20090108.html
Honolulu – The ACLU of Hawaii called the ruling issued today by a federal judge in West Virginia the most comprehensive order written to date on random drug testing of teachers, and a decisive blow to the State of Hawaii's attempts to initiate such a program. The court issued a written order halting the proposed random, suspicionless drug testing of nearly all Kanawha County public school employees; the order provides the legal rationale behind last week's verbal ruling blocking the controversial program in response to a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Ph.: (808)522-5900 Fax: (808)522-5909 Email: email@example.com
This is the web site of the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii and the ACLU of Hawaii Foundation.
Learn more about the distinction between these two components of the ACLU.