American Civil Liberties Union en Senate Makes No Decision On PA Adoption Bill <p>Two groups that are often in opposition are now working together to kill a bill making its way through the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.</p><p>The American Civil Liberties Union and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference are butting heads with legislators over House Bill 162, which would give adopted adults access to their original birth certificates, including the names of their birth parents.</p><p>For the ACLU and the Catholic Conference, it’s an issue of privacy, but for Sens. LeAnna Washington (D-Philadelphia) and Judy Schwank (D-Berks) it’s a matter of civil rights.</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Michael Lynch 26250 at Teacher, ACLU File Suit Against Pittsburgh Police Officer Over Summer Arrest <p>The ACLU of Pennsylvania has filed a federal lawsuit against Pittsburgh police officer Jonathan Gromek, who last summer arrested a black teacher after a community meeting on police/community relations in Homewood.</p><p>All charges against Dennis Henderson were <a href="">withdrawn</a> by the district attorney, but Henderson said that the damage that was done can’t be undone.</p> Tue, 19 Nov 2013 23:05:21 +0000 Deanna Garcia & The Associated Press 20090 at Teacher, ACLU File Suit Against Pittsburgh Police Officer Over Summer Arrest Study: Minority Students More Likely to be Suspended, Expelled <p>Minority and special-needs students are more likely to be disciplined by being suspended or expelled from schools. That’s according to a study by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania: Beyond Zero Tolerance: Discipline and Policing in Pennsylvania Public Schools.</p><p>The study’s author, ACLU’s Harold Jordan, aggregated data from the commonwealth’s 500 public school districts on out-of-school suspensions, expulsions and removal by police.</p> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 21:21:26 +0000 Jessica Nath 19830 at State Lawmaker Seeks to Outlaw 'Revenge Porn' <p>State lawmakers are already considering efforts to tamp down bullying online, but one Democrat wants to quash a very particular kind of harassment.<br /><br />Sexually explicit photos or videos that are posted without the consent of the person they feature have become known as &ldquo;revenge porn.&rdquo;<br /><br />It&rsquo;s illegal in New Jersey and was just banned in California.<br /><br />Sen. Judy Schwank of Berks County said she&rsquo;s talked to people whose reputations, job opportunities and safety has been affected by material their ex-spouses or ex-lovers posted online. Fri, 04 Oct 2013 13:21:16 +0000 Mary Wilson 17624 at AG Kane Will Not Defend Against Suit Challenging PA's Marriage Law <p>Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Thursday that she will not defend the state law effectively banning same-sex marriage from a legal challenge in federal court, meaning the task will be left up to Gov. Tom Corbett.</p><p>"I cannot ethically defend the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's (law), where I believe it to be wholly unconstitutional," Kathleen Kane announced Thursday at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.</p> Thu, 11 Jul 2013 18:30:03 +0000 Kevin Gavin & The Associated Press 12944 at Federal Suit Filed in PA to Force State to Allow Same-Sex Marriage <p>The American Civil Liberties Union is filing a federal lawsuit in Pennsylvania to make the state recognize gay couples.<br><br>The suit comes two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on gay marriage but left state prohibitions intact. Lawyers say this is the first federal case since to be filed challenging a state's gay marriage law.<br> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 14:00:27 +0000 Mary Wilson & Mark Nootbaar 12778 at Federal Suit Filed in PA to Force State to Allow Same-Sex Marriage Policies Change as Part of Poppy Seed Child Custody Settlement <p>The Lawrence County woman who lost custody of her child after testing positive for drugs after eating a poppy seed bagel has settled her suit against the county and the hospital where the test was preformed.&nbsp;</p><p>The American Civil Liberties Union took the case of Elizabeth Mort in 2010 and announced the settlement with Jameson Hospital and Lawrence County Children and Youth Services Tuesday. The two entities will pay $143,500 to settle the suit.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 02 Jul 2013 18:08:57 +0000 Mark Nootbaar 12449 at Federal Investigation of State Prison's Treatment of Inmates with Mental Illness <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The US Department of Justice released a report last Friday stating that a Pennsylvania State prison violated the civil rights of inmates with serious mental illness and/or intellectual disabilities.</span></p><p>The investigators found that the Cambria County prison they investigated placed mentally ill inmates in solitary confinement for prolonged periods of time as a way of "warehousing" them.</p><p>The percentage of prisoners on the state's mental health roster has increased by more than 50 percent, since 1999, accounting for more than 20 percent of all inmates in the PA prison system.</p><p> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 20:26:11 +0000 Heather McClain 10701 at Federal Investigation of State Prison's Treatment of Inmates with Mental Illness Bill Restricting Abortion Coverage No Long Shot, Says Senate GOP <p>A state Senate committee has passed a proposal to restrict abortion coverage in health insurance plans provided through Pennsylvania's federally mandated exchange.<br><br>Last session, similar measures passed the House and Senate independently, but neither one made it through the entire legislative gauntlet.<br><br>But with the 2014 operational date for health care exchanges right around the corner, Senate GOP spokesman Erik Arneson said this measure may go to the finish line.<br> Fri, 12 Apr 2013 10:43:25 +0000 Mary Wilson 7724 at