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30 minutes | Sep 29, 2022
How the Supreme Court Could Silence Black Voters
On October 4th, the Supreme Court is set to hear Milligan v. Merrill, a case that would undermine Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. At question is Alabama’s new congressional map, a map that underwent what is called racial gerrymandering or racial redistricting, diluting Black Alabamans’ voting power. The case’s outcome will determine the future of voting rights in America. Joining us today, our plaintiff in the case Shalela Dowdy, Organizer, Veteran, law student and resident of Mobile and Davin Rosborough, Senior Staff Attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project who is on the litigation team for the case.
36 minutes | Sep 22, 2022
A Tale of Two Victories: Abortion in Kansas and Michigan
On August 2nd, voters in Kansas came out in droves to protect abortion access in the state through a ballot measure. It was the first opportunity for voters to cast their support for abortion access since the overturn of Roe v. Wade. For many, Kansas was proof in the pudding: Americans overwhelmingly support reproductive rights. This November, a slew of other states have ballot measures that will similarly allow the people to decide if abortion will be protected in their state. In Michigan, the measure was only just recently added to the ballot after 750,000 people signed a petition to ensure that Michiganders would have a choice to protect abortion access in their state Constitution. To protect abortion access in a post-Roe reality, we need to pursue every avenue possible, including at the ballot box. Today, we’re speaking with Rachel Sweet, campaign manager for Kansans for Constitutional Freedom who led the ballot measure to a sweeping victory for reproductive rights. And, also, Connie Kross, a retiree-turned-repro-rights-champion who volunteers for Reproductive Freedom For All, the ballot measure campaign in Michigan. These two have rolled up their sleeves and recruited their friends, family and neighbors to do the same. They are not turning back. And neither are we.
32 minutes | Sep 15, 2022
How to Fight Your School's Sexist Dress Code
It’s back to school season! And, this week we are digging into the wild world of dress codes. Clothes, like most things, have the power we give them. Sometimes they are a way to craft or express identity and sometimes they are just pieces of fabric stitched together to help us get through our days. In school, certain kinds of clothes are given more power and more scrutiny than others. In school, certain kinds of clothes and style can get you in trouble. At the ACLU, we believe that school dress codes are tricky and they can be ripe venues for the discrimination and censorship of young people. In this episode we will hear from Kayla, a track athlete originally from Albany High School who found herself and her teammates suspended for their dress code violation. We’ll also chat with Linda Morris, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project who will break down why we got involved.
34 minutes | Sep 8, 2022
This Podcast Could Be Banned in Florida Schools
It’s September and we’re back! Did you miss us? We missed you. So happy to be back and bringing you a very timely episode for the back to school season. In August, the ACLU along with partner organizations, filed a challenge to Florida's Stop W.O.K.E. Act, a censorship law which restricts educators and students from learning and talking about issues related to race and gender in the classroom. This isn’t the first law we’ve seen like this: education gag orders have been introduced in 40 states, and nearly 20 states across the country have passed these kinds of laws. Florida’s law, we argue, violates the First and 14th Amendments by imposing viewpoint-based restrictions on educators and students that are both vague and discriminatory. Additionally, the laws violates the Equal Protection Clause because it was enacted with the intent to discriminate against Black educators and students. Today we’re digging in and speaking with two of our clients who are impacted by this law as well as one of the ACLU’s lead attorneys on the case.
34 minutes | Jul 28, 2022
California's Fight for Reparations
Last month, the California Reparations Task Force released an interim report detailing California’s history of slavery and its impact on the state. The task force was created in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. Its goal is to examine what a reparations program in the state could look like. The idea of reparations for slavery itself is not new. It stems from the value of enslaved labor, which, in 1860, was estimated at over 3 billion dollars. This forced labor built the backbone of the American economy but enslaved people nor their descendants have ever seen the economic benefit from their labor. In fact, Black Americans have systematically been denied opportunities to build and accumulate wealth since the country’s founding.Advocates of reparations argue this is one of the most effective ways to decrease the racialized wealth gap. Joining us today Tammerlin Drummond, a communications strategist at the ACLU of Northern California and Brandon Greene, director of the racial and economic justice program at the ACLU of Northern California, Brandon Greene. Tammerlin is also the host of Gold Chains, a podcast that explores California’s ties to slavery, and Brandon worked with the California Reparations Task Force, helping build the interim report. To learn more about the Gold Chains project, visit: https://www.aclunc.org/sites/goldchains/index.html
36 minutes | Jul 21, 2022
Actress Ali Stroker on Disability Pride and Representation
Today, we are bringing you a conversation celebrating Disability Pride Month, which is July. This conversation with actress and singer Ali Stroker was recorded last year, but we think it has the same resonance today. We talk to Ali about disability identity and representation in the media. We hope you enjoy the conversation. Roll the tape! Across the top 100 movies of 2019 only 2.3% of all speaking characters had a disability. What’s more, the rare times we do see a character with a disability, they aren’t played by someone with a disability. In fact, one study found that in the top 10 TV shows for 2018 only 12% of disabled characters were played by disabled actors. In contrast, around 133 million Americans live with visible or invisible disabilities — that’s 40% of the public. To put it plainly, there’s A LOT of room for improvement. Enter Ali Stroker, a singer and actress phenom who became both the first person using a wheelchair to perform on Broadway and the first person using a wheelchair to win a Tony award. Ali, in many ways, has put disability on the media map, landing roles in film, television, theater and even writing a children’s book. She joins us on At Liberty to discuss the importance of the representation and celebration of disability in the entertainment industry and beyond.
35 minutes | Jul 14, 2022
Roe's Overturn Threatens All Reproductive Care
It was a few days after the overturn of Roe v. Wade when a doctor in Louisiana prescribed a medication to make the insertion of an IUD, a form of birth control, less painful for a patient. The medication has several uses. One of them is to act as the second part of a two-drug protocol used to terminate a pregnancy. The pharmacy called the prescribing physician to ask if the prescription was for an abortion. When she told them it was for an IUD insertion, the pharmacist still refused to give out the medication, leaving the patient without the medication for her procedure. This is one of the ways Roe’s overturn has already impacted access to other kinds of reproductive care. We worry this will not only continue but get worse. Today we are going to dig into the new landscape of reproductive healthcare in a post-Roe world by talking with two physicians who have dedicated their lives to helping people who can get pregnant navigate their vast pool of healthcare needs. From deciding how to prevent pregnancy and how to manage harmful periods to how to recover from a miscarriage and how to deal with infertility, these doctors know better than most, and certainly better than the Supreme Court, that the full spectrum of reproductive care is of vital importance to the lives of millions of Americans. Joining us today are Dr. Colleen Denny, the Medical Director of Women's Health Services at Bellevue Hospital in NYC and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the NYU School of Medicine who provides OB-GYN care that includes abortion, and Dr. Lucky Sekhon, a double board-certified OB-GYN and Reproductive Endocrinologist & Infertility Specialist at RMA of New York, a fertility clinic. She is an assistant clinical professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. To donate to support our fight against the attack on reproductive autonomy and all the attacks that follow. Please visit aclu.org/keepfighting. To get involved in our people power effort to protect abortion access, please visit aclu.org/abortionactivist.
35 minutes | Jul 7, 2022
The State of Our Democracy With Anthony Romero
It’s a precarious time for American democracy. This year, the Supreme Court term resulted in a number of concerning opinions that rollback civil rights and civil liberties across many facets of American life, most notably the decision in the Dobbs case that overturned the constitutional right to an abortion. At the same time, the congressional hearings around the violent attack on the capitol on January 6, 2021, have revealed a dangerous and unabashed attempt to subvert our electoral system. When people don’t have trust in their government or its institutions, when our electoral system is riddled with fractures, it can be hard to mount meaningful change. One of our most powerful mechanisms of change is voting. So... we’re at an impasse, and we’re going to acknowledge that today and explore ways to surmount the challenges ahead of us. Joining us to discuss is the ACLU’s Executive Director, Anthony Romero. Anthony has been at the helm of the organization since 2001 and has seen our work through a number of inflection points. He knows, better than most, that progress is possible, even after major setbacks. RSVP to the ACLU’s Abortion Activist Training: www.ACLU.org/abortionactivist To donate to support our fight against the attack on reproductive autonomy and all the attacks that follow, please visit: https://www.aclu.org/keepfighting To get involved in our people power effort to protect abortion access, please visit: https://aclu.org/abortion-pledge
27 minutes | Jun 30, 2022
Living Without Roe: How Can I Help?
On Friday, June 24th, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and with it, the constitutional right to an abortion. In the immediate, we spoke with our legal experts Louise Melling, Jen Dalven and Ria Tabacco Mar, about the opinion and the legal concerns ahead. Check out that episode. It’s called Post Roe: The Supreme Court Won’t Stop at Abortion, and it’s worth a listen if you missed it. But today, we are doing something a little different. We are talking with Jessica Arons, senior policy counsel for the ACLU, about all the different avenues we, as individuals, can explore when trying to plug in and do something to help. We know it’s confusing. There’s a lot of information out there. It’s also so easy to feel dejected and disempowered. It’s understandable to feel like our efforts won’t matter when there is so much we are up against, but we need you in this fight. So today we’re going to walk through the different avenues you can use to fight back whether that’s through voting, donating, volunteering, or just talking with your loved ones. You’re going to want to share this episode with your people. RSVP to the ACLU's Abortion Activist Training: www.ACLU.org/abortionactivist Other organizations mentioned in this episode: https://keepourclinics.org/ https://www.ifwhenhow.org/ More resources listed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vRqbxh96ynlqdYUInUZB5GWrE2GIcW3FEXdtxO_n2BXMAd2HOkNssn3aP77zSXBN43TIJ3Xab2ih9vE/pub?s=04&fbclid=IwAR0OJetoWqvi9lKb-N-OYEuACRuCCOC7WpCZVyIo-Sv47mHVlHB5R9VcSbk
33 minutes | Jun 24, 2022
Post Roe: The Supreme Court Won’t Stop at Abortion
In a landmark decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court has voted to overturn both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, eliminating a 50-year precedent and the constitutional right to an abortion. We expect half of the states across the country to ban abortion either immediately or in the coming days, weeks or months. Pregnant people in these states will now be forced to carry their pregnancies to term. This decision was expected in some ways, a draft opinion for the case was leaked in May, revealing the intent to overturn the right to access an abortion in the U.S. but I’m not sure anything could truly prepare us for the reality we are now facing. So much is at stake. Joining us to help us break down the decision and discuss what we all can do in response are Jen Dalven, Director of the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project, Ria Tabacco Mar, Director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, and Louise Melling, Deputy Legal Director and Director of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Center for Liberty at the ACLU. To donate to support our fight against this attack on reproductive autonomy and all the attacks that follow, please visit aclu.org/keepfighting. To join our new abortion activist training RSVP at aclu.org/AbortionActivist.
32 minutes | Jun 23, 2022
The Overcriminalization of America
Over the last few weeks, a surge of texts and phone calls have gone out from local politicians. Most of them focus on one issue: crime. Worried about the rising crime? Want to keep you and your family safe? Vote for me. I'll make sure to fund the police and get the riffraff off our streets, direct quote. Crime is being used as a wedge issue this midterm season, and candidates are stoking fears in hopes to mount a meaningful backlash to recent progress in both policing and criminal legal reform. At the same time, state and national leaders are hard at work seeking to criminalize access to healthcare for trans and pregnant folks. This interest in criminalizing new behaviors while holding the line on age old crime and punishment tactics is a worrying trend. Joining us today to discuss is Somil Trivedi, senior staff attorney for the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project. Loyal listeners of At Liberty will remember Somil from his time guest hosting earlier this year.
33 minutes | Jun 16, 2022
What Does Abortion Care Look Like Post-Roe? Look to Texas.
This week, we are bringing you an important conversation about the state of abortion care in Texas. In September, Texas passed SB8, a bill that banned abortions at 6 weeks of pregnancy and deputized private citizens to enforce the ban. Since then, it’s been an “all hands on deck” operation to provide care to those in Texas still eligible in-state, while also helping shuffle others to states still with broader access. We can look to Texas to see some of what a world post-Roe v. Wade could look like for many other states. To that end, we’re enlisting Cecile Richards, former President of Planned Parenthood and native Texan to speak to folks on the ground in Texas, those mobilizing and creating systems that we can all learn from as we all seek to navigate abortion access in a new legal climate. Joining Cecile we have Anna Rupani, the Executive Director of a Texas abortion fund called Fund Texas Choice, Dr, Bhavik Kumar, an abortion provider in the state, and Reverend Dr. Daniel Kanter, Senior minister of First Unitarian Church of Dallas.
35 minutes | Jun 9, 2022
How Dismantling Roe Puts Interracial Marriage at Risk
June 12th, 2022 marks the 55th anniversary of the landmark case Loving v. Virginia which made interracial marriage legal across the United States. We also know this day as Loving Day. This year, Loving Day has a bit of a weightier feel to it. In the recent Supreme Court leaked draft opinion on the Dobbs case, the legal reasoning that Justice Alito used to overturn Roe could be applied to undo Loving v. Virginia, signaling a new threat to interracial marriage as we know it. To those who say Loving v. Virginia will never be overturned, be cautious and vigilant. The United States has a long history of criminalizing, surveilling, and controlling Black and brown families and the mixing of races. We must both celebrate and honor our right to marry whomever we want and work to ensure its protection in the future. Today we’re celebrating Loving and discussing its connectivity to the broader attacks on our ability to build our families how we see fit. We’re joined by Dr. Michele Goodwin, a constitutional law scholar at the University of California, Irvine School of Law where she started and runs the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy. She’s the host of On the Issues, a podcast by Ms. Magazine. Michele is also an ACLU Executive Committee member.
53 minutes | Jun 2, 2022
Alok Vaid-Menon Wants You to Reimagine Gender
This year brings an unprecedented surge of anti-trans legislation banning everything from sports participation to healthcare access. So far, we’re tracking roughly 280 state bills that have been filed ahead of or during this legislative session. At the same time, the Supreme Court is on the precipice of delivering a final decision that will likely overturn Roe v. Wade, blocking people who can get pregnant from abortion care. These attacks are actually all part of the same movement, a movement against bodily autonomy and our ability to live freely no matter our model or make, a movement to re-entrench gender hierarchy and binary thinking. To that end, we’re bringing you a conversation with Alok Vaid-Menon, a nonbinary writer, performer, public speaker, activist and artist exploring the themes of trauma, belonging, and the human condition. They are the author of Femme in Public, Beyond the Gender Binary, and Your Wound/My Garden. Alok has done a lot of work to interrogate their history, our collective history, and to probe beneath the surface of what we’ve come to accept as the norm. They challenge us all to use our imagination to re-wire what we believe is possible for ourselves and society around us. This is a really special conversation and our team, quite honestly, all felt gob-smacked by Alok’s perspective. We let this conversation run long because we wanted you all to experience it and take it in as we did. To donate to support our fight against the attack on reproductive autonomy and all the attacks that follow, please visit: https://www.aclu.org/keepfighting To get involved in our people power effort to protect abortion access, please visit: https://aclu.org/abortion-pledge
36 minutes | May 26, 2022
Southern Abortion Activists Share Their Playbook
Supreme Court decision season is upon us, and with that, we wait for the final opinion in the Mississippi abortion ban case that could overturn Roe v. Wade. The idea of living in a post-Roe world is terrifying, the impacts will be broad and almost everyone will feel them in one way or another. This is the truth that activists and organizers on the ground in states like Mississippi, Florida, and Texas know all too well. They’ve been warding off anti-abortion attacks for decades, all while mounting a resistance focused on community conversation and education. They are, in many ways, the leaders of the reproductive rights movement. Amidst all the reasons to quit, they continue to fight -- individual action turns into collective action turns into political action. We can learn a lot from activists and organizers like Tyler, Crishelle, and Vienna, which is exactly why we are having them join us today. We’ll discuss how they have weathered the hardest of times on the ground in their own communities and highlight their work as a playbook for us all moving forward. To donate to support our fight against the attack on reproductive autonomy and all the attacks that follow, please visit: https://www.aclu.org/keepfighting To get involved in our people power effort to protect abortion access, please visit: https://aclu.org/abortion-pledge
33 minutes | May 19, 2022
The Impact of Intergenerational Immigrant Trauma
May marks Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month. To mark the importance of this month and how it intersects our work at the ACLU, we are bringing you this conversation with Malaysian American award-winning writer and audio producer, Stephanie Foo. Stephanie is the author of the new book, What My Bones Know, a memoir about intergenerational trauma and complex post-traumatic stress disorder, or c-PTSD. In the book, Stephanie details her path of healing from the physical and emotional abuse she endured from both of her parents and explores the kind of trauma that she says had a widespread impact on her immigrant community growing up. She joins us to discuss how learning her ancestors’ history and the history of her community helped her reconcile her individual struggles.
39 minutes | May 12, 2022
The Casualties of Overturning Roe
Last week, the draft opinion for the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked. Justice Alito wrote the draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Everything about what has happened is remarkable: the leak, the decision, and the reasoning. The repercussions for what it means for people who can get pregnant are dire, and if that wasn’t enough, the repercussions may extend far beyond. Last week, we focused our conversation on what the draft opinion would mean for reproductive access. Today, we’re going to focus on the second tier of impact: what this precedent could mean for other civil rights and civil liberties and what this means for the institution of the court itself. For this episode, we’re bringing in our resident constitutional expert, David Cole. David is the national legal director of the ACLU and has argued a variety of cases before the Supreme Court himself. To donate to support our fight against the attack on reproductive autonomy and all the attacks that follow, please visit: https://www.aclu.org/keepfighting To get involved in our people power effort to protect abortion access, please visit: https://aclu.org/abortion-pledge
32 minutes | May 10, 2022
Ask an Expert: What are My Speech Rights At School?
This is “Ask an Expert,” a special mini-series where our constitutional experts answer your civil rights and civil liberties questions. For our first edition, we are diving deep into Free Speech, and talking to expert Ben Wizner, the Director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology project. We have been sourcing free speech questions from you over email, social media, and our phone line. We’ve sorted through the questions and categorized them into a few episodes. So far, we've found our free speech footing and also logged in to how speech plays out online. For our final episode, Ben is back to educate us on the speech that happens on school grounds, education and book bans, student speech and more.
29 minutes | May 3, 2022
Special Edition: Strategies for the End of Roe
On Monday night, the news publication Politico leaked a draft of a majority Supreme Court opinion written by Justice Alito. The draft details the highly anticipated decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, known to the public as the case that could overturn Roe v. Wade. Supreme Court decisions typically don’t come out until June, but this leaked draft, confirmed by Justice Alito himself, has sent early shockwaves across the country. In the draft majority opinion, Justice Alito writes that both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, decisions that have been on the books for up to 50 years, are overturned, making access to abortion no longer a legally protected right. Should this draft hold, this decision would turn back the clock on progress for people who can get pregnant and call into question much more than access to abortion. Joining us to help us understand is Brigitte Amiri, the Deputy Director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project. We have a long fight ahead of us—but the ACLU was made for moments like this. To donate to support our fight against this attack on reproductive autonomy and all the attacks that follow, please visit aclu.org/keepfighting. Thank you for stepping up and working together with us.
33 minutes | May 3, 2022
Ask an Expert: Is My Tweet Protected Speech?
This is “Ask an Expert,” a special mini-series where our constitutional experts answer your civil rights and civil liberties questions. For this edition, we are diving into free speech and talking to expert Ben Wizner, the Director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology project. Last week for our first episode, we established our free speech footing, defining exactly what free speech is and isn't. This week, Ben is back to break down free speech as it exists online and on social media in 140 characters or less, just kidding. Social media has undoubtedly presented new free speech challenges to consider, and consider them we will. We have been sourcing free speech questions from you over email, social media and our phone line. We've sorted through the questions and we're ready to dive right in.
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