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RALEIGH — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina is speaking out against a sweeping anti-immigrant bill that would jeopardize students, direct state police to enforce federal immigration law, and seek to punish local governments who enact their own policies related to immigration. 

Senate Bill 145 was approved by the Senate Judiciary committee today and now heads to the Senate Rules and Operations Committee for consideration.

Among its provisions, Senate Bill 145 would

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RALEIGH — The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina released the following statement on HB142, a new legislative proposal to address House Bill 2, North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law.

“Lawmakers must reject this disgraceful backroom deal that uses the rights of LGBT people as a bargaining chip,” said Sarah Gillooly, Policy Director for the ACLU of North Carolina. “One year after HB2 was introduced and signed into law in just 12 hours, it is shameful that legislative leaders and North Carolina’s governor are once again rushing through a discriminatory anti-LGBT measure without proper vetting or an opportunity for public input. The way to undo HB2’s profound damage to North Carolina and its people has always been a full, clean repeal, but this proposal would keep anti-LGBT provisions of the law in place and continue to single out and target transgender people. Lawmakers must vote against this proposal, and should it reach his desk, Governor Cooper should withdraw his support and veto it.”

The ACLU and Lambda Legal are challenging HB2 in federal court on behalf of four LGBT North Carolinians and members of the ACLU of North Carolina. The law bans many transgender people from restrooms and other public facilities matching their gender and prohibits local municipalities from extending nondiscrimination protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

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Job Announcement: Executive Assistant

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The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) seeks a dynamic team player to fill the position of Executive Assistant to the Executive Director. This position requires the ability to maintain confidentiality, exercise sound independent judgment, attend closely to details, and take initiative. The Executive Assistant will report directly to the Executive Director.

The ACLU-NC, the state-wide affiliate of the national ACLU, is a nonpartisan public interest organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights for all North Carolinians.  Our offices are located in Raleigh, NC. We maintain a fast-paced, but low key and friendly work environment. We are a growing organization, currently with 12 regular staff members. 

Responsibilities:

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A federal court today heard oral argument on a motion seeking an immediate halt to provisions of North Carolina’s House Bill 2, the law that mandates discrimination against transgender people in single-sex facilities, among other things.

“All I want is to use the appropriate restroom in peace, just like everyone else. It’s humiliating that this law separates me from my peers and treats me like a second-class citizen,” said Joaquín Carcaño, 28, a UNC-Chapel Hill employee and transgender man who is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. 

Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina, and the law firm of Jenner & Block are challenging the law on behalf of six LGBT North Carolinians, including transgender clients Joaquin, Payton, Hunter, and members of the ACLU of North Carolina. Paul Smith of Jenner & Block argued on behalf of plaintiffs in the case’s first oral argument.

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Justice Denied

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"If we are to right the ship, the Judicial Branch will need sufficient investment from this General Assembly to ensure that we adequately fund the basic operations of the court system. . . . If we cannot pay for these basic services, we cannot conduct timely trials. We all know that justice delayed is justice denied."

These comments were delivered by North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin on March 4, 2015 during the first State of the Judiciary address to the North Carolina General Assembly in 14 years.  The Chief Justice was referring to years of cuts to the Administrative Office of the Courts and he sought increased funding to make sure the judiciary could function at full capacity and resolve cases quickly and appropriately. 

While the Chief Justice accurately laid out the critical needs of North Carolina’s court system in 2015, he could not even begin to address the dire needs within the rest of the justice system during his speech.  As recently as last month, Commissioner David Guice, head of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice within the Department of Public Safety, spoke publicly regarding the mental health crisis in our prisons.  Commissioner Guice told the News and Observer, “Emergency rooms, jails, and prisons have become the de facto mental health hospitals,”and said he was calling on lawmakers to provide more funding for treatment for mental illness within prisons.  Commissioner Guice understands that in most cases, those behind bars are eventually released and everyone would be safer if their mental health concerns could be addressed in prison.

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