Hold on Ohio Abortion Restriction to Last at Least Two More Weeks

Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Christian Jenkins (D) this week indicated he will extend his hold on a significant Ohio abortion-restricting law for two additional weeks. 

Jenkins’s decision prolongs the effect of a decision he made last week to obstruct the Heartbeat Act’s implementation, with the initial freeze to last two weeks. The state General Assembly passed and Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed the bill (SB 23) in 2019. The legislation, which prohibits aborting unborn children who have detectable heartbeats, could not take effect until this year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. 

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Ohio State Board of Education Considers Resolution Against Gender Ideology

Ohio’s State Board of Education on Tuesday heard public comment on a proposed resolution treating biological sex as an “objective, scientific fact” and opposing school policies that seek to blur the lines on this subject.

Board member Brendan Shea (District 5) introduced the measure, which balks at regulations recently proposed by President Joe Biden. If finalized, the federal Department of Education rules would effectively force schools to call gender-dysphoric K-12 students by their preferred names and pronouns rather than their given names and biological pronouns. They would also require school athletic programs to assign children to teams based on avowed gender identity rather than physiological sex. 

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Democrat Judge Temporarily Blocks Ohio Heartbeat Abortion Ban

A Hamilton County judge temporarily halted Ohio’s ban on abortions once a fetal heartbeat has been detected, a law that has been in effect since the U.S. Supreme Court returned the issue of abortion to the individual states.

Common Pleas Court Judge Christian Jenkins, a Democrat, paused Ohio’s Heartbeat Act (SB 23) Wednesday for 14 days with a temporary restraining order.

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Hamilton County Judge Temporarily Halts Ohio Abortion Restriction

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Christian A. Jenkins this week imposed a two-week suspension on the Ohio law banning abortions for women whose unborn children have detectable heartbeats. 

Effectively, the statute, known as the “Heartbeat Law,” generally prohibits terminating pregnancies that have gone on for longer than six weeks. Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed the legislation in 2019 but agencies could not enforce it until this year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion nationwide. 

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‘Find Another Job’: Oklahoma Officials Respond to Teacher Quitting over CRT Ban

Oklahoma officials are calling for teachers pushing Critical Race Theory (CRT) to leave the classroom after an Oklahoma teacher spoke out against the states’ education law following her resignation.

Summer Boismier quit her high school teaching position at Norman Public Schools in Norman, Oklahoma, after she shared a QR code in her classroom linking students to “Books Unbanned,” a program through Brooklyn Public Library, that allowed students to access books prohibited from being taught by a state law. The law, HB 1775, prohibits teaching that one race or sex is superior to another, with the intent to prevent the teaching of CRT and certain elements of gender ideology.

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Tennessee ACLU Chooses Nashville Attorney as New Chief

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN) earlier this week announced that it has selected a Nashville attorney to be its next executive director. 

Kathy Sinback will now lead the organization, replacing Hedy Weinberg who stepped down in July. 

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Court Rules Tennessee Education Savings Account Program Can Advance

A Tennessee trial court ruled Friday that Tennessee’s Education Scholarship Program can move forward.

A three-judge panel heard arguments earlier in the day from the American Civil Liberties Union and Southern Poverty Law Center. The two groups had asked the court to deliver an injunction against the pilot program.

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Pennsylvania Toughens DUI Sentences

Pennsylvania state Reps. Craig Williams (R-Chadds Ford) and Chris Quinn (R-Media) on Friday lauded area lawmakers and activists for their work toward enactment of “Deana’s Law” which toughens drunk-driving sentences.

The new act is named after Deana DeRosa Eckman, a 45-year-old Delaware County resident who died in a February 2019 car collision caused by six-time Driving-Under-the-Influence (DUI) offender David Strowhouer in Upper Chichester Township. Strowhouer had a blood-alcohol content of 0.199, more than twice the level the commonwealth permits, and was driving 80 miles per hour before striking Eckman’s vehicle head-on. 

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Arizona ACLU Sues to Block ‘Personhood’ Abortion Law After Roe Is Overturned

The Arizona affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a motion Saturday that seeks to block the state’s “personhood” law which, they argue, could make all abortions illegal in the state.

The abortion rights groups filed an emergency motion one day after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, returning decisions about abortion to the states.

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Commentary: ACLU Features Man Who Says the Words ‘Girl,’ ‘Woman,’ and ‘Wife’ Were Historically Used to Demean Women as ‘Sluts’

The American Civil Liberties Union hosted a podcast earlier this month in which a man who identifies as non-binary, Alok Vaid-Menon, argued that society should discard the “gender binary.” People who do not affirm transgender and non-binary identity, the mixed-media artist and activist argued, are acting out of grief over being forced by society to be either masculine or feminine.

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Washington Post Publishes Straight-Up Propaganda Piece Outing ‘Libs of TikTok’

Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz exposed the identity behind the “Libs Of TikTok” Twitter account in an article that widely characterized exposure of questionable school policy and problematic teacher-student interactions as “anti-LGBT.”

Rather than grapple with the issues the account brought to light — some of which resulted in discipline of teachers — Lorenz drew on interviews from left-wing activists at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the left-wing organization Media Matters, who predictably supported the narrative that exposing controversial classroom instruction to the public at large essentially amounts to bigotry for the transgender and gay community.

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Federal Court Considers Whether to Count Undated Ballots in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania Election

Pennsylvania Judicial Center

A federal appeals court this week blocked certification of the election results for the contest between Republican David Ritter and Democrat Zachary Cohen for Lehigh County, Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas Judge.

Currently, Ritter is 74 votes ahead of Cohen, but the win would flip to the Democrat should the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decide to count 257 absentee ballots that lack handwritten dates on their return envelopes. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania is litigating on behalf of five of the voters who cast those ballots.

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Border Patrol Testing Robot Dogs to Police Southern Border

The U.S. Department of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is looking into the viability of autonomous robots resembling man’s best friend to traverse the Mexican border.

The department is working with the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate to expose the Automated Ground Surveillance Vehicles (AGSVs) to climate and terrain consistent with the southern border. In its Feb. 1 blog post, the department said initial testing in Lorton, Virginia, moved to El Paso, Texas, to give the machines a better taste of its potential work environment.

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Commission Wants New Ohio Legislative Maps to Stay At Least Through General Election

The Ohio Redistricting Commission wants the Ohio Supreme Court to allow a second round of state legislative district maps to stand at least through this year’s elections.

The request comes as part of the commission’s response to challenges to the new maps that were forced to be redrawn after the court ruled the original maps illegally favored Republicans.

The commission asked for a decision by Feb. 11 or stay the issue until after the 2022 general election, allowing the revised plan to stay in effect until then.

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Groups File Objections to Ohio’s Second Attempt at Legislative Maps

Several groups filed objections to the Ohio Redistricting Commission’s second attempt at redrawing state legislative maps, saying the commission failed to live up to reforms passed in 2018 and orders from the Ohio Supreme Court.

An 11:59 p.m. Tuesday deadline was in place to file legal claims with the Ohio Supreme Court, which declared the state’s first legislative district maps unconstitutional Jan. 12 and gave the commission 10 days to submit new ones.

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Capitol Police Is Surveilling Americans’ Social Media Feeds: Report

The U.S. Capitol Police is running background checks and examining the social media histories of people meeting with lawmakers, Politico reported Monday.

Following the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, the Capitol Police adopted a new policy to dig into the social media feeds of individuals meeting members of Congress, Politico reported, citing three people familiar with the matter as well as internal Capitol Police documents and communications. Targets of the surveillance included congressional staffers as well as lawmakers’ constituents, donors and associates.

Julie Farnam, acting director of intelligence for the Capitol Police and former Department of Homeland Security official, directed analysts to run “background checks” on donors and associates of lawmakers, including instructions to “list and search all political opponents to see if they or their followers intend to attend or disrupt the event,” according to documents reviewed by Politico.

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Ruling in Pennsylvania Election-Investigation Lawsuit Expected to Come Soon

exterior of Pennsylvania Judicial Court

Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court is expected to soon issue a decision on whether the state Senate Republicans’ 2020 election probe may continue.

Specifically, the judges must determine whether delivery of information subpoenaed by the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee would breach voters’ privacy rights as state Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) and other plaintiffs maintain.

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Virginia ACLU Sues Hanover School Board to Enforce Transgender Bathroom Law

Claiming that transgender children are “unsafe” using school bathrooms of their sex assigned at birth, the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia (ACLUVA) has filed a lawsuit against the Hanover County School Board.

“Today, the ACLU of Virginia filed a lawsuit in Hanover County Circuit Court against the Hanover County School Board on behalf of five families, due to the school board’s failure to adopt policies protecting transgender students in accordance with state law and the Virginia Department of Education’s model policies,” the group said in Thursday statement. “All plaintiffs have transgender children who attend public schools in Hanover County.”

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American Civil Liberties Union Says FBI Raid of Project Veritas Founder O’Keefe’s Home Threat to ‘Press Freedom’

The ACLU has weighed in on the recent FBI raid of Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe home in connection with the diary of Ashley Biden, daughter of President Joe Biden.

“Unless the government had good reason to believe that Project Veritas employees were directly involved in the criminal theft of the diary, it should not have subjected them to invasive searches and seizures,” wrote senior American Civil Liberties Union staff attorney Brian Hauss.

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American Civil Liberties Union Sues Oklahoma over Statewide Ban on Critical Race Theory in Schools

The far-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the state of Oklahoma over a recently-signed law that forbids the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools, according to CNN.

The lawsuit represents a group of teachers and students who support CRT, and is supported by the ACLU, the Oklahoma NAACP, the American Indian Movement (AIM), and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The suit claims that the law infringes on the rights of freedom of speech guaranteed under the First Amendment of the Constitution.

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ACLU Wants College Athletes to Run Track, Not Play Golf, Calling it ‘Among the Whitest of Sports’

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is pressuring Central Michigan University to bring back their men’s track and field team, citing that the original decision as having “far-reaching racial implications.”

The ACLU of Michigan blasted CMU for eliminating the men’s track and field program, but then adding a golf program, which it contends is “among the whitest of sports,” Central Michigan Life reports.

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Oregon School Board Bans Educators from Displaying BLM and Gay Pride Symbols

A school board in Oregon is receiving backlash following its recent ban on educators displaying Black Lives Matter signs and gay pride symbols.

Newberg, which is situated just outside of Portland, now finds itself the site of the latest skirmish in a pitched struggle between traditional and woke approaches to education being waged in school systems across the country.

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Lawsuit Challenges Ohio’s New State Legislative Maps

Calling Ohio’s new state legislative district maps a flagrant violation of the Ohio Constitution and extreme partisan gerrymandering, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging maps it says give Republicans an unfair advantage.

The lawsuit, filed by the ACLU of Ohio, the ACLU and Burling LLP, was brought on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the Ohio chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute and several individuals.

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Governor DeSantis Questioned About Cuban Protests and Anti-Riot Law

Gov. Ron Desantis making remarks on behalf of the Cuban protests

After multiple Cuban protests across the state of Florida made their way to the streets and highways, Governor DeSantis was questioned about the protesters who were breaking the “anti-riot” law.

At a news conference on Thursday, DeSantis alluded that the Cuban protesters broke the law but were not arrested because of the peaceful nature of the protests. 

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ACLU Warns of ‘Unchecked Power’ After Facebook, Twitter Suspend Trump

A legislative counsel member from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Friday warned that the suspension of President Donald Trump’s social media accounts wielded “unchecked power” by large tech companies, Breitbart reported.

Kate Ruane, a senior legislative counsel at the ACLU warned in a statement that the decision to suspend Trump from social media platforms could set a precedent for big tech companies to silence less privileged voices.

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Nashville Officials Opt Not to Press Criminal Charges Against Justin Jones After Saturday’s Riots

On Thursday Nashville officials were about to press criminal charges against left-wing activist Justin Jones for alleged felony aggravated rioting — but later in the day they changed their minds.

A Twitter video showed a man during Saturday’s downtown riots jumping onto the hood of a police car while hundreds of protestors cheered him on. The man’s face is not visible to the camera. Seconds later a law enforcement officer tackled the man. 

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Federal Judge Blocks Pro-Life Laws In Arkansas

Fetus on Health

A federal judge last week blocked four new pro-life laws from taking effect in Arkansas. U.S. District Court Judge Kristine Baker of the Eastern District of Arkansas is considered an activist judge by the group National Right to Life. Leslie Rutledge, the state’s attorney general, has said she plans to…

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