Welcome to our podcast, Talking Liberties with the ACLU of Illinois. In each episode, we will talk about the issues we work on each and every day to serve you, the people of Illinois, and people all across this country. You'll hear from our staff, our clients, and our allies about the most prominent civil liberties issues of the day. We want to be able to share with you both topics that are currently in the news, as well as those that you don't always see on the front page of your newspaper.
The ACLU of Illinois speaks with Ashley Huebner, the Managing Attorney for the National Immigrant Justice Center’s Asylum Project, for updates on the ongoing immigration crisis. Then we chat with Kelly and Miguel Cervantes - Kelly is active on the Executive Committee of the ACLU of Illinois Next Generation Society and Miguel currently plays Alexander Hamilton in HAMILTON in Chicago.
After several major decisions coming from the Supreme Court and the surprise retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the ACLU of Illinois speaks about the future of our civil rights with Sufyan Sohel (Deputy Director & Counsel for CAIR-Chicago)and Professor Geoffrey R. Stone (former Dean of the University of Chicago Law School).
This week, the ACLU of Illinois released its public comments on the consent decree draft aimed at reforming the Chicago Police Department. We speak with our Police Practices Director Karen Sheley on the next steps in the decades-long process towards creating a police department that truly serves and protects all Chicagoans. We also need your help in supporting these reforms!
Ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, the ACLU of Illinois speaks with Congressman Mike Quigley (5th District - IL) on election security, Russian cyber-attacks and the state of our electoral system. We also talk with Ami Gandhi (Director of Voting Rights and Civic Empowerment at Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights) about reducing barriers to voting and improving civic participation in Illinois - and whether you can take that "ballot selfie."
Throughout its almost 100 year history, the ACLU has only opposed four nominees to the Supreme Court. Brett Kavanaugh is one of them. ACLU of Illinois Executive Director Colleen Connell joins us to discuss why the ACLU National Board took this extraordinary step and how it fits into the Trump Administration's larger disregard for the rule of law.
Voter suppression efforts in Georgia, North Dakota and many more states have been in the headlines recently. We speak with Sophia Lakin (Staff Attorney, Voting Rights Project) about the ACLU’s current response, including challenges to discriminatory voter identification and registration requirements (“voter suppression by typo”), cutbacks to early voting and same-day registration, and fighting the dilution of minority votes in local elections.
During the holiday season, it's important to remember those who need help - and their right to ask for it. ACLU of Illinois Senior Staff Attorney Rebecca Glenberg joins us to discuss two topics recently in the news: our coalition work to repeal unconstitutional panhandling laws here in Illinois and fighting back against the Trump Administration's cruel proposed changes to "public charge" policies in our country.
The State of Illinois' negligent treatment of prisoners is a problem that has been years in the making. ACLU of Illinois Senior Staff Attorney Camille Bennett joins us to discuss the stories of prisoners who have been harmed - and died - from the state's neglectful care, as well as the ACLU's recent victory in securing a consent decree and monitor to overhaul the inadequate health care system in Illinois.
Then-State Senator Barack Obama championed a law in 2004 to collect data about traffic and pedestrian stops conducted by police in Illinois. Proposed legislation in Springfield - House Bill 1613 - looks to ensure Obama's legacy and make this data collection permanent. Bill sponsor Rep. Justin Slaughter joins TALKING LIBERTIES to discuss this legislation and we speak with Richard Jackson, a Navy veteran subjected to a bad traffic stop in Chicago. Additionally, a new report from the ACLU of Illinois confirms that racial disparities persist in Illinois traffic stops - Police Practices Staff Attorney Rachel Murphy also joins the show to discuss the results of this report.
Talking Liberties celebrates its 10th episode with a live taping at the brand new The Hoxton, Chicago. In front of a live audience, we welcome our guest Mary Meg McCarthy - Executive Director of the National Immigrant Justice Center - to discuss the long road to immigration reform and the White House's cruel policies along the Southern border.
AUDIENCE Q&A BONUS SEGMENT
Headlines across the country are rife with reports of states adopting anti-choice legislation, including the pernicious "heartbeat" abortion bans in Georgia and Ohio. SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer recently warned that the new majority installed by Donald Trump are laying the groundwork to overturn Roe v. Wade. Does this mean that abortion could be made illegal in Illinois? This episode, we are joined by Reproductive Health Act co-sponsor Representative Kelly Cassidy and ACLU of IL Executive Director Colleen Connell to discuss what's at stake.
Throughout Illinois and across our country, many people are held in jail awaiting trial simply because they are unable to afford the cash bond for their release. On this episode of TALKING LIBERTIES, we are joined by Lavette Mayes - who was separated from her children, lost her small business, and spent 14 months in jail because she couldn't post bail - and Sharlyn Grace, Executive Director of the Chicago Community Bond Fund.
In a special crossover episode recorded with Tom Moss of the Indivisible Chicago Podcast, we talk through the Supreme Court's most recent decisions with ACLU National Legal Director David Cole, including the ACLU's recent victory in keeping a citizenship question off the 2020 Census.
It was a marathon legislative session in Springfield this Spring, culminating in the passage of several important civil liberties protections including the Reproductive Health Act. ACLU of IL Director of Advocacy and Intergovernmental Affairs Khadine Bennett joins us this episode to fill us in on the backstories of this session and where legislators can go from here to better protect our freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution.
Last week, School District 211 announced it was proposing a new policy that would grant transgender students unrestricted access to the locker room of the student's gender identity and end the use of privacy stalls. This is a long-deserved victory for our clients Student A, Nova Maday, and every student who is transgender who has ever walked the halls of a D211 high school. In a special edition of TALKING LIBERTIES, we speak with Nova about her experience and what she hopes this means for the future.
Concerns about protecting your personal information online continue to grow, especially from its use by corporations and the government. Emerging technologies – including facial recognition and mobile fingerprinting software – are making our ability to protect our digital privacy more difficult than ever, if not impossible. On this episode, we speak with Adam Schwartz, Senior Staff Attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, about what we can do to shield ourselves from invasive surveillance technology, as well as the importance of the groundbreaking Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.
In 2017, the Illinois legislature passed the TRUST Act, which prohibits local law enforcement from holding a person based on a “detainer” issued by immigration authorities unless presented with a signed judicial warrant. However, three men recently filed lawsuits after they were arrested for minor traffic infractions and detained by the Sheriffs in Ogle and Stephenson Counties until federal immigration authorities came to pick them up, even after they already had posted bond. On this episode, we speak with Mony Ruiz-Velasco, Executive Director of PASO – West Suburban Action Project, and ACLU of IL Immigrant Rights’ Attorney Aarón Siebert-Llera about these lawsuits and a new campaign to ensure uniform enforcement of the TRUST Act across Illinois.