One of the main ways the ACLU of Illinois works to protect civil liberties and civil rights is through litigation. Litigation remains one of the fundamental tools with which our adept legal team fights for equality and civil rights throughout the state.  This section of our website documents the cases we’re working on now and those we’ve handled in recent years.

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Communities United v. Chicago

Communities United, Community Renewal Society, Next Steps, ONE Northside, and the ACLU of Illinois are suing the City of Chicago.  Their lawsuit challenges the City’s policies and practices that authorize Chicago police officers to use excessive force, to use unlawful force on black and Latino pe

October 4, 2017 Police Practices and Racial Justice

Panattoni v. Village of Frankfort

The ACLU of Illinois and the Women’s Rights Project of the ACLU represent Jennifer Panattoni, a police officer working for the Frankfort Police Department (FPD), who was denied reasonable accommodations and forced onto leave because she was pregnant.

September 29, 2017 Women's and Reproductive Rights

Sarah Spriesch v. City of Chicago

The ACLU of Illinois represented Sarah Spriesch (formerly Sarah Murphy), a paramedic working for the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) who was forced onto leave because she was pregnant and, when she returned to work after giving birth, denied breaks and a clean place for expressing breast milk. Ms.

September 25, 2017 Women's and Reproductive Rights

Mellott v. Sprague

The ACLU represents Bryton Mellott, a 22-year-old Urbana resident, unlawfully arrested and jailed for burning an American flag on July 4, 2016 and posting photos of the event to Facebook.

January 12, 2017 First Amendment Advocacy

Harlan v. Scholz

The ACLU has advocated for years to improve access to the ballot box for all persons.  A significant step forward in this area in Illinois came when the State adopted and implemented Election Day registration (EDR).  Following a pilot, the new system was set to be used statewide for the November

October 16, 2016 Voting Rights

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