The rights guaranteed to individuals under suspicion, criminal defendants, and prisoners are fundamental rights that protect all Americans from governmental abuse of power. These rights include the guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure, the right to reasonable bail, the right against self incrimination, the right to counsel, the right to be acquitted unless the government can prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, the right to a jury of one’s peers and the right to be free from cruel and unusual treatment.
These protections were included in our federal and state constitutions in order to protect innocent persons who may be wrongfully suspected or accused of a crime. The framers understood that it is more important for the government to follow the rule of law than it is to obtain a guilty verdict in every case.
The death penalty is the ultimate denial of civil liberties. Innocent people are being sentenced to death. Moreover, capital punishment is often unfairly and unjustly applied. The ACLU supports a moratorium on the death penalty.
The framers of the U.S. Constitution believed that the freedom of inquiry and liberty of expression were the hallmarks of a democratic society. The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights provides protections in a number of areas including free speech.
The framers of the Oregon free speech equivalent, often referred to as our free expression provision, were even more protective of our rights.
The First Amendment and Oregon’s free expression provision protect popular speech and the most offensive and controversial speech from government suppression. The best way to counter obnoxious speech is with more speech. Persuasion, not coercion, is the solution.
The ACLU has been one of the nation’s leading advocates for the rights of immigrants, refugees and non-citizens, challenging unconstitutional laws and practices, countering the myths upon which these laws are based.
Immigrants’ constitutional rights are based on the right to fair and equal treatment.
Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgendered people are not constitutionally protected from discrimination. Advancing LGBT rights brings us closer to the promise of full equality for all.
The struggle of LGBT people for full equality is one of this generation’s most important and galvanizing civil rights movements. Despite the many advances that have been made, LGBT people continue to face discrimination in many areas of life.
National security constitutional protections guard against violations of individual rights.
Police have the vital and difficult job of protecting public safety. Performing this job effectively does not require sacrificing civil liberties or civil rights. All Oregon police agencies, from the state patrol to city police forces, need to respect the rights of individuals while enforcing the law. And when misconduct occurs, there must be policies and mechanisms for holding police accountable for their actions.
ACLU is also working to eliminate racial and ethnic profiling in police practices that have a disproportionate impact on individuals merely because of their race, color, national origin or religion.
Prisoners’ constitutional rights stress that prisoners should be protected from inhumane treatment and be treated fairly.
As technology provides new ways to gather information and databases proliferate, the need for privacy protections becomes more urgent. The ACLU is a national leader in working to guarantee that individuals may determine how and when others can gain access to their personal information.
The ACLU of Oregon’s racial justice work cuts across many areas, including criminal justice, education, free speech, immigrants’ rights, national security, police practices and religious freedom
Despite enormous progress, the promise of fair and equal treatment for people of color remains elusive.
In recent years, the ACLU of Oregon has partnered with several racial justice organizations in an effort to broaden our outreach to communities of color and to ensure that the civil liberties of people of all races, ethnicities, and nationalities are upheld and protected.
The right of each and every American to practice his or her own religion, or no religion at all, is among the most fundamental of freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The Constitution's framers understood very well that religious liberty can flourish only if the government leaves religion alone.
The ACLU is dedicated to protecting the First Amendment that guarantees our religion is free of government and our government is free of religion so that no one religion influences the government decisions that affect us all..
Oregon's constitution provides even more religious liberty protection than the First Amendment.
The ACLU of Oregon is committed to ensuring that the words of the Oregon Constitution mean what they say and will continue to protect religious liberty.
Every person should be able to make informed, meaningful decisions about reproduction free from intrusion by the government. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, we aim to protect access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care, from sex education and family planning services, to prenatal care and childbearing assistance, to abortion counseling and services.
Voting and election law constitutional rights require that all adults be able to vote and that what appears on the ballot is presented in accordance with Oregon’s guidelines.
The ACLU of Oregon works on all aspects of ballot measures that would impact civil liberties, including filing comments on initiative petitions, working on ballot measure campaigns, and engaging in pre and post-election challenges.
The ACLU will continue our commitment to ensure that women are free to live and work as equals, with full personal control over their reproductive destinies.
The ACLU works to ensure that young people are educated about the Bill of Rights and that their rights to freedom of speech and fair treatment by government are respected.