News & Updates

From January to April North Dakota's Legislature convened in Bismarck to take up more than 800 bills.  ACLU of North Dakota's policy director, Jennifer Cook, was in the thick of it all.  Cook lobbied full-time during this session to advance and protect North Dakotans' civil liberties.

Girls are required to wear dresses. Boys are required to wear pants.

That statement may sound like it's coming from 1950, but some school districts across the United States have tried to enforce antiquated dress codes telling students exactly how they should dress for their high school graduations. They require girls to wear dresses or skirts and boys to wear pants. This is more than just a throwback to a bygone era; it's an unlawful gender-based distinction.
By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project
Serial, the pop culture podcast phenomenon, isn't just a well-produced and addictive listening experience (though it is both of those things). By questioning the validity of some criminal justice procedures and educating its listeners to ask questions, especially when someone's life is on the line, the podcast has done a great public service: Because the case of Adnan Syed is not particularly unique.


Nov. 4, 2014

FARGO, ND—Voters in North Dakota have rejected a ballot measure, Measure 1, which would have banned abortion and possibly other medical procedures such as in vitro fertilization
Below find a quote from Heather Smith, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota:

By: Libby Skarin, Policy Director
American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota

(An edited version of this post appeared in the Grand Forks Herald on October 7, 2014)

Divorce or separation isn't easy for anyone, especially kids. During such a stressful time in a family's life it's important for parents to pay particular attention to the needs of their children. We know this intuitively, and North Dakota law recognizes it explicitly. When making child custody decisions in disputed cases, North Dakota courts are currently required to examine each particular case according to one overarching standard: the best interests of the child.

According to the United States Children's Bureau, "best interests" determinations are "generally made by considering a number of factors related to the child's circumstances and the parent or caregiver's circumstances and capacity to parent." Under this standard the child's safety and well-being is the most important concern. But this could all change if voters approve Measure 6 on the November ballot.

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