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Iowa’s ban on school mask mandates halted by federal judge

A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on Monday afternoon that stops the Reynolds administration from enforcing its law prohibiting Iowa school districts from creating their own face mask mandates. “Iowa’s mask mandate ban makes it dangerous for disabled or immunocompromised children to attend school, but several pediatricians opine it is dangerous for […]

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Linn County introduces marijuana diversion program

Individuals charged with marijuana possession in Linn County who don’t have a criminal record may be eligible for the county’s new marijuana diversion program. However, it’s unclear whether or not the program will address the county’s racial disparities for marijuana arrests. Linn County announced the marijuana diversion program was on Dec. 28, and it went […]

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Democracy in Crisis Podcast: Immigration Crackdown

In this edition of the Democracy in Crisis Podcast, hosts Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner talk with reporter Aura Bogado about a powerful profile she wrote in Teen Vogue about 14-year-old Jackie Rayos-Garcia whose mother Guadalupe García de Rayos was detained while talking to immigration officials and deported — perhaps the first deportation under the […]

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Support the ACLU and local music this Friday

The music site Bandcamp announced this week that on Friday, Feb. 3, it would be donating its share of all proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In a post on its website, Bandcamp founder and CEO Ethan Diamond condemned last week’s Executive Order limiting travel and immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, writing: “Like […]

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Iowa ACLU leader steps down after less than two years

On Monday night, Jeremy Rosen announced his decision to leave the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Iowa where he’s worked since January 2015. In a social media post, Rosen called the decision “some difficult news.” In 2015, Rosen replaced Ben Stone, who had worked as the group’s director for 18 years until his resignation […]

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ACLU report criticizes ‘excessive’ militarization of U.S. police

American police are usually using their tactical weapons and armor for drug raids, rather than hostage or active shooter situations, according to a new study. There are thousands of SWAT teams — “special weapons and tactics,” known locally as special response teams — across the country, including in Johnson County. The new report from the American Civil Liberties Union harshly criticizes their widespread use and calls for increased restrictions. […]

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