The that protects our First Amendment rights to

The first issue that I chose to research on the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) website was concerning prisoners’ rights, more specifically on the “cruel, inhuman, and degrading conditions” that far too many prisoners’ are subjected to. The issue right now is that our prisoner’ health and safety are not being protected to the fullest extent. Prisons are being overcrowded and violence and sexual abuse are running rampant. Another big problem is that prisoners are being mistreated/discriminated against because of their race, sex, gender identity, or disability. The ACLU is actively trying to resolve these issues. One article I read spoke about how the ACLU have documented “overcrowding, unsanitary conditions and extreme abuse of inmates at the hands of deputies” at Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles. As a result, the ACLU endorsed a new report that recommended closing the infamous jail within two years. The oppositional side of this overcrowding issue brings up the point that the initiative on prison overcrowding has led states to pour hundreds of millions, even billions, of taxpayer dollars into their corrections budget when it is not necessary to pour so much money on nonviolent individuals with lengthy sentences (Williams, ALEC). One court case pertaining to prisoner’ rights is the ‘Sabata V. Nebraska Department of Corrections et al’ filed in August, 2017. The case addressed the how Nebraska prisons have been overcrowded, under-resourced, and understaffed and that they deny prisoners proper health care and accommodations for disabilities. It is surprising to learn just how many of these unethical prisons are operating under the radar.Another issue that I researched was on internet speech, more specifically looking into the issue of “Net Neutrality”. Net Neutrality is a rule that prohibits internet service providers (ISP’s) from discriminating online data based on the user or content. This rule safeguards our right to freely and openly speak and be spoken to with many people through the internet. On May 2016, this principle was challenged by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with a proposition that would give a few large corporations the authority to control access to the internet, which would allow preferential access to only those who can afford to pay. The ACLU does not support the adoption of this proposal because they believe in an “uncensored internet” that protects our First Amendment rights to free speech just as much as it does for things such as books, newspapers, and magazines. The side arguing against Net Neutrality brings up the point that there is zero compensation for the enormous amount of data that is being used and that if Net Neutrality was removed then the big businesses that use up a lot of data will have to pay more for what they consume, making it so that the additional money would be used to improve ISP’s infrastructure and creates a path for innovation. One article wrote about how Broadband Carriers, such as Verizon, are potentially wanting to violate net neutrality so that they can eavesdrop on the useful communication services that companies like Google and Facebook provide in order to sell targeted advertising. And the only way that these carriers can get do that is by inserting themselves between us and the online sites and services we want to communicate with, ultimately our privacy. What I found surprising is that ISP’s are not providing specific examples on what benefits an improved infrastructure could give and what type of innovation we could expect to see from them. The last issue that I researched was on religion and public schools, more specifically “Prayer and Proselytizing in School”. The federal courts have made it clear that public schools should be welcoming for students and families of all faiths and beliefs. This right is insured only if school officials maintain a religiously neutral environment. However, there is a staggering amount of violations which fail to abide to this neutral environment. The ACLU supports the prohibition of prayer and proselytizing public school because it ensures that all students, no matter what they believe or have faith in, can feel like they are safe and welcome so they can get a quality education to do what they want in life. One argument, among many others, that the people who want prayer in school is that the U.S. Supreme Court has mistaken the principle of “freedom of religion,” guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, for freedom from religion and any observance of it (allabouthistory.org). One court case concerning this issue is the “Cole V. Webster Parish School Board” on December 2017. The lawsuit was filed because of Christy Cole, a parent whose child attends one of the schools in Webster Parish School. The problem stemmed from the districts widespread practice of subjecting students to school-sponsored Christian prayer, proselytizing, and other religious rituals. Another specific example of how the rule against proselytizing in public schools is being ignored is a case in Kentucky where public-school bible courses are being purposefully used as vehicles to proselytize students and involve them in religious activities. The courses are not taught from a scholarly perspective are instead are designed to promote a religious message. What I found surprising is that even though the curriculum in these Kentucky schools is seen as unconstitutional they are left unreprimanded by the court of law. The only backlash that the ACLU gave to these schools was a letter telling them to stop, I wonder why they didn’t file a lawsuit like they did for the other public school. I thought that this assignment was very enlightening and I enjoyed how the ACLU website set up their issues tabs. I really liked that each issue had multiple subtopics that are relevant to today and that the court cases for these topics were shown. I believe that everyone should take the time to look through and acknowledge these issues. If more people are aware then perhaps more can be done to take steps towards solving the problems in question.