The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is holding its 2012 Bill of Rights Dinner, to be presented this year on October 10 at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. We are seeking an individual very experienced in events management to assist with planning and execution. The event is an annual awards banquet, this year recognizing Rep. Babette Josephs and Dechert LLP for contributions to protecting civil liberties. We expect about 275 people. The evening includes reception, silent auction, dinner and program.
The ACLU of PA is looking for a couple of lawyers – young, old or “in transition”, as they say – willing to work FOR FREE at least half time in the ACLU’s Philadelphia office. The remuneration consists of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, popsicles, and eloquent recommendation letters, plus great camaraderie and exciting work on civil rights cases ranging from First Amendment to Fourteenth Amendment and everything in between.
Today marked the sixth and final day of testimony in the voter ID trial. Only the most diehard observers and journalists were in attendance, although there will likely be a full house again tomorrow for closing arguments.Kicking off today’s testimony was Olivia Thorne, president of the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Pennsylvania and a 35-year member of the organization. The LWV is an organizational plaintiff in the lawsuit.
I had the opportunity on Tuesday to sit down with two of the witnesses who gave testimony. On the stand, both spoke to the impact voter ID has had on them, their organizations, or their communities, and expressed concern about the consequences if the law is allowed to stand.First, I sat down with Steve Jarrell, an SEIU employee and decorated Air Force veteran, who took it upon himself to visit his local PennDOT office in July. Steve found PennDOT sorely unprepared, and in fact disseminating incorrect information about the new requirements. Here he is:
Day five of argument in ACLU-PA's voter ID lawsuit began with testimony from Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele, who expressed confidence in the new law, and concluded with a series of witnesses who called that confidence into question. Most testimony related to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's efforts (past, present, and future) to educate and accommodate the state's roughly 8 million eligible voters.
Before the voter ID trial resumed this morning, Jennifer Clarke, executive director of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadephia and one of the attorneys in the case, said to me that she is struck by how much cases like this come with real stories of real people.It reminded me of something another lawyer in another Pennsylvania ACLU case told me years ago.
The voter ID trial began its second week with a review of just how many voters would be barred from the ballot booth in November.Jonathan Marks, commissioner for the Department of State's Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation, was the first to testify today. But Marks, who had previously served as Division Chief for the Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors (SURE), admitted that he doesn't really know the number of people who could be kept from voting this fall.