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American Civil Liberties Union

The ACLU, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, was founded to ensure the promise of the Bill of Rights and to expand its reach to people historically denied its protections. For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation's guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country. The ACLU is now a nationwide organization with a 50-state network of staffed affiliate offices filing cases in both state and federal courts. We appear before the Supreme Court more than any other organization except the Department of Justice.

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When he was Kansas secretary of State, Kris Kobach was the main force behind a now-shuttered program to spot people who were registered to vote in more than one state. He later chaired President Trump's voter fraud commission.

Flawed multistate voter database turned off to settle civil rights suit

A controversial database used to check whether voters are registered in more than one state has been suspended until security safeguards are put in place.

Use of the Interstate Crosscheck program was put on hold as part of the settlement of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas on behalf of nearly 1,000 voters whose partial Social Security numbers were exposed by Florida officials through an open records request.

Kansas began operating the multistate program 14 years ago but it has not been used since 2017, when a federal audit discovered its security vulnerabilities.

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DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images

A pair of New Hampshire laws are being contested in separate court cases over claims they suppress people's ability to vote.

Would-be N.H. primary voters argue laws are stacked against them

Less than 10 weeks from the opening Democratic presidential primary, would-be voters in New Hampshire are fighting two separate battles in federal court alleging their franchise is being suppressed by new state laws.

This week, a lawsuit brought by the state Democratic Party and the League of Women Voters went to trial. The groups allege that a 2017 law creates an unconstitutional burden on people who want to register less than a month before an election.

Last week, a federal judge declined to stop — at least in time for the Feb. 11 primary — a law requiring college students and others to establish full-fledged residency in order to register.

Both the two-tier system with added paperwork for late-in-the-campaign registrations and the added residency requirements for voters were created when the Legislature was in Republican hands. The GOP lawmakers acted after President Trump alleged without evidence that there had been widespread voter fraud in the state, which Hillary Clinton carried by less than 3,000 votes in 2016.

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Open Government
Amazon.com

Payment required to read the law? Supreme Court will decide.

The most important legal challenge in decades to a basic tenet of open government — laws should be available to public to read for free — went before the Supreme Court on Monday.

The justices heard arguments in a dispute over whether Georgia may have copyright protections on its annotated legal code books, which means they're not available to the public without cost. It appears to be the first time in more than a century the court has considered the limits of the "government edicts doctrine," which bars copyrights on statutes and legal decisions.

Open records proponents, civil rights groups and the news media say it's unconstitutional to limit the peoples' access to the law books most widely in use. The Trump administration has taken Georgia's side.

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Widespread poll closings found in places no longer subject to federal election oversight

Almost 1,700 polling places have been closed in counties that are no longer subject to federal oversight brought on by past voting discrimination, according to a new study that was highlighted at a congressional hearing Tuesday.

The poll closings, documented in the report Democracy Diverted by the Leadership Conference Education Fund, was one of several examples witnesses gave of what they say are discriminatory practices that have occurred since the Supreme Court voided a key part of the Voting Rights Act six years ago.

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