The last year was another relentless attack on civil rights and civil liberties. Nevertheless, we persisted, we resisted, and we achieved important progress.

These victories belong to you and to all Nebraskans. Thank you for standing with us as we dare to create a more perfect union.

Legal Program

  • Won Bernbeck v. Gale, a federal lawsuit challenging a state law that impermissibly restricted ballot access for independent political candidates  
  • Won State ex rel Miller v. Frakes, a state lawsuit to force compliance with Nebraska’s strong open records laws to disclose details about lethal injection drugs 
  • Beat a motion to dismiss & won procedural victories in Sabata v. Nebraska Department of Corrections et al, our historic federal class action challenging conditions of confinement in Nebraska’s crisis-riddled prisons
  • Filed an amicus brief in federal court in support of the Beatrice Six 
  • Filed an amicus brief in state court challenging how solitary impacts mental health 
  • Filed an amicus brief in state court challenging wrongful conviction of domestic violence survivor 
  • Filed amicus brief in federal court in support of race, sex, and pregnancy discrimination claims 
  • Won debtors’ prison motion to discharge $590.17 in fines for an indigent prisoner who, after years of state incarceration, was to be released to county jail to sit out fines 
  • Negotiated a permit for the Lincoln Women’s March after the City of Lincoln required organizers to purchase a $1 million insurance policy and pay for police  
  • Secured medical treatment for a young woman in Antelope County Jail with a broken arm  
  • Sent demand letters to elected officials after constituents were blocked on social media; Rep. Fortenberry and Omaha Mayor Stothert revised their policies and unblocked constituents, Seward County Sheriff Yocum ended suspect practices  
  • Sent demand letter on behalf of a Republican mayoral candidate in Holdrege who was prevented from erecting yard signs 
  • Filed a demand letter to Harvard and Wynot school districts to cease organized prayers during graduation, sports banquets and events 
  • Secured commercial registration through Secretary of State for small business owner on free expression grounds 
  • Challenged Sidney High School to review policies regarding inequitable access for school’s Gay Straight Alliance student group
  • Published chapters in the Nebraska lawyers’ practice manual on abortion and contraception rights

Policy Advocacy

  • Successfully advocated to Department of Correctional Services and Douglas and Lancaster County jails to provide free tampons and pads for incarcerated women and girls 
  • Provided significant support to successful Medicaid expansion ballot initiative to secure reproductive health care and strengthen disability rights for 90,000 Nebraskans 
  • Successfully led legislative efforts with Platte Institute to reform second-chance employment by removing barriers to occupational licensure  
  • Led efforts to pass first of its kind statewide reform legislation ending the predatory pricing of jail phone calls
  • Published Blueprint for Smart Justice Nebraska to detail specific solutions to cut the state prison population by half and reduce racial disparities 
  • Published Growing Up Locked Down on juvenile solitary confinement 
  • Published Pumped Up for Back to School: Support Breastfeeding Students in Higher Education, detailing breastfeeding accommodations in Nebraska’s universities 
  • Published Classroom to Courtroom: A Review of Nebraska’s School Police Programs, detailing how school police may exacerbate the school-to-prison pipeline for students of color and students experiencing disabilities 
  • Published ICE v. Nebraska Nice: An Account of the Immigration Enforcement Raid in O’Neill 
  • Published Under Lock and Key: Hidden Realities for Nebraska Women in Jail and Prison in Nebraska Lawyer, detailing legal and policy concerns for incarcerated women 
  • Successfully advocated for the Nebraska Department of Education to provide an online complaint form in multiple languages  
  • Successfully advocated that Beatrice public pools create new policies and train staff after a breastfeeding mother was ejected

    Beat discriminatory Voter ID laws with our partners for the 8th year in a row  

Community Empowerment

  • Organized a delegation of 25 brave Nebraska sexual assault survivors who traveled to Washington, D.C. to engage Sen. Ben Sasse and Sen. Deb Fischer during the Kavanaugh nomination Launched the Lancaster County Bail Fund, a grassroots pilot project to pay bail for low-income Nebraskans 
  • Delivered a petition with 200+ signatures to the Lincoln City Council and Board of Education challenging an expanded police presence in Lincoln schools 
  • Hosted 10+ movie events and panels in Omaha, Lincoln and Lexington: including Delores, Healing Justice, RBG and the Kalief Browder Story 
  • Published Know Your Rights campaign to support young women in need of abortion care 
  • Published Know Your Rights campaign for breastfeeding mothers at work, school and in places of public accommodations 
  • Published and distributed thousands of Nebraska-specific “red cards” to immigrant communities in English, Spanish and Arabic 
  • Conducted effective public education and outreach on returning citizens’ voting rights two years after completing their sentence
  • Erected billboards in Dakota County against the 287(g) program
  • Conducted 90 public education events to 6,552 Nebraskans, including Know Your Rights presentations to DACA youth, speaking at rallies on the steps of the Capitol during Title X debates, Women’s Marches, and immigrant and refugee rallies
  • Distributed poll worker education on best practices to facilitate voting for transgender Nebraskans during 2018 General Election with civic and LGBTQ+ rights partners