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 all Nebraskans. Thank you for being with us as we dare to create a more perfect union.
• Scored key procedural victories in Sabata v. Frakes to keep our historic prison overcrowding and conditions class action moving forward in federal court. Trial is set for 2020.
• Filed petition for certiorari to United States Supreme Court in 4th amendment unreasonable search case.
• Filed petition for certiorari to United States Supreme Court challenging intersections in solitary confinement, mental illness, and death penalty.
• Filed multiple amicus briefs to protect domestic violence survivors and to challenge employment discrimination.
• Worked with the Nebraska Supreme Court to open an investigation into concerns that people who use American Sign Language were not receiving
accommodation or translation during county court hearings.
• Filed a complaint with the EEOC regarding McDonald’s systemic problem of sexual harassment in the workplace.
• Won Gillpatrick and Wetherell v. Frakes in federal district court, securing the fundamental right to marry for Nebraskans who are incarcerated.
• Fighting to protect nondiscrimination provisions for LGBTQ community and reproductive freedom in the Affordable Care Act in Fransciscan Alliance v. Burwell in federal district court.
• Intervened to get a Cherry County detainee appropriate medical care. Arrested prior to surgery, he had waited a month without being seen by a doctor.
• Advocated for emergency medical attention for an Antelope County Jail detainee who was being denied treatment for seizures.
• Successfully defended free speech by sending a warning letter to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners after they proposed eliminating public comment opportunities.
• Stopped a Nebraska school from moving forward with a proposal to create single-sex classrooms.
• Successfully represented an Omaha man who was criminally cited for writing chalk messages like “Believe the Women” and “Abolish ICE” around the Midtown area. After we intervened and explained our client’s First Amendment Rights, the City dropped the criminal charges.
• Sent legal and policy guidance — as well as demand letters — to public officials in Omaha, Seward and Alliance on behalf of residents who were blocked from government social media accounts.
• Published Equality Before the Stop: Analyzing Racial Bias in Traffic Stops and Identifying Solutions to End Racial Profiling. In response to the report, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office agreed to participate in anti-bias training.
• Published A Report Card on Nebraska’s Anti-Bullying Laws, showing more work needs to be done to protect students’ rights to a safe educational experience.
• Published Bad Medicine: States Force Doctors to Refer Abortion Patients to Google, putting focus on suspect legislation.
• Published Breastfeeding Rights are Civil Rights, detailing state specific information about breastfeeding rights.
• Stopped state budget language to defund Planned Parenthood and gag Nebraska doctors in the life-saving Title X program.
• Worked with Senator Patty Pansing-Brooks to pass LB 390, which includes critical provisions protecting students’ rights in school police programs. Successfully advocated for a strong and robust MOU for Nebraska school districts with school police.
• Banned solitary confinement for the mentally ill, children, pregnant women, and the developmentally disabled in Nebraska prisons through LB 686.
• Expanded access to problem solving courts to divert Nebraskans in need of behavioral health care out of prisons and jails.
• Successfully advocated against an Auburn City Council proposal that would have named the city a “Sanctuary City for Preborn.”
• Successfully advocated for the Douglas County Jail to review their practices around lactating detainees.
• Successfully advocated against a Custer County Board of Supervisors resolution that would have targeted immigrants.
• Successfully advocated against an inequitably enforced Ralston ordinance limiting advertising banners used by small businesses, which banned use of the banners by an LGBTQ+ owned business to promote community safe space meetings.
• Effected change of enrollment forms or practices in Omaha, Norfolk and Crete Public School Districts through our School Enrollment: A Fundamental Right report.
• Secured inclusive updates to state social studies standards including stronger recognition for indigenous history.
• Sent three Nebraska Dreamers to hear oral arguments at the US Supreme Court on the DACA program.
• Led historic abortion rights rally with 500+ Nebraskans in the state Capitol.
• Provided rapid legal response following an ICE raid in Madison County.
• Organized a menstrual equity rally at the Nebraska Capitol.
• Delivered a petition with 600+ signatures to state senators, challenging them to reform juvenile solitary confinement.
• Delivered a petition with 250+ signatures to the Dakota County Sheriff opposing the 287(g) program targeting immigrants and led campaign to end the 287(g) program in Dakota County.
• Created an online Know Your Rights resource for transgender Nebraskans on our stand-alone website: transnebraska.org.
• Trained hundreds of Nebraskans on how to be legal observers for protests, ICE raids, events, and rallies and provided legal observer support to multiple community events.
• Attended LGBTQ+ Pride festivals across Nebraska and provided Know Your Rights materials.
• Sent 500 Nebraska incarcerated women information on how to request preventative care after we received reports of women not getting routine care like pap smears.
• Worked with local filmmaker Jason Witmer to create Voices of Resilience, a video project that details the experiences of solitary confinement survivors, complemented by policymakers’ perspectives. Launched 40,000 calls to promote project and organized 100 house viewing parties.
• Launched over 40,000 calls asking Nebraskans to tell their state senator to support a bill that would create employment nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ Nebraskans.
• Conducted 92 public education events with 12,500 Nebraskans, including Know Your Rights presentations to water protectors and pipeline fighters, educating student journalists on their free speech rights, and combining art and activism with multiple documentary film screenings.