The last year was a relentless attack on civil rights and civil liberties emanating from the highest echelons of political power and emboldening state and local leaders to act in ways previously unimaginable.
Nevertheless, we persisted, we resisted, and we achieved important progress.
Our small but mighty team of four people grew to seven, adding a development associate and two new attorneys.
Your generous support makes our work possible.
Thank you.

Legal Program

  • WON a victory for children in Nebraska and LGBT parents striking down Nebraska’s ban on gay and lesbian foster parents through Stewart v. Heineman at the Nebraska Supreme Court
  • Filed Sabata v. Nebraska Department of Corrections et al, a historic class-action federal court case challenging conditions of confinement in Nebraska’s prisons as a result of dangerous overcrowding
  • Filed State ex rel Miller v. Frakes in State Court to force compliance with open records law to reveal supplier of lethal injection drugs
  • Filed Sandoval v. Ricketts in state court to challenge aspects of the 2016 death penalty referendum
  • Filed ACLU v Dept Homeland Security in federal court to force disclosure of public records in Muslim Ban Executive Orders
  • Filed an amicus brief in the Beatrice Six federal court death penalty case
  • Filed an amicus brief in Coble v. Nebraska state court case to support record sealing for juvenile offenders
  • Filed an appearance in Hoaglin v. Nebraska, a state court case challenging Lincoln panhandling ordinances on First Amendment and won dismissal of criminal charges on behalf of our client experiencing homelessness
  • Filed appearance in Vandolah v. Nebraska, a state court case challenging small towns criminal charges against our client for erecting a provocative sign in his yard on First Amendment grounds and won dismissal
  • Filed a habeas petition in state court, In re M.S., successfully challenging our 16-year-old client’s incarceration and placement in solitary confinement stemming from a minor drug offense
  • Prepared litigation & facilitated 100+ citizen contacts successfully urging Nebraska’s Secretary of State to protect voter data from the Trump/Kobach “Election Integrity” Commission
  • Filed an emergency demand letter with Douglas County jail to secure medical treatment for a pregnant detainee
  • Filed an emergency demand letter to Buffalo County jail to secure diabetic treatment for a detainee
  • Filed an emergency demand letter to Lincoln & Buffalo County jails to secure mental health medications for detainees
  • Filed emergency demand letter to Dawson County jail to provide medical treatment to detainee living with HIV
  • Filed demand letter to Blair Public Schools to cease and desist unwarranted student cell phone searches

Policy Advocacy

Community Empowerment

  • Conducted 84 speaking events reaching over 20,000 Nebraskans in person including know your rights presentations to Muslim communities, DACA youth and at immigrants and refugees’ rallies, Womens’ Marches, and trans students rights rallies
  • Partnered with Unity in Action to help lead the fight against a 287(g) application filed by the Dakota County Sheriff to deputize officers as federal immigration agents
  • Delivered a petition to Governor Ricketts & Department of Corrections with 2,000 signatures successfully challenging secrecy in death penalty protocols
  • Launched 10,000 calls to State Senators to save Title X reproductive healthcare for rural and low-income women
  • Launched 250 calls to State Senators to override Governor Ricketts veto of ex-felon voting rights
  • Delivered over 350 emails to Department of Corrections Director Scott Frakes asking him to stop charging women for access to feminine hygiene products
  • Launched statewide Transgender Voices Tour across greater Nebraska hosting town hall meetings to introduce Nebraskans to their transgender neighbors
  • Launched a statewide tour with the Platte Institute on second chance employment and occupational licensing reform
  • Launched an innovative deep canvassing pilot program in Lincoln making contact with hundreds of Nebraskans to change hearts and minds on trans rights and build capacity among LGBTQ leaders