Civil Liberties

“The Good Example”: The Story Behind Connecticut’s New “Ban the Box” Law

A recent GritTV segment featured Connecticut’s enactment of a law (HB 1570) to protect the civil rights of ex-prisoners and reduce recidivism (repeat offenses) by prohibiting inquiries into the criminal backgrounds of people applying for jobs with the state until an applicant is determined qualified for the position.

US: State Legislatures Step Up Efforts to Fight Human Trafficking

A burst of activity among state legislatures to target human trafficking has ushered in dozens of laws to step up criminal penalties against traffickers and offer new help to victims.

The laws focus on practices that have remained largely hidden -- traffickers' coercion of victims into becoming prostitutes, forced laborers or domestic slaves. Some states have introduced measurers that criminalize human trafficking specifically for the first time. Advocates say the efforts signal that lawmakers are gaining a fuller appreciation of the scope of human trafficking.

Protecting the Unemployed from Abusive Credit Inquiries

As the economic downturn progresses, American workers are facing a disturbing rise in employers using credit ratings to determine job worthiness.  According to a 2006 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, the number of firms using credit histories to screen applicants rose from 25% in 1998 to 43% despite such inquiries often being discriminatory and even illegal. 

The Supreme Court and the States 2008-2009: Trend Defending State Authority Emerges this Term

Whether out of circumstance or an emerging trend, where state authority was at issue, this term the U.S. Supreme Court overwhelmingly deferred to state decision makers-- a significant reveral from last year. 

NJ: Fear the Anonymous Blog

Apparently we anonymous bloggers scare some legislators. New Jersey Assemblyman Peter J. Biondi (R-Somerville) is scared of defamation by anonymous folks posting on blogger and thinks it high time that anonymous blogging be banned. He even has a bill, A1327, that would require operators of websites to keep a list of legal names and addresses of anyone who has the temerity to write something on the website. I wonder what's next?