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Hobby Lobby and the Dignity of the Refused

Right now we are in a storm of contested rights, as businesses and institutions across the country ask for express legal permission to use religion to discriminate based on sexual orientation, sex, and gender identity.
Last month, the Supreme Court heightened the storm by ruling that the Hobby Lobby corporation doesn't have to comply with the law and provide its workers with insurance that covers contraception, effectively enshrining into law that religion can be used to discriminate against women.

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What to Expect When Your Employee’s Expecting

Asia Myers was counting on the paycheck she earned at her job at a nursing home to buy supplies for the baby girl she was expecting.
She was shocked, however, when her employer, the Hope Healthcare Center, forced her to go out on unpaid leave after her doctor advised her not to lift as a result of pregnancy complications. After all, her employer routinely allows workers who are injured on the job to come to work, even when they have lifting restrictions.

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Location Apps Sharing Data With Governments

(Update: correction below)
Forbes reported last week that the crowdsourced mapping location service Waze is beginning to share bulk location data with government bodies—with Rio de Janeiro since 2013, and soon with the state of Florida. The cycling app Strava is also in talks to begin selling its data to urban planners, and the public-transportation app Moovit is already selling data to multiple cities.

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Fact-checking Representative Pittenger on NSA Reform

Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), criticizing a bipartisan amendment on NSA reform to the House Defense Appropriations bill. The amendment, which Pittenger called "a Congressional mistake," passed the House by an overwhelming majority.

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Guantanámo Judge to Prosecution: Turn Over the Torture Evidence

Last month, a military judge dealt a significant blow to U.S. prosecutors' efforts to suppress torture evidence in the Guantanámo military commissions.

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Abusive Surveillance Is an LGBTQ Rights Issue

This piece originally ran at Slate's Outward blog.
Barred from employment with the federal government. Considered mentally ill by the psychiatric profession. Seen as criminals under state laws. Subjected to invasive surveillance and targeting by the FBI.

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The Kids Aren’t Alright: America Fails to Protect Youth in Crisis

Earlier this year, I sat in an immigration office in Nogales, Mexico, surrounded by children who had just been deported from the United States. All of the children I spoke with, ranging in age from 11 to 17 years old, traveled to the United States alone before U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested them. They spoke of being cold, hungry, and afraid while in American detention cells.

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New Court Orders Signal More Drone Documents Are on the Way

This was originally posted on Just Security.

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How Riley v. California Impacts Texas

In Riley v. California, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the police generally may not, without a warrant, search digital information on a cell phone seized following arrest. The Court reasoned that cell phones are different from other kinds of things people carry on their persons. Your cell phone is like a detailed diary that can reveal highly personal information going back years. It makes sense, that the Court concluded, to give cell phones extra protection by requiring a warrant. The case got us thinking about privacy protections generally. So what’s the law here in Texas?

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How the NSA Got Away with Spying on American–Muslim Civil Rights Activists

An article published by The Intercept this week revealed that the government has conducted surveillance of several prominent American Muslims—including a former official in the Department of Homeland Security, a professor at Rutgers University, and the executive director of the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country.

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