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Index | 01 Director’s Chair | 02

Table of Contents Director’s

But we cannot stop now. The struggle for justice
In the shadow of Blair Mountain, some 37,000 teachers continues. We are redoubling our efforts and we need
and school service workers channeled our West your help. If you have not done so, I’m asking you to
Virginia forebears and engaged in one of the highest renew your membership to the ACLU-WV. We need
Director’s Chair . . . . . 01-02 forms of non-violent dissent--they withheld their labor. the people and financial resources to remain vibrant in
The exercised their right to freely associate. They this fight. Feel free to send me an email at
descended on the Capitol in unprecedented numbers, and we can talk about how else you
Letter from the President . . . . . 03 and they made their voices heard. They showed us all can get involved.
the immense power of collective action, and in the
Freedom of the Press . . . . . 05 process, they may have caused a fundamental political
realignment in Central Appalachia.
Finally, I want to thank ACLU-WV board President
Marybeth Beller for her powerful leadership and
direction over the years. Thankfully, Marybeth is
The Arrest of a Veteran Reporter . . . . . 05 We are one year into Trump’s America, and we are staying on the board, but, after four years at the
Lawsuit Against a Comedian . . . . . 06 still standing. Actually are doing better than that; we helm, she is stepping down as Presi-
are winning. It feels as though we are on the dent this April. Marybeth has seen
The Heyman Arrest . . . . . 07 precipice of transforming our society for the better in our organization through a sometimes
profound ways. difficult transition. But her steadying
In Your Community . . . . . 09-10 At the ACLU of West Virginia, we have been
influence, her deep understanding of
the issues, and her humble leadership
leaders in fighting back against the attack on style have placed us on a path to
Barnette’s Diamond Anniversary. . . . . 09 our civil liberties coming from Washington and continued success. Our organization,
Legal Observer Program . . . . . 10 Charleston. This has been our most active our state and I are all indebted to
year ever. We’ve been in the Marybeth.
Political Cartoons Exhibit . . . . . 10 courts, at the legislature
and on the streets. And
Legislature . . . . . 12-14 we’ve seen a lot of
Joseph Cohen success this past year.
You can read about
Steven Mader . . . . . 15-16 some of those battles
Photo credit:
Billy Wolfe
in this newsletter.
Every single day, we seem to wake up to news of a
WV Immigrants . . . . . 17-21 fresh assault on our most cherished ideals from the
We simply could not
highest office in the land. The furious attacks on
have done it without
voting rights, freedom of the press, immigrants’ rights,
A Snapshot of Immigration in WV. . . . . 17 LGBTQ rights, abortion rights, and protestors’ rights
you. I can’t thank you
enough. You have
Muslim Ban . . . . . 18 have come at such a pace that they sometimes blur
recognized the threat and
together. Blatant misogyny and open expressions of
Ice Raids . . . . . 19 white supremacy have become so commonplace in our
you have joined in record
Refugees and Temp Protected Status . . . . . 20 numbers--or membership is
public discourse that it would be easy to become numb
roughly four times bigger
Dreamers . . . . . 21 to them. Yet, the resistance remains strong.
than it was prior to the 2016
election. You have answered
Across the state, people are organizing to create a
Women’s Awareness . . . . . 22-26 more just West Virginia. I’ve had the great fortune to
our pleas for assistance by
calling, emailing and
travel the state and work with these incredible activ-
writing letters to your
WV Voter ID Law . . . . . 27-28 ists. From Bluefield to Wheeling, from Parkersburg to
Shepherdstown, the energy is palpable. And I’ve taken
representatives to protect
and expand civil liberties.
such great inspiration from the people, most of whom
And you have joined your
Black Identity Extremist . . . . . 29 have never previously been active, who are standing
fellow West Virginians in
together against the many forms of oppression. You
this growing movement.
could feel something special is happening in West
House of Hagar . . . . . 30 Virginia. Then the most incredible thing happened.
Letter from the President | 03 Ads | 04

Letter from the President Check us out on

The ACLU of West years we have recruited strong staff members who are
Social Meida!
Virginia is a strong, dedicated to their work and to moving civil liberties
active, state-wide organi-
zation with dozens of
forward. Their work can be seen in the cases we have
won, the people we have educated and trained, and the LIKE OUR PAGE
volunteers, made up of struggle we maintain with the West Virginia Legisla-
community activists and ture. Because we are strong and have an excellent staff
attorneys who work to and board in place, I am confident that now is the time
protect civil liberties for for me to step aside as board president and to make
all West Virginians. Our room for new board members to develop their skills in FOLLOW US
board represents diverse leadership of this fine organization. Institutions need @aclu_wv
mountaineers from every new ideas and growth in order to flourish. I will
corner of our state and continue to serve on the board, but I also want to
we work hard to manage allow room for new
our fiscal resources and leadership; and so, with the close of our fiscal year, I FOLLOW US
our fellow citizens to
represent the needs of will resign as president and continue my work with our
new executive committee members.
legislators, town councils, school systems and police
departments throughout the state.

ACLU members have granted me the honor of serving

Having this position is an honor I treasure. I hope you
will join me in welcoming our new leadership and in
continuing the fine work of the American Civil Liber-
on this board for a number of years now, and the ties Union of West Virginia.
board members have given me the privilege of serving
as our president for the past four years. During these

ACLU National Membership Conference

Board Members June 10 - 12, 2018
Sonya Armstrong
Putnam County
Douglas Evans
Wood County
Jamal Mustafa
Monongalia County Washington, DC
Marybeth Beller Rosemary Ketchum Jennifer Oliva
Kanawha County Ohio County Monongalia County The ACLU National Membership Conference brings together ACLU members
for learning, mobilization, and inspiration. The event is an opportunity for
Barbara Bayes Karen Kunz Anna Osborne members from around the country to exchange ideas, to celebrate the
Lincoln County Monongalia County Greenbrier County extraordinary history of the ACLU, and to look forward to the challenges
Frank Calabrese Jack Magan Lida Shepherd
Ohio County Kanawha County Kanawha County Speakers include: Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congressman John Lewis,
President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards, Co-Founder of Black
Chuck Smith Lives Matter Patrice Cullors, and National ACLU Executive Director
Naomi Cohen Jeff Martin Anthony Romero.
Monroe County Putnam County Kanawha County
Get more information at
Melissa Ellsworth Dominique Villasenor
Monongalia County Nicholas County
Freedom of Press | 05 Freedom of the Press Cont. | 06

Freedom of the Press is Under

Last summer, the HBO television of attention—it was covered by
show “Last Week Tonight with outlets as divergent as the Boston
John Oliver” did a story on the Globe, the Hollywood Reporter,

Attack. We’ve Been Fighting Back.

coal industry. During the episode, Vanity Fair and Playboy—because
John Oliver took aim at the we used humor to help prove our
practices of many in the coal point. Satire, hyperbole, offensive
industry, including Bob Murray. speech, and comedy are all protect-
ACLU-WV has made a lot of waves nationally in recent months advocating on behalf of a free, robust press. ed by the First Amendment —
Two seemingly unrelated civil liberties matters—the arrest of a veteran reporter for asking a question at the WV Oliver discussed the damage done that’s especially true with regards
Capitol and a frivolous lawsuit filed by a coal baron against a television comedian—thrust the eyes of the nation to coal mining communities when to speech about public figures on
on West Virginia. These events are much more related than they may seem at first glance, and they are part of jobs are in decline. He also matters of public concern.
a larger war being waged against a free press. ACLU-WV fought back against the war on journalists when it recalled a Utah mining disaster Comedians like John Oliver and
came to our front door. involving one of Murray’s mines, Stephen Colbert don’t just have
which killed nine miners and was large audiences — they have large
found by a congressional inquiry audiences that care about the
to have been preventable. Oliver, a important issues facing our coun-
The Arrest of a Veteran Heyman could have possibly interfered with as Price
and Conway walked through the hallways. The crimi-
comedian, also criticized Murray
with more creative language,
try. Courts should never be used
as a sword to prevent those audi-
Reporter for Doing His Job nal complaint alleged that Heyman was “causing a
disturbance by yelling questions.” What it didn’t note
calling him a “geriatric Dr. Evil,”
referencing complaints Murray has
ences from receiving information
because powerful people find it
was that Heyman was actually targeted for reporting received from his miners. He objectionable. As we note in our
Last summer, during the national debate over the on matters critical to the public interest—not in a specifically recounted an instance brief, “Anyone Can Legally Say
Affordable Care Act and the Trump administration’s closed meeting or the inside of a working office, but in in which one of Murray’s employ- ‘Eat Shit, Bob!'” References to Dr.
attempts to repeal and/ or replace it, then-Health and
Human Services Secretary Tom Price and senior
the hallways of a government building.
A Thin-Skinned ees wrote “Eat Shit Bob” on a
returned check for an unwanted $3
Evil, giant talking squirrels, and
returned checks are all protected
Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway visited the WV
Capitol to discuss the addiction crisis in our region. As
After public outcry, including significant advocacy
work by ACLU-WV, prosecutors finally dropped the
Coal Baron’s bonus and had a human-sized
squirrel named Mr. Nutterbutter
by the First Amendment—whether
coal tycoons like it or not (see
they walked through the building, Dan Heyman, a
veteran reporter with Public News Service, pressed the
outrageous charges against Heyman about four
months after he was arrested. The Kanawha County
Frivolous Lawsuit come on stage to present Murray a
check for “3 acorns and 18 cents.”
Figures 1 and 2).
two on whether domestic violence would be considered
a preexisting condition under a legislative proposal
prosecutor’s office released a statement indicating that
while Heyman’s conduct "may have been aggressive
Against a After we filed our brief, the case

Murray responded by suing John was transferred from federal court
being pushed by the President and being considered by journalism" it "was not unlawful and did not violate Oliver and HBO in a federal court to state court. The state court has
Congress at the time. the law with which he was charged, that is, willfully in West Virginia for defamation since dismissed the lawsuit. At
disrupting a State governmental process or meeting." Bob Murray, the CEO of the over what he insists are false the time of publication of this
Suddenly, Heyman was pulled aside by Capitol police, Ohio-based Murray Energy Corpo- claims about the coal industry and newsletter, Murray was considering
handcuffed, and hauled off to jail. He was charged with ration, has a history of violating his company. His lawsuit also appealing the ruling.
a misdemeanor for “willful disruption of governmental mine safety regulations and finan- references hurt feelings over the
processes” and only released when his employer posted cially supporting politicians — personal insults, claiming that
a $5,000 bond. The law under which Heyman was including President Donald Trump John Oliver’s broadcast upset him
charged can carry a fine of up to $100 and a jail — who advance agendas that enrich more than anything else ever had.
sentence of up to six months. coal executives while leaving As one commentator asked, “[I]s
miners in harm’s way. Murray also he really saying that a late night
“At some point I think they decided I was just too has a history of suing journalists, British comedian on a premium
persistent in asking this question and trying to do my media outlets, and activists who channel has caused him more
job, and they arrested me,” Heyman said after he was call out his unethical practices. stress than the time that one of
released. While Heyman may have believed he was
his mines collapsed and killed a
just doing his job, we believe he was fulfilling a vital Over the last 15 years, Murray has group of his employees? If so . . .
service to our democracy. He was attempting to sued everyone from local reporters that’s . . . weird.”
inform the citizenry about one of the most important to environmental activists to The
issues of our day. Huffington Post. And after a recent
Public News Service reporter Dan ACLU-WV filed an amicus curiae
Heyman following his arrest on broadcast, he added talk-show host (friend of the court) brief in
The charge against Heyman was outrageous. The law May 9, 2017 John Oliver to that list. support of Oliver and HBO. Our
is unconstitutionally overbroad, and factually there was
brief received an incredible amount
simply no government function or process that Mr.
Freedom of Press Cont. | 07 Freedom of the Press Cont. | 08

Fig. 2
Host John Oliver Indeed, when our public
discussing Murray representatives — whether the
Energy CEO Bob Murray Trump administration or the West
on HBO’s Last Week Virginia Capitol police — forget that
Tonight With they work for us, we need journal-
John Oliver. ists to remind them. Without a free
press, public officials have a much
easier time evading accountability,
shielding misconduct, and pushing
through dangerous policies without
public scrutiny. Even Thomas
Jefferson, who had a quarrelsome
relationship with the press, knew
that “our liberty depends on the
freedom of the press.”
the law to doggedly
pursue our elected We need journalists to be able to
Fig. 1 officials, ask the tough challenge and question those in
questions, and hold them power loudly and persistently. For
sued them for a whopping $30 accountable before the American
The Heyman Arrest and Oliver Lawsuit Are Part of a
the government to stand in the way
million for speaking up about the public. is a frontal assault on the First
environmental harms that landfill Amendment and the functioning of
Larger Attack on Freedom of the Press was causing their community.
Despite initially trying to sue
It is horrifying to see that the
constant drumbeat of attacks on
our democracy. Those who don’t
want transparency in the halls of
those community activists into journalism coming from the White government have no business
At a time of eroding trust in our mocked reporters, encouraged of one our most fundamental
silence, the landfill ultimately House has trickled down to our
government institutions, an inde- violence against the press, threat- rights is deeply disturbing. Given putting themselves in the political
ened to open up libel laws and the culture his boss has fostered, agreed to recognize our clients’ state. It’s a basic constitutional spotlight.
pendent free press is more critical
revoked press credentials of outlets it’s not the least bit surprising. right to speak out. principle — that apparently bears
than ever to ensure that the people
seen as hostile. In a political But not surprising does not mean repeating, including to our presi- If our elected officials and other
running our country are held to
cartoon come-to-life, the White not alarming. Our President has repeatedly been dent — that you don’t get to sue powerful interests insist on continu-
account. This makes Heyman’s
House Press Secretary literally hid caught in outright lies. He is media organizations or lock up ing to violate one of our country’s
arrest and the frivolous lawsuit
in the bushes to avoid journalists And Murray is not the only one embroiled in an investigation in a journalists because you don’t like core values, we will see them in
against Oliver all the more
last summer. unleashing frivolous lawsuits to foreign power meddling with our their coverage. court. We stand with Dan Heyman
silence speech. Last February, election. He continues to push and John Oliver, and we will fight-
Then-Secretary Price called the ACLU clients Esther Calhoun, Ben dubious narratives about voter In the 1971 Supreme Court ruling back against any attack on a free,
We have a man in the White
arrest of Heyman “appropriate.” Eaton, Mary Schaeffer, and Ellis fraud, crime, and immigration. on the famous Pentagon Papers independent press. In the end, the
House, who as a candidate and
The fact that then-Secretary Price Long reached a successful settle- In this time, it is more important case, Justice Hugo Black wrote, Constitution will prevail.
now as President, has shown utter
would praise such a gross violation ment with the local landfill that than ever that we have a press “The press was to serve the
disdain for journalism. He has
that has the fullest protection of governed, not the governors.”
09 | In Your Community In Your Community Cont. | 10

Legal Observer Program

In Your Ever since the inauguration of President Trump, we have seen an incredible uptick in

protest activity in West Virginia. And we at the ACLU-WV think that is beautiful. Protect-
ing people who are organizing and exercising their right to dissent is among the bedrock
principles of the ACLU. So, to help ensure that protesters rights are protected, we have
established the ACLU-WV Legal Observer Program.

A legal observer is someone who attends a rally, protest, march or other first amend-
ment activity. However, legal observers are not participants in the action. Rather, as
their name implies, they merely observe. Legal observers watch protest activities to

Barnette’s as to things that touch the heart of the existing order. document any interference with the exercise of protesters’ rights. Essentially, legal
If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constel- observers act as the ACLU’s eyes and ears on during a protest. And then, if neces-
lation, it is that no official, high or petty, can sary, they could be called as a witness if a legal action needs to be taken to protect

Diamond prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics,

nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or
force citizens to confess by word or act their faith
protestor’s rights.

Generally we only dispatch legal observers when we are requested by event organiz-

Anniversary therein.

It's absolutely beautiful. And profound.

ers. Recently we have provided observers to protests in Charleston (for a Black Lives
Matter rally and a Free the Nipple march), Huntington (for a protest of President
Trump’s visit and the Rally for Our Lives), Parkersburg (for a Healthcare march),
Seventy-five years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court handed Buckhannon (for the Hate Has No Home Here march and rally) and White Sulphur
down the decision in West Virginia State Board of The panelists, including WVU Law School Professors Springs (for a protest of the GOP retreat).
Education v. Barnette. Among the most important Robert Bastress and Chuck DiSalvo, Dr. Chuck Smith,
ACLU-WV Legal Director Jamie Lynn Crofts, and If you are interested in becoming an ACLU-WV legal observer, please let us know at,
First Amendment cases is history, Barnette arose right
here in West Virginia. So, on March 1, the WVU Law CARE Executive Director Gabrielle Chapman, and we can provide training. With the increased protest activity in all corners of our state, it is
School chapter of the ACLU-WV sponsored a important that we have volunteers who are trained and prepared to act as observers across the state.
celebration of the seminal case, which included a panel
discussion of the case and its relevance in American
society today. Political Cartoon Exhibit Explores
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the laws of god are
superior to the laws of man, and therefore, they refuse
to salute a flag. In the 1940’s, the WV Board of
Freedom of Speech
Education instituted a rule requiring children to salute On December 16, in Shepherdstown, exhibit all over the state over the next two years. If you have a space
the flag or face expulsion. A number of Jehovah’s ACLU-WV hosted an that would be appropriate for this world-class cartoon exhibit, please let
Witness school children in the state—including sisters amazing exhibit of political us know at!
Marie and Gathie Barnette—refused to salute the flag, cartoons, all exploring the First
resulting in their expulsion. They fought their case all Amendment. The show featured Participating artists in the show include Kirk Anderson, Clay Bennet,
the way to the Supreme Court, where in 1943, by a 6-3 cartoons from some of the most Paul Berge, John Cole, Edward Colley, Peter Dunlap-Shohl, Steve
vote, the court held, in the very narrowest sense, that respected cartoonists in the coun- Greenburg, Ed Hall, Phil Hands, Gary Huck, Mike Keefe, Mike
school children could no longer be forced to salute the try, including numerous Pulitzer Konopacki, Jimmy Margulies, P.S. Mueller, Jack Ohman, Joel Pett, Ted
flag. But the decision stands for much more than that. discussed the impact of Barnette on American life Prize winners. Rall, Andy Singer, Scott Stantis, Signe Wilkinson and Matt Wuerker.
today. From the Black Lives Matters movement to
The breadth and beauty of Justice Robert Jackson’s Colin Kaepernick to Women’s marches to striking The show was curated by renowned
decision in Barnette makes it among the most school teachers, Barnette’s freedom to be different political and labor cartoonist Gary
compelling explanations of the First Amendment ever plays a key part in the ongoing public debate of if, Huck. As part of the opening Huck
put down on paper. The sentiment of the decision has when, and how an individual should protest. And it had an insightful public question
seeped into the American consciousness and our all started from some kids in West Virginia who and answer session with ACLU-WV
understanding of what “liberty” actually means. refused to salute the flag. Executive Director Joseph Cohen.
The discussed cartooning, freedom
Probably the most often cited passage of the decision of speech and the current environ-
says: Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do ment for political artists.
not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of
freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ ACLU-WV is looking to show the
Legislature | 12

midterms, where many observers are expecting a
Democratic wave. Early in the session, a number of
anti-abortion bills and proposed constitutional
amendments were introduced. Notable among these
was House Bill 4012, which narrowly aimed to restrict
The 2018 West Virginia legislative session will almost Medicaid funding by changing the definition of
certainly be remembered for years to come. For “medical procedure” to exclude abortion; House Joint
nearly two weeks of the 8 week session, the marble Resolution 111, which was a constitutional amendment
halls of the Capitol were filled with raucous, echoing limited to prohibiting state funds from being used
chants of teachers and school service personnel from for abortions; Senate Bill 450, a supposed compromise
all 55 counties striking for better pay and benefits. bill that would have mandated more data collection on
Unfortunately, the session will also be remembered how Medicaid is being used for abortions; and Senate
for the Legislature passing, and putting on the Joint Resolution 12, the most broad and radical of any
November ballot, a proposed constitutional amend- of the proposals. Of course, Senate Joint Resolution
ment to strip away a fundamental, constitutionally 12 wound up being the legislation that moved.
protected right. That act will make the 2018 midterm
elections in West Virginia one of the most contentious The Legislative fight was long and intense. As a
and expensive in recent memory. constitutional amendment, SJR 12 required 2/3 of the
members in the Senate and the House to vote for it to
Despite the passage of the proposed amendment, the pass. With a clear partisan motive, the fight was
2018 Legislative Session will also go down as a highly drawn along party lines. As a Senate resolution, the
successful session for the ACLU of WV. The organi- first challenge was in the Senate, where, assuming all
zation monitored 330 pieces of legislation and lobbied Republicans would vote for the measure, every
on 74 of them. Ultimately, we were able to stop or at Democrat would have to either abstain or vote against
least improve all but two pieces of bad legislation for the resolution to defeat it. However, Minority Leader
a 92% success rate of defensive lobbying. We also Roman Prezioso supported the proposed amendment,
helped to advance another 11 pieces of positive legis- eventually
lation to passage or at least to continued study for a voting for it
28% success rate. along with
A number of factors contributed to this success. Woelfel, and
First and foremost, our members and followers regu- Unger and all
larly and meaningfully responded to action alerts and Republicans.
calls for public engagement. So thank you! Second, Had those
the ACLU of WV team worked seamlessly to get out individuals
critical information in a timely fashion and respond voted against
appropriately to rapidly-changing situations. The the resolu-
ACLU of WV was also able to identify the issues and tion, it would
key moments to focus lobbying efforts, allowing the have been
organization to have an efficacy that outpaced its size. defeated; and it seems likely that the lack of leadership
Finally, the teacher strike itself has to be given some was a determinative factor in losing those votes.
credit. With nearly every committee hearing packed,
committee chairs were much more reluctant to run The vote in the House was a different story. Minority
some of the more objectionable legislation. Leader, Tim Miley, who has historically voted for
anti-abortion measures, took an active role in
The biggest battle of the session was undoubtedly checking in with the members of his caucus and
Senate Joint Resolution 12 (SJR 12). This proposed working to recruit “no” votes. In addition, in House
constitutional amendment explicitly states that there Judiciary, and again on the House floor, an
is no right to an abortion under the West Virginia amendment was offered to change the date of the
Constitution. Even before the legislative session election should the amendment pass. Both times, the
began, there were rumors that a constitutional amendment was rejected, making clear the partisan
amendment to restrict the use of Medicaid funds for intent. Despite the laudable effort of House minority
abortions would be proposed. From the outset it was leadership, 10 Democrats ultimately voted for the
clear that a primary purpose of this amendment amendment. Having passed the legislature, the
would be to drive up conservative turnout in the 2018
13 | Legislature Legislature Cont. | 14

proposed constitutional amendment will be on the personal recognizance for a limited range of misde- immunity for police who kill people, and, conversely, a
ballot in November, and the ACLU and our allies will meanor offences. The bill moved through the House provision that finds all people who are part of a gather-
be on the forefront of that fight. easily, and a committee substitute in Senate Judiciary ing guilty of murder if anyone dies. The bill would
actually improved the proposed reform, allowing normally have sailed through the legislature, but it was
The ACLU of WV joined with West Virginia Free and personal recognizance for all non-violent misdemean- taken up right in the middle of the teacher strike, and
Planned Parenthood South Atlantic to lead a campaign ors. Unfortunately, the bail-bond lobby, which profits people mistakenly believed that those provisions were
against the resolution. The Health Not Politics cam- off of our broken system of mass incarceration, got put in place to authorize the Capitol Police to break up
paign included a range of grassroots, advocacy, medi- wind of the potential reforms and showed up to oppose the strikes. The legislation went viral and legislators
cal, and social organizations that unified to oppose the reforms. The committee, unable to come to a found themselves on the defensive. This provided a
SJR 12. Our coalition was active throughout the consensus moved bail reform into a study resolution. unique opportunity for the ACLU of WV to intervene
entire state collecting signatures, signing postcards, Civil asset forfeiture suffered a similar fate, with and work the Senate Judiciary Committee to remove
and building a network of activists. People partook in strong support that was met with stronger backlash. some of the most objectionable provisions, while
a variety of actions, culminating in a rally on the steps The ACLU of WV worked with Americans for Prosperi- making the technical corrections necessary.
of the Capital on March 3. While SJR 12 did pass, ty on a proposal that was taken up in House Judiciary.
this network of partners and advocates will be vital in The committee demonstrated support for the reforms, The ACLU of WV also played a prominent role in
defeating it at the ballot in November. however Delegate Rodney Miller, a former sheriff, another ill-advised piece of legislation that received
argued against the bill, and the decision was made to consideration in the Senate. Senate Bill 460 would House Bill 4555. We also saw dirty tricks played to
While nothing came of it, it was clear that, even for hold it for the weekend. During that time, law enforce- have required every internet-capable device to come try to advance some of this legislation. After the
some in House leadership the attacks on abortion ment, which funds itself through the abusive civil asset pre-set to block all “obscene” content. The filter could anti-refugee bill (House Bill 4555) passed out of the
rights went too far. West Virginia still has law crimi- forfeiture system currently in place, came out strongly only be turned off with proof of age and the payment Committee on Homeland Security and Veterans’
nalizing abortion in the code, even though it is current- against the bill and when it was taken back up the of a fee by the purchaser; the fee would go to a special Affairs, it was supposed to go to the Finance Commit-
ly unenforceable. When the ACLU of WV brought this following Monday, the decision was immediately to put revenue account to be used by the State. Amusingly, tee where the Chair Eric Nelson made it clear it
to the attention of the Chair of House Health and it into a study resolution. this would have made West Virginia the monopolistic would not be on his committee’s agenda. At the same
Human Resources, Delegate Ellington, he sponsored a purveyor of “obscene” content. The bill, it turns out, time, the anti-Sharia bill (House Bill 4204) had been
bill to strike the obsolete criminal code. He even put No session is complete without a few unexpected bills. is the brainchild of Chris Seiver, a Christian activist effectively killed in a subcommittee. In order to
the bill on the committee agenda. Unfortunately, the House Bill 4618 was a routine technical fix bill, it was with a checkered past, a history of misrepresenting his advance at least one, the House Judiciary committee
Speaker ordered it off the agenda, but in the current designed to update West Virginia’s “riot act” to update qualifications, who was most known for suing to marry offered a substitute bill for the anti-Sharia bill, which
environment at the WV legislature, the ability to get the name of the Capitol Police to the Division of his computer in protest of same-sex marriage. During was, in effect the anti-refugee bill. Fortunately, the
sponsorship and some movement of a pro-choice piece Protective services; the bill made no substantive chang- testimony in Senate Judiciary, his companion, a move was successfully challenged on procedural
of legislation was still a small victory in es to the existing law. However, the existing law is former adult actress, turned anti-porn crusader, gave a grounds. And ultimately, with help from activists and
itself. archaic and draconian. It includes provisions like shouting, sprawling, and disjointed oratory so bizarre an interfaith group of religious and community
that the Committee had police station themselves near leaders that we affectionately dubbed the “G-d Squad”
The ACLU was also central to two her in case she needed to be removed. ACLU of WV all of this legislation was prevented from going into
big criminal justice reform initia- Policy Director, Eli Baumwell, also testified eventually law.
tives. Both bail and civil asset leading to the defeat of the bill.
forfeiture were identified as While the ACLU of WV and our friends, followers,
issues with bipartisan support Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, there were numer- and supporters should feel very good about the work
for reform. The ACLU of WV ous attempts to advance ill-advised, and bigoted legisla- that we did, the effect of having the teachers at the
worked with the American tion. Fortunately, the ACLU of WV was able to Capital was evident. Bad bills were not put on agen-
Friends Service Committee, successfully beat back all of these attempts. The das, and if they were, they were pulled quickly, when
Public Defenders Services, “Bigot Agenda” included a bill to mandate every school the public filled the committee rooms. This is a great
Mountain State Justice, offer an elective on the Bible (Senate Bill 252), a reminder that no matter how strong the advocacy
formerly incarcerated campus free-speech bill that forced schools to pay for efforts, an informed and engaged public is the best
individuals and other discriminatory student organizations (Senate Bill 111), way to keep the worst instincts of the legislature in
key stakeholders in a Confederate monument protection bill (Senate Bill check. The ACLU of WV has recently made the goal
crafting a bail 418), a bill to ensure clergy don’t have to perform of protecting and expanding democracy one of its core
reform proposal marriage ceremonies they object to (House Bill 4010), campaigns. Of all the lessons learned during the 2018
utilizing risk an anti-Sharia bill (House Bill 4204), and a bill that legislative session, the biggest one may just be how
assessments. would have required the state to spy on refugees important it is to get people engaged in the political
Ultimately, that (House Bill 4555). It should be appalling enough that arena.
proposal was each of these bills found a sponsor willing to introduce
rejected for a them, but in fact, every one of these bills was at least
more limited introduced and debated in one committee. House Bill
reform approach 4010 actually made it out of the House, and Senate
that focused on Bills 252 and 418 made it out of a committee, as did
15 | Stephen Mader Stephen Mader Cont. | 16

A Weirton Police Officer Was Fired

for Not Shooting a Young Black Man
He Correctly Determined Was No
nationwide need the
In the early hours of May 6, 2016, the lives of rookie proper de-escalation
police officer Stephen Mader and R.J. Williams inter- Rather than shoot, Mader returned to his military training needed to avoid
sected in Weirton, West Virginia. Both men were training and attempted to de-escalate the situation. unnecessary killings,
young fathers. Mader was a white cop holding a gun. He softened his voice, looked Williams in the eye, and especially of Black men
Williams was a Black man holding a gun. This tragedy said, “I’m not going to shoot you, brother. I’m not and boys.
ends exactly as you’d expect — with R.J. Williams going to shoot you.” With those words, Officer Mader Mader’s firing exposed,
killed by a police bullet — but with a twist: Mader did connected to the humanity of Williams, a man in again, the toxic culture
not kill him. In fact, he tried his best to save Williams’ deep distress. that infects far too many
life. And for doing his duty, Mader was fired. police departments in
While Mader continued his attempt to convince America. We need to end
In the case of the death at the hands of police of R.J. Williams to drop his weapon, two other officers Under the Fourth Amendment, police officers may the insularity and hostility towards the community
Williams, it all started with a domestic disturbance arrived on the scene. In a matter of seconds, one of only use deadly force if they have probable cause to exhibited by so many law enforcement agencies. We
call by Williams’ girlfriend. Arriving first on the scene, the newly arrived officers fired four shots, killing believe that the target is a violent imminent threat to need to give law enforcement officers tools to effective-
Mader came upon Williams, who had his hands behind Williams. It was at that point the officers discovered the officer or someone else. Officer Mader came to the ly serve their communities. That means we need to
his back. The officer quickly asked Williams to show that Williams’ gun was unloaded. Stephen Mader was opposite conclusion — he reasonably, objectively, and invest in de-escalation training, implicit bias training,
him his hands. Williams complied, revealing a gun. correct. R.J. Williams was not a threat, but it didn’t correctly determined that R.J. Williams was not a and crisis intervention training. The resolution of this
Immediately, Mader ordered Williams to drop his matter. He was dead. threat to anyone except maybe to himself. And once lawsuit sends a clear message to the City of Weirton
he made that determination, Mader was not permit- and to police departments across the country. Our
Weeks later, the Weirton Police Department fired ted to use deadly force under the U.S. Constitution. communities deserve thoughtful, compassionate,
Stephen Mader. transparent law enforcement. We will continue to
Essentially, the Weirton Police Department fired work to reform policing in the Mountain State.
We have grown accustomed to hearing about outra- Stephen Mader for failing to violate R.J. Williams’
geous acts of violence perpetrated by the police Fourth Amendment right to not get shot.
against communities of color. Some become more
outraged. Some have become numb. Some call for A police officer cannot lawfully be fired for failing to
accountability or for the needed reforms to stop violate someone’s constitutional rights. So last May,
unnecessary police violence and deadly use of force. along with the Law Offices of Timothy O’Brien,
No matter the public’s reaction, in nearly every ACLU-WV filed a lawsuit against the City of Weirton
instance, the offending cops are not prosecuted and on behalf of Mader. We argued, in part, that the
are back patrolling the streets in a few weeks. termination of Stephen Mader was in violation of
West Virginia public policy.
weapon. But Williams refused, repeatedly pleading for But in Weirton, West Virginia, there was the bizarre
Mader to “just shoot me.” In that moment, Mader did opposite. Officer Mader was fired for not shooting a After deposing City officials, we were able to win a
not see a man with a gun. He saw a human being in Black man with a gun. The message the police depart- positive settlement in favor of Mader. To settle all
crisis. Mader deduced that Williams was not what he ment sent is tragically clear: Law enforcement in outstanding claims, the City of Weirton paid Mader
might appear — a danger to others and to a responding Weirton should err on the side of killing people. $175,000. And while justice prevailed for Mader, R.J.
officer alike. Mader saw that Williams was trying to
Williams is still dead — a constant reminder police
commit “suicide by cop.”
17 | WV Immigrants WV Immigrants Cont. | 18
Myth: Immigrants are lazy.

West Virginia Truth: Immigrants are incredibly productive

members of society. In WV, there is a higher
workforce participation rate among Muslim Ban different, but still sought to fulfill his unconstitutional

Immigrants in the
foreign-born people (58%) than US-born and immoral campaign pledge to shut down Muslim
people (54%). Immigrants also have a lower
unemployment rate than native-born people. The Muslim Travel Ban is an odious form of religious travel to the US. That executive order was also
and national origin-based discrimination that we’ve blocked by the courts, although the Supreme Court,

Trump Era
Immigrants provide invaluable resources to
our state. More than 40% of the jobs held by been fighting at the ACLU for over a year now. We enforced portions of it for very limited purposes.
foreign born people in WV are in the educa- are now actually on the third incarnation of the Muslim Ban 2.0 expired while we were waiting for the
tional services, and health care and social Supreme Court to hear it. Then the President issued
assistance fields, compared to 27% of
Muslim ban.
Muslim Ban 3.0. Muslim Ban 3.0 is similar to 2.0,
A hallmark of the Trump administration has been division. The Presi- US-born workers.
but has some key differences.
dent divides us by race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, and Immigrants in West Virginia are entrepreneurs.
ACLU-WV Legal Director Jamie Lynn Crofts and
gender identity. He continually uses some groups as scapegoats. Despite our small immigrant population, our Executive Director Joseph Cohen have travelled the
state is home to more than 2,500 immigrant state numerous times since the first iteration of the Muslim Ban 3.0 indefinitely bans people from Iran,
owned businesses that generated $47.6 in Muslim Ban was handed down in January 2017 to Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia, five
One group that has obviously been singled out for attack by the President 2014. And while immigrants make up only overwhelmingly Muslim countries that were also
is immigrants. He launched his campaign by calling Mexican immigrants meet with members of the state’s Muslim community.
1.6% of our state population, they make up Additionally, we have held online know your rights targeted by the earlier versions. The order
“rapists.” At the end of his first week in office, he attempted to block 4.5% of the state’s business owners. That emphasizes that countries are being banned because
people from seven Muslim nations from entering the country—including means immigrants in WV are 2.8 times more trainings and worked with vulnerable university
likely to start a business than US-born people. student populations all in an attempt to help targeted they have not cooperated in providing information
people who have lived here for decades. He has attempted to curtail legal for visa vetting. Yet Somalia remains banned even
immigration. He has demonized and dehumanized undocumented immi- communities navigate the confusing and fast-changing
Myth: Immigrants are uneducated. landscape of the Muslim Travel Ban. though it does live up to the government’s new visa
grants. He has empowered ICE to tear families apart. He has pardoned a cooperation standards.
racist, anti-immigrant bigoted sheriff. He has turned our back on refu- Truth: Immigrants in West Virginia are highly
gees fleeing war. And he has stripped Dreamers of their future and their educated. Immigrants in WV are 2.5-times We’ve seen firsthand the fear and hardship this
more likely to have a college degree than state-sanctioned discrimination has caused our neigh- The order adds restrictions on Chad — another
stability. non-immigrants. 48% of immigrants in our Muslim-majority nation — along with North Korea and
bors here in WV. Well-established pillars of our
state have a bachelor’s degree or higher, Venezuela. The inclusion of two countries that are not
But how has that impacted life here in WV? What has been the experi- compared to only 19% of native born people. community feel under attack and unwelcome. We
Therefore it’s not surprising that 28.4% of have worked hard to provide members of the targeted Muslim majority does not even qualify as a fig leaf.
ence of immigrant communities in the Mountain State? North Korea accounted for just 61 affected visas last
foreign born workers in WV earn more than communities with the information they need to make
$75,000 per year, compared to 15.5% of the best decisions for themselves and their families. year — out of more than 75 million visitors to the
US-born workers in WV. United States.
A Snapshot of Immigration WV—especially southern WV—has a very
serious doctor shortage. We have one of the
Last January, the President issued Muslim Ban 1.0,
which blocked travel to the US for people from seven And Venezuela as a country is not banned in any
in West Virginia highest concentrations of physicians from the
countries targeting by the Muslim travel bans
majority Muslim nations. The ACLU and others were
able to get that blocked in the courts. Then President
meaningful sense. Only certain Venezuelan
government officials and their families are affected,
in the country. Doctors in WV from the
WV is a really unique place in some ways for immigrants. Most notably, countries targeted by the original Muslim ban Trump issued Muslim Ban 2.0, which was somewhat and those individuals are only barred from obtaining
WV has one of the smallest immigrant populations in the country. Only have 210,000 appointments each year. Where
29,000 people in WV—1.6% of our state’s total population—is foreign born. would our state be without immigrants?
Interestingly, more than half of the immigrants in WV are US citizens.
Myth: Immigrants don’t pay taxes.
A miniscule portion of our population is undocumented. There are less Truth: Immigrants do pay taxes. Our state,
which is seemingly always in a financial crisis,
than 5,000 undocumented people in WV. That is just 0.2% of the total needs tax revenue. Immigrant-led households
population. West Virginia’s undocumented population is the smallest in WV pay $125 million in federal taxes and
proportion of any state in the country. Nonetheless, there are about 1,300 $51.9 million in state and local taxes. And our
children who are US citizens in WV, who are at constant risk of their tiny undocumented community pays taxes
parents being deported. too—$5.1 million in state and local taxes
The dearth of immigrant voices in WV leads to fear and the growth of Immigrants make our state better. And it is
our responsibility to correct people when they
demonstrably false negative stereotypes. Some of the really hurtful, make false claims to the contrary. Immigrants
negative stereotypes about immigrants that we have to counter in WV are in a tough environment in WV. The small
include: That immigrants are lazy. That immigrants are uneducated. And population often makes immigrants feel as
that immigrants don’t pay taxes. All of these claims are widely inaccu- though they have a target on their backs; it
rate. also leads to a lack of community supports.
Therefore, since the election ACLU-WV has
been focusing on providing support to
immigrant communities and lifting immigrant
voices too often silenced in our state.
19 | WV Immigrants Cont. WV Immigrants Cont. | 20
Refugees and Temporary Ice Raids
Protected Status As discussed above, the undocumented population in
There are 65 million people displaced in the world. WV is very small. So, with all of the other Trump
That is the highest number ever. Yet the Trump attacks on civil liberties, we did not think ACLU-WV
administration has only agreed to take on 45,000 would be dealing with ICE raids as a major part of
refugees for the year; that is the lowest number ever. our work in WV. We were wrong.
As of March 2, 2018, only 8,728 refugees have arrived
so far in Fiscal Year 2018, far behind schedule for There has been an incredible increase in ICE activity
even the Administration's own historically number of in WV since Trump became president. ICE raids
45,000 per year. seem to happen in waves. We hear about a number
of raids for a few weeks and then they seem to die
Prior to the massive reduction in refugees in the US, down. A month or two later, we’ll have a couple of
we were supposed to get refugees resettled in West weeks where we hear about a lot of raids again. That
Virginia. The WV Interfaith Refugee Ministries was seems to be the pattern.
approved as a resettlement agency by the State Depart-
ment in December of 2016, and refugees were The first wave of raids started in late February of
supposed to be resettled in Charleston. Then the 2017. We were contacted about two workplace raids
Trump administration pulled the rug out from under in Berkeley County. We heard about others around
tourist and temporary business visas. In contrast,
WVIRM, the City of Charleston, and, of course, refu- the state in the following days. We obtained statistics
nearly every single person from the Muslim-majority
gees around the world who are facing the direst of of the ICE activity and found out that there were 248 grant population, it simply doesn’t have the community
countries is barred from getting a green card, no
circumstances. people detained for suspected immigration violations supports for immigrants that other states have. WV
matter what family, business, or other U.S. connec-
tions he or she has. during that two-week period in PA, DE and WV, doesn’t have a single staffed organization dedicating
The Trump administration has also dramatically which is a very high number. solely to advocacy for immigrants’ rights. As a result,
reduced the scope of the Temporary Protected Status immigrants in WV can feel isolated and targeted.
The total numbers underscore the scope of suffering
(TPS) program. TPS gives people who come from Of the 248 people detained in those three states, 42 This is a community that often does not know who it
the new ban will impose, and the hugely disproportion-
countries where environmental disaster, armed conflict were from WV. There are more than 40 times more can trust. Having such a small undocumented
ate impact it will have on Muslims. According to an
or other extraordinary circumstances might place them undocumented immigrants in PA and DE than in WV. population leaves people in WV feeling more vulnera-
analysis of the number of U.S. visas granted by catego-
in danger, permission to legally live and work in the Yet, more than 1/6 of the people detained were from ble.
ry in 2016, the new ban would bar tens of thousands of
U.S. Approximately 435,000 immigrants from 10 WV. Why were such a high proportion of West
individuals from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Soma-
countries have been granted TPS. Virginians being detained? We have been working very hard to build an immi-
lia annually from obtaining green cards.
grants’ rights coalition in WV. It is a slow process to
In the last few months, the Trump administration has We discovered that the vast majority of detentions in build this infrastructure from the ground up. We have
Many of these are people coming to the U.S. to join
let TPS expire for Sudan, Haiti, Nicaragua and El WV have been what ICE calls “collateral targets.” held know your rights events for immigrants. We have
their husbands, wives, parents, and children who are
Salvador. Those countries account for 327,000 TPS When ICE raids a workplace, it has primary been building relationships with immigrant communi-
citizens or lawful permanent residents. These families
recipients—more than 75% of all people in the US with targets—usually individuals who have either been ties and with those entities that have are connected to
would be separated indefinitely. By contrast, the
TPS. The Trump administration will make determina- convicted of a crime or have an outstanding deporta- immigrant communities.
impact on people from countries newly included in the
tions on Honduras, Nepal, Somalia and Yemen later tion order. Once ICE enters a workplace, it can then
ban is small: 40 immigrants from Chad can expected
this year, which account for approximately 100,500 question other “collateral targets”—people who just Most importantly, we are working to help people from
to be blocked, nine from North Korea, and none at all
TPS recipients (nearly all of the rest). happen to be there—about their status. In WV, these the impacted communities speak out and lead the
from Venezuela.
collateral targets tend to reveal their documentation movement. We have worked with immigrants to tell
Most TPS recipients have lived in the US for decades. status, which can lead to detention and then deporta- their stories. We have helped elevate important
Courts in Hawai’i and Maryland quickly issued injunc-
Many of these people have US citizen children and tion. In other states, collateral targets are more voices. And we are helping to support leaders from
tions blocking most enforcement of Version 3.0. How-
spouses who are lawful permanent residents. In likely to know that they have a right to remain silent targeted communities in a place where their voices
ever, in December, the Supreme Court lifted the injunc-
certain cases, people will be torn from their families and they exercise that right. In WV, targeted commu- traditionally are not heard.
tions and Muslim Ban 3.0 was put into effect while the
and returned to countries that are simply not safe. nities don’t seem to know their rights as well as in
court cases work their way through the system.
For example, Haiti was granted TPS status following surrounding states. We need to change the conversation about immigration
the devastating 2010 earthquake. Recovery has been in WV. It will take time, but we will eventually
The Supreme Court is expected to take up the issue in
significantly slowed by a cholera outbreak and more We believe that, because WV has such a small immi- succeed.
the coming months. The stakes of any decision are
recently significant hurricane damage. Nonetheless,
exceptionally high. It could mean the difference
the US has ended TPS and 60,000 Haitians have to
between whether a grandmother in Syria ever gets to in WV would only improve our community. We desperately need people to come to WV. And as we know,
leave the US or risk deportation.
see her grandchild here in West Virginia or not. It refugees and TPS recipients, like other immigrants, add so much to our state.
will determine whether families are torn apart. We
Offering our community as a safe haven for people
will continue to fight this with everything we have. We have worked closely with WVIRM to lobby our federal representatives over refugee and TPS issues. Addi-
fleeing the horrors of war, persecution and natural
disaster would undoubtedly improve the lives of tionally we have successfully fought really heinous anti-refugee legislation that was introduced in the state legis-
refugees and TPS recipients. But those seeking shelter lature. We will continue to work to make WV a welcoming home for those in need.
21 | WV Immigrants Cont. Women’s Awareness | 22

Prepare to Fight Back

course, under Roe v. Wade, our
Dreamers Jackie had no memory of Mexico. She had never been federal Constitution does include
abortion rights. However, the
to Mexico since coming to the US. And while she
In September, the Trump Administration announced speaks Spanish, she struggles to communicate with people who are pushing SJR 12 are
that it was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood
Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA granted legal status
relatives in Mexico on the phone as they speak too
quickly for her. Jackie is American in absolutely every
Our Imminent Struggle to Protect the exact same people who have
been maniacally attempting to get
and work permits to nearly 800,000 Dreamers, undocu-
mented immigrant young people who came to the US
way except for a piece of paper. Women’s Health and the WV Roe overturned for decades.
Amendment No. 1 is part of the
as children and met certain rigorous criteria. When Jackie found out that she was undocumented, Constitution master strategy of these enemies of
choice. They want this constitu-
she fell into a depression. Her grades fell. She gave
Six years ago, the US government made a deal with up. And then President Obama announced the DACA Senate Joint Resolution 12 (SJR The WV Constitution is 146 years tional amendment in place in WV
immigrant youth—if you pass a criminal background program. Suddenly, Jackie had hope. She was 16 12), passed out of the legislature old. If Amendment No. 1 were to in preparation for the day they’ve
check, you can live here, study here and work here. years old and applied for DACA status on her own. on March 5, and will be on the pass we would change our 146 been working towards for the past
The Trump administration went back on that promise. She raised the money for the application by getting $5 ballot in the November election as year old Constitution from a 45 years---the day Roe is
The President threw the lives and futures of 800,000 or $10 from community sponsors and from her mom “Amendment No. 1, No Constitu- document that enumerates and overturned.
young people and their families into disarray. selling tamales on the street corner. With DACA, tional right to abortion Amend- protects our rights, into a docu-
Currently, the federal courts have blocked the Jackie was able to legally work and was protected ment”. If a majority of the elector- ment that tells us what rights we If this constitutional amendment
termination of from being deported. ate votes for it, the West Virginia don’t have. That is a radical passes and Roe is overturned,
DACA, but that Constitution will be amended to change to our governing docu- performing an abortion would
could end at any Jackie now has a beautiful one-year old baby boy. He read “Nothing in this Constitution ment. It would undercut the basic immediately become a crime in
point. We need is an American citizen. secures or protects a right to traditions that form the basis of WV. An old law is still on the
Congress to pass a abortion or requires the funding of American-style liberal democracy. books in WV that makes it a
clean DREAM Act Without congressional action, Jackie risks losing the abortion.” And we believe that if we can felony, punishable by 3 –10 years,
now. There are not ability to earn a living to care for her child. She risks educate West Virginia voters as to to perform an abortion.
many DACA recipi- being deported to a country that she has no memory This is the single most extreme the extreme nature of this
ents in state of WV. of. And she risks being torn apart from her son and attack on women’s right to basic proposed amendment, they will The stakes in this fight could not
But they are here. her partner. bodily autonomy in the history of vote no to protect our state Consti- be higher. This is a direct attack on
They are our friends the state. If this amendment were tution. our Constitution. It is a direct
and neighbors. And the President’s unilateral revoca- We’ve worked to elevate Jackie’s voice into the to pass, the West Virginia Consti- attack on poor and working class
tion of DACA has upended their lives. We’ve been statewide discussion around immigration. We have tution would not protect the right If this amendment were to pass, women. And it is an attack on
working closely with one DACA recipient—Jackie Loza- produced a video telling her story, helped her set up of a woman to have an abor- the consequences for women in our women’s right to make personal
no—to tell her story and advocate for a legislative interviews with the media, and gotten her speaking tion—even if she was raped or her state would be dire. The most healthcare decisions with their
solution to the crisis manufactured by President engagements around the state. We’ve gone with life was in danger. This is an immediate consequence would be doctors.
Trump. Jackie to meet with Senator Manchin (we’ve met with attempt to completely redefine the that poor and working class
the entire WV congressional delegation on the issue), basic, fundamental rights that are women would no longer be able to But we are prepared to stand up
Jackie grew up in North Carolina, but now lives in and we’ve collected hundreds of post- protected by our Constitution. It receive Medicaid funding even for for women and protect our constitu-
Charleston. She was a good student in high school. cards from West Virginians demand- is an attempt to amend our Consti- medically necessary abortions. We tion. We are planning the biggest
Her family was very poor, but she knew that she ing that Congress pass a clean tution to discriminate against live in a very poor state with only grassroots political campaign WV
wanted to go to college. She knew that the only way DREAM Act. women. one abortion clinic, and this has ever seen. And with the help
she would be able to afford college would be if she got restriction would result in even of our members and supporters, we
scholarships and grants. Jackie’s guidance counselor We need to act now to protect The good news is that we all have less access to abortion care than will win this ballot fight in
had her fill out a form to help get aid for college. The Jackie and the hundreds of the opportunity to vote this radical already exists here. Exercising November.
form asked Jackie for her social security number, thousands of people in her situa- change to our Constitution down. your constitutional rights should
which she didn’t know. She went home and asked her tion. not depend on your income. And
mother. That’s when Jackie’s world turned upside The authors of the proposed without access to safe abortions,
down. amendment have not tried to hide women will use unsafe methods to
its radical nature. Only 17 words terminate pregnancies.
Jackie’s mother informed her that she did not have a long, the language of the amend-
social security number. That she had been born in ment is crystal clear. The Amend- Longer term, the consequences
Mexico and was not a US citizen, and that she was, in ment’s straightforward language could be even more stark. By the
fact, undocumented. Jackie had no idea. Her mother should help us in explaining its plain language of this proposed
brought her to America when Jackie was two years incredible breadth and potentially amendment there would be no
old. She had been a very ill baby and needed medical dangerous consequences to West protections—under any circum-
treatment. Her mother was able to get her that Virginia voters. stances—for a right to an abortion
treatment in the US. under our state constitution. Of
23 | Women’s Awareness Cont. Women’s Awareness Cont. | 24

The Threat to Medicaid Funding for strong moral and personal

objections to all sorts of things Amendment No. 1 Goes Well Beyond Prohibiting
Medically Necessary Abortions that public funds are used for: war,
drug enforcement, immigration the Use of Medicaid Funds for Abortion
To understand the threat to reimbursement fill out a enforcement, environmental Proponents argue that the only effect of Amendment No. 1 would be to overturn the Panepinto decision and
Medicaid funding, you first have to standardized DHHR form regulation, and public defenders to return the law to the 1993 law. This is patently untrue. As discussed above, the most immediate effect of
understand the history. In a certifying that the abortion is name just a few. Even specific to Amendment No. 1 would be to over turn Panepinto, however, longer term, it could open the door to any number
special legislative session in May of medically necessary which includes medicine, people hold moral of restrictions, including criminalization of abortion.
1993, the West Virginia legislature checking off one of several broad objections to blood transfusions,
passed Senate Bill 2, which medical justifications. vaccines, and even basic Simply comparing the language of Amendment No. 1
included a provision codified in medications - still we would find it with the language of HJR 111, another proposed
Chapter 9, Article 2, Section 11 of Per DHHR’s own testimony these absurd to refuse to fund these amendment that did not pass the WV legislature,
the WV code. The provision certifications are very rarely things because some have an shows that the claims that Amendment No. 1 only
prohibited the use of Medicaid reviewed. That lack of review has objection to it. Indeed, the morali- relates to Medicaid funding are false. HJR 111 reads
funds for abortions except where raised the ire of some who charge ty of abortion itself is not nearly “[n]o public funds of this State may be used to pay for
the abortion was necessary to save DHHR with paying for “elective” as clear cut as opponents would abortions, except when the procedure is necessary to
the life of the woman, if the fetus abortions (we’ll come back to that make it out to be. First, let us save the life of the mother.” The language of HJR 111
was not expected to be delivered, term). Most of us have had the acknowledge that different very clearly only would have prohibited state funds to
or if the pregnancy was the result maddening experience of an insur- religious traditions, philosophies, be used for abortion. The legislature chose not to pass
of incest or a rape that had been er refusing to authorize, or worse, medical, and scientific fields hold HJR 111, and instead it passed SJR 12 (now Amend-
reported to the police. denying a claim for a medical different opinions about the morali- ment No. 1), which reads, in part, “[n]othing in this
procedure because a bureaucrat ty and justifications. It was Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion….”
That law was challenged and in with a profit-motive has decided, precisely this plurality of opinions When the language of Amendment No. 1 is compared
September of 1993 the West over the judgment of your own that led Justice Blackmun to write to HJR 111, it is clear that the claim that Amendment
Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals physician, that the procedure was in Roe v. Wade, “[w]hen those No. 1 only deals with Medicaid funding is untrue.
(WVSCA) issued a decision called not medically necessary. trained in the respective disci-
Women’s Health Center of West Particularly in a topic as private plines of medicine, philosophy, and
Virginia v. Panepinto (or the Pane- and personal as abortion, and theology are unable to arrive at Amendment No. 1 Is Incredibly • Where the mother was certain to die
absent an abortion?
pinto decision for short). In that particularly when the bureaucrat any consensus, the judiciary, at
decision the WVSCA started with is a government official, we should this point in the development of • Where she had a condition with 75%
the long-recognized principle that be proud of the fact that our state man's knowledge, is not in a chance of dying? Or 50%? Or 25%?
the West Virginia Constitution is not engaging in that sort of position to speculate as to the As SJR 12 (now Amendment No. 1) was working its way through the
provides greater protections than behavior. Their deference to the answer.” legislature, Democratic legislators offered a number of amendments. In • What if it was 5%? 1 out of 20 times
the federal Constitution. The judgment of treating physicians the Senate, they attempted to amend SJR 12 to include exceptions for she would die. Would you be
WVSCA went on to say that and the will of patients should be Nonetheless, legislation to over- rape, incest and health of the woman. Those proposed amendments were comfortable taking those odds?
because the WV Constitution a example, not an aberration. turn the Panepinto decision and voted down. As a result, if Amendment No. 1 were to pass, the West
Virginia Constitution would offer no protections for the right to an abor- • What if it was 1% - only 1 out of 100
provides for the “common benefit, prohibit Medicaid funds has been times. Not a lot of people would
protection and security of the introduced regularly since the tion under any circumstances. The state Constitution would not protect engage in an activity where 1 out of 100
people”, when they are acting to decision. It has never been young girls who were raped by their father, resulting in a pregnancy. And times resulted in death. Fewer still if
provide medical care for the poor, passed, because it is broadly the state Constitution would not protect a woman who would die if she the activity involved 9 months of
was forced to carry a pregnancy to term. discomfort; restrictions on what you
the state must do so in a neutral recognized that with a WVSCA could eat, drink and do; immense pain;
way. Applying these principles to decision directly on point, such law and subsequently years of social and
the rights of privacy and equal Proponents of Amendment No. 1 argue that it’s okay that the amendment
would easily be held as unconstitu- financial responsibilities. Would you
protection, the Court held that tional under the WV Constitution. does not provide exceptions for health, rape or incest because federal feel comfortable with the state telling
state funds could not be withheld The obvious solution for the oppo- protections are sufficient. However, these are the exact same people who someone that they would have to
from people seeking “medically nents of choice was to amend the are working tirelessly to overturn Roe and all federal protections for accept that risk?
necessary abortions.” The law was Constitution. abortion. As the plain language of Amendment No. 1 shows, their
ultimate goal is to give politicians the power to ban abortion under any • In 2017, the US has a maternal
invalidated, however it remained in The idea that Medicaid should not mortality rate of 26.4 maternal deaths
code. be used for abortion is derived circumstance. for every 100,000 births. Do you feel
from the idea that some people comfortable telling people they must
The result is that West Virginia is have a moral objection to abortion, That most abortion laws contain exceptions for the life of the woman or accept those risks? What if you’re a
and that their tax dollars shouldn’t fetus and exceptions for rape and incest belies the understanding that, black woman, where, you would face a
one of 17 states that allows state maternal mortality rate of 43.5 deaths
funds to be used for “medically be used for that procedure. That’s even among opponents of abortion, some are considered more moral than
those deemed to be “elective.” But these are not bright line rules. per 100,000 versus 12.7 per 100,000
necessary” abortions. In practice, fundamentally illogical; people hold for white women?
abortion providers seeking Medicaid Consider - even for opponents of abortion - would an abortion be justified:
25 | Women’s Awareness Cont. Women’s Awareness Cont. | 26
And it isn’t just the life of the woman. What about mation hearings. The vacancies have rapidly been filled by President
potential health complications? How high a risk and Trump, often times with barely-qualified zealots. This is an attempt
how severe do the complications have to be for you to to hijack the judicial system, putting Roe v. Wade in extreme peril.
feel that an abortion is justifiable?
If Roe falls, and Amendment No. 1 passes, West Virginian women
What about rape? Notwithstanding abhorrent rhetoric cannot expect any legal protections as the legislature has repeatedly
about pregnancies from rape being “gifts from god” or displayed open hostility towards abortion rights. Indeed, if Roe falls,
the ridiculous belief that the “body can just shut that West Virginia already has a criminal statute on books that the
down”, most people are sympathetic to the notion that legislature has refused to repeal for 45 legislative sessions. If Roe
a woman should not be forced to carry the result of a falls and Amendment No. 1 passes, that crime would presumably go
rape to term. But if we’ve learned nothing else from right back into effect.
the “Me Too” movement, hopefully we have learned
that not all rape involves being physically held down. Abortion is a good, and normal medical procedure. Many people
Would you feel comfortable with the state requiring a today have forgotten the legacy of criminalized abortions: the perse-
woman to carry a pregnancy to term where: cution of women for exercising control of their bodies, abandoned
babies, and back-alley abortions where women died. But numerous
• A 12-year old is impregnated by a 46-year old man who studies have looked at American life since Roe v. Wade and the
has convinced her he’s her “boyfriend”? What if he’s 22? availability of safe, legal abortion has been linked to everything from
Or 16? What if she’s 15? better maternal and neonatal health, to lower crime, to greater
workforce participation.
• What about a situation where a woman is impregnated by
a man when she is too drunk to give consent. Does it
matter if they’re dating? Or married? So, ultimately, it’s about time we stop catering to a vocal group of
extremists because they aren’t comfortable with what is a totally
Photo credit: Billy Wolfe
• What about a survivor of domestic violence who does not normal medical procedure. And make no mistake, abortion is
resist only because she wishes to avoid violence? amended, there is little reason to think that the West normal--nearly 1 in 3 women (and some trans men) will have an
Virginia legislature wouldn’t pass additional legislation abortion in their lifetime. That means it’s almost inevitable that
If a woman says she was assaulted or forced and is pursuant to the amendment. people you know and love have had abortions.
pregnant as a consequence, are you comfortable decid-
ing if the assault was sufficiently “rape-like” to justify The introduction and advancement of legislation aimed
terminating the pregnancy? Are you comfortable with
the government making that determination?
at chipping away at reproductive rights has become a
regular feature of the WV legislature under both Join Us in Defeating this Outrageous
The factors that lead a person to chose abortion are
parties. With no constraints under the WV Constitu-
tion, abortion opponents would be emboldened to push Attack on WV Women
complicated. Even the most “medically-necessary” even more extreme legislation, up to and including, We must stand up for women in West Virginia right now. We are in for the fight of our lives over
abortion is ultimately elective. And even the most criminalizing abortion again (although WV code still Amendment No. 1.
“elective” abortion is medically-necessary in some has a statute criminalizing abortion on the books).
sense. There is no moral consensus on abortion to Under the language of Amendment No. 1, the legisla- Along with coalition partners, ACLU-WV is planning an unprecedented grassroots campaign to defeat
begin with, and when you begin to examine the indi- ture could conceivably ban contraception that stops the Amendment No. 1. Outside groups will be flooding money into the state to undermine our Constitution and
vidual circumstances, it becomes clear that every implantation of fertilized eggs, fertility treatments that WV women’s reproductive rights. So we will need to mobilize our members and supporters for this ballot
woman will have a different line on when an abortion result in fertilized eggs that are later destroyed (like in fight in a way never seen in our state’s history.
is and is not justified for themselves. And it is precise- vitro fertilization), or criminalize miscarriages if it’s
ly because of that, that it is not appropriate for the determined that behavior of the mother was a cause of Working with our coalition partners, we will be engaging citizens across the state to ensure that people
state to intervene. the miscarriage. understand the radical nature of the proposed amendment. We will use every tool at our disposal to expose
Amendment No. 1 Is a Currently, none of that is possible because federal law
the dangers of Amendment No. 1. We will be canvassing all over the state and we will be speaking with
voters in all 55 counties. We will be reaching out to new voters and supporting groups engaging in voter
Direct Assault on Women’s would protect against all of that. But abortion oppo-
nents have been clear. They are hell-bent on overturn-
registration drives. Protecting our constitution and protecting women’s health will undoubtedly be the top
priority of the ACLU-WV between now and election day.
Bodily Autonomy ing Roe v. Wade.
If we are successful in educating the public to understand the extreme implications of this radical
Proponents of Amendment No. 1 will argue that it, by As part of their grand plan to overturn Roe, opponents amendment, we will prevail at the ballot in November. But that is only possible if we have a grassroots
itself, would not interfere with any woman’s right to of choice have been working to pack the federal judicia- army of supporters to help spread our message and get out the vote. Therefore, we are calling on you to
obtain an abortion. But that is untrue. First, as ry. President Obama left office with over 100 judicial follow us on social media, help financially support our work, and/ or sign up to volunteer with us by
discussed above, it would interfere with poor and vacancies, including one on the U.S. Supreme Court. emailing us at
working class women’s ability to access abortion care. Those vacancies existed because Senate Republicans
Moreover, if the West Virginia Constitution is so used their majority to regularly refuse to hold confir- We need you now more than ever. Together, we will win.
Voter ID Law | 28

WV You will be asked for ID during the May primary

election and during the November general election.
Under the newly effective law, the following forms of
registered to vote unless they affirmatively opt out.
In 2017 there was an attempt to dramatically reduce

ID are valid: the list of acceptable ID’s, which ACLU-WV worked
hard to kill, however the automatic voter registration
program was delayed until 2019. We will be prepared
• West Virginia driver’s license or ID card
to fight any legislative attempts to make the voter ID
• Driver’s license issued by another state law more strict or any attempt to further delay or

terminate the automatic voter registration program
• U.S. Passport during the 2019 legislative session.
• Photo employee identification card issued by the U.S.
Government or State of West Virginia The ACLU-WV takes a strong stand against voter ID

Law Is
laws in any form.  There has always been a tension in
• Student identification card issued by an institution of higher America between the ideal that every person has an
education in West Virginia or high school in West Virginia equal say in choosing their representatives and the
reality which has often restricted access to the
• Military identification card with photo issued by the United political process for marginalized communities.  Voter

States ID laws are the most recent iteration of the latter.  
• Concealed carry permit with a photograph Certain groups, often marginalized, are less likely to
have certain types of identification and are restricted
• Medicare or Social Security card Birth certificate from voting.  

• Voter registration card issued by a county clerk in the State of Even when voter ID laws are more permissive, like
West Virginia West Virginia’s, the mere presence of a voter ID law
on the books can suppress votes. Many voters do not
• Hunting or fishing license issued by the State of West Virginia even try to go to the polls because they presume only

• ID card issued by the West Virginia Supplemental Nutrition a drivers’ license or other photo ID that they do not
Assistance Program have is required.

• ID card issued by the West Virginia Temporary Assistance for We need people in WV to understand the broad array
Needy Families program of identification acceptable under the WV law. Educa-
tion is vital to counteracting the suppression.  Recent-
• West Virginia Medicaid card ly, Secretary of State Mac Warner brought together a
In 2016, the WV • Bank or debit card group of stakeholders from across the state and across
the political spectrum, including ACLU-WV, to engage

Legislature passed
• Utility bill issued within six months of the date of the election them in voter education. We have taken on the chal-
• Bank statement issued within six months of the date of the lenge, working to educate voters of the new ID
requirements. We will continue these education efforts

a voter ID law that

through the general election this fall. While we still
• Health insurance card  oppose the voter ID law, we are working to alleviate

went into effect on

the harm done by its passage.
Alternatively, a voter who doesn’t have any of the  
above forms of ID can have any adult who has known
January 1, 2018. them for at least 6 months and has a valid photo ID
accompany them to the polls and sign an affidavit
attesting that the voter is who they claim to be.  
Finally, a poll worker who knows the voter can allow
them to vote without any form of ID.
The law also required the Secretary of State to imple-
ment a voter education component and develop a
program for issuing free ID’s.  Finally, the law creat-
ed an automatic voter registration program which
means people who go to the DMV to get a license, ID,
or to update their address will automatically be
29 | Black Identity Extremists House of Hagar | 30

Black Identity We reminded the FBI that the Constitution prohibits

the government from targeting people because of their

racial identity or because they take part in First
Amendment-protected activities, including protesting
racial inequity and injustices. We expressed our
Last August, an FBI intelligence assessment was concern that the FBI has created this new “Black
leaked taking aim at a new classifications dubbed Identity Extremist” designation to enhance govern-
ment scrutiny of Black community organizers, includ-

“Black Identity Extremists.” The FBI assessment
labeled these groups as dangerous and a “very likely ing people involved in the nonviolent Black Lives
threat” to law enforcement personnel. The document, Matter network.
which was not intended to be released to the public, The Southern Poverty Law Center has recorded at
raises significant concerns that the FBI could unfairly least 37 deadly radical rightwing terrorist attacks

target Black community leaders who are constitutional- after the Oklahoma City bombing which killed 168
ly exercising their 1st Amendment rights. people in 1995; since then, 77 law enforcement
officials and innocent civilians have been killed by
This wouldn’t be the first time the FBI or other federal anti-government paranoiacs or white extremists,
agencies have unjustly marked peaceful African Ameri- including the nine people killed at Emanuel AME

can activists. For decades, the federal government Church in Charleston, SC and, more recent-
has spied on Black leaders across the ly, Heather Heyer at a white suprema-
political spectrum, including A. cist rally in Charlottesville.
Philip Randolph, Thurgood Mar- So although the majority of
shall, Angela Davis, Marcus deadly extremist attacks in the
Garvey, W.E.B. Du Bois, Martin United States over the past
Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, 15 years have been perpetrat-
and Jesse Jackson. During ed by white supremacists, What happens when the right to practice your religion in your own home is threatened by the government?
the civil rights era, the FBI the FBI appears to be The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia steps in. We represented Catholic Worker Kate Marshall
infiltrated and spied on the allocating an inordinate in successfully securing a permit to continue using her Wheeling home, known as the House of Hagar, to
meetings of civil rights amount of resources to provide hospitality to those in need in accordance with her religious beliefs.
groups, and disrupted the surveil African Americans
personal lives of virtually based on a purported BACKGROUND Article 3, Section 15 of the West Virginia
every major Black leader in ideology linked to their Following the Catholic Worker Movement tradition, Constitution; and both federal and state civil rights
the United States. According “Black identity.” We’ve seen Kate opens her home to individuals in need for law. We must be vigilant to ensure that the
to a report from then-FBI this before. We must not weekly dinners and laundry service among other government cannot use generally applicable laws, like
Assistant Director William permit the racism so deeply efforts to support the community. In 2016, the zoning laws, to infringe upon people’s religious
Sullivan to J. Edgar Hoover, in prevalent in our society, or the Wheeling Planning Commission required Kate and practice.
surveilling Martin Luther King, Jr., tacit approval of white supremacy the House of Hagar to obtain a permit due to
the FBI sought “to take him off his from our country’s highest office, to concerns raised about parking and other neighbor- As the United States Supreme Court made clear in
pedestal and to reduce him completely in result in the federal government once hood issues. The continuation of the permit had been West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette nearly
influence” with the result being that “the Negroes again targeting African American leaders and questioned by the Commission after neighbors came 75 years ago, “The very purpose of a Bill of Rights
will be left without a national leader of sufficiently activists through unlawful surveillance. forward complaining about the individuals utilizing was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes
compelling personality to steer them in the proper We must not repeat the shameful mistakes of our the space. An initial report issued by the city last of political controversy, to place them beyond the
direction.” past. We must recognize the racism that still infects summer recommended withdrawing the permit. reach of majorities and officials and to establish them
all of our institutions—including the FBI—and the
as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's
In order to prevent the mistakes of the past we, along biases present within each of us that influence the OUTCOME right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a
with a coalition of concerned West Virginia organiza- decisions we make. It would be illegal and immoral for
After a thorough investigation spurred on by the free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and
tions, decided to take action. law enforcement to target people because of their
ACLU-WV, the Commission voted unanimously to other fundamental rights may not be submitted to
race. Based on the past actions of federal law enforce-
allow Kate to continue living her faith. vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”
Together we sent a letter to the FBI rebuking its ment, we know that we all must be vigilant to fight
approach and encouraging it to take extra precautions discriminatory impulses. For that reason, we encour-
WHY IT MATTERS Kate lives her faith in a truly inspirational way and
to ensure that racism isn’t a factor in any attempts to aged the FBI to take extra precautions to ensure the
we are proud to help House of Hagar continue its
target so-called “Black Identity Extremists.” We are legitimacy and necessity of any attempts to target Freedom of religion is one of our foundational mission to make West Virginia an even better and
committed to holding law enforcement agencies groups classified as “Black Identity Extremists.” constitutional principles, and is protected by the more welcoming place than it is already.
accountable and will be watching closely for any As we informed the FBI, history will be watching. First Amendment to the United States Constitution;
actions that invoke constitutional concerns.