The theme of this year’s ACLU of Delaware annual meeting was: “the ACLU in the age of Trump.”
Staff attorney Ryan Tack-Hooper says the topic was chosen as a way to update the public about the ACLU’s work during the Trump presidency.
Tack-Hooper says the ACLU of Delaware has been increasingly involved in immigration work since Trump took office. They sent letters to every chief of police in Delaware laying out the constitutional requirements and more in anticipation of pressure from the federal government.
Before that, he says Delaware hadn’t faced pressing concerns relating to immigration, like other neighboring states.
“So in Pennsylvania there was a city that tried to pass an ordinance that would keep immigrants out of their housing," Tack-Hooper said. "These sort of anti-immigrant ordinances – we haven’t seen that happen in Delaware.”
Tack-Hooper says they’ve been busy conducting “know your rights” trainings and other trainings about privacy and digital security. He says there’s also been added emphasis on ensuring free speech, and the right to protest.
“But of course we just had the biggest protest in American history with the women’s march," Tack-Hooper said. "So we have redoubled our efforts to make sure everybody knows their rights at a protest.”
And he says they’re also taking a proactive approach to potential issues.
“One of the things we’re fearful of is – with one or more appointments to the Supreme Court – women’s right to choose could be in danger. And so we worked with the state legislature to update Delaware’s statutes. Delaware had not modernized its abortion statutes since the constitutional rulings in Roe v. Wade, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.”
Until the updates were made, those statutes still specified abortion was a serious crime – both for a doctor to provide one and for a woman to receive one.