Over the past two weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has escalated into a national public health crisis and disrupted our daily lives in ways large and small. 

Here at the ACLU of Wisconsin, we are following CDC guidelines and requiring our staff to work from home, which means we are keeping limited office hours.

However, while we may be working remotely, we are more committed than ever to defending civil and human rights in Wisconsin, especially on behalf of vulnerable populations whose rights – and health – are most at risk during this pandemic. 

We know that the government is most prone to abuse during times of crisis, so we’ll be watching to ensure the official response is grounded in science and does not unnecessarily infringe on our constitutionally-guaranteed civil rights.

The ACLU of Wisconsin has called on Governor Evers and other criminal justice system stakeholders to heed public health experts’ advice and immediately release individuals in detention who are at high risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19.  On March 19, we held a virtual town hall about what incarcerated people and their loved ones need to know about this virus, and the actions we all can take right now to protect civil and human rights in Wisconsin. 

We’re also working diligently to educate voters about their ability to absentee vote by mail in the upcoming April 7th election. In addition to the presidential primary, voters will also decide who will serve on the state’s highest court and whether to enact a harmful ballot initiative called Marsy’s Law that would undermine protections for the accused. 

This has been a challenging time for so many Wisconsinites, and there are even more trying times ahead. Throughout this crisis, we will remain steadfast in our defense of liberty and committed to supporting the civil rights and well-being of everyone in our state.

As always, if you believe your rights have been violated, please let us know: https://www.aclu-wi.org/en/request-legal-assistance