Director of ACLU of Vermont to speak

BENNINGTON — James Duff Lyall, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont, will speak at an open meeting sponsored by the Bennington Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAAW). The meeting will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Bennington Free Library.

The public is invited to attend and refreshments will be offered.

Lyall joined the ACLU of Vermont in 2016, becoming the 12th director in the organization's history. He has been deeply involved with immigration issues. From 2011-16, he was a staff attorney for the ACLU of Arizona, where he opened the first ACLU satellite office in Tucson to investigate and litigate civil rights issues related to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Prior to joining the ACLU, Lyall was a law fellow at the Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project in Los Angeles, where he provided legal representation to detained and unaccompanied immigrant children in deportation proceedings.

National news stories report on threats to civil liberties on multiple fronts, from the rights of voters to the rights of immigrants. Lyall will address the state of civil liberties in Vermont, where the ACLU works in the legislature and the courts to preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights—for all Vermonters, but also for our most vulnerable communities and those who have historically been denied the rights and protections afforded to everyone else.

Lyall will discuss the ambitious agenda the ACLU of Vermont has mapped out for the year ahead, focusing on criminal justice reform, stronger privacy protections, and "a Vermont that works for everyone." Throughout the legislative session, the organization is advocating for Vermont to raise the minimum wage, pass paid family leave, establish universal primary care and priortize investment in mental health care.

A New England native, Lyall is graduate of Middlebury College and hold a law degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.


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