Richard Eppink and Leo Morales join Idaho ACLU affiliateBoise, ID—The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho is proud to announce the hire of new Legal Director, Richard Eppink and Public Education/Communications Coordinator Leo Morales.
Ritchie Eppink’s law practice has focused exclusively on defending the constitution, improving access to justice, and helping children and families escape abuse. He comes to the ACLU of Idaho from his position as Justice Architect for Idaho Legal Aid Services, where he helped homeowners challenge the deceptive practices of big banks during the foreclosure crisis and represented victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The top graduate in his class at the University of Idaho’s law school, Ritchie was granted a Fulbright Fellowship to study ways to make the law more understandable for ordinary people. Some of his clients have included entire residential communities facing the loss of their land, organizations fighting for more transparency in government, and adults with developmental disabilities all over the state. On taking his new position as Legal Director of the state’s ACLU affiliate, Ritchie commented: “I love America and its heritage of freedom and opportunity—and there couldn’t be a better place to stand up for liberty and the constitution than here in Idaho.”
Leo Morales, a native of Oaxaca, Mexico has lived in Idaho for the last 23 years. Prior to joining the ACLU of Idaho he worked for the Idaho Community Action Network as a senior staff responsible for leading racial justice campaigns, legislative lobbying, civic engagement voter work, and community organizing. Leo is recognized statewide for his work on immigrant rights and farmworker advocacy. In 2005 he led successful efforts to bring about attention to pesticide poising of area farmworkers in the Treasure Valley. In 2006 he helped organized a peaceful protest in downtown Boise where well over 12,000 immigrants and supporters gathered in support of immigration reform.
“The ACLU is the premier organization working in all 50 states to secure the fundamental civil rights of all Americans and all people within its borders,” comments Monica Hopkins, ACLU of Idaho Executive Director, “I am honored to bring onboard two of the most talented and respected individuals in our community to be part of the team that will continue to preserve, defend, and uphold the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”
The ACLU of Idaho has over 1,500 members across the state and is active in litigation, legislative advocacy, and community education on issues pertinent to the state and federal constitution. The ACLU of Idaho’s successful lawsuit against the Idaho Correctional Center, privately run by Correction Corporation of America, brought international attention to the young affiliate. The ACLU of Idaho was recently active in pressuring the Idaho Department of Corrections to bring its execution protocol up to date with federal law. The Associated Press filed a lawsuit in federal court and 9th Circuit Court ordered the state to amend its policy.
To learn more about the ACLU of Idaho visit: www.acluidaho.org.