Blog of Rights

Anthony D.
Romero

Anthony D. Romero is the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union. He took the helm just four days before the September 11, 2001 attacks. Shortly afterward, the ACLU launched its national Safe and Free campaign to protect basic freedoms during a time of crisis. Romero has led the ACLU in its fight to restore civil liberties, including pushing for accountability for torture committed under the Bush administration and fighting the practice of indefinite detention. Romero is the ACLU's sixth executive director, and the first Latino and openly gay man to serve in that capacity. (Photo by Richard Corman)

 

Happy Fourth of July from the ACLU!

By Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU at 3:11pm

On this day 232 years ago, our founders brought forth a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal. With their minds set on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, they proceeded to lay the…

Colbert on Torture, "Compromise," and Opposition

By Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU at 3:20pm
Someone sent me this Colbert clip yesterday and I think it's spot-on about the so-called "compromise" that the Bush administration and a few Republicans crafted on detainee treatment. That deal resulted in last week's horrible vote, which effectively…

Insult to Injury

By Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU at 2:41pm
President Bush is lying to the American people. Those are words that I have never uttered before in public. To make such a serious allegation against my country’s leader is not something I do lightly. Consider the President’s words in Panama:…
The ACLU and Windsor: "The future is ours. Equality is in this country's DNA."

The ACLU and Windsor: "The future is ours. Equality is in this country's DNA."

By Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU at 10:45am

I sat in the Supreme Court yesterday hearing the historic arguments in the Windsor case. I felt a mixture of pride...

The Stories We Tell

The Stories We Tell

By Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU at 1:30pm

I recently had the opportunity to visit Florida, seeing my mother and other family members; we kicked back and talked as we hadn't had a chance to do for years.

One evening I got to thinking about one family member whom I wasn't able to…

Congress Has Failed, but the ACLU Will Keep Fighting

Congress Has Failed, but the ACLU Will Keep Fighting

By Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU at 7:39pm

Congress' failure to repeal the shameful "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is a devastating loss to the gay and lesbian service members who put their lives on the line for this country every day — and for Americans everywhere who believe in fairness and equality.

Rest assured that the ACLU will not give up on this fight. We are 100 percent committed to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and will do everything we can to bring about its demise.

Watch this video of my colleague James Esseks, head of the ACLU's LGBT Project, as he speaks about the ACLU's commitment to fighting DADT:

Close it Right: Guantánamo Must Be Shut Down Quickly And Properly

By Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU at 6:05pm

(Originally posted on Huffington Post.)

On January 22, 2009, his second full day in office, President Obama issued an executive order mandating that the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay be closed within a year. Well, the clock’s…

The Best of Days, The Worst of Days

By Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU at 11:19am

(Originally posted on Huffington Post.)

It was a day of personal schizophrenia for me.

I woke up on the west coast with news of President Obama's selection of Sonia Sotomayor as the next associate justice of the U.S. Supreme court.…

Troubling signs from Obama's Administration

By Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU at 1:37pm

On his first day in office, President Obama moved our nation miles ahead on the road to restoring its fundamental values by signing executive orders to close Guantanamo, halt the military commissions and end torture.

The ACLU, like millions of people the world over, cheered. The orders were an important first step toward restoring an America we can be proud of again. But we're not there yet, and there are some troubling signs that can't be ignored.

Upon close reading, the executive orders contained worrisome ambiguities. While they halted the military commissions, they left open the possibility of their revival in some form. They also banned torture but left open the future possibility for the CIA to use interrogation techniques not found in the Army Field Manual, the basis for legal interrogations by the military.

Knowing that our freshly minted president put together these orders with lightning speed, we took cautious note, but remained hopeful that once clarification came, so would reassurance.

This was not the first cause for concern. There had been others, like the retention of Defense Secretary Robert Gates. We couldn't help but wonder whether the "new Gates" had experienced a Road to Damascus conversion and was capable of adopting the new president's ideals. Our worries intensified when John Brennan was appointed Deputy National Security Adviser after being shot down for CIA Director because of his problematic civil liberties record. But while we took cautious note of these appointments, we decided to leave speculation aside.

Statistics image