Blog of Rights


An al-Marri Timeline

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 2:54pm
Jonathan Hafetz, an attorney with the ACLU National Security Project, talks us through the timeline of one of the more important cases he has worked on: the al-Marri, or domestic enemy combatant case. It asks the fundamental question: Can the government detain you indefinitely without charge or trial? The case has a long timeline with twists and turns through both the Bush and Obama administrations, and a brief time before the Supreme Court. Jonathan explains how it all happened from the beginning.

Obama's Child Soldiers

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 5:42pm

Six days after the inauguration of President Obama, the U.S. is scheduled to begin the first trial of a child soldier accused of war crimes since World War II. This video shows why President Obama must take swift action to end the unconstitutional…

Supreme Court v. American Idol

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 12:15pm

Working for the American Civil Liberties Union is serious business. We carry a heavy burden. Our slogan, after all, is “Because freedom can’t protect itself.” So it is understandable that in a time of Constitutional erosion, the ACLU is known…

Justice Denied: Voices from Guantánamo

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 10:31am

Most Americans have only seen Guantánamo detainees as one-dimensional caricatures. But a new ACLU video features original footage in which the men talk about their lives — before, after and during their detention by the U.S.

USA Today: Beyond 'Gay Marriage'

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 10:15am

Today's USA Today includes a personal essay by the ACLU's Joel Engardio. Marriage equality is in the courts, the legislature, and the media more than ever before, but "Beyond 'gay marriage'" reminds us:

At its heart, though, it’s often just…

Prop. 8 Ruling a Blow to All Minorities

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 4:24pm

(Originally posted on the Washington Posts’s On Faith blog.)

Religious supporters of Proposition 8, the voter initiative that banned same-sex marriages in California, might feel good now that the state's Supreme Court has ruled that the measure can stand. But will those religious groups that are celebrating Prop. 8 today regret it later when they consider the precedent that's been set?

Prop. 8 has made it a lot easier in California for a simple majority of voters to strip away the rights of an unpopular minority. What happens when it's your time to be the unpopular minority?

History is unkind and too often repeats itself. Members of the Mormon Church, who were major supporters of Prop. 8, have ancestors who experienced some of the worst religious discrimination ever faced in the United States. In the mid-19th century they were driven by mobs from Illinois to Missouri and across the Wild West to Utah. It was wrong then to persecute Mormons for what they believed, just as it would be wrong now to try to force Mormons to accept members or marriages in their church they deem unworthy. There is freedom of religion in America for good reason. But that and other freedoms have been watered down in California, thanks to Prop. 8. The court now has less power to fulfill the purpose for which it was created: keep the tyranny of the majority from trampling the rights of the minority. Anyone can be a minority if enough people don't like the way you live, worship or think.

“We Still Have to Protest This?”

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 4:38pm

Free speech unplugged, unfettered. With a handheld camera, Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU, documented the debate for and against same-sex marriage outside the California Supreme Court last Thursday.

Please note that by playing…

A Gay Rights Life

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 12:08pm

Matt Coles, director of the ACLU LGBT Project, talks to Joel Engardio about his life working in gay rights, coming out, surviving the AIDS crisis and fighting for LGBT equality. Matt's conversation is divided into three chapters, each four minutes…

Protecting Children and Free Speech Online

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 1:55pm

This video explains how the ACLU proved that the Child Online Protection Act was unconstitutional.

Please note that by playing this clip You Tube and Google will place a long-term cookie on your computer. Please see You Tube's privacy statement…

Video Blog From Gitmo

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 2:22pm

The footage might be shaky, but the experience is equally raw. See ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero as he films himself in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Anthony was at Gitmo for the military commission hearings of five detainees charged with 9/11-related…

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