Blog of Rights

Laura W.
Murphy

Laura W. Murphy (@lwmurphy) is in her second tenure as Director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, a position she first held from 1993-2005. Since returning Murphy has maintained strong relationships with leaders in the United States Congress and the Obama Administration to advance the ACLU’s public policy priorities including national security, criminal justice, human rights, privacy, reproductive rights, civil rights and First Amendment issues.

The Three Faces of Racial Profiling: The ACLU Connects the Dots

The Three Faces of Racial Profiling: The ACLU Connects the Dots

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:32am

Racial profiling not only goes against our Constitution and our country’s value for equality — it also hinders law enforcement officials from doing an effective job.

Comey's Hollow MLK Guidance to FBI Agents

Comey's Hollow MLK Guidance to FBI Agents

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:21am

Newly sworn in FBI Director James Comey has ordered all new FBI agent trainees to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC, so they can reflect on the FBI's infamous history of hounding the civil rights leader and recognize "the…

A Mother's Rules for Being Young, Black, and Male

A Mother's Rules for Being Young, Black, and Male

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:08pm

Like many mothers across the country, the Trayvon Martin tragedy still haunts me and makes me want to hold my son closer, knowing that his life as a young Black man in America is not getting any easier. As I wrote in a blog post last year, I've done…

Historic Reading of Declaration of Independence by African American Descendant of Signer

Historic Reading of Declaration of Independence by African American Descendant of Signer

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:03pm

On Independence Day, I will have the esteemed honor of being the first African American descendant ever asked to read the Declaration of Independence as part of a longstanding July 4th tradition at the National Archives. Recently, descendants of original signers were asked to read sections of the Declaration in homage to this country’s founding fathers. As I’m sure you can well imagine, heretofore, those descendants have been white.

An Open Letter to the President on Race

An Open Letter to the President on Race

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:07am

Dear Mr. President,

Do you remember any of your campaign ads from your 2000 Congressional campaign? I'm thinking specifically of a radio ad touting your support for a bill that required police officers to log the ethnicity of every driver they…

Trusting Law Enforcement After the Trayvon Tragedy

Trusting Law Enforcement After the Trayvon Tragedy

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 12:14pm

The fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012, while not the first act of senseless violence of its kind, evoked a wide array of emotions including sadness, anger, and fear. For many of us, hearing the verdict two days ago felt…

The NSA's Winter of Discontent

The NSA's Winter of Discontent

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:01pm

Originally posted on The Huffington Post.

The summer of Snowden is fast becoming the NSA's winter of discontent.

This week, tech giants Google, Apple, Facebook and others published an open letter to President Obama and Congress urging…

Murphy and Norquist: Congress Must Act to Finish Job on Criminal Justice Reform

Murphy and Norquist: Congress Must Act to Finish Job on Criminal Justice Reform

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Grover G. Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform at 1:26pm

Attorney General Eric Holder's speech to the American Bar Association last Monday, announcing critical reforms to the way the Department of Justice prosecutes and addresses drug crimes, was historic and long overdue. Not in recent memory has this country…

Immigration Reform: Where Things Stand Now and What's Next

Immigration Reform: Where Things Stand Now and What's Next

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:04pm

The immigration reform bill that has emerged from the Senate Judiciary Committee is good – not ideal, not awful, but good. It is a game changer for those who currently have no hope of realizing the Constitution's promise of equal protection. But…

Justice Is Served

Justice Is Served

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:52pm

Today, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to retroactively applying the new Fair Sentencing Act guidelines to individuals sentenced before the law was enacted.

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