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.

Congress Can Create a Smarter Criminal Justice System

Congress Can Create a Smarter Criminal Justice System

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:46pm
The following op-ed was originally published by The Hill.
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…

The PATRIOT Act’s Section 215 Must be Reformed

The PATRIOT Act’s Section 215 Must be Reformed

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:16pm

The following remarks were given by Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office, at Sen. Rand Paul's press conference yesterday announcing his intention to sue the government to stop NSA surveillance of Americans' communications.…

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…

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…

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.

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…

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…

Are the FBI and Congress Politicizing Terrorism Intelligence?

Are the FBI and Congress Politicizing Terrorism Intelligence?

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Mike German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:18am

Since 1990, 670 people have been killed and 3,053 injured in attacks by far-right extremists in the United States, according to a new study by the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at West Point.  Perhaps more frightening, the CTC says its data shows the number of violent attacks has increased precipitously since the late 1990s, and especially since 2006.  The report has generated a predictable (and frankly deserved) backlash against it, highlighting the difficulty government agencies have had in analyzing politically-motivated violence in an objective manner.

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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