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.

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.

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…

A Fourth Amendment Application for the Internet

A Fourth Amendment Application for the Internet

By Grover G. Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform & Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:35pm

Originally posted on Politico.com

Technology has changed dramatically since 1986. With free, unlimited email storage and high-speed broadband service widely available, we no longer have to download email onto our hard drives. Instead, we indefinitely…

What Crack Cocaine Teaches Us About NSA Reform

What Crack Cocaine Teaches Us About NSA Reform

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:41am

This piece originally ran at POLITICO Magazine.

This week, Patrick Leahy, the Democratic senator from Vermont, introduced a revised version of the USA Freedom Act, a bill to finally start pulling the reins on America's out-of-control surveillance…

Bending The Arc Towards Justice: Congress Passes Bill Reducing Cocaine Sentencing Disparity

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:55pm

Nearly a quarter of a century after President Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act resulting in the infamous 100:1 sentencing disparity between crack and cocaine powder offenses the House of Representatives passed the Fair Sentencing Act by a voice…

The ACLU Supports Campaign Finance Reform and Free Speech

The ACLU Supports Campaign Finance Reform and Free Speech

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:58am

This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post.

For an organization that works on issues as diverse as drones, women's rights, racial justice, war powers, immigration and flag burning, internal debates are inevitable and healthy. We welcome…

Our Stance on the Immigration Reform Bill: Support for Many Civil Liberties Provisions and Opposition to New Border Measures

Our Stance on the Immigration Reform Bill: Support for Many Civil Liberties Provisions and Opposition to New Border Measures

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:22pm

As anyone who’s been following news reports on the immigration reform bill now knows, a major agreement on the bill has been reached in the U.S. Senate, and its border enforcement provisions have changed dramatically.

You might be wondering…

Time for Obama and Holder to Truly End Racial Profiling by Law Enforcement

Time for Obama and Holder to Truly End Racial Profiling by Law Enforcement

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:18pm

Why can’t President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder do more to ban racial profiling in the United States?  Surely, more so than any of their predecessors, they can understand the injustice and humiliation racial profiling victims…

ACLU Joins in Briefing Members of Congress on the Implications of Arizona v. U.S.

ACLU Joins in Briefing Members of Congress on the Implications of Arizona v. U.S.

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:19pm

Today we let federal lawmakers know that Arizona’s racial profiling law, S.B. 1070, is about much more than just the state of Arizona and its immigrants. It’s about how we see ourselves as a nation.

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