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 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.
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.

NSA Reform Takes Its First Steps

NSA Reform Takes Its First Steps

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:52pm

Congress finally had enough.

Almost one year after the first disclosure about the NSA's abusive surveillance programs, the House Judiciary Committee made history on Wednesday when it voted unanimously to pass the USA FREEDOM Act. Much to our…

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…

African Americans Are Key to the Success of the LGBT Movement

African Americans Are Key to the Success of the LGBT Movement

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:16am

This was originally posted on The Huffington Post.

As 2012 draws to a close and I reflect on the historic year that was, one of the things that I am most proud of is the role that African Americans played in helping to bring the freedom to…

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…

Spying

What’s the Government Doing Targeting Civil Rights Leaders?

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:11pm

The NSA and FBI are targeting prominent American Muslims, including civil rights activists, academics, and a former government official, we learned in a troubling report released last night.

Their emails have been stored, their movements have…

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.

If you doubt the unfairness of our country's criminal justice system, look no further than Hamedah Hasan.

When Hamedah was 21 years old, she fled an abusive relationship and…

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