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 FBI’s Civil Rights Deficit

The FBI’s Civil Rights Deficit

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:52pm
The ACLU’s new report on the FBI, “Unleashed and Unaccountable,” details how the bureau’s investigative and intelligence collection authorities have changed since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and how these changes have opened the door to a new era of abuse. Among the most troubling of these abuses are programs and policies that appear to show the FBI continues to harbor disturbing attitudes.
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.

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…

A Step Towards Surveillance Transparency

A Step Towards Surveillance Transparency

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:14pm

When Google published its first government transparency report in 2010, critics of the company showered praise upon the company, and rightly so. At a time when other internet companies were fearful of "stick[ing] their head up" by publishing surveillance…

Thanks to John Brennan, a Big and Bipartisan Pushback Against the Vast Killing Program

Thanks to John Brennan, a Big and Bipartisan Pushback Against the Vast Killing Program

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:46pm

Just two months ago, when President Obama nominated the architect of his vast killing program, John Brennan, to be CIA Director...

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.

Let's Check James Comey's Bush Years Record Before He Becomes FBI Director

Let's Check James Comey's Bush Years Record Before He Becomes FBI Director

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:26pm

This piece originally appeared at the Guardian.

It had the air of Hollywood. On the night of 10 March 2004, James Comey, the nominee to lead the FBI for the next ten years, rushed to the hospital bedside of his terribly ill boss, Attorney General…

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…

A Tribute to My Warrior Brother, John A. Payton

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:04pm

I'm incredibly saddened by the passing of John A. Payton, head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF). Our nation has lost a brilliant warrior for justice, and I've lost a dear friend and colleague in the movement.

I first had the pleasure…

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