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.
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.

The March on Washington Through a Child's Eyes

The March on Washington Through a Child's Eyes

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:10pm

I was at home when the March on Washington took place in 1963. My parents took my four older siblings with them, but at the last minute decided that, as the youngest, I should stay at home.

I was furious about being left behind. My parents…

The State of Equality & Justice in America: The Pendulum Swings between Joy and Despair

The State of Equality & Justice in America: The Pendulum Swings between Joy and Despair

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:26pm

Let's just take one day, February 27, 2013, as a snapshot of the state of equality and justice in America.

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.

It's Time to End The Blame Game and Reform Immigration Policy

It's Time to End The Blame Game and Reform Immigration Policy

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

This piece was first published by the National Journal magazine on the Next America Perspectives page.

Something unusual happened in Washington last week. A heavily favored, high profile incumbent lost a primary challenge. Headlines were generated,…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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