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.

ACLU in POLITICO: Roll Back the Surveillance State

ACLU in POLITICO: Roll Back the Surveillance State

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:13pm

Because of the extraordinary revelations last week by the Guardian, Congress and the American people now know that the Patriot Act is being used by the National Security Agency to collect the phone records of all Americans, every day. There's no more debate about whether the government, and the military at that, is spying on us: only whether Congress is going to stop them.

Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows the government to obtain ‘any tangible thing' relevant to an investigation. According to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, this authority has been used to collect all phone records in the U.S., even those of law-abiding citizens who have no connection to crime or terrorism whatsoever. The administration and a few members of Congress have confirmed and defended this practice as necessary to protect national security.

But there's no reason to believe that the government's collection efforts stop there.

Read the rest of the piece at POLITICO: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/roll-back-the-surveillance-state-92550.html

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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...

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.

Mr. President, What Will Be Your Civil Rights Legacy?

Mr. President, What Will Be Your Civil Rights Legacy?

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:44am

Watching President Obama take the Oath of Office four years ago was a historic moment I will never forget. I remember meeting him when he was an Illinois state senator...

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.

A Legacy of Civil Rights Is at Risk

A Legacy of Civil Rights Is at Risk

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:48pm

A growing number of states have enacted laws that will suppress voting, yet the minority community has uttered little protest

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.

Every Vote Matters

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:57pm

I grew up in a family that was always extremely engaged in politics. My mother ran for political office three times and from an early age instilled in me the importance of exercising our most cherished fundamental right: the right to vote. At…

Will Peter King's Hearing Carry Stigma Like Joseph McCarthy's?

Will Peter King's Hearing Carry Stigma Like Joseph McCarthy's?

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:29am

Rep. Peter King is holding a hearing about the “radicalization” of U.S. Muslims and whether they are sufficiently cooperative with U.S. anti-terrorism efforts. This may be the first of a series on this subject. But holding a hearing based on a flawed radicalization theory that conflates religious practices with preparation for terrorism and focuses exclusively on Muslim-Americans is misguided, discriminatory and counterproductive.

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