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.

LGBT Rights: A Matter of Fairness

LGBT Rights: A Matter of Fairness

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:17pm
Earlier this week, Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post wrote a column outlining why he thinks African-Americans should embrace gay rights, specifically the freedom for committed and loving gay and lesbian couples to marry.
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

President Obama: Veto Indefinite Detention

President Obama: Veto Indefinite Detention

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:03pm

As I write this, the Defense Authorization bill is on its way to President Obama's desk. The bill contains dangerous, sweeping worldwide indefinite detention provisions.

Leading members of Congress have already indicated that they believe that…

The Right to Vote: Let's Not Forget Where We've Been and How Far We Need to Go

The Right to Vote: Let's Not Forget Where We've Been and How Far We Need to Go

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:36pm

Despite the progress our country has made since the passage of the Voting Rights Act, voter suppression tactics remain a serious threat to the right to vote.

Don't Open the Door to Torture

Don't Open the Door to Torture

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:03pm

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) is pursuing a deeply misguided effort that threatens to reopen the door to torture.

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.

The Courage to Be Safe and Free

The Courage to Be Safe and Free

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:52pm

Once the shock subsided, we set out to determine what new powers the government would seek in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The smoke billowing from the Pentagon was visible over Washington as I met with several ACLU colleagues from around…

Contraceptive Coverage Should Be the Rule, Not the Exception

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:53pm

Far too often, government policies tend to be at odds with reality when it comes to women's reproductive health by ignoring the services that women need most. Which is why guidelines recently issued by the Department of Human Services requiring…

Brinksmanship: The Hidden Threats to Liberty

Brinksmanship: The Hidden Threats to Liberty

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:43pm

It isn’t a surprise to anyone that our political system is in crisis, and that in times of crisis, real or imagined, civil liberties are most vulnerable.

Notwithstanding the compromise measure that led to final passage of the debt-ceiling…

Is the Debt Ceiling a Civil Liberties Issue?

Is the Debt Ceiling a Civil Liberties Issue?

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:08pm

Even if the debt ceiling is raised, hard decisions will be made about which federal programs will continue and which ones won’t.  The civil liberties consequences of those choices are not entirely predictable, but some are.

We can…

Statistics image