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.

Profiling Won't Save Us

Profiling Won't Save Us

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:50am
This piece originally appeared on The Hill's Congress Blog.
Blacking Out the Vote

Blacking Out the Vote

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 9:51am

This was originally posted on The Huffington Post.

Voters are facing an ugly surprise on their way to the voting booth on Tuesday. What most people don't realize is that since 2006, some 34 state legislatures have worked diligently to chip…

The ACLU Supports Campaign Finance Reform and Free Speech

The ACLU Supports Campaign Finance Reform and Free Speech

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:58am

This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post.

For an organization that works on issues as diverse as drones, women's rights, racial justice, war powers, immigration and flag burning, internal debates are inevitable and healthy. We welcome…

What Crack Cocaine Teaches Us About NSA Reform

What Crack Cocaine Teaches Us About NSA Reform

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:41am

This piece originally ran at POLITICO Magazine.

This week, Patrick Leahy, the Democratic senator from Vermont, introduced a revised version of the USA Freedom Act, a bill to finally start pulling the reins on America's out-of-control surveillance…

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…

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…

#DearMrPresident: Stop Profiling Us

The Perversity of Profiling

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 2:19pm

The Justice Department is considering revised racial profiling guidance that, if issued, could set back race relations and basic fairness in this country. We hope that it does not make that mistake.

The New York Times on Thursday reported that…

An Open Letter to the President on Race

An Open Letter to the President on Race

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:07am

Dear Mr. President,

Do you remember any of your campaign ads from your 2000 Congressional campaign? I'm thinking specifically of a radio ad touting your support for a bill that required police officers to log the ethnicity of every driver they…

The NSA's Winter of Discontent

The NSA's Winter of Discontent

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:01pm

Originally posted on The Huffington Post.

The summer of Snowden is fast becoming the NSA's winter of discontent.

This week, tech giants Google, Apple, Facebook and others published an open letter to President Obama and Congress urging…

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