Blog of Rights

Rachel
Myers

Rachel Myers is a senior communications strategist at the ACLU focusing on criminal justice issues. She worked previously at the ACLU of Maine and the Portland (ME) Education Partnership, where she trained teachers, students and community organizations to use service learning in the public schools. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

Trading Privacy for Benefits

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 12:38pm
The New York Times has this story about the dramatic increase in the number of states considering legislation that would mandate drug testing for poor people who rely on public assistance. The ACLU of Florida filed a lawsuit in September challenging Florida’s law — one of the most egregious we’ve seen — requiring applicants for cash assistance to submit to a drug test, at their own cost, in order to qualify for benefits. As we’ve said before, laws like Florida’s are costly, ineffective and unconstitutional.

Plata Decision: Good for the Constitution, Communities and Taxpayer Wallets

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 4:36pm

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the state of California to reduce its prison population in order to alleviate extreme overcrowding that endangers the health and safety of the state's prisoners and prison staff. The decision in…

ACLU Video: "No-Fly With Me"

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 2:41pm

Ayman Latif is a disabled U.S. Marine veteran living in Egypt with his wife and two young children. Adama Bah is a 22-year-old caregiver living in New York with asylum status that protects her from the persecution she would face if she returned…

Marijuana on the Ballot

Marijuana on the Ballot

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 7:29pm

Last night brought exciting signs that America is finally ready to choose sensible policies over draconian ones that deny sick people access to the medicine they need, and others that clog our criminal justice system with nonviolent marijuana users.…

Replace the Death Penalty in California

Replace the Death Penalty in California

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 2:55pm

Imagine for a minute that all the public busses in California sat dormant in a parking lot, never to run again. Imagine that the public schools sent all the kids home for good. Imagine also that state’s hospitals shuttered their doors and turned…

Senators To Hear Dangers of Long-Term Solitary Confinement

Senators To Hear Dangers of Long-Term Solitary Confinement

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 10:53am

The first-ever (and long-overdue) congressional hearing on solitary confinement convenes tomorrow, June 19, at 10 a.m. before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. You’ll be able to watch a webcast…

Op-Ed: A Judge’s Plea for Pot

Op-Ed: A Judge’s Plea for Pot

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 4:53pm

Today, in a powerful and brave opinion piece in the New York Times, Judge Gustin L. Reichbach tells of how he relies on marijuana to tame the abysmal effects of chemotherapy and radiation, which in turn are meant to tame the cancer that ravages his…

ACLU Lawsuit Challenges Violence in Baca's L.A. County Jails

ACLU Lawsuit Challenges Violence in Baca's L.A. County Jails

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 3:25pm

The lawsuit filed today charges L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca and his top commanders condoned a longstanding, widespread pattern of violence by deputies against inmates in the county jails.

Washington Post Editorializes on Solitary Confinement in Virginia

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 3:06pm

The Washington Post had this important editorial on the overuse of solitary confinement in Virginia prison. The Post calls on Virginia to follow in the footsteps of other states that have moved in the right direction and begun to reduce their reliance…

New Chance for Justice in Alabama

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 10:00am

This week we got the welcome news that the state of Alabama will not appeal a ruling ordering a new trial for ACLU client Montez Spradley, who was sentenced to death despite inadequate and very weak evidence, after his trial judge rejected the jury’s…

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