Blog of Rights


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.

Death By Missed Deadline

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 11:29am

Yesterday the Supreme Court heard the appeal of Cory Maples, a man facing death in Alabama because his lawyers were late filing the appeal of his conviction in state court. This excellent New York Times editorial describes how the sad emphasis on…

Charging for Prison Visits is Bad Business

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 6:53pm

We thought we’d heard it all when it came to the crazy ways corrections departments try to save money. That is, until we learned today that the Arizona Department of Corrections is charging people money to visit their loved ones in prison.


California Can Reform Solitary Confinement

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 11:26am

California's overuse of solitary confinement is inhumane, costly and jeopardizes public safety by ignoring the fact that normal human contact is essential for ensuring successful re-entry and reducing recidivism rates.

Now, following a weeks-long…

Louisiana: Act TODAY For Sensible Prison Reform!

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 4:06pm

Tomorrow, the Louisiana House will vote on House Bill 138, which would give individuals age 60 or older the right to a hearing before a parole board. The board could then determine whether these individuals can be safely released. In a state that…

ACLU Lens: Appeals Court Hears Case Challenging Patents on Breast Cancer Genes

ACLU Lens: Appeals Court Hears Case Challenging Patents on Breast Cancer Genes

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 5:43pm

A crowd of scientists, medical professionals and legal scholars packed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit yesterday to hear an appeal in our lawsuit challenging the patents on two human genes associated with hereditary breast and…

VICTORY! Court Says Plaintiffs Can Challenge Bush Wiretapping Law

VICTORY! Court Says Plaintiffs Can Challenge Bush Wiretapping Law

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 12:47pm

In a huge victory for privacy and the rule of law, a federal appeals court today reinstated our landmark lawsuit challenging the FISA Amendments Act (FAA), a statute that gives the executive branch virtually unchecked power to collect Americans'…

"No-Fly" With Me

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 4:38pm

Ayman Latif is a U.S. citizen and disabled Marine veteran living in Egypt with no way to travel to the United States, where he was born and raised, to introduce his new baby daughter to the rest of his family who still reside in the states. He also…

New National Security Strategy Misses the Mark

By Mandy Simon & Rachel Myers, ACLU at 11:34am

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

The Obama administration released its National Security Strategy (PDF) last week and, as you may have guessed, it covers several issues the ACLU cares about. Unfortunately, the strategy neglects to put forward…

Omar Khadr Is Not a Military Commissions Guinea Pig

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 4:18pm

The New York Times ran an excellent editorial today underscoring the injustice of prosecuting alleged former child soldier Omar Khadr in the first military commissions trial since the Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2009.

Despite improvements…

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