Blog of Rights

"What could possibly justify a government knowingly forcing its citizens into ho

Pushed into Homelessness by Their Own Government

By Brandon Buskey, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 10:46am
On the outskirts of Florida's Miami-Dade County, dozens of individuals formerly convicted of sexual offenses live as exiles on an abandoned strip of land near a railroad track. The area has no shelter from the elements, no running water, and no bathrooms. The most fortunate inhabitants of this makeshift encampment sleep in cars or in tents. Others make due with a tarp or anything else that passes as cover. Each night brings new threats of violence, malnutrition, and disease.
"The Constitution Was Written for Everyone, Not Just for People Who Make $100,000 a Year"

"The Constitution Was Written for Everyone, Not Just for People Who Make $100,000 a Year"

By Ujala Sehgal, Deputy Communications Director, New York Civil Liberties Union at 5:23pm

You may not have heard of the lawsuit Hurrell-Harring v. New York, but you've probably heard of your "right to an attorney" as an American.

As seen on just about every episode of "Law & Order," when people are arrested, they are informed…

Jail Doesn't Help Addicts. Let's Stop Sending Them There.

Jail Doesn't Help Addicts. Let's Stop Sending Them There.

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 11:17am

Misti Barrickman has scoliosis. Since she was a teenager, it's been debilitating. It hurt to lie down. It hurt to stand up.

She started taking Oxycontin to help with the pain and became addicted. She came to Seattle to find large quantities…

Spotted on Campus: Up-Armored Mine-Resistant Monster Trucks

Spotted on Campus: Up-Armored Mine-Resistant Monster Trucks

By Samuel Weiss at 1:05pm

With the cost of tuition skyrocketing, you may be wondering why universities are getting mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles – or MRAPs ­– which are designed for the battlefield and cost $700,000.

The answer is simple: They don't…

For One Young Black Man in Newark, 'The Talk' was about Police

For One Young Black Man in Newark, 'The Talk' was about Police

By Michael Hobbs at 3:37pm

This piece was originally published on NJ.com.

When I was 14, my grandfather sat me down for "the talk" – not the birds and the bees, but "the billy clubs and the bullets."

I brushed him off. I thought that in my majority-black hometown…

Do Cops Really Need Tanks to Keep Us Safe?

Do Cops Really Need Tanks to Keep Us Safe?

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 3:11pm

This piece was originally published on The Crime Report.

The militarized law enforcement response to peaceful protests over the killing of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Mo. last month, has prompted several federal officials to question…

Border Crisis Prompting New Xenophobic Drumbeat for an Old Disgrace—Detention Camps

Border Crisis Prompting New Xenophobic Drumbeat for an Old Disgrace—Detention Camps

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 2:44pm

This piece originally appeared at The National Journal.

Seventy-two years ago, U.S. military officials labeled Japanese-Americans "an enemy race." Because they were Japanese-Americans, the government locked members of my family—along with…

Blurred photo of Supreme Court building

How the Supreme Court Could Have Ruled in Riley

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:17am

Privacy advocates are celebrating the Supreme Court’s recognition in yesterday’s Riley v. California ruling that, as some have succinctly put it, “digital is different.” Chief Justice Roberts’s 9-0 opinion in the case is straightforward and…

Dice Raw

We Shouldn't Arrest One More Person for Having Marijuana

By Dice Raw, Grammy Award-Nominated Singer/Songwriter at 3:16pm

I had a homie who was arrested for having an ounce of weed that was just for his personal use. He had full custody of his four children and still did 8 long months. My friend hasn't been the same since, to be quite honest, and I just can't…