Blog of Rights

This Man Faces Life in Prison for...Rapping

This Man Faces Life in Prison for...Rapping

By David Loy, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties at 12:58pm

I've heard free speech isn't free, and Brandon Duncan, who raps as Tiny Doo, has learned that the hard way.

Until recently, Mr. Duncan spent eight months in jail on "gang conspiracy" charges arising from several shootings in San Diego from…

What a Black Armband Means, Forty Years Later

By Mary Beth Tinker at 1:21pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

Just before Christmas in 1965, a group of students in Des Moines, Iowa wore black armbands to school to mourn the dead in Vietnam. I was 13 and in eighth grade. The nightly TV news, with scenes of flaming…

On Leak Prosecutions, Obama Takes it to 11. (Or Should We Say 526?)

On Leak Prosecutions, Obama Takes it to 11. (Or Should We Say 526?)

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:58pm

James Risen is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. He's also currently under subpoena, possibly facing jail time, because of his reporting.

Specifically, he's being investigated because of an article on a CIA ploy to hinder Iran's quest for…

Censorship at the Smithsonian

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:58pm

Earlier this fall, "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture" made waves when it opened at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery here in Washington. It was the first major museum exhibition to focus on the lives and works…

Protecting Outrageous, Offensive Speech

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 4:15pm

Today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a crucial First Amendment case.

Most people are at least somewhat aware of Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church, notorious for protesting military funerals with its "God Hates…

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.

The Obama administration this week announced new guidance on how federal law enforcement agents may use race and other characteristics, such as religion and national origin, in their…

Not a Real Family? Book About Two Moms Banned in Utah School District

Not a Real Family? Book About Two Moms Banned in Utah School District

In Our Mothers’ House, by Patricia Polacco, is a children’s book about three adopted children and their two mothers.  In response to complaints from a subset of parents that the book “normalizes a lifestyle we don’t agree with,” Davis School District in Utah has instructed its elementary school librarians to remove all copies of the book from the library shelves and place the book behind a counter where students must have written parental permission to read it.

Police Shouldn't Just Film Themselves Being Santa's Helpers

Police Shouldn't Just Film Themselves Being Santa's Helpers

By Micah McCoy, ACLU of New Mexico at 4:47pm

You may have seen the viral video making the rounds on social media: a millionaire "Secret Santa" donated $100,000 to the sheriff's department in Jackson County, Missouri, to hand out to the less fortunate in the community. The generous donor said…

Banned Books Week: The Struggle Against Censorship Continues

Banned Books Week: The Struggle Against Censorship Continues

By Brian Hauss, Legal Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 11:32am

This week marks the 31st annual "Banned Books Week," the American Library Association's celebration of the freedom to read...