Blog of Rights

Mandela Faced the "Goliath" of Racial Discrimination

Mandela Faced the "Goliath" of Racial Discrimination

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 3:21pm

Nelson Mandela's life is a rebuke to oppression and to those who would respond with frustrated resignation or hatred. It is difficult to imagine a more unlikely success story against seemingly impossible odds. South Africa's system of apartheid seemed…

ACLU Sues California Over Public School Fees for Students

By David Sapp, ACLU of Southern California at 1:40pm

Our nation’s public schools represent the highest and most revolutionary ideal of American democracy — that through education open to all on an equal basis, every child can achieve his or her full potential as a result of merit and hard…

Juwan Wickware being interrogated

Only in America: 16-Year-Old Locked Up for the Rest of His Life

By Steven M. Watt, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program & Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 4:37pm

Juwan Wickware wasn't the shooter. But he and more than 2,500 others nationwide will enter prison as teenagers, grow into adults, and die – all behind bars.

This is not right. The sentence must fit the crime, and we cannot throw…

Replacing the Noose With a Needle: The Legacy of Lynching in the United States

Replacing the Noose With a Needle: The Legacy of Lynching in the United States

By Angel Harris, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:28pm

Ida B. Wells said it best, "Our country's national crime is lynching."

Last week, we were reminded of this when the Equal Justice Initiative released its report, "Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror." A gruesome history…

How US Prison Officials Rubber-Stamped a CIA Torture Chamber

How US Prison Officials Rubber-Stamped a CIA Torture Chamber

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 3:43pm

The CIA's chief interrogator called it "the closest thing he has seen to a dungeon."

At the agency's COBALT detention site in Afghanistan – also known as the "Salt Pit" – detainees were kept in total darkness, shackled to the floors or…

NSA Surveillance Unravels International Law

NSA Surveillance Unravels International Law

By Zak Newman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:29pm

It wasn't long ago that President Obama announced on Reddit, "We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody - from those who are expressing an idea to those who want to start a business."

The NSA's surveillance…

No, Senator, You Can’t Have the Torture Report Back (UPDATED)

No, Senator, You Can’t Have the Torture Report Back (UPDATED)

By Ashley Gorski, Nadine Strossen Fellow, National Security Project, ACLU at 5:44pm

Update (2/10/15): It looks like Senator Burr won’t get the torture report back, after all! In response to our emergency motion, filed late last month, the government has committed to “preserving the status quo” – in other words, it will hold…

Getting Gitmo Down to Zero

Getting Gitmo Down to Zero

By Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:51pm

On January 11, 2002, the first prisoners were slammed into hastily assembled cages at the Guantánamo Navy base, and men then streamed in from across the globe. Typically brought into custody without even the most basic due process review, the newly…

Human Rights Abuse In Plain Sight: Migrant Workers in the U.S.

By Chandra Bhatnagar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 11:57am

(Originally posted on Huffington Post.)

Today is International Migrants Day, marking the anniversary of the passage of a United Nations resolution adopting the landmark International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant…