Blog of Rights

The United States Admits It Crossed a Line. That’s the Least of It.

The United States Admits It Crossed a Line. That’s the Least of It.

By Sarah Mehta, Researcher, ACLU Human Rights Program at 12:54pm
On Wednesday, the United Nations Committee Against Torture began its review of the United States’ record on torture—not only at the infamous Guantánamo Bay but closer to home, in our prisons, police forces, and immigration facilities.
Shocking Video from Maine Prison Shows a Restrained Prisoner Being Tortured with Pepper Spray

Shocking Video from Maine Prison Shows a Restrained Prisoner Being Tortured with Pepper Spray

By Maggie Heim, Litigation Fellow, ACLU & Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project & Eric Balaban, ACLU National Prison Project at 11:24am

You're never going to win… Bottom line is the house wins every time.

That's what Maine Correctional Center Captain Shawn Welch said to a prisoner who was strapped into a restraint chair, his face coated with pepper spray and his legs…

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…

End Near for Shackling of Pregnant Women

End Near for Shackling of Pregnant Women

By Joanne Lin, Washington Legislative Office at 4:51pm

The massive $1.1 trillion spending bill (“omnibus”) passed by Congress last week and signed into law by President Obama includes a significant victory: a provision aimed at ending the atrocious practice of shackling pregnant women in immigration…

An Evening Stroll, a Volley of Fire: A Senseless Death in Mexico

An Evening Stroll, a Volley of Fire: A Senseless Death in Mexico

By Mitra Ebadolahi, Border Litigation Staff Attorney, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties at 11:00am

On the night of October 10, 2012, U.S. Border Patrol agents shot and killed Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez. At the time of the shooting, Jose Antonio was unarmed and walking peacefully down a major street in Nogales, Mexico, directly across from the…

New Document Sheds Light on Government’s Ability to Search iPhones

New Document Sheds Light on Government’s Ability to Search iPhones

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project & Naomi Gilens, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 10:11am

Cell phone searches are a common law enforcement tool, but up until now, the public has largely been in the dark regarding how much sensitive information the government can get with this invasive surveillance technique. A document submitted to court…

School Is For Everyone: Celebrating Plyler v. Doe

School Is For Everyone: Celebrating Plyler v. Doe

By Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU at 10:11am

Jocelyn came to the United States when she was six years old, brought by a single mom who wanted her to go to school and have a better life than she did. Today, at age 14, Jocelyn is an honors student in Alabama, where she hopes to become the first in her family to graduate from high school, and to one day become a doctor. Jocelyn is striving to live the American Dream. 

Border Patrol Agents on motor bikes

Why is U.S. Border Patrol Shooting Rock-Throwing Teenagers?

By Vicki B. Gaubeca, ACLU of New Mexico at 12:15pm

Sixteen-year old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was walking near the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico to meet his brother for a late-night snack when he was fatally shot by U.S. Border Patrol agents. An autopsy later showed the body of the…

This Bill Is Mandating Perfect Border Security, Using Your Tax Dollars, Without a Plan.

This Bill Is Mandating Perfect Border Security, Using Your Tax Dollars, Without a Plan.

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 9:55am

Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, last year proposed a logical approach to border security: In rejecting measures to put the "cart" of border spending before the "horse" of measuring what resources are needed, he introduced…

A Dangerous Precedent: Why Allow Racial Profiling at or Near the Border?

A Dangerous Precedent: Why Allow Racial Profiling at or Near the Border?

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:11pm

At a moment when the federal government is taking racial profiling seriously, it was gratifying to read that Attorney General Eric Holder "told colleagues that he believed that border agents did not need to consider race or ethnicity." Racial profiling…