Blog of Rights

An Important Victory for Indian Tribes

An Important Victory for Indian Tribes

By Peter Beauchamp, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 1:20pm
This week, the ACLU won an important battle on the road toward protecting the rights of American Indian children and their parents and tribes. Chief Judge Jeffrey L. Viken of South Dakota's federal District Court ruled that a lawsuit filed by the ACLU in March of 2013 can go forward, rejecting motions filed by the defendants that sought to have the case dismissed. The suit, brought on behalf of the Oglala and Rosebud Sioux Indian Tribes and a class of Indian parents, aims to ensure that state courts in South Dakota respect the rights granted to Indian parents by the Constitution's Due Process Clause and the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA). The defendants include a state court judge, a county prosecutor, and the director of the South Dakota Department of Social Services.
6 To-Dos for Obama's Sixth Year as POTUS

6 To-Dos for Obama's Sixth Year as POTUS

By Shawn Jain, Media Strategist, ACLU at 12:54pm

Last night's State of the Union address covered many issues important to Americans, including economic inequality, winding down foreign wars, climate change, pay equity, closing Guantanamo, voting rights, and much more.

But from a civil liberties…

Southwest Border Tour Excludes Border Communities

Southwest Border Tour Excludes Border Communities

By Mitra Ebadolahi, Border Litigation Staff Attorney, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties & James Lyall, Border Litigation Staff Attorney, ACLU of Arizona at 4:54pm

Newly confirmed Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson wrapped up a two-day visit to the southwest border region last week, starting in McAllen, Texas, and ending in Tucson, Ariz. The stated purpose of the trip was to "tour border operations, receive…

An Unequal Playing Field: A Response To Richard Sherman's Post Super Bowl Playoff Game "Outburst"

An Unequal Playing Field: A Response To Richard Sherman's Post Super Bowl Playoff Game "Outburst"

By Nirali Beri, Legal Assistant, ACLU, Racial Justice Project at 10:14am

After two hard fought games over the weekend, it was determined that the Denver Broncos would be facing the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII next month. Both teams have overcome significant obstacles this season to reach the championship…

The Fierce Urgency of Now: Honoring Dr. King by Working for Economic Justice

The Fierce Urgency of Now: Honoring Dr. King by Working for Economic Justice

By Rachel Goodman, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 11:55am

This week, as we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, you’ll hear a lot, as we usually do, about the heroic work he did to move America past the era of state-enforced racial segregation.  Mainly, we remember Dr. King as a prophet of…

How Will the Trillions in Federal Spending Affect Immigration?

How Will the Trillions in Federal Spending Affect Immigration?

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office at 4:14pm

Congress took an important step this week by passing an omnibus appropriations bill— one giant package to replace 12 spending bills that Congress passes in a normal year to keep the government running for the rest of FY 2014 and avoid another government…

Is Race Discrimination in School Discipline a Real Problem?

Is Race Discrimination in School Discipline a Real Problem?

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:04pm

The Department of Justice and Department of Education announced today what we have known to be true for a long time: yes, race discrimination in school discipline is a real problem.

At an event with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Attorney…

Florida Cannot Drug Test People Simply Because They’re Poor

Florida Cannot Drug Test People Simply Because They’re Poor

By Jason Williamson at 3:30pm

Remember that amazing Daily Show segment a couple years ago in which a correspondent asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to pee into a cup? Governor Scott was dead set on forcing some of the state's poorest, most vulnerable citizens to submit to humiliating…

States Surge Forward on Immigrants' Rights in 2013

States Surge Forward on Immigrants' Rights in 2013

By Jonathan Blazer, ACLU at 3:17pm

As 2013 comes to a close, political pundits will no doubt say that the big immigration story of the year was the paralysis of national immigration reform inside the Washington D.C. beltway. That may be so, if all you're doing is counting lines of copy.…

Data Suggests Boston Police Targeted Black & Working Class Areas For Surveillance

Data Suggests Boston Police Targeted Black & Working Class Areas For Surveillance

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 5:38pm

Earlier this week the ACLU of Massachusetts called for a statewide moratorium on the use of license plate readers. We did so because a MuckRock/Boston Globe investigation revealed serious abuses by the Boston Police Department in its use of the controversial…