Blog of Rights

What Have We Learned from the Spies of Mississippi?

What Have We Learned from the Spies of Mississippi?

By Hugh Handeyside, Staff Attorney, ACLU, National Security Project at 2:45pm
The documentary film "Spies of Mississippi," which aired on PBS on Monday, is a grim reminder of the depths that Mississippi authorities plumbed in their efforts to subvert the civil rights movement. The film chronicles the role of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, a secret, state-funded agency established by the Mississippi legislature in 1956. Using a range of spy tactics, the Commission sought to maintain racial segregation, preserve Jim Crow laws, and prevent "federal encroachment" in Mississippi.
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…

All Eyes on Arpaio

All Eyes on Arpaio

By Cecillia Wang, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project at 9:58am

A federal judge in Arizona has delivered a major – and hopefully final – victory in the fight to stop Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) from racial profiling and illegal detentions that target Latinos.

In…

Kanye West, "New Slaves" and a Long Tradition of Locking People Up for Profit

Kanye West, "New Slaves" and a Long Tradition of Locking People Up for Profit

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 12:19pm

Projecting his latest music video onto the sides of 66 buildings around the world over the weekend, Kanye West debuted his new song...

Author Shoshana Hebshi

Two And A Half Years After Being Racially Profiled, A First Victory

By Shoshana Hebshi, ACLU Plaintiff at 12:29pm

More than two years ago, on September 11, 2011, I was stuck on a grounded airplane in Detroit. At first I thought we were just waiting for our gate to clear, but then our plane taxied to an isolated part of the tarmac. Police vehicles appeared, and…

What Rights?

What Rights?

By Melinda Chateauvert, Author of Sex Workers Unite! A History of the Movement from Stonewall to SlutWalk at 4:22pm

Melinda Chateauvert will read excerpts from Sex Workers Unite! and sign copies of the book on Wednesday, March 12. For more information and to RSVP, visit http://sexworkersunite.eventbrite.com.

Do sex workers have rights? Put another way, can…

What a Waste

What a Waste

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 9:51am

It's time to abandon the mindset that our criminal justice system should only be about extreme, one-size-fits-all punishment – particularly when the skyrocketing number of these sentences being meted out is grossly out of proportion with crime rates, which are falling.

How to Process Eric Holder’s Major Criminal Law Reform Speech

How to Process Eric Holder’s Major Criminal Law Reform Speech

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice at 2:10pm

Attorney General Eric Holder just called mass incarceration a moral and economic failure. He just outlined several major proposals that he says will help to ease major overcrowding in federal prisons. And he just suggested that federal prosecutors…

#DearMrPresident: Stop Profiling Us

The Perversity of Profiling

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 2:19pm

The Justice Department is considering revised racial profiling guidance that, if issued, could set back race relations and basic fairness in this country. We hope that it does not make that mistake.

The New York Times on Thursday reported that…

Court-Sanctioned Extortion by Private Probation Companies: Modern Debtors' Prisons

Court-Sanctioned Extortion by Private Probation Companies: Modern Debtors' Prisons

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 10:46am

Yesterday, Human Rights Watch released Profiting from Probation, a report that confirms the ACLU's worst fears about the privatization of probation services: for-profit companies are increasingly working with county and city courts around the country…