Blog of Rights

Poor People Have Rights Too

Poor People Have Rights Too

By Rachel Bloom, ACLU at 4:05pm

Drug-testing those applying for public assistance is unconstitutional, shortsighted and will end up costing states more than any possible savings.

Kaleb Winston and his parents

In Perverse Equation, Sketches + Skin Color = Gang Tagger

By Carmel Ferrer at 4:26pm

Kaleb Winston loved to draw. A sketchpad never far from reach, he drew constantly, hoping one day to be an architect like his grandfather.

That was before the gang sweep.

In December 2010, two plainclothes police officers approached…

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…

Why Are These Indian Children Being Torn Away From Their Homes?

Why Are These Indian Children Being Torn Away From Their Homes?

By Stephen Pevar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU at 10:19am

Imagine entering family court and knowing that what's at stake is the person you hold most dear – your child. Now imagine having a judge tell you that he's removing your child from your custody, from your home. When you ask him why, the judge's replies,…

Shut Up or Get Out: PA City Punishes Domestic Violence Victims Who Call the Police

Shut Up or Get Out: PA City Punishes Domestic Violence Victims Who Call the Police

By Sandra Park, ACLU at 3:24pm

Last year in Norristown, Pa., Lakisha Briggs' boyfriend physically assaulted her, and the police arrested him. But in a cruel turn of events...

Editorial: Drug-Testing Welfare Applicants Nets Little

Editorial: Drug-Testing Welfare Applicants Nets Little

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 4:00pm

An editorial in yesterday's USA Today takes a hard look at the recent push to drug-test applicants for public assistance across the country. The verdict? "Until states can come up with a smarter way to ferret out the abusers while protecting…

We Know That Stop-and-Frisk is All Kinds of Horrible: So Why Is it Expanding Nationwide?

We Know That Stop-and-Frisk is All Kinds of Horrible: So Why Is it Expanding Nationwide?

By Robert Hunter, Legal Assistant, ACLU, Racial Justice Program at 3:51pm

I was going to the store for my mother. And then when I came out the building I see my uncle and he's coming from the way I'm going and we walk back to the store...

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…

Crop of image by Arlo Bates via Flickr

When Big Data Becomes a Civil Rights Problem

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:06am

My colleague Jay Stanley just wrote about an invasive new police tactic employed by the Chicago Police Department. Using software created by an engineer at the Illinois Institute of Technology, the city developed a “’heat list’ — an index of…

Racial Profiling at Logan Airport Undermines Security and Freedom

Racial Profiling at Logan Airport Undermines Security and Freedom

By Carol Rose, Executive Director, ACLU of Massachusetts at 6:10pm

Reports that the so-called "behavioral detection program" at Logan Airport leads to racial profiling is front-page news in today's Sunday New York Times. You have to admire the courage of the TSA screeners who raised the alarm that pressure from TSA management to meet quotas leads to targeting of passengers based on their race, ethnicity, and religion-- even when they clearly pose no terrorist threat.