Blog of Rights

There Is No 5-Second Rule for the First Amendment, Ferguson

There Is No 5-Second Rule for the First Amendment, Ferguson

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 9:53am

Tear gas, rubber bullets, and assault weapons; free speech zones, gags, and press pens: This is the arsenal of the police state. Some of these tactics are physical. The other ones—all the more pernicious for their quiet coercion—impose a veil of silence over the actions of law enforcement. And each of these weapons has been unleashed on the people of Ferguson, Missouri, since the killing of Michael Brown.

50 Years after the Dream: Why Are We Filling our Jails with Kids of Color?

50 Years after the Dream: Why Are We Filling our Jails with Kids of Color?

By Mishi Faruqee, Juvenile Justice Policy Strategist, ACLU at 2:22pm

This week, fifty years after the March on Washington, President Obama stood on the National Mall and listed out some of the unfinished business of the civil rights movement. High up on the list: not letting our criminal justice system become "simply…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Three Faces of Racial Profiling: Immigrants are the Latest Victims

Three Faces of Racial Profiling: Immigrants are the Latest Victims

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office & Joanne Lin, Washington Legislative Office at 3:31pm

The Obama administration's federal immigration enforcement system includes two programs that are fraught with civil rights problems.

Krystin Polk (L) and her mother, Krystal (R)

How a Special Needs Kid Gets Handcuffed and Thrown in Jail "For Her Own Good"

By Carmel Ferrer at 10:55am

Like nearly half of children with autism spectrum disorder, Krystin Polk regularly attempts to wander from supervised, safe places such as her home or school.

The 13-year-old is enrolled at the Magnolia School for special education students…

Why Is Kyle Thompson Under House-Arrest?

Why Is Kyle Thompson Under House-Arrest?

By Diana Scholl, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 3:07pm

Kyle Thompson likes playing football, playing video games, and hanging out with his friends. The Michigan student has also been under house arrest since last March and barred from school for six months. Why? His teacher wanted to see a note he had…

From the Fair Housing Act to Ferguson: Where You Live Impacts How You're Policed

From the Fair Housing Act to Ferguson: Where You Live Impacts How You're Policed

By Larry Schwartztol, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 1:08pm

In less than 24 hours, the Supreme Court will hear a case that will define the future of decades-old legal protections against discrimination by landlords and banks against renters and homebuyers. The decision could have far-reaching consequences for…