Blog of Rights

37 Senators to President Obama – The Time to Ban LGBT Discrimination by Federal Contractors Is NOW

37 Senators to President Obama – The Time to Ban LGBT Discrimination by Federal Contractors Is NOW

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:31pm
Today, 37 members of the U.S. Senate – led by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) – sent a letter to the White House urging President Obama to issue an executive order to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by federal contractors. The senators, all of whom are supporters of the long sought Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), rightly describe the executive order as a "critical step that you can take today toward ending discrimination in the workplace."
Protecting Constitutional Principles — Even After Disasters

Protecting Constitutional Principles — Even After Disasters

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Tyler Ray, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:47pm

This was cross-posted to the American Constitution Society blog. 

The impact Superstorm Sandy had on homes, businesses, nonprofits, and houses of worship across the Northeast was devastating. And still, in the wake of the storm, these…

Debunked NYPD Radicalization Report Just Won't Die

Debunked NYPD Radicalization Report Just Won't Die

By Mike German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:51pm

Like a villain in a horror movie, the widely debunked concept of terrorist "radicalization" is once again raised from the grave by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) in its 2013 report, "American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat." CRS is an influential legislative branch agency charged with providing objective policy analysis for members of Congress, which makes its continued reliance on the "radicalization" model promoted in a now-discredited 2007 New York Police Department report, "Radicalization in the West," particularly troublesome.

"Our Journey is Not Complete" – Equal Pay Requires Passage of Paycheck Fairness Act

"Our Journey is Not Complete" – Equal Pay Requires Passage of Paycheck Fairness Act

By Cynthia Bell, ACLU & Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:31am

In the 50 years since President John Kennedy signed into law the Equal Pay Act of 1963, wages for women still do not equal those of men...

UPS Pushed Me Out Of The Workplace When I Got Pregnant

UPS Pushed Me Out Of The Workplace When I Got Pregnant

By Julie Desantis-Mayer at 4:15pm

I've worked at United Parcel Service (UPS) for almost 10 years.  Initially I got this job because I needed a part-time job with benefits while attending college and UPS seemed like an ideal place to work. Reality set in nine years later when I…

ACLU of Kentucky Celebrates Victory in Vicco

ACLU of Kentucky Celebrates Victory in Vicco

By Amber G. Duke, Communications Manager, ACLU of Kentucky at 10:19am

A small town in eastern Kentucky is making some big news. Vicco, Kentucky adopted a fairness ordinance, meaning one that prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based upon a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation…

A School Voucher by Any Other Name

A School Voucher by Any Other Name

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 11:25am

Thirty million. That’s the amount of tax dollars that could be diverted annually from New Hampshire’s coffers to private schools by the year 2022 if the state is allowed to implement its new Education Tax Credit Program. Under the tax credit…

The First Contraceptive Rule Case to Reach an Appeals Court on the Merits

The First Contraceptive Rule Case to Reach an Appeals Court on the Merits

By Brigitte Amiri, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project at 4:31pm

Yesterday the ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the first challenge to the federal contraceptive rule to reach an appeals court on the merits.  The federal contraceptive rule requires health plans to cover contraception without a co-pay, and despite the plethora of lawsuits, the rule is clearly constitutional.     

The Sweeping License to Discriminate Hidden in the NDAA

The Sweeping License to Discriminate Hidden in the NDAA

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:58pm

With Congress having recently approved this year’s NDAA, we think it is important to draw attention to a provision (Section 533(a)(1)), which, though hidden away, is unprecedented, sweeping, and could invite dangerous claims of a right to discriminate against not just lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members, but also women, religious minorities, and in the provision of health care.

It Doesn’t Matter How Many Lawsuits Are Filed, the Contraception Rule Is Constitutional

It Doesn’t Matter How Many Lawsuits Are Filed, the Contraception Rule Is Constitutional

By Brigitte Amiri, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project at 4:20pm

Sheer repetition of an incorrect argument does not make that argument correct.  This holds true for the lawsuits challenging the federal contraception rule, which ensures that millions of women will have access to contraception without a co-pay.  Those who are trying to eliminate the rule in the courts have now filed almost 45 lawsuits.  They can file 100 lawsuits, but it won’t change the legal analysis.  As we’ve said before, the contraception rule is constitutional.  For the last five decades, courts have held that rules designed to eradicate discrimination – like the contraception rule – cannot be trumped by a business owner’s religious beliefs.