Blog of Rights

Protecting and Serving All, Regardless of Faith

Protecting and Serving All, Regardless of Faith

By Edward L. Smith, Former Chief of Police at 4:47pm
As a former police chief of numerous Oklahoma towns, including Seminole, Clinton, Blackwell, Owasso, Bethany, and Chickasha, I have seen officers disciplined for a variety of insubordinate acts. During my 35 years in law enforcement, however, I have never had to discipline an officer for refusing to carry out an assignment because he objects to the faith of the individuals he has been ordered to serve. Indeed, no officer serving under me has claimed that right because every law enforcement official knows that refusing orders on these grounds would not only amount to insubordination, but would also violate the oath sworn by all officers to uphold the U.S. Constitution. That oath requires that as, police officials, we serve and protect all members of the community, regardless of faith or belief.
FBI Official Agrees with ACLU: Suspicionless Surveillance is Ineffective and Counterproductive

FBI Official Agrees with ACLU: Suspicionless Surveillance is Ineffective and Counterproductive

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:11pm

This week a high-level FBI official made some welcome comments on the NYPD's spying on New York City's Muslim communities and organizations that mirror the ACLU's own position on the suspicionless surveillance.

As you know, we at the ACLU…

Why Is Wyoming Discriminating Against Jewish Prisoners?

Why Is Wyoming Discriminating Against Jewish Prisoners?

By Carrie Ellen Sager, PFRB Legal Fellow, ACLU at 1:50pm

The Wyoming Department of Corrections (WDOC) prohibits Jewish prisoners in Wyoming from wearing a kippah (also known as a yarmulke) anywhere other than in their own cells or during religious services. Today, the ACLU and the ACLU of Wyoming sent a…

How I'm Celebrating Gloria Steinem's Birthday

How I'm Celebrating Gloria Steinem's Birthday

By Diana Scholl, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 8:23am

What would happen, for instance, if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not? The answer is clear - menstruation would become an enviable, boast-worthy, masculine event: Men would brag about how long and how much. Boys…

An Unthinkable Choice

An Unthinkable Choice

By Alicia Gay, ACLU at 10:41am

Asia Myers, a pregnant woman expecting a baby girl in less than a month, works for an employer that forced her to make an unthinkable choice between a healthy pregnancy and her paycheck.

Early in her pregnancy, Asia suffered from complications…

The Good, Bad, and Ugly for Religious Liberty and LGBT Rights in Defense Bill

The Good, Bad, and Ugly for Religious Liberty and LGBT Rights in Defense Bill

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:15pm

A sure sign of early summer in Washington, besides the sticky, humid air, is the House and Senate Armed Services Committees kicking off the annual process to pass the defense authorization bill – known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).…

Cheerleaders and Bible Verses

Cheerleaders and Bible Verses

By Aleksandr Sverdlik, Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 1:50pm

We…! We are…! We are unconstitutional!

The beginning of September marks the coming of a new school year, and with it, a new high school football season.  But for one public school in Texas, Friday night lights are more like a Sunday…

Creationism Follies: The 2012-2013 Edition

Creationism Follies: The 2012-2013 Edition

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 11:53am

This past April, when an image of a fourth-grade science quiz on dinosaurs went viral, many people did not believe it was real. The incredible quiz asked students to affirm that the earth is not billions of years old, that dinosaurs and people lived…

Use Birth Control? You're Fired!

Use Birth Control? You're Fired!

By Jennifer Dalven, Reproductive Freedom Project at 6:36pm

No joke: A bill pending in Arizona would give your boss the green light to fire you for using birth control.

ACLU Sues Missouri School District for Illegally Censoring LGBT Websites

ACLU Sues Missouri School District for Illegally Censoring LGBT Websites

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 4:32pm

Can't say we didn't warn them. Back in May, as part of our Don't Filter Me project, the ACLU sent a letter to the Camdenton School District informing them that the web filters they use on school computers were unconstitutionally blocking access…