Blog of Rights

Millions Severed From the Body Politic

Millions Severed From the Body Politic

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:43pm
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march for voting rights and the passage of the Voting Rights Act.  In this historic year, as we work to strengthen and update the law that protects voters of color at the polls, it is important to remember another ongoing denial of this most fundamental right. An estimated 5.85 million citizens cannot vote as a result of criminal convictions. Nearly 4.4 million of those have been released from prison and are living and working in our communities, yet they are denied a political voice. 
Discovering Hope in Selma

Discovering Hope in Selma

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 11:07am

Even with a ticket, I was unable to get close enough to hear President Obama or see any of the other notable people speaking at the Pettus Bridge in Selma last Saturday. And I was not among those fortunate enough to find space in the historic Brown…

Remembering the Sacrifices of Selma by Fulfilling its Promise

Remembering the Sacrifices of Selma by Fulfilling its Promise

By Dale Ho, Director, Voting Rights Project, ACLU at 12:14pm

On March 7 and 8, ACLU joined more than 80,000 Americans in Selma, Ala., to commemorate those who marched and risked their lives in Selma 50 years ago. Their bravery led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Being in this crowd commemorating…

Reflections From the Bridge: Where the Stain of Slavery and Segregation Met a Young Man's Courage and a Preacher's Dream

Reflections From the Bridge: Where the Stain of Slavery and Segregation Met a Young Man's Courage and a Preacher's Dream

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:42pm

On March 7 and 8, ACLU joined more than 80,000 Americans in Selma, Ala. to commemorate those who marched and risked their lives in Selma 50 years ago. Their bravery led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Being in this crowd commemorating…

We Must Honor the Legacy of Selma Foot Soldiers by Repairing What They Fought For

We Must Honor the Legacy of Selma Foot Soldiers by Repairing What They Fought For

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:53pm

In an important moment of bipartisanship, Congress unanimously passed a bill this month that honors the thousands of people who marched for voting rights 50 years ago in Selma, Alabama, with the Congressional Gold Medal, Congress’ highest civilian…

50 Years After MLK's Selma March, We're Still Fighting For Voting Rights

50 Years After MLK's Selma March, We're Still Fighting For Voting Rights

By Molly Rugg, Paralegal, ACLU at 4:07pm

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to demonstrate how vitally important it was that black Americans be able to exercise their fundamental right to vote. In Selma,…

For Some Convicted of Drug Offenses, the Punishment Never Ends

For Some Convicted of Drug Offenses, the Punishment Never Ends

By Julie Ebenstein, Staff Attorney, Voting Rights Project, ACLU at 4:42pm

Mass incarceration not only destroys families and mangles communities, it slowly erodes our democracy. Too many Americans convicted of nonviolent offenses, such as drug crimes, are punished with excessive prison sentences and then permanently ejected…

I Was Arrested for Voting

I Was Arrested for Voting

By Kelli Jo Griffin at 12:01pm

On Election Day in 2013, I took my four children with me to watch me register to vote and cast my ballot in a city election in my small town in Iowa. Earlier that day, my daughter's class learned about the meaning of democracy and the importance of…

Voters Tell Politicians, "Just Let Us Vote"

Voters Tell Politicians, "Just Let Us Vote"

By Eunice Hyon Min Rho, ACLU at 4:25pm

We've seen a wave of voter suppression laws across the country in recent years, which many have rightly characterized as a cynical attempt by politicians to manipulate the rules of the game.

Yesterday, however, we heard directly from voters…

Blacking Out the Vote

Blacking Out the Vote

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 9:51am

This was originally posted on The Huffington Post.

Voters are facing an ugly surprise on their way to the voting booth on Tuesday. What most people don't realize is that since 2006, some 34 state legislatures have worked diligently to chip…