Blog of Rights

Monica Jones at a press conference

Arrested for Walking While Trans: An Interview with Monica Jones

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 11:19am
In Phoenix, Arizona, you can be arrested for repeatedly stopping and engaging a passerby in conversation. This may, under Phoenix law, be evidence that you are "manifesting" an intent to engage in prostitution. Of course, this could also be evidence that you are lost or canvassing for a political group or simply talking about the weather. The difference between "innocent" and "criminal" behavior often comes down to how a person looks. Transgender women of color are often profiled by police as engaging in sex work for simply being outside and going about their daily routines. Amnesty International documented this disproportionate targeting by police of transgender women as sex workers in a 2005 report. "[S]ubjective and prejudiced perceptions of transgender women as sex workers often play a significant role in officers' decisions to stop and arrest transgender women," the report concluded. One woman told Amnesty, "'No tenemos el derecho a vivir.' (We don't have the right to live.)."
A Jury of One's Peers

A Jury of One's Peers

By Laughlin McDonald, Voting Rights Project at 11:20am

The ACLU has worked over the years to remove barriers to women serving on juries. Under English common law, which was the basis for early American law, women, except in a small category of cases, were deemed unfit to serve on juries under the doctrine…

The Legacies of Slavery and Jim Crow Live on With Exclusion of Home Health Care Workers from Fair Labor Laws

The Legacies of Slavery and Jim Crow Live on With Exclusion of Home Health Care Workers from Fair Labor Laws

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 4:04pm

This year, our nation came close to ending a shameful, nearly century-long chapter in history that carried on the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow for domestic workers in the U.S. But on the cusp of finally bringing justice to a neglected class of…

Domestic Violence as a Human Rights Violation

Domestic Violence as a Human Rights Violation

By Paola Garcia Rey, Counsel, Inter-American Human Rights System Project, Human Rights Institute, Columbia Law School at 8:46pm

This is a summary of Ms. Garcia Rey’s remarks from a panel discussion hosted by the ACLU Women’s Rights Project and Human Rights Program in conjunction with the 55th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

An…

The Lasting Impacts of Single-Sex Education

The Lasting Impacts of Single-Sex Education

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 2:08pm

As a visiting student at Barnard College years ago, I attended the transfer students’ orientation where each student was asked to explain why she had chosen Barnard.  I’ll never forget one woman’s response: Well, I went to an…

Religion Isn’t a Free Pass to Discriminate Against Employees

Religion Isn’t a Free Pass to Discriminate Against Employees

By Christina Brandt-Young, Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project & Jenny Lee, Staff Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union at 5:49pm

Across the country teachers at religiously affiliated schools are being fired for their reproductive choices.  What’s worse, the schools are unapologetic, claiming they have the right to discriminate because of their religious beliefs.

Emily…

5 Takeaways After Watching 'The Hunting Ground,' the New Documentary on Campus Sexual Violence

5 Takeaways After Watching 'The Hunting Ground,' the New Documentary on Campus Sexual Violence

By Sandra S. Park, Staff Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 3:57pm

Agonizing. Enraging. Inspiring. These are a few words that came to mind after watching "The Hunting Ground," a new documentary on campus sexual violence that opened this past weekend.

Like "The Invisible War," the Oscar-nominated documentary…

Budgeting Away Women's Reproductive Rights

Budgeting Away Women's Reproductive Rights

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office at 4:23pm

In its first month, Congress has launched assault after assault on the rights of women, and the federal budget process will be no different. Year after year the budget becomes a vehicle for a host of restrictions limiting access to reproductive health…

Reproductive Rights Shouldn't Be Just for the Rich

Reproductive Rights Shouldn't Be Just for the Rich

By Brigitte Amiri, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project at 3:11pm

I just returned from spending two weeks in Alaska challenging a law that withholds almost all Medicaid coverage for abortion from qualified women. Alaska is really far away, and two weeks is a long time to be away from my family, including my two-year-old…

Fairness for Workers Laboring in the Shadows

Fairness for Workers Laboring in the Shadows

By Sarah Mehta, Researcher, ACLU Human Rights Program at 1:05pm

Leopolda Zumaya was working as an apple picker in Pennsylvania when he fell from a tree, breaking his leg and leaving him with permanent nerve damage and a chronic pain disorder. A treating physician said Mr. Zumaya's injuries were among the worst…