Day 3 of the Blog of Rights: Keep the Comments Coming!

We're astonished and thrilled by the amount of comments we've gotten on the Blog of Rights. Please keep it up!

To address some of them, a few housekeeping items:

  • The Blog of Rights will have a mix of guest bloggers and ACLU attorneys and staffers.
  • Unfortunately, because of the reasons laid out in our (quite lengthy) comment disclaimer, we cannot let the comments go unmoderated. We need to do this to protect our nonprofit status. We are not moderating for ideology or opinion — just to make sure that no comments do things that could cause us to incur legal liability, particularly in light of our nonprofit status. For example, we cannot have any endorsing or opposing of candidates for elective office. We would love to let the comment section be a free-for-all. But we just can't. Really. We're moderating as quickly as we can.
  • The bloggers are reading your comments and responding when able.
  • You might have noticed that we've added a "name" field in the comment section. You can now add your name, or you don't have to. If you leave it blank, it will just be listed as "Anonymous."
  • For interested parties, check out our statement on the 2nd Amendment.
  • Other interested parties might want to check out our statement on Texas's Yearning for Zion Ranch.

If you have any further questions about the ACLU Blog of Rights, email us at Or, just leave us a comment!

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I am always amazed how many people in the"Land of the Free" do not seem to understand what responsible freedom is and what produces and protects it.

1) Freedom is the inalienable right of any human to choose to think, say and do,whatever one wants, with the restriction that the choice does not significantly infringe on the equal rights of any other human. Freedom is the right to think,say or do what your neighbor and/or government in times past would persecute, jail and kill you for. Many people say they believe in freedom, but they often only mean the freedoms that they personally value not the freedoms their neighbor might value. If you were to ask a loyal Saddam supporter in Iraq before the U.S. attack, if they were free, they would probably say yes because the freedoms they valued would be legal. They would claim that only crminal law breakers have a problem with Saddam. If this definition of freedom were true then all nations and empires have been free. I am sure Hitler felt like he was "free" in Nazi Germany!

2) Politicians are always talking about supporting freedom through the establishment of democracies in non-democratic nations. It seems like they fail to understand that freedom is not created by democracy. Freedom, in order to exist in any nation, must be established and protected by a covenant agreement such as the U.S. Constitution which is agreed to by the government and the governed. A democracy without this condition is simply another form of tyranny. It is the U.S. Constitution with its' checks and balances and the Bill of Rights that is responsible for producing and protecting freedom in the U.S. of A.!

Kathleen Flynn

(letter to Time magazine)

Joe Klein is off base with his Tone-Deaf Democrats. He writes about a question put to candidates regarding human rights and national security and quotes Richardson and Obama as saying that "human rights was an essential component of U.S. foreign policy." Since when? Where were they when the U.S. was building secret prisons throughout Europe? Have they visited Guantanomo lately? Must a country adopt a democratic form of government to enjoy human rights?
Klein goes on to write about FISA: "But to safeguard against civil liberty abuse all records of clearly nontargeted Americans ... would be, in effect, erased. Who decides who the nontargeted Americans will be? Who decides who the "suspected terrorists" are? When TSA searches the persons of elderly, Caucasian adults at an airport does that mean they could be terror suspects? I recommend the candidates and Congress re-read Amendment IV of the United States Constitution. FISA is not only ill-advised, it is illegal and unconstitutional. I have a right to be secure in my person, house, papers, and effects. One of my human rights is the right to privacy. And, I would argue, one of the human rights of people in other countries is a right to privacy.
Our nation is not secure because we use force instead of diplomacy. We use bribes instead of trade agreements. We have the keystone cops running the gargantuan office of Homeland Security.
Finally, Klein writes that Bush naively supports democracy in other countries, thus destabilizing the Middle East. The United States destabilized the Middle East 4 decades ago and it wasn’t for democracy that Bush invaded a sovereign nation.

Kathleen Flynn


The ACLU official position on the 2nd Amendment is badly in need of updating. According to the link the ACLU position hasn't been reassesed since 2002. That's a bad idea in light of the upcoming SCOTUS decision on D.C. v Heller.

If this June the Supreme Court upholds the power of the 2nd Amendment, as is widely anticipated by all interested parties, how humiliating will it be for the ACLU to have a position on the Bill Of Rights which diminishes freedom compared to the official Supreme Court position? Won't that contrast harm the legitimacy of the ACLU when it comes to the other portions of the Bill Of Rights that the ACLU supports? Shouldn't the ACLU reverse their stance on the 2nd Amendment before the damage is done?


Do you have a section on "Sex Offender Laws and Issues?"

I have a blog about many of these issues and was wondering what, if anything, is being done about the draconian, unconstitutional sex offender laws?


Also, see this "Letter to the ACLU" which a friend of mine prepared.

Let me know what you think...


I am not a lawyer and have only a general understanding of the laws regarding content posted on websites. As far as I understand, the originator of the web site is considered to be responsible for all content posted by users and this is why comments on a site like this need to be moderated. It just seems terribly ironic that on the website of the premier organization fighting for free speech, users have to be restricted in what they can say. This sounds like a case for the ACLU.


I would also like to know what position the ACLU holds on the proliferation of laws related to regsitered sex offenders. Every ounce of these laws seem to violate the rights, liberties, and freedoms of people who have served their time. For example, restrictions on the use of the Internet seems to violate one's 1st ammendement right, or, more generally, every law seems to violate the the 8th ammendment prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment. Since when is it American to require a group of people to appear on a public registry (sounds an awful lot like German Nazi to me)? Since when is it American to limit the freedom to travel, or live where one wants to live? Since when is it American to prohibit one's ability to be in certain public places or to add additional penalties to one's conviction 5, 10, or 15 years after the fact? I am surprised the ACLU has not done more to protect the rights of 650,000 people who happen to be registered sexual offenders.


What can a person do when there BIll OF RIGHTS are being violated?? It cost lots of money to obtain an attorney now a days...and non-profit organizations have hoops to jump through and even then they may not help...

What is the middle class suppose to do?? Just take a plea even through they are innocent...because if they go to trial they may "piss" off the judge for filling their docket with a trial..then end up in jail...and in the process of this fight...their 6th and 8th amendment has been you have the original attorney fees and now you are looking at even more attorney fees...

When is it enough to show the truth and that be only the thing needed to have justice served...where is TRUTH...?? Oh that's right being human allows for error so an officer can get on the stand and say what will get the conviction at any cost...

Okay...sorry I got so long winded but it's sad this country has become the way it has...and I am currently living in a whirl wind of a nightmare called the justice system...

Hope the ACLU keeps up the good work but doesn't forget the little people...not just the big cases that get public attention..



Roberta Wootton

Just had the Village Codes Inspector, their plumber and the building maintenance man to my apartment because of problems I am experiencing with the plumbing. When I told the inspector some of things this guy has done, the maintenance man denied that he ever did it. I've watched him tell these lies in front of me knowing that I know the truth. When they left I powered up my computer and I'm reading about Bush's former press secretary finding out that the president lied about these important matters and I realize that this is the new truth. If the president can lie about his role in an event, then so can the rest of the population. How very sad!


This new AZ law lumps all sex offender crimes as "equal." Teenage sexual interest and activity is certainly not new, and if a vindictive teenager wants to play games and "get" another person in trouble...all they need to do is cry molestation, rape, or placing child porn maliciously on someone's computer and then reporting this to law enforcement.
The teenager (often as young as 12, going on 18) can deny they lied or orchestrated their claims, and do so with parent's support. An alleged victim of this malicious accusation is now labeled a sex offender for life. Prosecutors, who perform no honest investigation, love this new way to add to their conviction rate.


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