Blog of Rights

This Week in Civil Liberties (5/11/12)

By Rekha Arulanantham, ACLU at 5:20pm

Which Internet company is in court protecting one of its user's right to free speech?

Which state voted to ban marriage for same-sex couples?

Which politician endorsed the freedom to marry for same-sex couples this week?

Which judicial body did ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero describe as a system is "set up to guarantee convictions and hand down death sentences, nothing more?"

What bill would be a good start to prohibiting employers from asking for employees' or job applicants' social networking passwords?

Twitter Stands Up For One Of Its Users
Twitter has filed a motion in state court in New York seeking to quash a court order requiring it to turn over information about one of its users and his communications on Twitter. This particular case involves Malcolm Harris, who is being prosecuted by the District Attorney's Office in Manhattan for disorderly conduct in connection with the Occupy Wall Street protest that occurred on the Brooklyn Bridge last year.

North Carolinians Voted On Anti-LGBT Amendment One Tuesday
North Carolinians went to the polls this week to vote on Amendment One, a constitutional amendment that bans civil unions and domestic partnerships by making marriage between a man and a woman the only "domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized" in the state.

ACLU Lens: President Obama Endorses Freedom to Marry for Same-Sex Couples
President Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to endorse the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. While in office, Obama and his administration have taken critical strides toward LGBT equality by refusing to defend the discriminatory and unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act in court and pushing Congress to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and reaffirming support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

The Shame of Guantánamo: A Close-Up View of Injustice
Last Saturday, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero watched, as a human rights observer, the arraignment of five accused conspirators in the 9/11 attacks. In this blog post, he demonstrates his disappointment with the Guantánamo military commissions in describing government censorship of the court proceedings and the inadequate resources provided to the defense.

Password Protection Act of 2012: A Good Start Against Employer Snooping
This week, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and a number of co-sponsors filed the Password Protection Act of 2012 in the Senate and House to prevent employers from strong-arming employers and job applicants into sharing information from their personal social networking accounts. It's an important idea and one that we've been pushing for more than a year, but the bill itself doesn't go as far as we think it should.

This is your week in civil liberties. Let us know if this is useful or if you'd like to see changes. Share your thoughts: ideas@aclu.org

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