Blog of Rights

DHS Sends Troublingly Mixed Messages on Secure Communities Reform

DHS Sends Troublingly Mixed Messages on Secure Communities Reform

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:01am

UPDATE: ICE Director Sarah R. Saldaña had this to say on Friday afternoon about her comments regarding Secure Communities: “Any effort at federal legislation now to mandate state and local law enforcement’s compliance with ICE detainers will,…

Poverty Is Not a Crime, Whether You Live in DeKalb County or Ferguson or Anywhere Else

Poverty Is Not a Crime, Whether You Live in DeKalb County or Ferguson or Anywhere Else

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 4:42pm

Kevin Thompson, a black teenager in Georgia, was jailed for five days in December 2014 because he could not afford to pay court-ordered fines and company fees related to a traffic ticket.

In January, the ACLU, the ACLU of Georgia, and the Southern…

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…

Why Utah Is No Utopia for LGBT Equality Despite Progress

Why Utah Is No Utopia for LGBT Equality Despite Progress

By Rose Saxe, AIDS Project at 1:00pm

The passage of a bill in Utah last week that will protect gay and transgender people from discrimination in housing and employment is a timely and important achievement: It ensures that the LGBT community cannot be singled out for unequal…

Be Careful With Your Micro-Expressions at the Airport

Be Careful With Your Micro-Expressions at the Airport

By Hugh Handeyside, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 7:25am

You're late for your flight, sweaty from having dragged your luggage to the check-in counter, and stressed about making it through security before boarding begins. For some of us, this is the rule, not the exception. For most of us, it's a pretty unremarkable…

Photo of police officer holding nightstick

We Need to Move Beyond the Frame of the “Bad Apple Cop”

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 6:27am

I and others have argued that video has “killed trust in police officers.” Police have been able to get away with a lot of abuse because judges, juries, and the public have usually deemed police officers more credible than abuse victims. But with…

How Did a Lifelong Prison Sentence for an Iraq Vet Turn Into an Imminent Death Sentence?

How Did a Lifelong Prison Sentence for an Iraq Vet Turn Into an Imminent Death Sentence?

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:39pm

Courtney Lockhart is an Iraqi war veteran now on Alabama's death row, but he shouldn't be.

The jury that heard the prosecutor's request for his execution voted unanimously against it, opting instead for life imprisonment after hearing evidence…

Big Government v. Traumatized Defenseless Children = Justice?

Big Government v. Traumatized Defenseless Children = Justice?

By Joanne Lin, Washington Legislative Office at 1:26pm

Imagine a child alone in immigration court – defenseless – representing herself against a government prosecutor, standing before an immigration judge, and trying, in a language she does not speak, to make a case for her life. Unfortunately, this…

Hillary Clinton testifying

Politics Swirling Around Clinton Email Scandal Obscure Real Problems

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:30am

Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server while secretary of state has inevitably become a fully inflated political football in these early days of the 2016 presidential race—with the right somehow linking the emails to the late Vince Foster,…