Blog of Rights

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.
U.N.

A New U.N. Champion for Privacy

By Alex Sinha, Aryeh Neier Fellow, Human Rights Watch & ACLU at 4:08pm

The U.N. Human Rights Council voted today to establish a watchdog to monitor the state of privacy rights worldwide. That watchdog, called a special rapporteur, was created by a consensus vote of all members of the council. That’s very good news,…

Firing a Mom Because She's Breastfeeding Is Sex Discrimination

Firing a Mom Because She's Breastfeeding Is Sex Discrimination

By Galen Sherwin, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 4:11pm

A few months ago, I posted about Angela Ames, the Nationwide Insurance worker who alleged that she was denied a place to pump breast milk when she returned to work from maternity leave. When she protested, Angela was coerced into resigning by her supervisor,…

I Was Arrested for Learning a Foreign Language. Today, I Have Some Closure.

I Was Arrested for Learning a Foreign Language. Today, I Have Some Closure.

By Nick George at 11:14am

Five years ago, the Philadelphia police thought that carrying Arabic-language flashcards was enough to warrant the arrest of an innocent traveler. A settlement reached today in a lawsuit I brought against the police department makes it clear that it…

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…

America's Mass Incarceration Habit Needs a Serious Fix

America's Mass Incarceration Habit Needs a Serious Fix

By Michael K. Williams at 11:48am

When I was growing up in East Flatbush, one of the toughest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, one of my very best friends was something else. He, let's call him MZ, could have had Hollywood on a string. He was actually my inspiration for becoming an actor.

MZ,…

Domestic Drones

Unchecked Government Drones? Not Over My Backyard

By Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU Legislative Counsel at 3:23pm

This piece originally appeared in The Hill's Congress Blog.

On Thursday, The Federal Aviation Administration gave Amazon the green light to begin testing drones

While you aren’t likely to be getting your Amazon order delivered…

A Pregnant Worker’s Day in Court

A Pregnant Worker’s Day in Court

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 10:45am

A federal appeals court heard arguments in the case of Peggy Young v. UPSPeggy Young was a package delivery driver for UPS when she became pregnant and asked UPS for a light duty assignment, so that she could continue to work while pregnant, even though her doctor had recommended she not lift more than 20 pounds.

Dear TSA, My Football Preferences and Vacation Plans are None of your Business: A First-Hand Experience With the TSA’s “Chat-Downs”

Dear TSA, My Football Preferences and Vacation Plans are None of your Business: A First-Hand Experience With the TSA’s “Chat-Downs”

By Devon Chaffee, Legislative Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:51pm

I was scheduled to return from my summer vacation at 6 a.m. Sunday morning flying out of Vermont’s Burlington International Airport in a state most often thought to be ahead of the civil liberties curve. If you’ve ever had a crack-of-dawn…

Payckeck Fairness

Half a Century Later, Mad Men's Peggy Olson Is Still Waiting for Paycheck Fairness

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:14pm

Despite the popularity of the show “Mad Men,” we are no longer living in the 1960s, but the current gender wage gap doesn’t reflect that. Ongoing wage inequity should be a thing that’s in the past.

The persistent pay gap exists, despite…