Blog of Rights

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, & Elena Kagan. Photo: S. Petteway

Religious Beliefs Don't "Trump" Women's Equality

By Brigitte Amiri, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project at 11:06am
The imposing columns. The ornate and soaring ceiling. The hushed tone. The Supreme Court feels like a place where justice happens. There is a sense of importance, reverence, and loftiness. I've worked on every reproductive rights case to reach the Supreme Court in the last 15 years, and, as corny as it sounds, it is always thrilling for me to watch a Supreme Court argument. That excitement is what I felt on Tuesday when I was in the courtroom waiting for the Court to hear the Hobby Lobby case, which is a challenge to the federal law that requires health plans to include contraception.
From Dee to Patti: Transgender Women Fighting Back Against Sexual Assault in Detention

From Dee to Patti: Transgender Women Fighting Back Against Sexual Assault in Detention

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 11:39am

Imagine how scared you would be if you were taken into custody by the police and told repeatedly that you are not who you know yourself to be. You are already afraid and the process is out of your control. You want to at least be kept safe while you…

Author Shoshana Hebshi

Two And A Half Years After Being Racially Profiled, A First Victory

By Shoshana Hebshi, ACLU Plaintiff at 12:29pm

More than two years ago, on September 11, 2011, I was stuck on a grounded airplane in Detroit. At first I thought we were just waiting for our gate to clear, but then our plane taxied to an isolated part of the tarmac. Police vehicles appeared, and…

A Jury of Your Peers – The Right to a Jury Trial Free from Discrimination

By Patrick DePoy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:17pm

Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ) recently introduced the Juror Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 5848) to prohibit discrimination against any juror on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Congressman Rothman stated, “[t]he fact…

Women who work full time still earn, on average, only $0.77 for ever $1 men earn

Equal Pay's Thrill of Victory and Agony of Defeat

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:14am

Four years ago, the Paycheck Fairness Act failed in the Senate. The bill, which would have helped close the pay gap between men and women by updating the Equal Pay Act of 1963, had majority support. But because a few senators blocked…

Florida "Surveillance State" license plate

Local Police in Florida Acting Like They’re the CIA (But They’re Not)

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:00am

The City of Sunrise, Florida, tried to take a page from the CIA’s anti-transparency playbook last week when it responded to an ACLU public records request about its use of powerful cell phone location tracking gear by refusing to confirm or deny…

What's the Difference Between Force Feeding and Waterboarding?

What's the Difference Between Force Feeding and Waterboarding?

By Zak Newman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:02am

The Department of Defense this month publicly released its newest rationalization for the abusive force-feeding program at Guantánamo Bay. In this latest memo on hunger strike policies, the abusive force-feeding program is referred to as "medical…

Senate Report Opens a Window Into Hidden World of Data Aggregators

Senate Report Opens a Window Into Hidden World of Data Aggregators

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:51pm

Today, the powerful Senate Commerce Committee issued a damning report on the invasive practices of the online data broker industry. The Committee’s report is the result of a year-long investigation targeting nine of the biggest data aggregators,…

The Year of the Drone: An Analysis of State Legislation Passed This Year

The Year of the Drone: An Analysis of State Legislation Passed This Year

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 8:50am

2013 could easily be christened the year of the drone. It was the first full state legislative session after Congress passed a law requiring the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to open up domestic airspace much more widely to drones, and it brought…

Towns Don't Need Tanks, But They Have Them

Towns Don't Need Tanks, But They Have Them

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU & Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:59pm

Keene, New Hampshire has a population of 23,409, except during the months of July and August when campers flock in for the summer. Keene's violent crime index? 134.4, compared to a national average of 213.6. Most common crime? Theft. Good thing the…