Blog of Rights

After Torture Report, Lawsuit Tests U.S. Commitment to Accountability

After Torture Report, Lawsuit Tests U.S. Commitment to Accountability

By Jonathan Hafetz, Associate Professor of Law, Seton Hall University School of Law at 10:25am
A week after the release of the executive summary of Senate Intelligence Committee's torture report, the world's attention is rightly focused on the flagrant abuses committed by CIA officials in the name of national security. But it would be mistake to place the blame for America's descent into torture entirely on the CIA.
Those Who Approved Torture Shouldn't Be Above the Law

Those Who Approved Torture Shouldn't Be Above the Law

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 10:23am

This piece originally appeared at MSNBC.com.

The Senate report released earlier this week makes clear that the CIA tortured more men, and far more brutally, than anyone outside the intelligence community previously understood. Given the report's…

Amidst the Budget Chaos, Long-Awaited Abortion Coverage for Women in the Peace Corps

Amidst the Budget Chaos, Long-Awaited Abortion Coverage for Women in the Peace Corps

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office at 12:00am

The news out of Washington this weekend was dramatic as lawmakers hashed out an eleventh hour deal over a $1.1 trillion funding bill to narrowly avert a government shutdown. But amidst the chaos and special interest wins in favor of salty lunches and…

Ohio Just Defeated an Extreme Abortion Ban, but Don't Get Too Comfortable

Ohio Just Defeated an Extreme Abortion Ban, but Don't Get Too Comfortable

By Jennifer Dalven, Reproductive Freedom Project at 3:39pm

Last week, the Ohio House voted on legislation that was breathtaking in its extremism: It would have banned all abortions after six weeks -- before many women even know they're pregnant.

First the good news: Legislators voted down the bill.…

Now Can Torture Survivor Khaled El-Masri Have His Apology?

Now Can Torture Survivor Khaled El-Masri Have His Apology?

By Steven M. Watt, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 2:33pm

The CIA's unlawful detention and torture of Khaled El-Masri has left him "a broken man," according to a McClatchy article published yesterday.

The story of El-Masri, an ACLU client, is especially poignant following the release of the Senate…

ACLU to Congress: We Need a Comprehensive LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill

ACLU to Congress: We Need a Comprehensive LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:28pm

Did you know that there are just 18 states that have explicit workplace non-discrimination protections for LGBT people, or that a mere 13 states have such protections in place for LGBT students?

On Tuesday, the director of the ACLU's Washington…

Supply-demand graphic by MIT OpenCourseWare

A Supply-Demand Curve for Privacy

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:15am

I recently wrote about some polling that Pew did on privacy, and its finding that Americans have very low confidence in the privacy and security of electronic communications channels. People feel more or less communicating on landline telephones, for…

Harrowing Tales of the Wrongly Deported: How Border Patrol Officers Flout the Law and Destroy Lives

Harrowing Tales of the Wrongly Deported: How Border Patrol Officers Flout the Law and Destroy Lives

By Sarah Mehta, Researcher, ACLU Human Rights Program at 10:40am

This was originally posted on The American Prospect.

In 2008, Nydia, a transgender woman, fled physical and sexual attacks in Mexico and was granted asylum in the United States. She was saving money to apply for lawful permanent residence (a…

Shakedown: Border Patrol’s “Confiscation” of Migrants’ Money, IDs, Cellphones Exposes Them to Danger After Deportation

Shakedown: Border Patrol’s “Confiscation” of Migrants’ Money, IDs, Cellphones Exposes Them to Danger After Deportation

By James Lyall, Border Litigation Staff Attorney, ACLU of Arizona at 4:42pm

One of the cornerstones of American law is the right to property. That protection, however, doesn't seem to apply if you're a migrant.

A report released this week by the Tucson-based humanitarian organization No More Deaths details the Border…

What Did the CIA’s Torture Program Have to Do With Intelligence Gathering? Not Much.

What Did the CIA’s Torture Program Have to Do With Intelligence Gathering? Not Much.

By Marcellene Hearn, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 12:20pm

One of the most important takeaways from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report summary is that senior CIA personnel – which the report refers to as CIA headquarters – knew from the very beginning that torture was unlawful and learned…