Blog of Rights

 A Living Nightmare in America's Paradise

A Living Nightmare in America's Paradise

By Eric Balaban, ACLU National Prison Project at 3:12pm
Imagine being charged with a crime, going to trial, being found not guilty by reason of insanity, but remaining behind bars for years. You are denied access to a psychiatrist to treat your serious mental illness; you grow more acutely ill; and you daily face the threat of violence at the hands of other prisoners.
Sometimes It Only Takes An Hour to Get the Picture: This Single-Sex Program Won't Fly

Sometimes It Only Takes An Hour to Get the Picture: This Single-Sex Program Won't Fly

By Amy L. Katz, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 2:37pm

Sometimes all it takes is a letter and an hour to do the right thing.

After the ACLU learned late last week about a plan to assign ninth-grade students at Lawrence Free State High School in Kansas to different classrooms based on their sex,…

Oklahoma Plays Torture Roulette With Lethal Injection

Oklahoma Plays Torture Roulette With Lethal Injection

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project & Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:32pm

The logical response to Clayton Lockett's bloody, pain-filled, unconstitutional execution in Oklahoma eight months ago would be to prevent such torture from happening again. But Oklahoma has another idea for its first execution since Lockett's. Instead…

Cybersecurity Doesn’t Have to Mean Sacrificing Privacy

Cybersecurity Doesn’t Have to Mean Sacrificing Privacy

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:20pm

Are our work emails, our medical records, and our financial information safe online? Or have we been leaving our digital doors unlocked?

Given the high-profile cybersecurity failures in recent weeks, from the Sony hacks to the brief takeover…

How US Prison Officials Rubber-Stamped a CIA Torture Chamber

How US Prison Officials Rubber-Stamped a CIA Torture Chamber

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 3:43pm

The CIA's chief interrogator called it "the closest thing he has seen to a dungeon."

At the agency's COBALT detention site in Afghanistan – also known as the "Salt Pit" – detainees were kept in total darkness, shackled to the floors or…

Photo of police officer speaking to civilian

Should Officers Be Permitted to View Body Camera Footage Before Writing Their Reports?

By Peter Bibring, Director of Police Practices for the ACLU of Southern California & Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:14pm

Update below

A police officer wearing a body camera shoots a civilian. Afterwards, the officer has to write up a report about the incident. Should the officer be able to view the footage captured by his body camera (or other cameras) before…

'Transparent' Winning a Golden Globe Is a Big Deal. But It's Also Not Enough

'Transparent' Winning a Golden Globe Is a Big Deal. But It's Also Not Enough

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 5:24pm

Being transgender can be a lifelong battle against erasure.

We are erased by families who tell us we cannot be who we are; erased by governments who prevent us from obtaining identification that affirms our names, genders, and existence; and…

My Name Is Magaly: Community Leader, Homeowner, Taxpayer, and Undocumented Mother

My Name Is Magaly: Community Leader, Homeowner, Taxpayer, and Undocumented Mother

By Magaly at 2:59pm

I was 23 years old when I crossed the U.S.-Mexico border with my husband, aunt, and cousin.

Before we came to the United States, we lived in a community in Veracruz. My husband was in the Mexican Army, but the money he made was not enough to…

DOJ Solidifies Protection for Transgender Rights

DOJ Solidifies Protection for Transgender Rights

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:13pm

While the American workplace is often notoriously inhospitable to transgender Americans, the federal government last month moved decisively to change that. In a new memorandum, the Department of Justice explicitly clarified that gender identity discrimination…

Getting Gitmo Down to Zero

Getting Gitmo Down to Zero

By Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:51pm

On January 11, 2002, the first prisoners were slammed into hastily assembled cages at the Guantánamo Navy base, and men then streamed in from across the globe. Typically brought into custody without even the most basic due process review, the newly…