Blog of Rights

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 is important to remember another ongoing denial of this most fundamental right. An estimated 5.85 million citizens cannot vote as a result of criminal convictions. Nearly 4.4 million of those have been released from prison and are living and working in our communities, yet they are denied a political voice. 
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,…

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,…

Native American Women Still Getting Short Shrift on Emergency Contraception

Native American Women Still Getting Short Shrift on Emergency Contraception

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office at 11:34am

Nearly two years ago a federal court ordered the FDA to make Plan B emergency contraception an over-the-counter drug. That means it is now available in pharmacies across the country to women of any age without a prescription, just like any other over-the-counter…

Obama Promised Transparency on Drones, But We're Still in the Dark

Obama Promised Transparency on Drones, But We're Still in the Dark

By Matthew Spurlock, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 11:24am

Targeted killings have been a central part of U.S. national security strategy for more than a decade, but the American public still knows scandalously little about who the government kills, and why. Today we're filing a new lawsuit in our continuing…