Blog of Rights

Judge to Government: 'National Security' Isn't a 'Magic Word' That Allows Constitutional Rights Violations

Judge to Government: 'National Security' Isn't a 'Magic Word' That Allows Constitutional Rights Violations

By Lindsay Nash, Skadden Fellow, Immigrants' Rights Project at 11:20am
For the past seven months, the Department of Homeland Security has been detaining and refusing to release immigrant mothers and children – even newborns – who have fled extreme violence and persecution in Central America to seek refuge in the United States. Why would the government implement such a heartless policy? To send this message to other people who may consider coming in the future: "You're not welcome."
Can You Think of a Better Way to Spend $7.2 Billion Than Unnecessarily Locking Up Nonviolent Offenders and Undocumented Immigrants?

Can You Think of a Better Way to Spend $7.2 Billion Than Unnecessarily Locking Up Nonviolent Offenders and Undocumented Immigrants?

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:16am

The Department of Justice spends $7.2 billion a year to incarcerate over 209,000 people in the federal Bureau of Prisons at a cost of over $30,000 per year per person.

This is unsustainable, both morally and economically.

The majority…

'Tech Can Be a Champion of Privacy,' Edward Snowden Tells Tech Leaders at SXSW

'Tech Can Be a Champion of Privacy,' Edward Snowden Tells Tech Leaders at SXSW

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 6:22pm
Edward Snowden had a message for some two dozen technology leaders at the SXSW Interactive festival today: “Tech can be a champion of privacy.”    In an hour-long meeting conducted through Google Hangout, the whistleblower and…
CISA Isn't About Cybersecurity, It's About Surveillance

CISA Isn't About Cybersecurity, It's About Surveillance

By Rachel Nusbaum, Media Strategist, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:25am

They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. But sometimes that's the easy part.

When it comes to cybersecurity, it seems everyone in Washington admits we have a problem. It's in the solutions phase where things really start to…

Discovering Hope in Selma

Discovering Hope in Selma

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 11:07am

Even with a ticket, I was unable to get close enough to hear President Obama or see any of the other notable people speaking at the Pettus Bridge in Selma last Saturday. And I was not among those fortunate enough to find space in the historic Brown…

Fairness for Workers Laboring in the Shadows

Fairness for Workers Laboring in the Shadows

By Sarah Mehta, Researcher, ACLU Human Rights Program at 1:05pm

Leopolda Zumaya was working as an apple picker in Pennsylvania when he fell from a tree, breaking his leg and leaving him with permanent nerve damage and a chronic pain disorder. A treating physician said Mr. Zumaya's injuries were among the worst…

U.S. Looks Overseas for Human Rights Abuses and Ignores U.N. Report Criticizing Its Youth Detention Practices at Home

U.S. Looks Overseas for Human Rights Abuses and Ignores U.N. Report Criticizing Its Youth Detention Practices at Home

By Mishi Faruqee, Juvenile Justice Policy Strategist, ACLU at 12:21pm

Recently I visited a youth detention center in South Carolina. As I entered the facility, I saw a line of boys in jumpsuits march past with their arms behind their backs. The guard explained to me that they make the boys march to "help teach them discipline…

Remembering the Sacrifices of Selma by Fulfilling its Promise

Remembering the Sacrifices of Selma by Fulfilling its Promise

By Dale Ho, Director, Voting Rights Project, ACLU at 12:14pm

On March 7 and 8, ACLU joined more than 80,000 Americans in Selma, Ala., to commemorate those who marched and risked their lives in Selma 50 years ago. Their bravery led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Being in this crowd commemorating…

Q&A: Why is the Wikimedia Foundation suing the NSA?

Q&A: Why is the Wikimedia Foundation suing the NSA?

By Michelle Paulson, Senior Legal Counsel, Wikimedia Foundation at 4:50pm

This post was originally published on Wikimedia's blog.

Today the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that supports Wikipedia and its sister projects, is filing suit against the National Security Agency and the Department of Justice…

Reflections From the Bridge: Where the Stain of Slavery and Segregation Met a Young Man's Courage and a Preacher's Dream

Reflections From the Bridge: Where the Stain of Slavery and Segregation Met a Young Man's Courage and a Preacher's Dream

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:42pm

On March 7 and 8, ACLU joined more than 80,000 Americans in Selma, Ala. to commemorate those who marched and risked their lives in Selma 50 years ago. Their bravery led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Being in this crowd commemorating…