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.
Sorting at a mailroom. Photo source: Jason V. via Wikimedia

Assembly-Line Injustice

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 10:46am

Dozens of tired, bedraggled men line up in shackles to plead guilty en masse. A judge claims his personal best is sentencing 70 people in 30 minutes: an average of twenty-five seconds per person to review the charges, hear his or her plea, and hand…

Juwan Wickware being interrogated

Only in America: 16-Year-Old Locked Up for the Rest of His Life

By Steven M. Watt, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program & Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 4:37pm

Juwan Wickware wasn't the shooter. But he and more than 2,500 others nationwide will enter prison as teenagers, grow into adults, and die – all behind bars.

This is not right. The sentence must fit the crime, and we cannot throw…

Government surveillance oversight

Congress Shouldn't Settle for the President's Opening Offer on NSA Reform

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:28pm

This is the first post in a three-part series.

Less than a year after the NSA's dragnet surveillance of Americans was first exposed to public scrutiny, the president has formally issued a proposal to end the bulk collection of our phone records.…

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…

Obama's NSA Proposal Reveals a Broken Oversight System

Obama's NSA Proposal Reveals a Broken Oversight System

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 2:41pm

This piece originally ran at the Guardian.

To anyone who criticized the National Security Agency's phone-records dragnet over the last nine months or so, the American intelligence community had this stock response: all three branches of government…

Invasion of the Data Snatchers: Big Data and the Internet of Things Means the Surveillance of Everything

Invasion of the Data Snatchers: Big Data and the Internet of Things Means the Surveillance of Everything

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project & Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 11:18am

This piece originally ran at TomDispatch.com.

Estimates vary, but by 2020 there could be over 30 billion devices connected to the Internet. Once dumb, they will have smartened up thanks to sensors and other technologies embedded in…

Bureau of Prisons Has Great New Look for Spring

Bureau of Prisons Has Great New Look for Spring

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:01am

Despite the never-ending polar vortex, spring is in the air. From cleaning out your fridge to busting out your warm weather wardrobe for the first time in six months, spring is a time for change for the better.

Yes, spring fever is here, and…

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…

How I'm Celebrating Gloria Steinem's Birthday

How I'm Celebrating Gloria Steinem's Birthday

By Diana Scholl, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 8:23am

What would happen, for instance, if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not? The answer is clear - menstruation would become an enviable, boast-worthy, masculine event: Men would brag about how long and how much. Boys…