Blog of Rights

There Is No 5-Second Rule for the First Amendment, Ferguson

There Is No 5-Second Rule for the First Amendment, Ferguson

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 9:53am

Tear gas, rubber bullets, and assault weapons; free speech zones, gags, and press pens: This is the arsenal of the police state. Some of these tactics are physical. The other ones—all the more pernicious for their quiet coercion—impose a veil of silence over the actions of law enforcement. And each of these weapons has been unleashed on the people of Ferguson, Missouri, since the killing of Michael Brown.

I Was 16 and in Solitary Before I Ever Even Went to Trial

I Was 16 and in Solitary Before I Ever Even Went to Trial

By Reginald Dwayne Betts, Legal Intern, ACLU at 2:01pm

February is cold in Northern Virginia. It's even colder when you're in a cell alone, without a mattress, a blanket, a pillow, or a sheet.

When I walked into that cell in the basement of the Fairfax County Jail, my hands cuffed behind my back…

The Definition of Insanity

The Definition of Insanity

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 4:01pm

Last night marked the first executions in this country since the horrifically botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April.

In case you've forgotten, it took Mr. Lockett over 40 minutes to die. He remained conscious, writhing in pain, as an…

Fired for Being Trans

Fired for Being Trans

By Patricia Dawson at 2:58pm

The day I got my driver's license with the gender marked "F" and my new legal name was one of the best days of my life. I was assigned male at birth, and my parents named me Steven. But I'd known for many years that I am a woman, and now I had the…

A Free, Federal College Education - But Mostly For Men

A Free, Federal College Education - But Mostly For Men

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 1:30pm

West Point, the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs are all top-tier educational institutions owned and operated at taxpayer expense by the United States government. They provide an elite education and leadership…

People in Ferguson, holding up our Know Your Rights t-shirts

On the Ground in Ferguson: #BlackLivesMatter

By Marc Climaco, ACLU at 6:54pm

My heart aches today.

I'm in Ferguson – supporting the incredible work of ACLU of Missouri, meeting with activists, helping out legal observers, handing out Know Your Rights t-shirts and cards to protesters.

And, as a person of color,…

North Carolina Doubles Down on Shaming Women Who Seek Abortions

North Carolina Doubles Down on Shaming Women Who Seek Abortions

By Andrew Beck, Reproductive Freedom Project at 11:01am

Another day, another attempt by politicians to shame and humiliate a woman seeking an abortion. Yet again, the government intrusion pushes right into the exam room.

Today the state of North Carolina is asking an appeals court to reinstate a…

Odds Are, You Are Suspicious

Odds Are, You Are Suspicious

By Samia Hossain, William J. Brennan Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy, & Technology Project at 9:55am

When you get off a train, do you get off ahead of passengers? Or do you get off behind passengers? When you're going on a trip, do you come off as nervous? Or are you an unusually calm traveler? How about if you make a phone call at a station, do you…

Victory Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Jails, Where Too Many Have Suffered and Died From Neglect

Victory Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Jails, Where Too Many Have Suffered and Died From Neglect

By Eric Balaban, ACLU National Prison Project at 2:08pm

It took a nurse observing a man “eating chunks [taken out of his cell wall]” before he was moved out of solitary confinement.

This happened in Maricopa County Jail, run by the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Such incidents are not rare.

The…

New Alabama Law Puts Teens Who Need Abortions on Trial. That's Dangerous and Cruel.

New Alabama Law Puts Teens Who Need Abortions on Trial. That's Dangerous and Cruel.

By Jennifer Dalven, Reproductive Freedom Project at 3:02pm

Picture this: You are 17 years old, in your senior year of high school, and you've just learned you're pregnant. You'd like to be able to turn to your parents for support but you know you can't. After all, they kicked your older sister out of the house…