Blog of Rights

Burn the Flag or Burn the Constitution?

Burn the Flag or Burn the Constitution?

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:53pm

Sadly, Congress is once again considering an amendment to the U. S. Constitution banning desecration of the American flag and, in doing so, testing our political leaders' willingness to defend what is arguably one of America's most sacred principles — protecting political speech.

Anita Hill movie poster

The Power of One Voice: A Review

By Emily Naphtal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 4:30pm

Everyone should go see Anita, a recently released documentary that revolves around Anita Hill's controversial 1991 Senate hearing on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court of the United States. As most people know, in the hearing, she…

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…

Local Police, Armed with the Weapons of War, Too Often Mistakenly Shoot and Kill

Local Police, Armed with the Weapons of War, Too Often Mistakenly Shoot and Kill

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 2:52pm

Seven-year-old Aiyana Jones was sleeping on the couch next to her grandmother when a SWAT team threw a “flashbang” through the window of her Detroit, Michigan home. The “flashbang” – a stun grenade originally developed for wartime raids –…

The Justice Department’s White Paper on Targeted Killing

The Justice Department’s White Paper on Targeted Killing

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 10:04pm

Michael Isikoff at NBC News has obtained a Justice Department white paper that purports to explain when it would be lawful for the government...

Florida Prosecutor Goes on Killing Spree

Florida Prosecutor Goes on Killing Spree

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 3:55pm

Angela Corey is certainly making a name for herself. Not only has she worked to send more people to death row than any other state’s attorney in the Sunshine State, but she leads the pack nationally as well.

We’re all used to hearing stories…

The FBI Derails the 9/11 Hearings at Guantánamo

The FBI Derails the 9/11 Hearings at Guantánamo

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 5:20pm

The oft-delayed, secrecy-plagued 9/11 military commission hearings came to an abrupt halt today before the scheduled arguments surrounding the competency of defendant Ramzi bin al Shibh even began. Just minutes after Army Col. James Pohl called the…

Shocking Video from Maine Prison Shows a Restrained Prisoner Being Tortured with Pepper Spray

Shocking Video from Maine Prison Shows a Restrained Prisoner Being Tortured with Pepper Spray

By Maggie Heim, Litigation Fellow, ACLU & Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project & Eric Balaban, ACLU National Prison Project at 11:24am

You're never going to win… Bottom line is the house wins every time.

That's what Maine Correctional Center Captain Shawn Welch said to a prisoner who was strapped into a restraint chair, his face coated with pepper spray and his legs…

Modification of image by jpstanley with map by jepoirrier via Flickr

Cell Tower Dumps: Another Surveillance Technique, Another Set of Unanswered Questions

By Katie Haas, Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 11:58am

Today, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI, the DEA, the Secret Service, and several other agencies asking for information about a surveillance technique known as a “cell tower dump.” If you’re wondering what that…

Anal Probe for a Traffic Stop?

Anal Probe for a Traffic Stop?

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 3:08pm

David Eckert was pulling out of a Wal-Mart parking lot when police officers pulled him over for failing to stop at a parking lot stop sign. Police ordered Eckert to step out of his vehicle, and that's when he committed the highly suspicious act of…