Blog of Rights

Still from Rodney King beating video

The Video Revolution in Policing

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:39pm
We may have reached the point where video technology is producing a full-fledged revolution in policing. That revolution has been crystalized, or at least revealed by, the events in Ferguson.
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…

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…

Photo of Stingray from U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Documents Reveal Unregulated Use of Stingrays in California

By Linda Lye, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California at 4:37pm

Local law enforcement agencies across the Bay Area have so-called stingray devices, a powerful cellphone surveillance tool, and more are planning to acquire the technology, according to public records recently obtained by Sacramento News10. The devices…

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…