Blog of Rights

Still Locking People Up for Being Poor? Really?! It's 2014.

Still Locking People Up for Being Poor? Really?! It's 2014.

By Mike Brickner, ACLU of Ohio at 2:43pm
Debtors' prisons sound like ancient history, right? Unfortunately, they're all too common across the United States. In spite of the Constitution, case law, and common sense, low-income people are routinely jailed in places as far-flung as Georgia and Washington State simply because they cannot afford to pay their court fines.
It's Like You're Sold a Dream

It's Like You're Sold a Dream

By Lance White at 2:01pm

I lost my drive after my older brother Rufus was sentenced. I didn't care. I didn't trust. That was my attitude. Rufus was the father figure I looked up to. When he went to jail for the rest of his life, I started looking up to his buddies. A lot of…

Profiling Muslims at the Airport

Profiling Muslims at the Airport

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:20pm

I finally had a chance to read this extended debate between the security-ologist Bruce Schneier and critic-of-religion Sam Harris (yes that Sam Harris) over whether we should profile Muslims in airport security.

First of all, Sam Harris performs…

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…

Prison corridor

Detained Immigrants Hungry for Justice, Literally

By Eunice Lee, Detention Attorney, ACLU, Immigrants' Rights Project at 12:24pm

Days into the hunger strike at the Tacoma-based Northwest Detention Center (NWDC), we won a victory for a class of immigrants detained at that facility. On Tuesday, a federal judge in Seattle ruled that the government must provide the basic due process…

Supreme Court Rules Government Violated Privacy Rights in GPS Tracking Case

Supreme Court Rules Government Violated Privacy Rights in GPS Tracking Case

By Ateqah Khaki at 12:29pm

The Court held 9-0 that the government violated the Fourth Amendment when it placed a GPS tracking device to Antoine Jones's car to track his movements for a month.

The Year of the Drone: An Analysis of State Legislation Passed This Year

The Year of the Drone: An Analysis of State Legislation Passed This Year

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 8:50am

2013 could easily be christened the year of the drone. It was the first full state legislative session after Congress passed a law requiring the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to open up domestic airspace much more widely to drones, and it brought…

NSA Spy Target Challenges Warrantless Wiretapping Law

NSA Spy Target Challenges Warrantless Wiretapping Law

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 4:36pm

The ACLU today joined a new challenge to the constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA) — the surveillance law that gives the NSA virtually unfettered access to the international phone calls and emails of U.S. citizens and residents.…

Tasers No Longer a Non-Lethal Alternative for Law Enforcement

Tasers No Longer a Non-Lethal Alternative for Law Enforcement

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project at 3:39pm

Tasers subject their victims to a 50,000 volt shock followed by 100 microsecond pulses of 1,200 volts.   Since 2001, more than 500 people in the United States have died after law enforcement officers used this weapon against them. A…

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.