A woman speaking at a rally for asylum.
A woman speaking at a rally for asylum.
This year saw more battles, advocacy, and victories than ever before — look back on them through some of our biggest blogs.
Johanna Silver,
Digital Producer,
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November 22, 2023
This year saw more battles, advocacy, and victories than ever before — look back on them through some of our biggest blogs.

Across the country, 2023 saw both new and ongoing challenges to civil rights, whether it was reproductive freedom, access to gender-affirming health care, or the ability to speak openly and freely in classrooms. But the ACLU has been there every step of the way, and we’ve seen many victories amid these challenges. Throughout the year, we brought attention to some of the country’s biggest fights to protect our rights, shared the stories of those whose freedoms were assailed, and celebrated hard-won battles. Look back with us on some of the civil rights moments that defined this year.

My Son's Hair is Part of a Thousand-Year-Old Tribal Culture. His School Called it a 'Fad.'

Ashley Lomboy (left) and her son Logan (right).

Ashley Lomboy’s son wears his hair long as part of his Native culture and heritage. When his school deemed it “faddish” and implied he would need to cut it to conform to their standards, she made her voice heard.

What to Know About the Abortion Case that Could Ban Mifepristone

A box of the drug mifepristone pictured in front of a women on a computer.

The latest attack on reproductive rights this year came in the form of a proposed ban against Mifepristone — a safe, effective, and commonly-used method of abortion. Learn more about this FDA-approved medication and the baseless case against it.

What the Fight Against Classroom Censorship is Really About

High school students march in protest of the district's ban of critical race theory curriculum at Patricia H. Birdsall Sports Park in Temecula, Calif., on Friday, Dec. 16, 2022.

Former high school history teacher and ACLU lawyer Leah Watson explains the true threat that classroom censorship laws pose.

Why Access to Voting is Key to Systemic Equality

A profile view of a woman in a voting booth.

Systemic barriers and discrimination continue to impact access to voting today — but we’re fighting to ensure all people have equal access to voting.

Five Things to Know About NSA Mass Surveillance and the Coming Fight in Congress

The National Security Agency seal on a keyboard.

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows for blatant abuses of privacy. Learn more about this pervasive act and how Congress must act.

Meet Mary Wood, a Teacher Resisting Censorship

Teacher and activist against censorship, Mary Wood.

Books and critical classroom discussions are being banned across the country — but this South Carolina teacher isn’t backing down.

How the ACLU Tracks Anti-LGBTQ Bills, and How We’re Fighting Back

Demonstrators gather on the steps of the Montana State Capitol protesting anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

Credit: Sam Braslow

Our nationwide tracking system helps advocates keep track of anti-LGBTQ bills and take effective action against them.

How Mastercard is Endangering Sex Workers

Protestors holding signs against Mastercard's policies that can harm sex workers.

Credit: ACLU

Mastercard’s discriminatory and dangerous policies further marginalize sex workers — so we called for a federal investigation.

The Fight for Asylum: An American Imperative

A photo of Maribel Hernandez Rivera and her husband.

Three advocates discuss how the ACLU shows up for asylum rights, and why they persist in spite of the difficult work.

We're Challenging the Racist Practice That Excludes Black Jurors from Death Penalty Cases

An empty jury box with leather and wood chairs.

Death qualification contributes to mass incarceration and the inherent racial bias embedded in our criminal legal system.

Learn More About the Issues on This Page