ACLU News & Commentary
American Civil Liberties Union
The latest in the fight for our civil liberties.
Turns out everybody needs a mask. Happy Halloween.
We’re not letting Betsy DeVos roll back critical civil rights protections for survivors of sexual harassment and assault. 🗣️ Schools should be free from sex-based discrimination, including sexual harassment and assault.
Apple and Google intend to push pandemic trackers into most of the world's smartphones. In response,
just published a whitepaper listing bottom-line principles phone-based contact-tracing systems must follow to comply with basic rights. Summary
On July 23, we secured a restraining order that blocked federal agents in Portland form attacking journalists and legal observers. Every day since, they've directly violated the order. We're back in court demanding these agents be held in contempt.
We’re fighting to save our democracy — in Portland and nationwide. And we’re just getting started.
I like how the ACLU's defense of its lawsuit against due process keeps talking about how it supports "fair process." Which is apparently something that's not quite "due process."
Firing someone because they are LGBTQ violates federal law. We’ve always known this — but today the Supreme Court made it official. Now it’s up to Congress to finish the work.
Sex workers aren’t always a part of the conversation about police brutality, but we should be. Police regularly target, harass, and assault sex workers, and get away with it because sex workers fear being arrested. The solution? Decriminalize sex work.
🗣️ Federal agents in Portland, Oregon, can’t attack or arrest journalists and legal observers. Today's court ruling is a victory for our democracy, and we're just getting started.
Under Betsy DeVos' standards, not even the biggest sexual abuse scandal in sports history — USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's abuse of hundreds of gymnasts, including Michigan State students — would need to be investigated.
The FBI is currently collecting data about our faces, irises, walking patterns, and voices, permitting the government to pervasively identify, track, and monitor us. We're suing.
No student should be forced into school-sponsored religious activities. That’s why we’re suing Tennessee’s Smith County School System for imposing official prayers, distributing bibles, and blatantly disregarding the separation of church and state.
NEW: We just released a new model with academic partners showing that COVID-19 could claim the lives of approximately 100,000 more people than current projections stipulate if jail populations are not dramatically and immediately reduced.
Law enforcement does not have the authority to use third parties like Apple into becoming its undercover agents or hackers. The government’s attempt to undermine existing security measures are dangerous and unlawful.
Heather Lynn Weaver
Smith County Schools in Tennessee impose prayer as part of school events, display Christian symbols, and promote biblical scripture. Our teen clients have had enough. Today, with the
, they sued their school.
""Sex workers aren’t always a part of the conversation about police brutality, but they should be. Police regularly target, harass, and assault sex workers or people they think are sex workers, such as trans women of color."
Face surveillance is anti-Black in at least 3 ways. 1. The algos are racist. (h/t
) 2. Mugshots? Disproportionately Black people. 3. We know what police and feds do. Face surveillance would help them do it more efficiently and effectively.
On Monday, we published a report we’ve been working on since last fall. We looked at the data, and found that across the country, in all states and nearly every county, Black people get busted for marijuana possession far more often than white people.
A Black man was arrested because facial recognition wrongly identified his ID photo as a suspect
The ACLU appears to have three priorities: prisoners, illegal immigrants, and abortion. Don’t count on them to protect your freedom of assembly or worship.
Seeking asylum is legal: people at our border are asking us for help. "How will we respond to their suffering? Will we allow the most hateful and uncaring among us to write our history, or will we fight back and demand better?" #StandUpForHumanRights, USA!
This blatant demonstration of unconstitutional authoritarianism is part and parcel of the cruel capabilities of the US Border Patrol. Read more from
As we're seeing in Portland, officers are STILL attacking protestors simply for exercising their First Amendment right to protest police brutality. We should all be concerned.
States are limiting law grads’ access to menstrual products and opportunities to pump breastmilk during this year's bar exam. Policing when we can change our tampon or if and when we can pump raises serious sex discrimination concerns.
5 photojournalists who traveled to Mexico to report on conditions facing immigrants at the border were tracked, detained, and interrogated by the US government. We’re suing on their behalf.
An Arizona sheriff placed a 15-year-old quadruple amputee who posed no threat into a headlock and then pinned him to the ground. This police officer used excessive, abusive force when no force was required at all.
The FBI is currently collecting data about our faces, irises, walking patterns, and voices, permitting the government to pervasively identify, track, and monitor us.
Just yesterday, the second wrongful arrest from a false face recognition match was confirmed. And yet, police departments around the country continue to purchase and deploy this technology.
🗣️ States should automatically send mail-in ballots to all registered voters.
We honor Michael Brown's memory by fighting to divest from the police. Meager reforms are no longer an option.
CBP repeatedly said last month that it did not instruct officers to detain travelers of Iranian heritage, or interrogate them about their religious beliefs. A memo leaked last week says otherwise.
sued a number of people who were mean to him online, including the parody accounts
. Now, he’s attempting to unmask the Cow’s identity by subpoena.
Decriminalizing sex work would: ✖️ Help sex workers access health care ✖️ Lower the risk of violence from clients and police ✖️ Reduce mass incarceration We can't wait any longer.
Too many politicians are trying to manipulate the outcome of elections by making it harder to cast a ballot. Here's how they do it.
To end HIV and AIDS, we must decriminalize sex work.
Our tax dollars have funded: ⚠️ CBP surveillance at BLM protests ⚠️ Deportations ⚠️ Family separation ⚠️ Trump’s border wall ⚠️ Countless more abuses It does not have to be this way. Congress, pass these budget cuts.
A deputy slammed a 15-year-old's head into the wall while he was handcuffed. There is no other way to describe it — this was inhumane, cruel, and abusive.
America is worth fighting for — in Portland and nationwide.
The Trump administration is advocating for a new hierarchy of rights that would elevate religion and property over basic human rights.
On Tuesday, a federal court blocked Alabama’s abortion ban from taking effect. The ACLU has an undefeated, 7-0 record challenging state abortion bans in court. Abortion is — and will remain — legal in all 50 states.
There is a real risk that EdTech companies will use the COVID-19 pandemic to create personal information dossiers on an entire generation of young Americans.
This month, we’re returning to court to defend our victory on Amendment 4. If the court affirms our victory, it may enable hundreds of thousands of returning citizens to register to vote in time for the November election.
The country and the world face a public health emergency in the new COVID-19 coronavirus. In the midst of all our concerns and preparation, we cannot leave behind the people in our prisons and jails.
The administration is ramping up a new program that quickly deports asylum seekers after holding them in inhumane CBP jails and denying them access to lawyers. We sued.
Four atheist students are suing their public school district for violating their right to religious freedom. We asked about their experience, their friendship, and why they decided to sue.
No pandemic, public health, or economic crisis, and no amount of fear, should give rise to prejudice and discrimination by any American, much less the President of the United States.
Sam DuBrose, Tyrone West, and Charles Thomas were Black men shot and killed by police officers employed by universities. These private employers are able to evade public record laws and accountability for police abuse and force.
The Trump administration was ordered to accept DACA renewals and new DACA applications. Instead, they're ignoring the Supreme Court and breaking the law.
On Monday, we’ll be in court to protect the right to vote for hundreds of thousands of eligible Floridians now being denied that basic right.
Americans use and sell drugs at comparable rates, but law enforcement has selectively targeted Black and Brown people for stops, arrests, prosecution, and imprisonment. Often, these encounters involve police use of force and violence.
is suing on behalf of photojournalists who were included in a secret database of disfavored reporters and singled out for extensive border searches after reporting on asylum seekers.
No one should be forced to choose between going to work sick during a global pandemic or staying home and potentially losing their job.
DHS’s dystopian plan to expand face surveillance in our daily lives is terrifying and dangerous — and the infrastructure for it is already being built.
A judge could have suspended Andrea Circle Bear's sentence and asked her to report to prison after giving birth. The Bureau of Prisons could have let her serve her sentence in home confinement. Instead, her 26-month sentence led to her death.
We recently won a settlement against CBP on behalf of a Muslim family who were illegally detained at the US-Canada border. The government cannot treat the border as a rights-free zone.
We wear masks on Halloween for fun. But what if we had to wear a mask every single day to protect our privacy from the government's oppressive eye? No thanks.
During Hurricane Katrina, people in jails and prisons were forgotten as much of Louisiana evacuated. We can’t forget incarcerated people as we respond to COVID-19.
Happy Halloween! We're suing the FBI.
ICE has been dishonest with the courts and the public about COVID-19. We're filing a FOIA request to find out what they know.
Especially in times of crisis, we can’t — and won’t — back down from the fight to protect civil rights and liberties for all.
After many calls, visits, and letters, the state could not tell our client Betty how much she owes in fees for convictions dating back to 1975, before she could vote. This victory affirms that the right to vote cannot come with a price tag.
BREAKING: We filed a First Amendment challenge against Puerto Rico's laws criminalizing so-called "fake news." The laws give the government the power to censor stories critical of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They're a threat to press freedoms.
No one wants to do the hard work of asking the most basic question.
do you believe you should receive reparations or are you fighting for #ados as the recipients? “H.R. 40 Is Not a Symbolic Act. It’s a Path to Restorative Justice.”
Congress must act now to ensure the safety of both our democracy and America and: 🗳️Guarantee no-excuse absentee voting 🗳️Institute a 14 day minimum early vote period 🗳️Provide self-sealing return envelopes w prepaid postage 🗳️Allocate federal funding
Thirty-eight states have no law requiring the provision of menstrual products to incarcerated people. Kimberly experienced this first-hand.
As livid as we are at Trump's exploitation of his #clemency powers - using them to protect cronies like #RogerStone - we should be just as mad that governors with those same powers are not using them to free literally thousands of people in state prisons.
Guatemalan human rights workers say that their country’s asylum system isn’t capable of handling even the relatively small numbers that have been sent there so far, and that asylum seekers’ precarious status in the country has already pushed many to leave.
We're working in: 🗳️ Washington, DC 🗳️ Montana 🗳️ Georgia 🗳️ Texas 🗳️ South Carolina 🗳️ Virginia to make sure voters can cast their ballots safely during this pandemic.
For nearly 20 years, we have seen many of our warnings about DHS become tragic realities. It is time to dismantle DHS, once and for all.
The experiences of people who have been prisons and jails are not a joke.
Voting has never been easy for Native Americans living on rural reservations in Montana, but a new law would make the problem worse. Not on our,
watch: Every vote should count. Everybody should have a voice.
Yes, Stingrays are still being used in immigration enforcement. Except ICE has now upgraded to the Crossbow. That and a whole bunch of other great info the FOIA docs just dropped by the ACLU.
Keep Calm and Carry on Voting: How to Vote By Mail During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Laws passed in the '90s laid the foundation for Trump’s cruel attacks on immigrant communities today. It's time for a #NewWayForward to start restoring fundamental due process, humanity and compassion to our immigration system.
Prisons and jails aren't drug rehab centers, so why does our country use them as such?
We often talk about the fact that the death penalty is racist, arbitrary, and error-prone. It has an emotional and psychological toll on the people forced to carry it out — prison guards, wardens, and witnesses.
THREAD: We're social distancing and still making our voices heard. 📣
Congress now has three months to reform our surveillance laws to better protect our privacy rights, or to let the spying authorities sunset altogether. The clock is ticking.
Legislation to fix policing in America must not propose new money for law enforcement. We need to divest from policing and put that money elsewhere.
“It has been an extremely difficult two weeks, made all the more stressful and dangerous for me and my family by the state's actions to ban abortion.” Access to time-sensitive abortion care must be protected during the pandemic.
Some resources: FAQ from
The age of robot surveillance is around the corner, and the watchers will soon far outnumber the watched.
Our new anthology, Fight of the Century, collects essays by some of our country’s finest writers. Read the introduction, by
Did you know that, under current regulations, online marketers are allowed to share information about diseases you or your family members have? We all have a stake in the battle for stronger online privacy.
The fight is complicated, but at its core are questions about control over data, centralized power, and who should bear privacy risks. We believe that everyone deserves to be able to use the Internet without being subject to mass surveillance.
Can you imagine a cop pinning down a 15-yr-old quadruple amputee with no arms and no legs while screaming at him, then slamming another kid into the wall for videotaping the abuse, then arresting both kids for disorderly conduct? This actually happened.
Trans youth already have it hard enough as it is. We’re more likely to be targeted for violence in schools and have barriers with family acceptance. This bill would criminalize the very healthcare that helps keep us alive. #ShowUp4TransYouth #NoHB1057
A Constitutional Crisis in Portland | Via ACLU
I co-wrote this kinda wonky blog post about menstrual equity because there seems to be some anxiety that if we don't erase trans existence, we can't prove sex discrimination in courts. I really, really don't think that's true. #TamponTax
Today, the City of Boston is sending a message loud and clear: To effectively address police abuses, we must address the technologies that exacerbate those abuses too.
The Thinking Atheist
And they’re suing.
DHS Watchdog Confirms: ICE is Failing to Protect Detained People From COVID | Via ACLU
Shelia Jackson shouldn’t be leading this effort. “the reparations movement does not focus on payments to individuals, but to remedies that can be created in as many forms necessary to equitably address the kinds of injuries sustained from chattel slavery
NEW: I met 'Julia,' a Nicaraguan student activist, in Ciudad Juarez last month. She fled her home after friends were shot in front of her. Now she's stuck on the border under a policy that sends asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico.
No one should have to choose between protecting their health and exercising their right to vote. The need for congressional intervention to allow people to vote safely and accessibly is more obvious than ever.
I wish those who attack the
would bother to read what we actually say. Plainly, neither National Review nor
did. Here’s the truth about our position on Title IX.
Sophia Lin Lakin
Stay Calm and Keep Voting: How to Vote By Mail During the Coronavirus Outbreak. It’s easy to request an absentee ballot and there’s still enough time to do so for most states with upcoming primaries.
ACLU of Minnesota
The answer to protests over police brutality is not more police brutality.
ACLU of Ohio
Ohioans - we can ALL request an absentee ballot by noon on Saturday, 3/14 and vote by mail! You have time. Keep calm and carry on voting! ✅🗳️👇🏼
Shaina M ✊🏿
“To merely focus on finance is an empty gesture and betrays a lack of understanding of the depth of the unaddressed moral issues that continue to haunt this nation.” No, reparations is about acknowledgment, redress, and closure. You can’t minimize redress!
“How many bubbles are in a bar of soap?” was a question once used to deny Black voter registration applicants. Today, voter suppression looks like strict voter ID laws, reducing early voting days, limiting polling place— the list goes on. #GoodTrouble
statement reinforces the point
& I made in our
piece: "It’s a lot easier to fund-raise off outrage than fairness."
Sophia Lin Lakin
Three Missouri Voters Explain Why Everyone Should be Able to Vote by Mail in 2020
Dr. Roy Schestowitz (罗伊)
#Abortion is Legal in All 50 States, and We Intend to Keep It That Way
The government is increasingly relying on foreign-intelligence surveillance tools in ordinary criminal prosecutions.
and I explain why that's a problem
"Police are Attacking Journalists at Protests. We’re Suing."
“I want to opt-out.” “Look at the camera.” CBP says US citizens can opt-out of airport facial recognition scans but the experience of this ACLU lawyer suggests that right is not easy to exercise.
If COVID-19 Doesn’t Discriminate, Then Why Are Black People Dying at Higher Rates? To provide meaningful protection for all members of the community, a COVID-19 response must address the pervasive racial injustices at the federal, state, and local level
America’s Mask Bans in the Age of Face Recognition Surveillance
ACLU of Maryland
People in prisons + jails are uniquely vulnerable to #COVID2019. Many people in prisons & jails are in relatively poor health and suffer from serious chronic conditions due to lack of access to healthcare or abysmal healthcare in the correctional system
Tactical Terrorism Response Teams (TTRTs), part of CBP, are just another way for the gov't to further its preferred interpretation of "terrorism" as Other and anti-status quo. They should be disbanded.
Fewer arrests and releasing people from jail are critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19. Now,
findings show fearmongering around releases is unfounded. States must do more to reduce incarcerated populations, now.#JustUS
Learn more about our latest work on pressing civil liberty issues.
T. Alora Thomas
More on our case and why it matters
How is Face Recognition Surveillance Technology Racist?
The FDA is Making Needless COVID-19 Risks a Condition of Abortion and Miscarriage Care. ACLU is suing
Police are Attacking Journalists at Protests. We’re Suing.
The concern with facial recognition is not only when errors are made, but also that when working accurately it can be used for surveillance in ways many see as unacceptable
Permission Required to Change Your Tampon
James Lindsay, has a massive... evil
Who could have predicted that the mainline institutions in our society would conclude that Covid-19 proves it's systemically racist? 🤔
Worth following as coronavirus “fake news” restrictions flourish globally: The
just filed a First Amendment lawsuit challenging two Puerto Rico laws that make it a crime to share emergency-related information that the government deems to be false
Clearing the Record: How Eviction Sealing Laws Can Advance Housing Access for Women of Color
"The Alabama ban, like all the others, is the anti-abortion movement’s true agenda on full display—ban abortion, punish women, jail doctors, and shame people seeking care...The
has an undefeated, 7-0 record challenging state abortion bans." 🔥🔥🔥
If you can stomach the latest on Clearview AI.
talks w/ CEO on The Daily podcast. Hoan Ton-That denies normalizing FRT b/c not all Americans emulate the police & have guns🤔
on Clearview co-opting
The sheer scope of police face recognition use in [the US] means that [people] have almost certainly been—and will continue to be—misidentified, if not arrested and charged for crimes they didn’t commit.
The FBI is Tracking Our Faces in Secret. We’re Suing. 👏👏👏🙏
"Most law enforcement officials, judges, and lawmakers have been unwilling to use their capital to protect these apparently expendable human beings — even though doing so will protect all of us."
Heading out today to walk around with family, friends, community while we hold up signs. Here are some tips on how to be more safe about it, given violence prone police and the pandemic:
is suing lots of federal agencies: DHS, CBP, TSA & ICE. While FOIA request could bring needed transparency, I applaud A. Gorski's emphasis (in this blog post) on something too many policy-makers too readily downplay: threat of normalization.
Amanda L. Scott🌹
: It is long past due for Congress to renew the protections of the Voting Rights Act. The price of inaction is too high for us to wait. #RestoretheVote
Ruth E. Kastner
After 17 Months of Unlawful Detention, Court Orders Release of U.S. Resident Wrongfully Detained Under Patriot Act
Learn more about one signatory of the Harper's open letter
Even this overstates the true impact of the 1st Step Act: of 3100 "released" in July, 1000 sent to ICE to be deported. Real questions raised by
and others at
hearings last week need answers!
Police brutality has hit protestors and journalists hard.
is suing to protect the freedom of reporters to report on what they are seeing at protests. They need our support. I just donated. Please join me.