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Anthony D. Romero
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Entries by Anthony D. Romero

States of Fear

(98) Comments | Posted November 20, 2015 | 12:11 PM

Fear is toxic to a democracy. Fear divides. Fear overreacts. Fear discriminates. It's a lesson we've learned throughout our history, from the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 to the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II to the post-9/11 Patriot Act. And now in the aftermath of the...

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The Return of the Debtors' Prison

(5) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 10:58 AM

The debtors' prison was supposed to be a thing of the past--a relic of the colonial era that was outlawed by the United States government nearly two centuries ago. More recently, the Supreme Court ruled that jailing people who lack the means to pay criminal justice fines or fees--a modern-day...

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Rand Paul, Libertarian?

(287) Comments | Posted July 31, 2015 | 8:23 AM

Sen. Rand Paul has made safeguarding civil liberties a cornerstone of his presidential campaign, and he hasn't been afraid to take on his own party in that fight. At the end of May, as key provisions of the USA Patriot Act were set to expire, Paul took to the Senate...

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The Sun Must Go Down on the Patriot Act

(111) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 12:32 PM

Not long after the Patriot Act was passed in 2001, I had dinner with the late Senator Paul Wellstone in Washington, who was a stalwart defender of civil liberties throughout his career. I asked him how he could have possibly voted for a law that so vastly expanded the government's...

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Edward Snowden Is a Patriot

(261) Comments | Posted December 17, 2013 | 8:47 PM

Edward Snowden is a patriot.

As a whistleblower of illegal government activity that was sanctioned and kept secret by the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government for years, he undertook great personal risk for the public good. And he has single-handedly reignited a global debate about the extent and...

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The Constitution Applies to All Americans, No Matter What They Are Accused Of

(696) Comments | Posted April 22, 2013 | 9:59 AM

Our country has been shaken by the events coming out of Boston in the past week. First, of course, there was the tragedy and loss of life and injuries from the Marathon bombing, and the fear of not knowing what would happen next. Then the alleged perpetrators were found, and...

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Arizona's Denial of Licenses for Immigrant Youths Won't Stop the DREAMers

(48) Comments | Posted November 29, 2012 | 2:27 PM

The ACLU and its partners today filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of young immigrants who came to the United States as children -- known as "Dreamers" -- to challenge Arizona's latest attempt to makes the lives of immigrants in the state unlivable.

Our lawsuit -- the first case in...

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Righting Wrongs and Securing the Rights Path

(3) Comments | Posted November 9, 2012 | 9:10 PM

President Obama's reelection provides him with another chance to address pressing human rights challenges and restore our nation's standing as a defender of rights and opportunities for all people. To be clear, he accomplished a significant amount after grappling with the troubling legacy he inherited from George Bush.

Obama prohibited...

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The Debates and Our Lonely Constitution

(19) Comments | Posted October 23, 2012 | 3:30 PM

Six hours of election debates are now over. Six hours of national discourse fundamental to our democracy, yet our Constitution was mentioned only once -- by Mitt Romney. Even then, it was referenced as a rhetorical mantelpiece, not as a point of debate.

Our Constitution deserves more and so...

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The Constitution Is For Everyone

(9) Comments | Posted September 18, 2012 | 5:17 PM

During his Meet the Press appearance last Sunday, Republican nominee Mitt Romney told David Gregory that he's as "conservative as the Constitution." It was an odd statement -- as Romney's positions on issues like abortion and marriage do not "conserve" the spirit or values of the Constitution.

The Constitution...

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Ryan Has a Plan to Unravel Civil Liberties, Too

(48) Comments | Posted August 11, 2012 | 10:29 AM

The focus in the coming days will be all about Rep. Ryan's budget blueprint and Medicare proposal. Let's hope the American people also get a debate about his blueprint for LGBT equality, immigration, voting rights, reproductive freedom and other constitutional issues. Indeed, it's just as abysmal as...

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Romney's Likely VP: A Heartbeat From the Presidency, Light Years From Civil Liberties

(34) Comments | Posted July 9, 2012 | 2:51 PM

In less than two months, Mitt Romney will announce his choice for vice president. Based on a new white paper from the ACLU Liberty Watch 2012 campaign, that choice is likely to have abysmal views on civil liberties.

Our white paper, which can be viewed here, explored...

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Supreme Court Deals Blow to Three Provisions of AZ's Racial Profiling Law; "Show Me Your Papers" Provision Lives to See Another Day

(16) Comments | Posted June 25, 2012 | 4:02 PM

Today’s Supreme Court decision in Arizona v. United States rightly rejects three parts of Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 law as unconstitutional.  Yet critically, the Court opens the door to racial profiling by upholding the most egregious provision, the “show me your papers” provision, Section 2(B) of...

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A Lifeline for DREAMers

(388) Comments | Posted June 15, 2012 | 1:36 PM

Today the Obama administration threw a lifeline to America's undocumented youth, announcing that it will stop deporting and give work permits to young adults who came to the U.S. as children, or DREAMers. Through well-established executive authority, the administration will temporarily spare youth educated in America's...

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School Is For Everyone: Celebrating Plyler v. Doe

(55) Comments | Posted June 11, 2012 | 9:00 AM

Jocelyn came to the United States when she was six years old, brought by a single mom who wanted her to go to school and have a better life than she did. Today, at age 14, Jocelyn is an honors student in Alabama, where she hopes to become...

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Mitt Romney's ACLU Membership Card

(56) Comments | Posted June 5, 2012 | 11:31 AM

The American Civil Liberties Union never releases the names of our members, whether they're a small business owner, soldier, college student or even a candidate for president of the United States.

But here's what we can say and what a lot of voters don't know about Mitt Romney.

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Obama and Marriage: A Turning Point in Presidential Politics

(248) Comments | Posted May 9, 2012 | 3:35 PM

“It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” With those words, President Obama made history as the first sitting president to support marriage equality for same-sex couples. It also means this will be the first presidential election with the...

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The Shame of Guantánamo: A Close-Up View of Injustice

(10) Comments | Posted May 7, 2012 | 5:55 PM

As I watched the arraignment Saturday of five accused conspirators in the 9/11 attacks, I was reminded of Yogi Berra. Sadly, it was a case of déjà vu all over again.

I have been going since 2004 to Guantánamo Bay Naval Base to observe the legal proceedings for accused terrorists....

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Romney and Obama: Lost in the Arizona Desert

(125) Comments | Posted April 26, 2012 | 5:56 PM

The Supreme Court yesterday heard arguments on Arizona's anti-immigrant law SB 1070. I was inside the chamber as the justices indicated they were inclined to uphold at least part of the law, the "show me your papers" provision. It allows police to detain people they believe are in the country...

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Keeping Score in "the War on Women"

(331) Comments | Posted April 17, 2012 | 3:06 PM

So far in Election 2012, we’ve seen a foul-mouthed Rush Limbaugh, men-only Congressional panels on women’s rights, transvaginal probe laws and efforts to restrict women’s access to contraception.

And yet there’s still a dispute over whether there’s a war on women?

Through the hype, women and all Americans deserve better...

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