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Civil Liberties

War on Islam Comes to Our Backyards

Manal Omar | Posted 10.09.2015 | Religion
Manal Omar

The escalation of tension among the American-Muslim community is an opportunity for us to once more examine the role of religion in society from a multi-disciplinary lens. It is an opportunity to reject the simplistic and sensational narrative that is leading to a cycle of violence.

California Can Teach The Rest Of Us An Important Lesson In Digital Privacy

The Huffington Post | Alexander Howard | Posted 10.09.2015 | Technology

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed the nation's strongest digital privacy law yet, codifying a simple principle: All of our ...

Debtors Prisons: How Counties Use Poor People to Fund Criminal Justice

ACLU of Washington | Posted 10.06.2015 | Politics
ACLU of Washington

After struggling with addiction and mental illness, Jayne Fuentes served her time, found a job and got her life back on track. She's been sober and crime-free for three years, but one thing still dogs her: fear of being jailed or forced to do physical labor because she can't afford to pay the government.

The No-Fly Follies

Rebecca Gordon | Posted 09.20.2015 | Politics
Rebecca Gordon

At the check-in line at San Francisco International Airport, we handed over our driver's licenses and waited for the airline ticket agent to find our flight and reservation. Suddenly, she got a funny look on her face. "There's something wrong with the computer," she said. "I need to talk to my supervisor."

Signs Point to More Freedom: How a Recent Supreme Court Decision Strengthens the First Amendment

Evan Bernick | Posted 08.20.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

Those who believe, with Abrams, that "the First Amendment is about liberty" and that "we all lose by reading it narrowly" should welcome the ruling in Reed and pay no heed to Post's parade of horribles.

Rand Paul, Libertarian?

Anthony D. Romero | Posted 07.31.2015 | Politics
Anthony D. Romero

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. But when it comes to the question of abortion, Rand Paul believes government should be making our most intimate decisions for us.

CISA: The Dirty Deal Between Google and the NSA That No One Is Talking About

Evan Greer | Posted 07.30.2015 | Politics
Evan Greer

One of the things that civil liberties activists like to lament about is that the general public seems to care more about Google and Facebook using their personal data to target advertising than the government using it to target drone strikes.

An Open Letter to the DA Who Thinks I Must Be in ISIS Because I Carry Around Cash

Josh Axelrad | Posted 07.30.2015 | Politics
Josh Axelrad

Dear Scott Rowland, I had $10K, little more, in the car when I heard you on All Things Considered. You were defending civil asset forfeiture. Your defense, I had to notice, backfired. You didn't defend forfeiture at all. But your comments provided a rich illustration of why forfeiture must be abolished.

Meeting First Amendment Standards: In 2015, More Universities Are Making the Grade

Azhar Majeed | Posted 07.30.2015 | College
Azhar Majeed

Yet year after year, my organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), finds that the vast majority of colleges and universities -- both public and private -- maintain speech codes that severely restrict or overly regulate the expression of students and professors.

Just The Latest Attack On Planned Parenthood And The Women It Serves

Sen. Barbara Boxer | Posted 07.30.2015 | Politics
Sen. Barbara Boxer

Let's be clear: this attack on women's health is the opposite of liberty. Republicans are using women's health and women's lives as a political football - and that is wrong.

He Gave Me a Breathalyzer Test That I Couldn't Refuse

Janis Powers | Posted 07.24.2015 | Crime
Janis Powers

As we debate the boundaries of law enforcement's authority, I am reminded of my own recent run-in with a traffic cop in New Zealand.

What Americans Actually Do When The Government Is Watching

Brynne O'Neal | Posted 07.20.2015 | Politics
Brynne O'Neal

When speaking out means sacrificing privacy, we lose points of view, and the quality of our democracy suffers. That should give all of us something to truly fear.

There's a Contract for That

Kim Paris | Posted 07.08.2015 | Politics
Kim Paris

There's a growing bipartisan push in some states to stop issuing marriage licenses altogether in a surprisingly good, "smaller government" way. SamePageNation's "There's a Contract for That" imagines what life might look like and pokes fun at the outlandish extremes some have suggested would be possible.

The Chilling Effect of Banishing Symbols of Hate

Michael Meyers | Posted 07.07.2015 | Politics
Michael Meyers

Leo Tolstoy said, "History would be something extraordinary if only it were true." True history is not scary or offensive. True history is eye-opening and jarring.

Pinch me

Marcia Liss | Posted 06.26.2015 | Comedy
Marcia Liss


President's Task Force a Springboard for Policing Reforms

Lauren-Brooke Eisen | Posted 05.28.2015 | Politics
Lauren-Brooke Eisen

While the Task Force's final report, released this week, does include some smart recommendations that could improve the criminal justice system, they missed two key opportunities to reform police practices.

NSA Winds Down Phone-Records Collection Program

AP | Ken Dilanian | Posted 05.24.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Security Agency has begun winding down its collection and storage of American phone records after the Senate failed t...

Oh, Boy

Marcia Liss | Posted 06.29.2015 | Fifty
Marcia Liss


Patriot Act

SidneyAnne Stone | Posted 06.08.2015 | Politics
SidneyAnne Stone

As long as the war on terror exists, there will be a need for the Patriot Act. In all likelihood, this is simply the world we live in now. There are, however, aspects of the Patriot Act that are undeniably in need of revision.

New Measures Help Offenders Who Can't Afford Fines, Legal Fees Avoid Cycle Of Debtors' Prison

New York Times | TINA ROSENBERG | Posted 03.31.2015 | Impact

When Jack Dawley returned in 2007 to his hometown, Norwalk, Ohio, after eight years in prison and on parole in Wisconsin, he knew getting by would be ...

Have You Any Decency? What Every American Needs to Know About High Stakes Testing and the Latest Threat to Civil Liberties

Yohuru Williams | Posted 05.23.2015 | Education
Yohuru Williams

While supporters of the corporate education reform agenda are denigrating parents, belittling students and targeting organize labor, one wonders who is keeping an eye out for protecting civil liberties and preserving American democracy.

Own Goal

Paula Gordon | Posted 04.27.2015 | Politics
Paula Gordon

Here's the irony of the Homeland Security funding fiasco. The Republicans have found their groove.

Vaccinations - Balancing Community and Individual Liberties and Rights

William Pierce | Posted 04.20.2015 | Politics
William Pierce

When it comes to vaccinations that have immense benefits to our public health, we should move forward with policies that preserve the community's rights to a healthy environment free of eliminable health hazards.

Muslim American Caught In Post-9/11 Sweep Gets An Apology

Los Angeles Times | Richard E. Serrano | Posted 02.14.2015 | Politics

Abdullah al-Kidd approached the Dulles International Airport ticket counter in March 2003 expecting to catch a flight to Saudi Arabia to study Arabic ...

Countering Domestic Terrorism

Dr. Harlan K. Ullman | Posted 04.11.2015 | Politics
Dr. Harlan K. Ullman

The attacks on Pearl Harbor and September 11th angered and catalyzed America into action. But terror can also terrorize a nation into inaction and even panic. Overreaction is always possible. Much more needs to be done to counter domestic terror -- and not just in America.