The authors of the Declaration of Independence outlined a bold vision for America: a nation in which all people would be free and equal. More than two hundred years later, it has yet to be achieved.
When the government has the power to deny legal rights and due process to one vulnerable group, everyone’s rights are at risk.
America, land of the free, has earned the disturbing distinction of being the world’s leading jailer. Representing just 5 percent of the world’s population, we now hold 25 percent of its inmates. The “tough on crime” politics of the 1980s and 1990s fueled an explosion in incarceration rates.
Following the 2016 election, the fight for voting rights remains as critical as ever. Politicians across the country continue to engage in voter suppression, efforts that include additional obstacles to registration, cutbacks on early voting, and strict voter identification requirements.
The First Amendment to the US Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Governme
The death penalty in Louisiana is a broken process from start to finish. Death sentences are predicted not by the heinousness of the crime but by the poor quality of the defense lawyers, the race of the accused or the victim, and the county and state in which the crime occurred.
The goal of criminal law reform is to put an end to excessively harsh crime policies that result in mass incarceration and stand in the way of a just and equal society.
Freedom of speech, of the press, of association, of assembly and petition -- this set of guarantees, protected by the First Amendment, comprises what we refer to as freedom of expression. Without it, other fundamental rights, like the right to vote, would wither and die.
The ACLU works to ensure that LGBTQ people have equal opportunity to participate fully in civil society. No LGBTQ person should experience discrimination in employment, housing, or in businesses and public places, or the suppression of their free expression or privacy rights.
A culture of punishment, combined with race- and class-based animus, has led the United States to rely on incarceration more heavily than any other country in the world does.
The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought.”
—U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in Riley v. California (2014)
- 1 of 2