Communications Director's blog

U.S. Supreme Court strikes down mandatory life-without-parole sentencing

Ruling affects children in 29 states, including Massachusetts.

Despite succeeding in court, "show me your papers" has failed in action

Laura Rotolo

Matthew Segal

Laura Rótolo, FOIA counsel and community advocate for the ACLU of Massachusetts, and Matthew Segal, legal director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, originally co-wrote this guest blog for

Today the Supreme Court struck down several provisions of Arizona's controversial anti-immigrant law, but it upheld the infamous "show me your papers" provision. Although the Court's decision to uphold that provision is a blow against civil rights and liberties, the "show me your papers" provision is likely to be relegated to the dustbin of history anyway.

Fall River Public Schools suspend Black and Latino students, and students with disabilities, at unusually high rates

Civil Rights Project at UCLA and ACLU of Massachusetts file complaint with U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, alleging violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Immigration plan shows that defending rights is smart politics

Carol Rose

Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, originally wrote this guest blog for

It's heartening to see that President Obama is ready to offer immigrants to this country some relief--or at least to their children--by granting work permits to undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors and have since led law-abiding lives.

WTF, Middleborough?

Matt Segal

Matthew R. Segal, legal director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, originally wrote this guest blog for

Some laws are good, some are bad, and some are just @!#$! ridiculous. A new anti-swearing provision passed by the town of Middleborough falls into that last category.

On Monday night, Middleborough voted to allow police officers to write $20 tickets to enforce the town's longstanding ban on addressing anyone in public using profanity. The profanity ban is clearly unconstitutional because the Supreme Court has held that a government cannot ban public speech just because it contains profanity. In Cohen v. California, a man was arrested for disturbing the peace after he went out in public--in fact, he went to a courthouse!--wearing a jacket bearing the words "Fuck the Draft." The Supreme Court held that he had a First Amendment to wear the jacket, noting that "one man's vulgarity is another's lyric."