On Liberty

Friday Night ICE


Laura Rotolo

Laura Rótolo, FOIA counsel and community advocate for the ACLU of Massachusetts, originally wrote this guest blog for Boston.com.

It’s Friday afternoon. Time for another hollow announcement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) purporting to fix its controversial “Secure Communities” program. These announcements—exquisitely timed to avoid media attention—have become such a pattern that advocates have come to expect “Friday surprises.”

This time, ICE announced its response to the criticisms of a task force comprising a diverse group of stakeholders hand-picked by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The task force criticized Secure Communities (S-Comm) for its inconsistent messaging, lack of transparency, and interference with community policing.

Searching for justice in the Trayvon Martin case



Carol Rose

Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, originally wrote this blog for Boston.com.

Despite what others may say, justice has not been done in the Trayvon Martin shooting death simply because the accused shooter, George Zimmerman, has been indicted for second-degree murder.

If we had real justice in America, Trayvon Martin would still be alive.

There's nothing rational about marriage discrimination



Carol Rose

Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, originally wrote this blog for Boston.com.

Watching court arguments for and against equal marriage in a federal appeals court in Boston today, I have to wonder how "equal protection under the law" can have any meaning if Congress is permitted to discriminate against an entire class of Americans.

Sunlight is a disinfectant--and this law stinks.



Carol Rose

Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, originally wrote this blog for Boston.com.

Our democracy rests on the fundamental notion that no branch of government should have unchecked power. When that system of checks and balances breaks down, abuse of power is inevitable.

So perhaps we shouldn't be surprised to learn that, after nine weeks of secret court hearings, the Suffolk Superior Court has ordered Twitter, Inc., to comply with a state administrative subpoena issued by the Suffolk District Attorney's office on December 14, 2011, seeking personally identifying information for an anonymous Twitter user during the period December 8, 2011 to December 13, 2011, for "account or accounts associated with" the names "Guido Fawkes", "@p0ison0N", "@OccupyBoston", or the Twitter hashtags "#d0xcak3" and "#BostonPD".

It’s time for Senator Scott Brown to admit to a mistake.



Carol Rose

Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, originally wrote this blog for Boston.com.

So, Scott Brown trusts women to risk their lives on the front lines for America. “We have an obligation to expand the professional opportunities available to women, especially considering their sacrifices,’’ he says. Good.

He’s willing to have women take part in combat, but he doesn’t trust women to make decisions to protect their own bodies? How else can you explain Senator Brown’s support for extreme legislation (the Blunt Amendment) that would allow any employer to deny their employees insurance coverage for any health care service -- from contraception to cancer screening -- by citing "religious beliefs or moral convictions."

Allowing CEOs to impose their religious views on their employees is not religious liberty. It's discrimination, plain and simple. And “moral convictions” could be used to justify almost anything.