At Liberty

34 EpisodesProduced by ACLU

At Liberty is a weekly podcast from the ACLU that explores the biggest civil rights and civil liberties issues of the day. Join ACLU attorney Emerson Sykes as he and guests try to make some sense of what’s going on in our country. A production of ACLU, Inc.

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Marriage and the Regulation of Sex (Episode 33)

February 14th, 2019


This Valentine's Day, we're joined by Melissa Murray, NYU Law professor and expert on the legal regulation of sex and sexuality. Professor Murray and …

At Liberty Live! Kwame Anthony Appiah on Identity and the Law (Episode 32)

February 7th, 2019


As part of the "Night of Philosophy and Ideas," renowned philosopher and NYT Ethicist columnist Kwame Anthony Appiah joined host Emerson Sykes — and …

Adam McKay on Dick Cheney's Legacy (Episode 31)

January 31st, 2019


In his new Oscar-nominated film "Vice," Adam McKay(Saturday Night Live, "The Big Short") tells the story of Dick Cheney's journey from college …

Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Stamp on the ACLU (Episode 30)

January 24th, 2019


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become a cultural icon, inspiring internet memes, popular biographies, documentaries, and a new feature …

A Wave of Laws Target Boycotts of Israel (Episode 29)

January 17th, 2019


A raft of new state and federal laws are seeking to stop people from participating in political boycotts aimed at the state of Israel. ACLU attorney …

Whither Abortion Rights? (Episode 28)

January 10th, 2019


The Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973, establishing access to abortion care as a fundamental right. But state legislatures have been chipping away at that right ever since, passing thousands of restrictions on …

ACLU Staffers Go to the Movies (Episode 27)

December 20th, 2018


For our final episode of 2018, we're making a slight departure from our typical format. As we wind down the year and prepare to spend more time indoors, we've asked ACLU staff to give you their movie recommendations to …

The Criminalization of Homelessness (Episode 26)

December 13th, 2018


As homelessness steadily rises in America, so too does the willingness of state and local governments to use criminal laws against their homeless residents. Earlier this year, a federal appeals court found that laws …

Jill Lepore on the Construction of American Citizenship (Episode 25)

December 6th, 2018


Almost 250 years after the adoption of the Declaration of the Independence, debates about founding principles like equality, rights, and representation are as fraught as ever. Jill Lepore, a Harvard history professor …

A Shifting Landscape for Transgender Rights (Episode 24)

November 29th, 2018


The state of transgender equality is in rapid flux in state legislatures, in federal law, in the courts and at the ballot box. Progress is consistently met with backlash. In the past midterm election, Massachusetts …

A Growing Movement for Ethical Tech (Episode 23)

November 21st, 2018


In recent weeks, hundreds of Amazon employees have spoken out to oppose the company marketing its facial recognition software for use by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They join a chorus of voices — both in the …

What’s the Deal With Florida? (Episode 22)

November 15th, 2018


Florida seems perpetually to be at the center of the national conversation and news cycle. The current recount to determine the results of Florida's …

In Florida, a Historic Victory for Voting Rights (Episode 21)

November 7th, 2018


The midterm elections made a lot of news, but one result particularly stands out: Florida's vote on Amendment 4. In a historic change, Floridians …

Voting Rights and the Midterms (Episode 20)

November 1st, 2018


With the midterm elections only a few days away, voting rights advocates have been working furiously to ensure that the result will be the product of …

Tarana Burke and Alyssa Milano on the Future of #MeToo (Episode 19)

October 25th, 2018


One year ago this month, the first bombshell allegations against Harvey Weinstein appeared in The New York Times and The New Yorker. Shortly thereafter, #MeToo went viral on social media. But the origins of this …

Civil Liberties on the Midterm Ballot (Episode 18)

October 18th, 2018


The 2018 midterm elections will determine the fate of governorships nationwide, the party that controls Congress, and the outcome of hugely …

Affirmative Action and the Case Against Harvard (Episode 17)

October 11th, 2018


Harvard University is facing a lawsuit alleging that its undergraduate admissions practices unlawfully discriminate against Asian American …

Why the ACLU Opposes Kavanaugh (Episode 16)

October 2nd, 2018


The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has turned into a full-blown national drama, amid credible sexual misconduct allegations …

What Happens When Prisoners Go on Strike? (Episode 15)

September 27th, 2018


More than 2,000 firefighters battling the blaze in California this summer came from inside the state’s prison system. They were part of a national workforce of incarcerated people, paid pennies per hour and sometimes …

How the ‘War on Terror’ Corrupted America (Episode 14)

September 20th, 2018


America’s response to the 9/11 attacks have dominated our foreign policy, military priorities, and human rights record for 17 years now. Perhaps no …

Family Separation Update: Searching for Parents in Guatemala (Episode 13)

September 13th, 2018


More than a month ago, a federal court ordered the Trump administration to reunite immigrant children and parents it had separated at the U.S. border. Yet hundreds of children remain on their own in government custody, …

Brett Kavanaugh and the Case Against the Supreme Court (Episode 12)

September 6th, 2018


The Supreme Court is meant to protect the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. Historically, however, it has repeatedly failed to live up to that promise. Can one justice change the course of the Supreme …

Criminalizing Schoolkids (Episode 11)

August 30th, 2018


Many of the children who are presently gearing up for a new school year are also preparing to face police on a daily basis. The numbers of cops in …

Since When Is Every Immigrant A Criminal?(Episode 10)

August 23rd, 2018


President Trump often demonizes entire immigrant groups, referring to Mexican people as “rapists” and undocumented immigrants as “animals.” Yet statistics show that immigrants, both undocumented and otherwise, are …

A Nation in Love With Locking People Up (Episode 9)

August 16th, 2018


The United States sends more people to prison or jail than any other nation in the world. Donald Trump pledged to be tough on crime, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has pushed to reinvigorate the war on drugs. …

Lessons From Charlottesville (Episode 8)

August 9th, 2018


On August 12, 2017, a group of white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia. The day was a disaster, with violence in the streets and …

How to Fight an Algorithm (Episode 7)

August 2nd, 2018


It seems like artificial intelligence is everywhere these days — in our homes, in our cars, in our offices, and of course online. Government decisions, too, are being outsourced to computer code. In one Pennsylvania …

America’s Criminalization of Blackness (Episode 6)

July 26th, 2018


In recent months, Black Americans have had the cops called on them for things like waiting in Starbucks, entering their own dorm rooms, moving into their own apartments, and barbecuing in a public park. Why are these …

Desmond Meade and Dale Ho on Restoring the Right to Vote (Episode 5)

July 19th, 2018


The 14th Amendment, ratified exactly 150 years ago, promises equal protection to everyone. But it’s also used to strip the right to vote from millions of Americans who have been convicted of felonies. How did this …

Patrisse Cullors on a Lifetime of Activism and the Founding of Black Lives Matter (Episode 4)

July 12th, 2018


On the eve of the five-year anniversary of the creation of Black Lives Matter, Patrisse Cullors discusses the life that led her to co-found one of …

ACLU Legal Director David Cole on the Supreme Court's Uncertain Future (Episode 3)

July 5th, 2018


An eventful Supreme Court session just came to a close. This year, the court handed down major decisions on partisan gerrymandering, warrantless …

Lee Gelernt on a Major Victory for Immigrant Families (Episode 2)

June 28th, 2018


Lee Gelernt has been fighting Trump’s family separation policy since early this year, months before it became the subject of national outrage. …

Cecile Richards on the Fight for Reproductive Rights (Episode 1)

June 28th, 2018


After 12 years at the center of a heated national debate about abortion rights and women’s healthcare, Cecile Richards recently stepped down as the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She joins At …

Introducing At Liberty

June 7th, 2018


COMING SOON: At Liberty, from the ACLU, with host Lee Rowland. Every week, At Liberty will take on the hottest civil rights and civil liberties debates of the day. Subscribe now.

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