At Liberty

51 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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Why It's Time to Talk About Reparations

June 13th, 2019

39:04

As discussions about racism in America gain traction, so too does the question of reparations. Broadly defined as some form of repayment for the harms inflicted on enslaved peoples and their descendants, reparations …

Paul Butler on Policing Black Men and Transforming the System

June 6th, 2019

37:27

On this week’s episode, Georgetown Professor Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor, joins At Liberty to discuss his book, "Chokehold: Policing …

The Latest Assault on Abortion Rights

May 30th, 2019

30:28

In the last few months, six states have passed laws that essentially ban abortion, and several other states have similar bills pending. Restrictions on access to abortion have been building for decades since the …

At Liberty Live! Feat. Olivia Wilde and Katie Silberman on “Booksmart”

May 23rd, 2019

38:19

Olivia Wilde and Katie Silberman, the director and the writer of the new movie “Booksmart,” joined At Liberty to talk about storytelling, casting without bias, and why "The Big Lebowski" was an inspiration. Wilde is …

School Segregation 65 Years After Brown v. Board

May 16th, 2019

34:00

May 17 marks the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court case that declared state laws enforcing racial segregation …

Wyatt Cenac on America’s Problem Areas

May 9th, 2019

30:32

Wyatt Cenac is an actor, writer, producer and comedian ("The Daily Show," “Medicine for Melancholy”). He joins At Liberty to discuss balancing comedy …

Abuse and Accountability at the Border

May 2nd, 2019

31:39

Mitra Ebadolahi, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Border Litigation Project, joins At Liberty to debunk misconceptions about the border and discuss the …

Discrimination in the Digital Age

April 25th, 2019

35:35

A few weeks ago, the ACLU and other civil rights organizations announced a landmark settlement with Facebook to prevent advertisers from using ad-targeting filters based on race, gender, and age on job, housing, and …

The Question of Who Gets to Count in the Census Goes to the Supreme Court

April 18th, 2019

24:18

On Tuesday, April 23, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear the case Department of Commerce v. New York, which asks whether a question about citizenship can be added to the 2020 Census questionnaire. The case …

Indigenous Justice in Montana

April 11th, 2019

29:34

At Liberty sits down with Meg Singer, the Indigenous Justice program manager at the ACLU of Montana, and Lillian Alvernaz, the ACLU’s first Indigenous Justice Legal Fellow, to discuss Indigenous justice and organizing …

At Liberty Live! Sergio de la Pava on Literature and Law

April 4th, 2019

46:03

Sergio de la Pava is a critically acclaimed novelist (A Naked Singularity, Personae, Lost Empress) and a full-time public defender who has …

The Threat of Facial Recognition

March 28th, 2019

22:14

Nicole Ozer, the Technology and Civil Liberties director for the ACLU of California, has been at the forefront of debates around privacy and …

A Poet Gives a 360 Degree View of the Criminal Justice System

March 21st, 2019

36:32

Reginald Dwayne Betts is a published poet, memoirist, and legal scholar who's currently pursuing a Ph.D. in law at Yale. His legal work, like his …

At Liberty Live from SXSW! Feat. Tom Morello

March 14th, 2019

29:36

This week, At Liberty comes to you from Austin, TX, where we recorded in front of a live audience with Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, and The Nightwatchman. We sat down to discuss “Atlas …

The Rocky Myers Case

March 7th, 2019

34:57

Rocky Myers is one of 175 people on death row in Alabama. The devastating flaws in his case from the moment of arrest to his sentencing displays the injustice of a brutal criminal system. His attorney Kacey Keeton and …

The Racist Reality of Voter Suppression

February 28th, 2019

35:24

As Black History Month comes to an end, Professor Carol Anderson (Emory University) joins At Liberty to discuss ongoing voter suppression efforts in …

Alan Rusbridger on the Press in Times of Crisis

February 21st, 2019

23:18

Alan Rusbridger is the former editor of The Guardian and author of "Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now." He joins At Liberty to discuss the state of journalism in the social media age: what …

Marriage and the Regulation of Sex

February 14th, 2019

33:55

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

February 7th, 2019

37:16

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

January 31st, 2019

37:15

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

January 24th, 2019

28:45

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

January 17th, 2019

25:16

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?

January 10th, 2019

29:08

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

December 20th, 2018

15:54

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

December 13th, 2018

26:04

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

December 6th, 2018

28:55

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

November 29th, 2018

31:13

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

November 21st, 2018

21:42

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?

November 15th, 2018

31:01

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

November 7th, 2018

27:21

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

November 1st, 2018

33:21

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

October 25th, 2018

30:24

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

October 18th, 2018

31:07

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

October 11th, 2018

24:43

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

Why the ACLU Opposes Kavanaugh

October 2nd, 2018

22:58

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?

September 27th, 2018

28:24

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

September 20th, 2018

26:42

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

September 13th, 2018

24:57

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

September 6th, 2018

32:03

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

August 30th, 2018

26:43

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?

August 23rd, 2018

31:31

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

August 16th, 2018

29:09

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

August 9th, 2018

35:01

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

August 2nd, 2018

21:15

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

July 26th, 2018

31:45

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

July 19th, 2018

25:52

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

July 12th, 2018

27:59

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

July 5th, 2018

26:51

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

June 28th, 2018

31:21

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

June 28th, 2018

36:50

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

1:25

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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