Civil Liberties and Constitutional Rights

U.S. National Archives / Ben Balter (background)

Too often, national security and personal liberties are portrayed as inversely related. This is simplistic, and also clearly wrong. After all, in the absence of security, it would be impossible to enjoy our freedoms at all. Nevertheless, some of the hardest national security choices are inevitably those that involve tradeoffs with civil liberties. The need to gather information on our enemies rubs up against expectations of privacy. The eroding line between war and law enforcement endangers principles of due process. And the need to keep secrets increasingly leads to tension with a robust free press.

 

Latest in Civil Liberties and Constitutional Rights

Transgender Servicemembers

Document: District Court Upholds Preliminary Injunction on Transgender Military Ban

On Friday, April 13, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled that its preliminary injunction on the president’s ban on military service by openly transgender individuals will remain in effect. The court also ruled to make transgender people a protected class, citing the systemic oppression transgender individuals have long faced. The court’s ruling is below: 

Civil Liberties and Constitutional Rights

Documents: New Trump Administration Policy on Transgender Servicemembers

On March 23, President Trump announced a new policy limiting the ability of transgender people to serve in the U.S. military, based on a recommendation prepared by Defense Secretary James Mattis. Trump's memo, Mattis's memo and the Defense Department study on which Mattis's memo is based are all included below.

First Amendment

Twitter Users Sue to Enjoin the President’s Twitter Blocking Based on Political Viewpoint

On Tuesday, a civil action was filed by Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute and seven blocked Twitter users, asserting that President Trump and his staff are violating the First Amendment by blocking users on Twitter based on their viewpoints. 

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