Throughout this country's history, national security has often been used as a pretext for massive violations of individual rights. In the name of national security, President Jefferson countenanced internment camps for political dissidents; President Wilson authorized the round-up and deportation of thousands of foreign-born suspected "radicals" during the Palmer Raids; and President Franklin Roosevelt interned 120,000 Japanese Americans. The Cold War era brought loyalty oaths, blacklisting and travel restrictions; the Vietnam War era saw the government's attempt to censor the "Pentagon Papers". None of these measures were actually necessary to preserve national security; all of them violated civil liberties.
Since September 11, 2001, our government has introduced countless new security measures as part of its "war on terrorism." Unfortunately, many of these new measures are either ineffective, unnecessary, or both, and they violate civil liberties principles. Whether we are looking at secret arrests and detentions, national ID cards, facial recognition technology, military tribunals, the USA Patriot Act, racial profiling, or the TIPS program encouraging people to spy on one another, we see security measures that will not stop terrorism, but will require us to give up our freedom. Terrorism, by definition, is not just intended to kill and destroy, it is also intended to make us act in fear, and make choices against our best interests. The United States was founded on the principles of freedom, justice and equality; if we give up these beliefs because of fear, then terrorists will have won.
- October 16, 2018 Ed Barocas, an NJ Legal Giant, Retires as ACLU-NJ Legal Director
- August 15, 2017 ACLU-NJ Petitions for Immediate Release of Afghan Refugee Who Worked for U.S.
- April 5, 2017 Vigil Thursday to Support Afghan Visa Holder Before Detention Hearing
- March 31, 2017 ACLU-NJ Pushes for Release of Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Holder
- March 16, 2017 Appeals Court Halts Deportation of Detained Afghan Who Helped U.S. Military
- January 24, 2017 ACLU-NJ to Muslim Orgs: We’re Ready to Defend Your Rights
- September 26, 2016 Suspect in Bombings Has a Right to a Lawyer
- June 3, 2016 NJ Privacy Advocates Challenge MVC’s Plan to Warehouse NJ Residents’ Sensitive Records
- May 3, 2016 ACLU-NJ Urges Christie to Retain State’s Role in Refugee Resettlement
- November 24, 2015 ACLU-NJ Seeks Details of Syrian Refugee Policy
- Kean Federation of Teachers v. Morell, et al.
Amicus brief in challenge to Kean University Board of Trustees violation of the Open Public Meetings Act ("OPMA") by not promptly releasing their closed session meeting minutes, as required by law, and by failing to give advance notice to university faculty that would be impacted by the closed session meeting.
- Hassan v. The City of New York
Challenge to surveillance by the New York Police Department of Muslims in New Jersey.
- Garfield Gayle, et al. v. Janet Napolitano, et al.
Immigration detainees held in detention facilities not provided bail hearing
- ACLU v. FBI
ACLU’s FOIA request for FBI documents on ethnic mapping was not fulfilled.
- Makky v. Chertoff
Arab engineer employed by the Transportation Security Administration suspended without reason on the day the United States invaded Iraq.
- Frederick Boyle v. Robert W. Werner, et al.
- Deborah Jacobs v. Peter Harvey, et al.
- Price v. Corzine
- Random Bag Checks on Transit: Neither Safe Nor Free (2005)
- Would National ID Cards Increase Safety and Preserve Civil Liberties? (2002)
- Safe & Free - Civil Liberties in the Age of Terrorism (2001)
- ACLU-NJ Urges Commuters To Report Stories On Bag Searches (2005)
- USA PATRIOT Act Ad Campaign (2005)
- PatriART: Artists Defend Civil Liberties (2005)
- Civil Liberties Quotes in the Wake of 9-11 (2001)
- Highlights of ACLU-NJ Work to Defend Freedom in the Age Terrorism (2001)
- What to do if the FBI or Homeland Security Wants to Question You (435k PDF)
- Conozca sus Derechos ante la Migra (85k PDF)
- What to Do If Questioned by Police, FBI, Customs Agents or Immigration Officers:
- Bustcard-English Wallet size version of Know Your Rights-English (426k PDF)
- Bustcard-Spanish Wallet size version of Know Your Rights-Spanish (426k PDF)