ACLU Demands Government Provide Chelsea Manning Necessary Medical Care

September 23, 2014

Today Chelsea Manning filed a lawsuit in federal court in the District of Columbia against Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and other Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of the Army officials for their failure to provide her with medically necessary treatment for her gender dysphoria, a condition with which she was originally diagnosed by Army doctors more than four years ago.

The complaint is accompanied by a motion for a preliminary injunction demanding that Ms. Manning be provided hormone therapy, permission to follow female grooming standards, and access to treatment by a medical provider qualified to treat her condition. Ms. Manning is currently serving a thirty-five year prison sentence at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth Kansas, and though the military recognizes that she has gender dysphoria requiring treatment, critical care has been withheld without any medical basis.

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Policy & Communications Associate

September 16, 2014


The ACLU of the Nation’s Capital is accepting applications for the position of Policy & Communications Associate.


The Policy & Communications Associate will jointly report to, and work closely with, the Policy and Advocacy Director and the Communications Director. This position is a part of the policy, advocacy and communications team, which is responsible for advancing ACLU priorities in the District and strategically involving ACLU supporters in that effort. The Policy & Advocacy Associate must be highly skilled and experienced in messaging development; campaign management, public speaking, coalition building, communications and advocacy work, and able to represent ACLU of the Nation’s Capital to the public generally.

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: The Senior Administrative Assistant/Office Manager

September 16, 2014

The American Civil Liberties Union of The Nation’s Capital and the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital Fund (ACLU-NCA) seek a Senior Administrative Assistant/Office Manager. Founded in 1961, the ACLU-NCA is one of the District’s premier public advocacy organizations. Based in District of Columbia, the ACLU- NCA advances civil liberties through litigation, legislation and public education. To learn more about the work of the ACLU and the civil liberties principles we uphold, please visit www.aclu- and

JOB DESCRIPTION AND RESPONSIBILITIESThe Senior Administrative Assistant/Office Manager will be an hourly part-time position (.75 FTE) reporting to the Executive Director. The position provides administrative support to the Executive Director and Senior Staff. The perfect candidate is an administrative professional who is on the ball, detail oriented, and enjoys providing backup and support to busy program staff.

Groups Sue U.S. Government over Life-Threatening Deportation Process against Mothers and Children Escaping Extreme Violence in Central America

August 22, 2014


House Committee Votes to Block D.C. Council's Efforts to Decriminalize Marijuana

June 25, 2014


CONTACT: Seema Sadanandan, Program Director, 202-601-4278,; Monica Hopkins-Maxwell, Executive Director, 202-457-0800,

WASHINGTON – The House Appropriations Committee today approved an amendment that blocks implementation of D.C.'s marijuana decriminalization law. The District of Columbia Appropriations bill includes a provision prohibiting the D.C. government from spending federal funds or even locally raised funds to carry out any law, rule, or regulation to reduce criminal penalties for marijuana. The amendment was introduced by Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.).

“By any measure, the war on drugs, particularly on marijuana, has been a failure and severely impacted Black communities and communities of color,” said Monica Hopkins-Maxwell, Executive Director at the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital. “Today’s rider passage is a detrimental blow in the D.C. Council’s attempt to enact smarter, fairer laws that address racial disparities and the mass incarceration of communities of color.”

Glenn Greenwald at the ACLU of the Nation's Capital's 2014 Bill of Rights Awards Dinner

April 28, 2014


The Honorable James Robertson speaks at the ACLU-NCA 2014 Bill of Rights Awards Dinner at The National Press Club on April 23, 2014

April 28, 2014


The ACLU of the Nation's Capital Welcomes Monica Hopkins-Maxwell as our new Executive Director!

April 21, 2014

In Nation's Capital, Mayor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Aimed at Racial Justice

March 31, 2014


CONTACT: 212-549-2666,

WASHINGTON, DC – Today Mayor Vincent Gray of the District of Columbia signed a bill that would remove all criminal penalties from the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana. The legislation would make such possession a civil offense punishable by a $25 fine and require the forfeiture of the drug and any paraphernalia connected to personal consumption or transport. This bill is the first decriminalization measure in the United States that targets racial profiling; it explicitly prohibits police from using the smell of marijuana as a pretext for stopping and searching someone. It now awaits approval from Congress before becoming law.

"This historic legislation exists because DC residents and their leaders decided to change an ugly reality: Black people are stopped, searched, and arrested under marijuana prohibition far more than whites, when both groups use the drug at similar rates," said Seema Sadanandan, Program Director at the ACLU of the Nation's Capital.

Last July, the ACLU and the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital released The War on Marijuana in Black and White, which found that Black people in the District are eight times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites.

Sadanandan continued, "I’ve talked to hundreds of people in the District’s Black and brown communities who have been stopped and searched because police officers claimed they smelled marijuana, only to find no evidence of the drug whatsoever. Children on their way home from school, parents on their way to work—marijuana odor has become the flimsy excuse for treating people of color like criminals. With this decriminalization legislation, we will take a critical step toward ending the racial profiling of entire communities."

The ACLU report, along with research by the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, helped focus the public’s attention on marijuana reform as a tool for racial justice. The District of Columbia City Council drafted and passed the Marijuana Possession Decriminalization Amendment Act of 2014 (Council Bill 20-409), the legislation signed today by Mayor Gray.

The ACLU and the ACLU of the Nation's Capital are grateful to Councilmember Tommy Wells and the other city council members for their work on this important bill.

Join us for the 2014 Annual Bill of Rights Awards Dinner: April 23, 2014

March 26, 2014

Please join us as we honor leaders in the fight for privacy and lawyers who successfully defended civil liberties in DC. Click the image below to download the full invitation to the Bill of Rights Dinner.  Click here to download the form to purchase tickets to the dinner and support the ACLU of the Nation's Capital. 

BOR Dinner

BOR Dinner Details

BOR Dinner

click to view the full invitation

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Everyone can be great,
because everyone can serve.

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.