Blog of Rights

Gabe
Rottman

Gabe Rottman is a legislative counsel/policy advisor in the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office, focusing on the First Amendment. In that role, Rottman advocates in Congress and the federal agencies for the freedoms of speech, press, assembly and petition, including issues related to intellectual property, telecommunications regulation, media law, criminal speech restrictions and the rights of protesters.  Prior to this position, he served as an attorney in private practice and as a senior writer and communications specialist for the ACLU.

"An Attempt to Rehabilitate..."

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:57pm
Serious stuff now. The military has formally charged only the second of the detainees currently awaiting military commission (doesn't quite have the same ring as "awaiting trial"), a 20-year-old Canadian named Omar Khadr. (Remember that the vast majority of the detainees will not be charged under the military commission scheme; some will remain locked up indefinitely as combatants in the GWOT). Note that because Khadr has been detained for close to five years without charge, he was 15 when the alleged offense occurred. Apparently, conviction will not carry the death penalty, given his age at the time. The charge against Khadr falls after the first charged detainee, David Hicks, received a nine-month plea bargained sentence, considered a travesty in many quarters as it seemed pregnant with diplomatic quid pro quos between the States and Australia, a key ally. From the LA Times:

Activists vs. Career Politicians?

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:34pm
The Washington Post has a look at the strange dynamic dividing many members of the conservative base in D.C. from their traditional allies over the illegal NSA spying. The article specifically mentions the libertarian Cato Institute, but the same dynamic…

No Lip Reading Required

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 7:22pm
CNN has been running an 2004 quote from the president about court orders and wiretaps. It's pretty hard to reconcile the roiling NSA scandal with this statement. The ACLU and many others have been questioning the administration's assurances about the…

Spy Wars

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:18pm
The news has churned this week with coverage of the NSA scandal. Shifting focus from the very real privacy implications of the domestic surveillance, the more recent stories are really getting to the heart of the matter: that this is about the separation…

Tick-Tock

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:01am
Before getting into the relatively scanty pre-vote Roberts coverage, Slate mentions the ACLU of Pennsylvania's lawsuit in Dover challenging the school district's decision to teach "intelligent design" as an "alternative" to evolution. In anticipation…

The Oyez Roundup

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:39pm
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13 to 5 today to send Judge John Roberts to the whole Senate for a vote on his nomination as chief justice of the United States. It seems close to a certainty that he will be confirmed. The five Democratic senators…

London Calling

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:16pm
The latest Patriot Act news brings a good sampling of stories worth looking at (good for a wet and dreary August day in sleepy, Congressional recess-ridden Washington). FoxNews.com has an online addendum to a recent broadcast. David Keene, president…
Media Protection Rule Helpful, But Not a Panacea

Media Protection Rule Helpful, But Not a Panacea

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:50pm

The new rule released yesterday governing when the Department of Justice can investigate journalists seems like a dollop of progress with a sizeable helping of potential concern. The attorney general does, however, deserve credit for some progress…

Relax, It’s Not the Thought Police

Relax, It’s Not the Thought Police

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:19pm

I get paid to defend unpopular speech. And, I’m the first to jump at the slightest hint of government censorship or coercion in the free market of ideas, as our recent comments critical of the IRS’s plans to regulate non-partisan political speech…

Rebooting Net Neutrality

Rebooting Net Neutrality

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:33pm

The Federal Communications Commission has taken the first step in rebooting the net neutrality rules. Today's announcement by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler follows a major D.C. Circuit decision this year, which struck down the existing rules requiring that…

Statistics image