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.

Legislating Catcalling Comes With Real Risks

Legislating Catcalling Comes With Real Risks

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:00am
The piece below was first published as part of the New York Times Room for Debate feature "Do We Need a Law Against Catcalling?" The debate used this conversation starter:
"Ag-Gag" Not Just About Animal Welfare

"Ag-Gag" Not Just About Animal Welfare

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 9:54am

A story out of Utah this week neatly showcased the rising concerns among civil liberties and press freedom groups around so-called "ag-gag" laws, which, in various ways, make it illegal to document animal abuse on factory farms and other agricultural…

Don't Make the Internet Angry...

Don't Make the Internet Angry...

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:46pm

...You wouldn't like it when it's angry. And it's kinda angry.

On September 10, the ACLU will join an array of Internet companies and advocates in an "Internet Slowdown." Organizers plan to pepper sites with the "spinning wheel of death" to…

New Proposal Could Singlehandedly Cripple Free Speech Online

New Proposal Could Singlehandedly Cripple Free Speech Online

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project & Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:10pm

The Internet has evolved into a true marketplace for every idea – if you can think of it, you can find it on the web. That the online world has blossomed into this virtual town square teeming with diverse content is no accident. It is largely a creation…

New Expansion of Stalking Law Poses First Amendment Concerns

New Expansion of Stalking Law Poses First Amendment Concerns

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:55pm

Nestled away in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013), which was signed last week by President Obama and is otherwise a very good law, exists a provision that may significantly broaden the already overly expansive federal…

Shutting Down Cell Service During Protests: The Constitutional Dimension

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 8:19am

The Bay Area Rapid Transit System (“BART,” for short) has a serious public relations problem. BART Police have been involved in three fatal shootings of BART passengers in the past three years, including the Oscar Grant incident in 2009,…

Army Right to Halt 'Extremism' Training, Protect First Amendment Rights

Army Right to Halt 'Extremism' Training, Protect First Amendment Rights

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:46am

This piece originally appeared at Defense One.

Over the past couple of months, conservative commentators and some Republican members of Congress have been making a lot of hay over reports that Army diversity trainings have labeled various religious…

Radically Wrong: The Right to Think Dangerous Thoughts

Radically Wrong: The Right to Think Dangerous Thoughts

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:14am

Despite evidence to the contrary, the government continues to embrace a theory that adopting radical ideas is a first step toward terrorist violence. Based on this discredited model, "preventive" policies are being pursued, resulting in discrimination, suspicionless surveillance of entire communities, and selective law enforcement against belief communities and political activists.

Open Source Intelligence and Crime Prevention

Open Source Intelligence and Crime Prevention

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:00pm

Buried on page A25 of Thursday’s New York Times is a tiny story on what’s likely to become a big problem after the recent horrific mass shooting. According to the report, top intelligence officials in the New York City Police Department…

Worst Facts Make Worst Law with Violent Video Games

Worst Facts Make Worst Law with Violent Video Games

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:43pm

It’s perfectly understandable that after the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., everyone is casting about for an answer to a singular question: why?

As past is prologue, we shouldn’t be surprised that several members of Congress have settled…

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