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.

The Darker Side of the DOJ Press Guidelines

The Darker Side of the DOJ Press Guidelines

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:26pm
In mid-July, the attorney general released guidelines about when and how the Justice Department can investigate journalists in the aftermath of the AP and James Rosen scandals. In my last post, I explained why the new limits on when the DOJ can delay notice of a phone records subpoena are really very good. Here, I'll look at the darker side of the changes.
The Biggest Reform in the New DOJ Media Guidelines

The Biggest Reform in the New DOJ Media Guidelines

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:24am

Some have been dismissive of the reforms in the new Justice Department guidelines governing investigations of members of the news media. But I'm not so pessimistic, at least with respect to the most significant change, which could have possibly prevented…

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…

Dragneting the Modern Media

Dragneting the Modern Media

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:40pm

We're used to talking about press freedoms in the context of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom . . . of the press." But, especially in light of the ACLU's recent FBI report, Unleashed and Unaccountable, we…

The Freedom to Game

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:17pm

In 1954, German-American psychiatrist Fredric Wertham published the now infamous Seduction of the Innocent, a book chronicling the supposed harm caused to America's youth by comic books. Wertham's book prompted a wave of hand-wringing around the…

UK Ideological Travel Ban Helps Hate

UK Ideological Travel Ban Helps Hate

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:42pm

So, this sounds like as good a time as ever to make a counterintuitive argument.

Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer—two notable critics of "creeping sharia" and the "Islamization" of America—were invited to speak at an English Defense League…

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.

DOJ Defends Your Right to Record

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:24pm

We haven’t pulled punches in our criticism of the Holder Justice Department, so it’s especially important that we give credit where credit is due. In support of an important case brought by the ACLU of Maryland defending the right to record, the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division forcefully and unequivocally endorsed our view in an unusual (but welcome!) 11-page letter to the Baltimore Police Department.

Buddhists, “True Threats” and Twitter

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:55pm

One of the very few pleasant things about being an attorney is that even some of the most boring cases have wacky backstories. This post is about one of the wackiest--though the issues raised illustrate certain constitutional concerns with a very short…

Unfrackingbelievable

Unfrackingbelievable

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:40pm

Earlier this month, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette managed to unseal an extraordinary court transcript. In it, a local court approved an unusual settlement agreement between the Hallowich family and several natural gas companies, including Texas-based…

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