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.

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, in which an unarmed African-American New Year’s Eve reveler was shot in the back while lying face-down on a BART platform by a white police officer who later testified that he meant to use his taser, not his pistol. The shooting, and the controversial verdict in the criminal trial of the BART police officer, spurred widespread protests.
Ready to Occupy? What You Need to Know about H.R. 347, the "Criminalizing Protest" Law

Ready to Occupy? What You Need to Know about H.R. 347, the "Criminalizing Protest" Law

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:35am

Occupy, NATO and the party conventions are all coming up this year. Know your rights under the newly signed protest law.

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…

That's a Good Question?!

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 7:51pm

So, Rep. Allen West—Republican from 1955—is apparently trying to single-handedly refight the Cold War. At an event today, somebody asked the Florida lawmaker how many members of Congress are “card-carrying Marxists.” His…

Hoodies and Congressional Expression

Hoodies and Congressional Expression

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:04pm

It was hard to miss on TV or online yesterday the spectacle of Democratic Congressman Bobby Rush of Chicago being ejected from the House floor for wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

After taking off his jacket and raising the hood over his head…

Bill Proposes Labeling Video Games Like Cigarettes

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:57pm

Representatives Joe Baca (D-CA) and Frank Wolf (R-VA) introduced a deceptively simple bill last week that is totally unnecessary, potentially very harmful to Americans’ First Amendment rights and needlessly tries to play parent for millions of…

How Big a Deal is H.R. 347, That “Criminalizing Protest” Bill?

How Big a Deal is H.R. 347, That “Criminalizing Protest” Bill?

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:56am

Recent days have seen significant concern about an unassuming bill with an unassuming name: the "Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011." The bill, H.R. 347, has been variously described as making the First…

Cross-Post

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:02pm
Sorry I haven't been posting more. Have been busy with other stuff (but check out this post on the ACLU blog). Also, thanks so much to Naomi Klein, the inimitable author of No Logo and the forthcoming The Shock Doctrine, for linking to findhabeas! …

Spying on Your Circle of Friends

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:43pm
The New York Times reported Sunday that the FBI had consistently used judgeless subpoenas, called National Security Letters, to investigate Americans in the "community of interest" of the bureau's actual target. That's a mouthful, but basically it…

Mr. Addington Gets Called Out

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:10pm
When the historians get their mitts on the Bush presidency, the one essential book that probably will never be written is a biography of David Addington, Vice President Cheney's former top lawyer and current chief of staff (the replacement, of course,…
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