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.

FISA Needs Following, Not Modernizing

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:07pm
It's not always easy crystallizing the civil liberties message to a broad audience. I mean, let's face it, there's a big leap between selling SUVs and the Fourth Amendment. But in the lead-up to Congress' return and today's House Judiciary Committee hearing on FISA, own version of the glitzy, high-def car commercial is kicking up some Capitol dust. In the ads, two sheep, ear-tagged Pelosi and Reid, talk about their failure to shepherd the Democratic majority into a stand against Bush's extraordinary expansion of government surveillance authority. Our sheep are still in the "lamblight" this week and the message is clear: Congress must restore privacy protections and judicial review to the NSA spy program. Even one of the targets of our ads, Speaker Pelosi, implored Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers and Intelligence Chair Reyes to come up with an alternative to the wiretapping expansions in the "Police America Act." The sheep comparison seems to have stuck. Both the Washington Post and Boston Globe mentioned the ads in this week's roundups on FISA legislation. The hastily-voted FISA expansion sunsets in six months: That means come January, the Democratically-led Congress must grow a spine and stand up to the president's power grab. An appeal to Democratic members of Congress: Pass sound, controlled counterterrorism legislation that provides the authorities needed but with appropriate bulwarks against abuse. Force the hard votes. That's not only possible and politically feasible - it's your constitutional duty. Stand up to the fear-mongering. It's not like Republican legal eagles are lockstep behind the administration's radical position. And with key Bush staffers resigning right and left (well, mostly right), it's not as if the president has a strong mandate for his extreme views. Voters are hungry for change. The electorate gave you a mandate in 2006. For freedom's sake, use it.

Absolute Must Read

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:41pm
Linda Greenhouse virtuosity: a great synopsis of the habeas restoration landscape as we wait with baited breath for Congress to come back from their August recess (no pun intended). Key grafs, buried at the end of the story: The recently filed briefs…

Why Worry?

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:42am

A Reprimand

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:24pm

More Possibles for AG

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:30am

Guessing Game

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:05am
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