Blog of Rights

Jameel
Jaffer

Jameel Jaffer (@JameelJaffer) is a deputy legal director of the ACLU and director of its Center for Democracy, which houses the organization's work on human rights, national security, free speech, privacy, and technology. He has litigated many cases relating to government surveillance, including challenges to the Patriot Act's "national security letter" provision, the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program, and the National Security Agency's call-tracking program. He has also litigated cases relating to targeted killing and torture, including a landmark case under the Freedom of Information Act that resulted in the release of the Bush administration's "torture memos" and hundreds of other documents relating to the Bush administration's torture program. He is currently working on a book about individual privacy and official secrecy, a project he began as an Open Society Fellow in 2013. Before joining the staff of the ACLU, he clerked for Judge Amalya L. Kearse of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, and Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada. He is a graduate of Williams College, Cambridge University, and Harvard Law School.

Charlie Hebdo, The Interview, and Censoring Torture Photos

Charlie Hebdo, The Interview, and Censoring Torture Photos

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 11:55am
This post was first published by Just Security.
Limitless War

Limitless War

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 10:49am

This originally appeared in a Politico feature collecting responses to President Obama's recently announced military plan against ISIS.

It's strange to think of it now, but when Congress authorized President George W. Bush to use military force…

The Justice Department’s White Paper on Targeted Killing

The Justice Department’s White Paper on Targeted Killing

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 10:04pm

Michael Isikoff at NBC News has obtained a Justice Department white paper that purports to explain when it would be lawful for the government...

Checks, Balances, and the National Security Agency

Checks, Balances, and the National Security Agency

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy & Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:14am

Over the course of three days, the usually invisible National Security Agency has become ostentatiously visible and many Americans...

The Drone Memo Cometh

The Drone Memo Cometh

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 11:18am

In response to consolidated lawsuits filed by the ACLU and The New York Times, the Second Circuit recently ordered the Obama administration to disclose (with redactions) one of the legal memos authorizing the government's premeditated killing of Anwar al-Aulaqi, an American citizen. The government has challenged certain aspects of the court's decision, apparently with some degree of success (more on that below), and it has managed to defer the release of the memo by two months. To its credit, though, the court appears unwilling to allow the government to delay the release of the memo indefinitely. If the court holds to a plan it set forth ten days ago, it will publish the memo itself this coming week.

ACLU on the Hill: NSA Surveillance "Intrusive and Unconstitutional"

ACLU on the Hill: NSA Surveillance "Intrusive and Unconstitutional"

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 11:28am

This morning, I am testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on why the recently revealed NSA spying programs are unconstitutional and what Congress can do to rein in these unlawful and intrusive programs. Read my opening statement below. You…

How the NSA's Surveillance Procedures Threaten Americans' Privacy

How the NSA's Surveillance Procedures Threaten Americans' Privacy

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy & Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 2:33pm

Documents obtained by the journalist Glenn Greenwald and released yesterday by The Guardian show how the National Security Agency...

Secrecy and Surveillance

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 6:09pm

Over the last decade, lawyers for the Bush and Obama administrations have contended, controversially, that many government surveillance programs are effectively immune from judicial review. They’ve argued that surveillance programs can’t…

Americans Deserve an Explanation for Targeted Killings

Americans Deserve an Explanation for Targeted Killings

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 3:27pm

The most important parts of the drone memo are the parts you can’t see.

The memo, released by a federal court on Monday in response to lawsuits filed by the ACLU and The New York Times, addresses the government’s authority to carry out…

Open the Drone Files

Open the Drone Files

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 10:40am

A federal appellate court's publication on Monday of the so-called "drone memo" finally allows the American public to evaluate the legal theories that were the basis for one of the Obama administration's most controversial acts – the extrajudicial…

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