Blog of Rights

On the Agenda: December 19 - 23, 2011

By Jessica Monaco, ACLU at 1:15pm

Congress headed home last weekend, so it’s a light week ahead on the Hill.

Monday, December 19

Immigrants’ Rights: The ACLU is in South Carolina today arguing to block the state’s anti-immigrant law from going into effect. Andre Segura will argue before the federal district court in Charleston.

Tuesday, December 20

National Security: The ACLU will appear before the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in our case on behalf of David House, a computer programmer, whose laptop was confiscated as he crossed the border. Our lawsuit charges the government targeted House solely on the basis of his lawful association with the Bradley Manning Support Network when it seized House's laptop, USB drive and camera, and proceeded to copy and possibly disseminate their contents. The judge will hear arguments on the government’s motion to dismiss the case.

Wednesday, December 21

Reproductive Freedom: On Wednesday, The ACLU, The ACLU of Nevada and Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood will argue in the second of two lawsuits challenging two proposed “Personhood” ballot initiatives that could ban vital health services by granting legal protections to fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses. The effect of the initiatives, if passed, could outlaw many kinds of reproductive health services: abortion care; treatment for miscarriage or other complications; commonly used forms of birth control, like the Pill; treatment for ectopic pregnancies; and in-vitro fertilization. Learn more >>

Friday December 23: 

Prisoners’ Rights: We’re filing a brief in federal court in Prison Legal News v. DeWitt, a challenge to a South Carolina jail’s policy barring publications such as Time, Newsweek, and Prison Legal News from being sent to prisoners based on concerns that don’t even pass the laugh test, such as a claim that detainees will take staples out of magazines and use them for nefarious purposes.

To be continued, after the break...

On December 15th and 16th, the House Judiciary Committee held a markup for the Stop Online Piracy Act. After 12+ hours of debating, Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) adjourned the meeting without finishing a consideration of all the amendments. The markup is set to resume at the next practicable time. Out of the amendments considered thus far, only Chairman Smith’s manager’s amendment along with four other minor amendments were adopted. While these amendments do make a number of changes, they do not go far enough. Contact Congress NOW and tell them to oppose SOPA.

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