Blog of Rights

On the Agenda: March 19 - 23, 2012

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 12:10pm

This week, the Senate is expected to begin floor consideration of S. 1925, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. There are multiple areas of ACLU interest with respect to this legislation, including LGBT-inclusive provisions, housing protections for victims of domestic violence, and protections against abuse for immigrants in detention.

Coming up next month: it's not too early to think about Equal Pay Day (EPD), which falls on April 17 this year. EPD marks how far women, on average, have to work into 2012 to be paid the same as men were paid in 2011. We will be working in conjunction with the Obama administration and the Paycheck Fairness Coalition to promote issues of fair pay for EPD.

Monday, March 19

Today we're filing a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR) against the U.S. on behalf of three Afghanis and three Iraqis who were tortured while held by the American military at detention centers in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003 and 2004. They were part of a group of men that in 2005 sued then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and three senior military officials in federal court for their torture and abuse. That case was summarily dismissed on immunity grounds before reaching the merits.

Tuesday, March 20

Juvenile Justice: The Supreme Court will hear two cases, Jackson v. Hobbs and Miller v. Alabama, which will decide whether children can be sentenced to life without parole after being convicted of homicide.

ID Theft: The Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing titled "The Spread of Tax Fraud by Identity Theft."

REAL ID: The Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing titled "Secure Identification: The REAL ID Act's (PL 109-13) Minimum Standards for Driver's Licenses and Identification Cards."

Employment: The Workforce Protections Subcommittee of the House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a hearing titled "Ensuring Regulations Protect Access to Affordable and Quality Companion Care." This hearing will be examine the Department of Labor's proposed rule to provide most home care workers with federal minimum wage and overtime protections. The ACLU will be submitting agency comments in support of the proposed rule on March 12.

Wednesday, March 21

Privacy: The Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on ways to balance prosperity and security, focusing on challenges for the United States air travel in the 21st century global economy.

Employment: The House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a hearing on the fiscal 2013 budget request for the activities and operations of the Department of Labor. Secretary of Labor Hila Solis will testify. ACLU will be monitoring.

Immigration: The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the fiscal 2013 budget request for the operations and programs of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano will testify.

Thursday, March 22

Education: The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on proposed fiscal 2013 appropriations for the Departments of Education. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will testify. ACLU will be monitoring.

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