Blog of Rights

On the Agenda: March 5 – 9, 2012

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 11:08am

We have a busy week ahead, with a big speech by the attorney general today, hearings on immigrants' rights, cybersecurity and prisoners' rights throughout the week and, of course, Super Tuesday tomorrow.

Monday, March 5

This afternoon at 4:30 p.m. EST, Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to deliver a speech addressing the Obama administration's legal basis for the targeted killing program. The ACLU filed a lawsuit in 2010 challenging the government's asserted authority to kill U.S. citizens far from any armed conflict zone, and has pending Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation for information about the secrecy-shrouded program.

Prisoners' Rights: The ACLU National Prison Project's Amy Fettig testifes today before the U.N. Human Rights Council, urging the U.S. to allow a visit by Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez for the purpose of investigating solitary confinement in supermax prisons. The ACLU is also calling on the U.S. to take concrete and appropriate measures to end the egregious violations that stem from the practice.

LGBT Rights: Today a new rule from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is set to take effect. The rule includes several important provisions, including a requirement for entities assisted by HUD or insured by the Federal Housing Administration to make housing available without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.

Tuesday, March 6

Prisoners' Rights: The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing on the proposed FY2013 appropriations for the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and will feature testimony from the new BOP director, Charles Samuels.

Reproductive Rights: The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee will hold a budget hearing. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify.

Immigrants' Rights: The Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing titled "From the 9/11 Hijackers to Amine el-Khalifi: Terrorists and the Visa Overstay Problem."

Wednesday, March 7

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 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.

Cybersecurity: Legislative Counsel Michelle Richardson will speak on a panel hosted by the Heritage Foundation on Rep. Michael Rogers' cybersecurity bill, H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011. The panel will follow a presentation by Rogers on his bill, and will include Paul Rosenzweig, and Gus P. Coldebella.

Also in cybersecurity, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing titled "Cybersecurity: The Pivotal Role of Communications Networks."

Immigrants' Rights: The Immigration Policy and Enforcement Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on H.R. 3808, legislation that would allow the federal government to take into custody and deport an alien who is unlawfully in the United States and is arrested by a state or local law enforcement officer for driving while intoxicated. We'll be live-tweeting this hearing; follow @ACLULive for updates.

Thursday, March 8

LGBT Rights: The ACLU and coalition partners engaged on the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA), will mark the one-year anniversary of the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention by sending a coalition letter to President Obama signed by dozens of national organizations urging him to endorse and fully support the SNDA.

Education: The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing titled "The Key to America's Global Competitiveness: A Quality Education."

Reproductive Rights: The Constitution Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (H.R. 2299).

Immigrants' Rights: The Oversight, Investigations and Management Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing titled "Eliminating Waste, Fraud, Abuse, and Duplication in the Department of Homeland Security."

The Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on proposed fiscal 2013 appropriations for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE Director John Morton will testify.

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.

Friday, March 9

The ACLU's "dotRights" online privacy campaign will be at the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. ACLU staffers will be participating in panels taking place on Saturday, March 10, and Tuesday, March 13, and we'll have a booth at the trade show from Monday, March 12 through Thursday, March 15. Follow @dotRights for updates from #sxswi!

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