Blog of Rights

On the Agenda: Week of April 23 – 27, 2012

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 12:04pm

This week, Wednesday is a big day for immigrants' rights advocates: The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Arizona v. United States, the Justice Department's challenge to S.B. 1070, Arizona's racial profiling law. The ACLU will be participating in two briefings today and tomorrow, and will be attending the argument.

The House of Representatives is set to take up four pending cybersecurity bills during what lawmakers have dubbed "Cyber Week." Among the proposals that the House will consider is the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (a.k.a. CISPA), a bill that would allow companies to share private information about their users’ Internet use with the government, including military agencies like the National Security Agency. Privacy groups, including the ACLU, have been urging Congress to oppose any proposals that would give the government such unprecedented powers to snoop through people's personal information without a warrant, proper oversight or limits.

This week the Senate will also continue consideration of S. 1925, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. There are several ACLU issues of interest/concern: LGBT, housing, Native American women, immigration detention, cyberstalking, mandatory minimums, new criminal penalties, etc. Republicans are expected to offer anti-immigration amendments, as well as amendments to strip the LGBT-inclusive provisions from the legislation during floor debate

Monday, April 23

Immigration: Kicking off a series of events surrounding Wednesday’s Supreme Court oral argument in the case of Arizona v. United States, Immigrants’ Rights Project attorney Andre Segura will participate in a press conference on Capitol Hill, and Washington Legislative Office Director Laura Murphy will moderate a Congressional briefing on S.B. 1070, Arizona’s racial profiling law.

Tuesday, April 24

Immigration: The Immigration, Refugees and Border Security Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on S.B. 1070 titled "Examining the Constitutionality and Prudence of State and Local Governments Enforcing Immigration Law."

Education: The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee will hold hearings on proposed fiscal 2013 appropriations for the Department of Education. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will testify.

Cybersecurity: The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management will hold a hearing titled "America is Under Cyber Attack: Why Urgent Action is Needed."

Wednesday, April 25

Immigration: Supreme Court oral arguments will take place in the case of Arizona v. United States, the Department of Justice’s challenge to S.B. 1070, Arizona’s anti-immigrant racial profiling law. A rally will take place on the steps of the Supreme Court at 10:30 a.m., and is expected to draw a diverse group of S.B. 1070 opponents, including religious, labor, and civil rights organizations from around the country.

Voting Rights: Senior Legislative Counsel Deborah J. Vagins will participate in a congressional briefing on the Democracy Restoration Act hosted by Sen. Ben Cardin. She will be speaking alongside other members of the civil rights, faith, and law enforcement community working for passage of the DRA. We are also working with Desmond Meade the President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, who will be speaking at the briefing. Sen. Cardin is scheduled to attend.

Privacy: The Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee of House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the use of DNA technology to solve cold cases.

National Security/Immigration: The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing entitled "Oversight of the Department of Homeland Security." Janet Napolitano, Secretary for Department of Homeland Security, will testify.

Thursday, April 26

Privacy: The Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee of House Armed Services Committee will mark up portions of the fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act under its jurisdiction.

Reproductive and Women’s Rights: The House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel will mark up portions of the FY13 National Defense Authorization bill under its jurisdiction. The ACLU will monitor the proceedings for reproductive and women’s rights issues.

Reproductive Rights: The House Education and Workforce Committee will hold a hearing on the FY13 budget request for the Department of Health and Human Services, where HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify. The ACLU will monitor the proceedings for reproductive rights issues.

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