Blog of Rights

On the Agenda: Week of May 14–18, 2012

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 12:39pm

Remember the battle over the NDAA last year? Well, it's baaaack! This week, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 will be taken up for debate on the House floor as early as Tuesday, May 15, and will most likely last for two to three days. Reps. Justin Amash and Adam Smith have joined forces on an amendment to modify last year's detention provisions. The amendment is an important fix to last year's NDAA and we're pulling for it to pass. We'll be monitoring the debate, so stay tuned for updates on the blog.

Monday, May 14

Cybersecurity: George Washington University's Homeland Security Policy Institute will hold an event titled "A Conversation on Cyber Strategy with General James E. Cartwright."

Tuesday, May 15

National Security/Detention: The House Rules Committee will consider rules for floor debate for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA), HR 4310.

Wednesday, May 16

National Security/Torture/Detention: On May 16, ACLU Human Rights Program Director Jamil Dakwar will attend and live-tweet from a European Court of Human Rights hearing in El-Masri v. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a case filed by the Open Society Justice Initiative on behalf of Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen, who was mistakenly abducted in Macedonia and secretly shipped to Afghanistan for four months in 2004. In 2007, U.S. courts dismissed on state secrecy grounds a lawsuit filed by the ACLU on El-Masri's behalf, which charged former CIA Director George Tenet and two U.S.-based aviation corporations of violating El-Masri's rights under U.S. and international law. The ACLU has a pending petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which the U.S. has yet to respond to.

FBI Oversight: The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold an FBI Oversight hearing at which FBI Director Robert Mueller III is scheduled to testify.

FCC Oversight: The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold an oversight hearing on the Federal Communication Commission

Thursday, May 17

Government Spying: This Thursday, the Supreme Court will conference and shortly thereafter, we expect to learn whether the Court will intervene in the ACLU's lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act, the 2008 law that ratified and expanded the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program. In 2009, a judge in New York dismissed the suit on the grounds that the ACLU's clients — coalition of attorneys and human rights, labor, legal and media organizations whose work requires them to engage in sensitive and sometimes privileged telephone and e-mail communications with individuals located outside the United States — couldn't prove that their communications would be monitored under the new law. A federal appeals court reversed that ruling in 2011 and the Obama administration has now asked the Supreme Court to hear the case.

Reproductive Rights: The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution will hold a hearing on the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803), which would ban abortions after 20 weeks in the District of Columbia.

Privacy: The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security will hold a hearing on H.R. 2168, the "Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act." The ACLU's Catherine Crump will testify.

Learn more about your rights: Sign up for breaking news alerts, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Statistics image