Washington Markup

Congress Takes Much Needed Step Forward on Over-Criminalization

Congress Takes Much Needed Step Forward on Over-Criminalization

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 4:59pm
Earlier this month, a high school honors student named Kiera Wilmot was charged with felony discharge of a weapon on school property. Her crime? Creating her own science experiment.
The Road Ahead for Newtown Legislation

The Road Ahead for Newtown Legislation

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 11:57am

At the beginning of the first Senate hearing on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) instructed those in the hearing room to stand if they had been affected by gun violence. As nearly everyone in the packed hearing room,…

Needed in Immigration Overhaul: Counsel and Alternatives to Incarceration

Needed in Immigration Overhaul: Counsel and Alternatives to Incarceration

By Kimberly Humphrey, Washington Legislative Office at 12:13pm

Imagine that you are a lawful resident married to a U.S. citizen serviceman who is deployed overseas, and you are looking for a job to help support your family. You find one, but unbeknownst to you, your employer, aiming to expedite the hiring process,…

A PROMISE to End Youth Gun Violence

A PROMISE to End Youth Gun Violence

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 11:19am

Open today’s newspaper, and I bet that you’ll find at least one story about gun violence. From Newtown to Chicago to Aurora, this last year has put a spotlight on the need to address this violence in a way that creates lasting change.

So…

Even Amidst a Host of Congressional Priorities, Drones Makes the Cut

Even Amidst a Host of Congressional Priorities, Drones Makes the Cut

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:00am

While Congress has been considering the idea of regulating domestic drone use for some time, yesterday kicked off the debate in earnest when Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on "The Future of Drones in America:…

Groundbreaking Senate Hearing Shines a Light on the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Groundbreaking Senate Hearing Shines a Light on the School-to-Prison Pipeline

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Kimberly Humphrey, Washington Legislative Office at 10:23am

Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights will hold a landmark hearing entitled, Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline. It is the first time a congressional panel will look at this disturbing…

Senate Homeland Security Committee Misses the Mark with Statement on DHS “Fusion Center” Program

Senate Homeland Security Committee Misses the Mark with Statement on DHS “Fusion Center” Program

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 2:35pm

Last week, the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations issued a report criticizing the Department of Homeland Security for its failure to ensure proper oversight over state and local “fusion centers.” …

Border Patrol Must Stop Hiding the Truth About Its Uses of Force

Border Patrol Must Stop Hiding the Truth About Its Uses of Force

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:24am

Border Patrol agents work in dangerous situations which can lead to tragic consequences like the shooting death and wounding of agents in Arizona this week.  There is no justification for such violence targeting law enforcement officers. …

One Year After Simmons: ACLU Sends Letter to DOJ to Help Release People Wrongly Languishing in Federal Prisons

One Year After Simmons: ACLU Sends Letter to DOJ to Help Release People Wrongly Languishing in Federal Prisons

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:53pm

Yesterday, USA Today reported on a letter the ACLU sent to top officials at the Department of Justice, urging immediate action to identify and possibly release dozens of wrongfully imprisoned federal inmates.

The ACLU’s letter is a follow-up…

Senate Hearing Explores the Exorbitant Costs of Incarceration

Senate Hearing Explores the Exorbitant Costs of Incarceration

By Dan Zeidman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:51pm

Over the last 30 years, the population of the federal prison system has increased exponentially – nearly 800 percent – largely due to the overrepresentation of those convicted of drug offenses, many of whom are low-level and non-violent.…