Washington Markup

Selling Drugs and the First Amendment

Selling Drugs and the First Amendment

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:46pm
A few folks have asked me about the recent Second Circuit decision in United States v. Caronia, in which the court found that criminalizing the promotion of “off-label” pharmaceutical uses by a drug company sales representative violated the First Amendment. I cover a lot of commercial speech issues in the legislative context, so let me try to explain why I think the decision is probably right (“probably” being the operative term), and significant.
The Internet You Know and Love is in Danger

The Internet You Know and Love is in Danger

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:16pm

Net neutrality – the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must treat all data on the Internet equally – is vital to free speech. But earlier this month, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the FCC's net neutrality rules, jeopardizing…

Protesting NATO: What to Know About the Secret Service and H.R. 347

Protesting NATO: What to Know About the Secret Service and H.R. 347

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:58pm

Know before you go: what the newly passed H.R. 347 means for NATO protestors' rights.

One Key to Campaign Finance Reform?

By Michael W. Macleod-Ball, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:38pm

I spoke on a panel yesterday sponsored by OpenSecrets.org on the future of campaign finance reform. In the course of the panel, an opinion piece by Fred Wertheimer, who was not at the event, but who is one of the most visible advocates for campaign…

Net Neutrality Rally Rocks the FCC

Net Neutrality Rally Rocks the FCC

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:34pm

Last week I spoke at a rally at the Federal Communications Commission as its commissioners considered new rules regarding net neutrality – the premise that internet providers shouldn’t get to decide what you can see or say online.

And the…

Freezing the Press

Freezing the Press

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:57pm

It’s been half a year since the Associated Press revealed a subpoena sweeping up phone metadata records for more than 20 of its lines, in offices where more than 100 reporters work, covering tens of thousands of newsgathering calls.

Members…

Common Ground on Campaign Finance

Common Ground on Campaign Finance

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:46am

Earlier this week, a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, chaired by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), held a hearing on campaign finance law enforcement. We submitted comments highlighting a few areas of common ground between the ACLU and proponents of…

Blocked Leaks Bill More About Message Discipline Than National Security

Blocked Leaks Bill More About Message Discipline Than National Security

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:36pm

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) deserves significant credit for placing a hold today on a draft intelligence spending bill that would place enormous new obstacles in the path of journalists trying to report on government illegality, fraud and waste in the intelligence…

Get Ready for A Scintillating Discussion on the Finer Points of IP and Foreign Trade Policy

Get Ready for A Scintillating Discussion on the Finer Points of IP and Foreign Trade Policy

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:34pm

So, Wednesday, I’ll be participating in an “Ask Me Anything,” or AMA, discussion on Reddit.  It amazes me that folks are even interested, but the topic will be the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (“TPP”). 

ACLU Backs Strong Speech Stance After “Muslims” Video Backlash

ACLU Backs Strong Speech Stance After “Muslims” Video Backlash

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:08pm

UPDATE: The State Department's response to the ACLU is posted here.

The ACLU sent a letter yesterday to the State Department thanking Secretary Clinton for the department’s unwavering defense of basic free speech principles in the backlash…