Washington Markup

Senate Finally Frees the Press (Kind Of)

Senate Finally Frees the Press (Kind Of)

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:58pm
The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday took up a federal reporter shield law for the second time this year, after getting caught up back in July over the definition of a journalist. This time around, however, the committee passed it, marking the first time a shield bill has moved since 2009, when momentum behind a very similar measure died an unfortunate death after the Wikileaks affair. Despite some flaws, it's on balance a positive step toward greater press freedom and government transparency.
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…

Thoughts on the Latest Political Disclosure Proposal

Thoughts on the Latest Political Disclosure Proposal

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:41pm

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) unveiled a new bill this week requiring all groups that spend money independently of campaigns, candidates, or parties to influence a federal election or nomination to disclose their donors.…

CISPA Remains Fatally Flawed After Secret Committee Markup

CISPA Remains Fatally Flawed After Secret Committee Markup

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:20pm
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The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Wednesday marked up CISPA,…

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…

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”). 

“Stolen Valor” Bill Honorable Sentiment, But Bad Idea

“Stolen Valor” Bill Honorable Sentiment, But Bad Idea

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:29pm

“Lying was his habit.”

That’s the first line from Justice Kennedy’s plurality opinion in United States v. Alvarez, last month’s Supreme Court decision striking down the “Stolen Valor Act,” which made…

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…

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…

Stolen Valor Vote in House Today

Stolen Valor Vote in House Today

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:22pm

The second coming of the “Stolen Valor” Act (the Supreme Court struck down the first iteration on First Amendment grounds last term) is on the House’s “suspension” calendar today, meaning it will pass with a two-thirds…