Washington Markup

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.”  Shortly thereafter, the committee issued a statement denouncing the report and lauding fusion centers as playing a “significant role in many recent terrorism cases.”
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…

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.…

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…

Government’s “Anti-leak” Measures Attack Privacy and the Press

Government’s “Anti-leak” Measures Attack Privacy and the Press

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:16pm

Although the conflict between government classification rules and practices and the First Amendment rights necessary to promote a free and open society is nothing new, recent developments may indicate an alarming shift away from basic First Amendment…

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”). 

Selective Leaks Worst of All Worlds for Free Speech

Selective Leaks Worst of All Worlds for Free Speech

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:21pm

As the election summer heats up, Republicans in Congress are making hay with what they claim are selective leaks by the Obama administration, designed to bolster the president’s national security cred. At a Senate Judiciary hearing yesterday,…

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…

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…