Washington Markup

Too Classified for Congress? When It Comes to Congressional Oversight of Intelligence Activities, Transparency Should Always Triumph Over Secrecy

Too Classified for Congress? When It Comes to Congressional Oversight of Intelligence Activities, Transparency Should Always Triumph Over Secrecy

By Nathaniel J. Turner, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:11pm
Tomorrow the House of Representatives will have a choice to make: openness and transparency, or secrecy and business as usual. From NSA surveillance to CIA torture, congressional oversight of intelligence activities over the last decade has been inadequate. When the House votes Tuesday on new rules, openness should triumph over secrecy.
Amidst the Budget Chaos, Long-Awaited Abortion Coverage for Women in the Peace Corps

Amidst the Budget Chaos, Long-Awaited Abortion Coverage for Women in the Peace Corps

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office at 12:00am

The news out of Washington this weekend was dramatic as lawmakers hashed out an eleventh hour deal over a $1.1 trillion funding bill to narrowly avert a government shutdown. But amidst the chaos and special interest wins in favor of salty lunches and…

ACLU to Congress: We Need a Comprehensive LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill

ACLU to Congress: We Need a Comprehensive LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:28pm

Did you know that there are just 18 states that have explicit workplace non-discrimination protections for LGBT people, or that a mere 13 states have such protections in place for LGBT students?

On Tuesday, the director of the ACLU's Washington…

New DOJ Profiling Guidance: LGBTQ-Inclusive, But Inadequate

New DOJ Profiling Guidance: LGBTQ-Inclusive, But Inadequate

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:36am

This piece originally appeared at Slate's Outward blog.

"Hands up, don't shoot!" "We can't breathe!"

With the backdrop of a national, youth-led movement demanding reform of a system of policing that too often approaches communities…

A Rare Glimpse of Bipartisanship on Open Government

A Rare Glimpse of Bipartisanship on Open Government

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:50pm

So this “lame duck” Congress may not be so lame after all – at least when it comes to increasing government transparency. On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to consider a bipartisan measure that, while modest, would be one…

FEC’s Coordination Definition Is a Big Hot Mess

FEC’s Coordination Definition Is a Big Hot Mess

By Michael Macleod-Ball, Chief of Staff, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:22pm

Members of Congress and donors in cahoots to deceive not only the American voting public but the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) as well? 

Shocking, I know.

According to a CNN report, a number of congressional campaigns may…

Stalling on Surveillance Reform Could Cost the GOP

Stalling on Surveillance Reform Could Cost the GOP

By Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU Legislative Counsel at 3:07pm

NSA reform could be the thorn in the side of the Republican Party next year.

Right now, there is a viable, bipartisan bill called the USA Freedom Act that would limit government spying on Americans and has received support from members of both…

On Leak Prosecutions, Obama Takes it to 11. (Or Should We Say 526?)

On Leak Prosecutions, Obama Takes it to 11. (Or Should We Say 526?)

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:58pm

James Risen is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. He's also currently under subpoena, possibly facing jail time, because of his reporting.

Specifically, he's being investigated because of an article on a CIA ploy to hinder Iran's quest for…

Countering Violent Extremism: Time for the Administration to Get It Right

Countering Violent Extremism: Time for the Administration to Get It Right

By Zak Newman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:07pm

Today President Obama took the unusual step of chairing a meeting of the U.N. Security Council. He went seeking international support for the campaign against the group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), including a U.S.-sponsored…

Fearmongering NSA Reform

Fearmongering NSA Reform

By Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU Legislative Counsel at 1:07pm

On June 5, 2013, Edward Snowden shocked the world, providing proof that Americans were being spied on by their own government. Some praised him as a hero, others condemned him as a traitor, but there was general consensus that the NSA had severely…