Washington Markup

A Jury of Your Peers – The Right to a Jury Trial Free from Discrimination

By Patrick DePoy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:17pm

Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ) recently introduced the Juror Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 5848) to prohibit discrimination against any juror on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Congressman Rothman stated, “[t]he fact…

Business as Usual: House Leadership Uses DHS Spending Bill to Try to Kill President’s Executive Action on Immigration

Business as Usual: House Leadership Uses DHS Spending Bill to Try to Kill President’s Executive Action on Immigration

By Joanne Lin, Washington Legislative Office at 5:16pm

There is already a clear picture of the House majority's agenda – block the immigration executive actions announced last November by President Barack Obama.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a spending bill to…

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.…

"Guantánamo North" – NDAA Indefinite Detention Coming Soon to a Town Near You?

"Guantánamo North" – NDAA Indefinite Detention Coming Soon to a Town Near You?

By Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:00am

Top senators thought you wouldn't notice. Behind closed doors, they wrote up new indefinite detention and Guantánamo provisions in the annual defense policy bill, and then waited 11 days to quietly file the bill.

But we now have the bill,…

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…

The 1980s Called. They Want Their Mandatory Minimums Back.

The 1980s Called. They Want Their Mandatory Minimums Back.

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 2:27pm

Senator Leahy closed this morning’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on mandatory minimums by asking everyone in the room with a loved one serving a mandatory minimum to stand up. The whole audience stood.

This was a poignant display of…

English as a First Language

English as a First Language

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:40pm

Sigh. As if we don’t have enough divisiveness in this country, a familiar subset of Congressional Republicans are trotting out yet another discriminatory bill papered over with hollow rhetoric about “unity,” “commonality”…

The Biggest Threat to Free Speech and Intellectual Property That You’ve Never Heard Of

The Biggest Threat to Free Speech and Intellectual Property That You’ve Never Heard Of

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:22pm

As we have seen in the failed attempts of SOPA/PIPA, and the floundering Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, intellectual property (“IP”) laws are often poorly constructed, hastily proposed and ultimately both ineffective and potentially…

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…