Washington Markup

What Crack Cocaine Teaches Us About NSA Reform

What Crack Cocaine Teaches Us About NSA Reform

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:41am
This piece originally ran at POLITICO Magazine.
Why #BringBackOurGirls Isn't Enough

Why #BringBackOurGirls Isn't Enough

By Zak Newman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:46pm

When Boko Haram kidnapped girls in Nigeria, the Obama administration voiced its strong opposition. Social media sprang into action, with millions—including the First Lady and many members of Congress—participating in the viral social media campaign…

A Platform to Build Real NSA Reform

A Platform to Build Real NSA Reform

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:57pm

The piece below was first published as part of the New York Times Room for Debate feature "Reining in the N.S.A.," which used this conversation starter:

Last week the House voted to limit the National Security Agency's sweeping collection…

Transgender Military Ban Takes Center Stage

Transgender Military Ban Takes Center Stage

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:41pm

In an interview with Martha Raddatz on ABC's This Week on Sunday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that he believes current military regulations that prohibit transgender individuals from serving openly in the military should be reviewed.

We…

Can You Think of a Better Way to Spend $7.2 Billion Than Unnecessarily Locking Up Nonviolent Offenders and Undocumented Immigrants?

Can You Think of a Better Way to Spend $7.2 Billion Than Unnecessarily Locking Up Nonviolent Offenders and Undocumented Immigrants?

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:16am

The Department of Justice spends $7.2 billion a year to incarcerate over 209,000 people in the federal Bureau of Prisons at a cost of over $30,000 per year per person.

This is unsustainable, both morally and economically.

The majority…

On Women's Health, the House Trades One Bad Idea for Another

On Women's Health, the House Trades One Bad Idea for Another

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office at 5:32pm

Watching Congress' actions toward women last week might leave you confused about what year it is. Instead of advancing a single policy designed to help women, the U.S. House of Representatives has chosen to attack women's health any way it can.

Even…

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…

Death and Abuse at the Southwest Border

Death and Abuse at the Southwest Border

By Lia G. Melikian, ACLU at 4:20pm

As Congress debates how to respond to children's migration from Central America, we must not forget that Customs and Border Protection is in dire need of improved oversight and accountability. Here are three examples of how the system is failing and…

365 Days Later and still no action. When will the House act to protect voting?

The Most Conservative Principle in American Politics

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:53am

"The right to vote is at the very foundation of our American system, and nothing must interfere with this very precious right." – President Gerald Ford

"[T]he right to vote is the crown jewel of American liberties, and we will not see its…

Way to go DHS! And Shame on the Rest of You

Way to go DHS! And Shame on the Rest of You

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:04am

A very important government report on privacy and cybersecurity programs flew under the radar last week.

Produced following President Obama's executive order from last February, agencies were directed to explain how they share our private information,…