Washington Markup

The First Step to Fix a Broken Prison? Set the Record Straight

The First Step to Fix a Broken Prison? Set the Record Straight

By Gabriel Eber, ACLU National Prison Project & Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 11:53am
Over the last couple weeks, we've been talking a lot about East Mississippi Correctional Facility, a violent and dangerously understaffed prison where patients with severe mental illnesses go without basic mental health care and many prisoners cut themselves or attempt suicide. The ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Law Offices of Elizabeth Alexander recently filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of the more than 1,100 prisoners confined at EMCF.
Congress Gets to Work on Overincarceration

Congress Gets to Work on Overincarceration

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 3:39pm

Last month, Congressmen Sensenbrenner and other members of the House Judiciary Committee announced a task force to address the ever increasing scope and breathe of the federal criminal system. This news drew cheers from activists, policy wonks and…

Misdirection: The House Intelligence Committee’s Misleading Patriot Act Talking Points

Misdirection: The House Intelligence Committee’s Misleading Patriot Act Talking Points

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:46pm

This week the House Intelligence Committee circulated nine talking points to its members explaining why the dragnet collection of innocent Americans’ call records is both legal and effective at stopping terrorism. After reviewing the document, the ACLU has gone point-by-point, making notes that either refute or raise serious doubts about almost every assertion in the one-pager. Just click on the document below and hover on the red dots to see our comments.

It Is Time to Modernize Discriminatory HIV/AIDS Laws

It Is Time to Modernize Discriminatory HIV/AIDS Laws

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Steven Waddy, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 4:55pm

While science has vastly advanced since the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic more than 30 years ago, the ways in which many criminal laws treat people living with HIV look like throwbacks to the dark days of the past when fear and misinformation…

On the Agenda: Blog Series

On the Agenda: March 31-April 4

By Meghan Groob, Media Relations Associate, ACLU at 9:56am

It's the best time of year, folks: March Madness. Even though it's almost April, March Madness still consumes offices across the country as we move onto the Final Four. Whether you're a diehard Kentucky fan like me (go Cats!) or just someone who wants…

On the Agenda: March 24-28

On the Agenda: March 24-28

By Meghan Groob, Media Relations Associate, ACLU at 11:35am

Have you tuned into cable news lately? I have, and based on what I've seen, the only thing happening in the world these days is the ongoing saga of Malaysian Airlines MH370. While the story is fascinating and heartbreaking, it's a bit hard to remember…

Secretary Jeh Johnson testifying

Answering to the American People on Immigration

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office at 4:00pm

This week, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson is busy testifying before four different congressional committees  on the President’s FY 2015 DHS budget request.

In these hearings, Congress must demand answers…

On the Agenda: February 24-28

On the Agenda: February 24-28

By Shawn Jain, Media Strategist, ACLU at 12:51pm

The 2014 Winter Olympics concluded last night in Sochi, Russia in spectacular, if not somewhat bizarre fashion, with the infamous giant bear mascot shedding a tear during the closing ceremony before the torch was passed to PyeongChang, South Korea,…

Police Hunger for Drones May be Growing, but So Are Privacy Concerns

Police Hunger for Drones May be Growing, but So Are Privacy Concerns

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:06pm

The ACLU’s Chris Calabrese testified yesterday before the Senate Commerce Committee in a hearing on the economic benefits and the safety, privacy, and First Amendment implications of unmanned aerial vehicles — drones — which are poised to invade…

DOMA Zombies Surface in Congress

DOMA Zombies Surface in Congress

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:13am

Since the Supreme Court's landmark Windsor ruling last June striking down the core of the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA), the federal government has moved, with commendable speed, in a myriad of areas to extend recognition to the marriages…