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.
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…

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.

This week, Patrick Leahy, the Democratic senator from Vermont, introduced a revised version of the USA Freedom Act, a bill to finally start pulling the reins on America's out-of-control surveillance…

PREA Rule: DOJ Takes First Steps to Protect Prison Rape Victims

PREA Rule: DOJ Takes First Steps to Protect Prison Rape Victims

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project at 12:05pm

Last Thursday’s release of the long-delayed national Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) regulations by the Department of Justice reminds us of the hundreds of prison rape victims we’ve heard from over the years who could not seek justice because the prison officials who failed to protect them were essentially immunized from liability by a 1996 federal law, the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The announced purpose of the PLRA was to curb the filing of frivolous litigation by prisoners. In reality, the law makes it

Victim of Brutal LGBT Bullying in Ohio School Tells His Story

Victim of Brutal LGBT Bullying in Ohio School Tells His Story

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:53pm

The ACLU of Ohio is representing both Zach and his mother, and is working with his high school to ensure that something like this never happens again.

 

Supreme Court Decision on GPS Tracking: A Spur to Action for Congress

Supreme Court Decision on GPS Tracking: A Spur to Action for Congress

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:59am

It's time for Congress to catch up with new technology and support the GPS Act!

VICTORY! Social Security Administration Drops Surgery Requirement for Gender Change

VICTORY! Social Security Administration Drops Surgery Requirement for Gender Change

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU & Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:05am

Late last week, after nearly a decade of advocacy led by our coalition partners at the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Social Security Administration (SSA) updated its policy for changing gender designation in Social Security records.…

Time for Obama and Holder to Truly End Racial Profiling by Law Enforcement

Time for Obama and Holder to Truly End Racial Profiling by Law Enforcement

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:18pm

Why can’t President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder do more to ban racial profiling in the United States?  Surely, more so than any of their predecessors, they can understand the injustice and humiliation racial profiling victims…

Border Patrol Must Stop Hiding the Truth About Its Uses of Force

Border Patrol Must Stop Hiding the Truth About Its Uses of Force

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:24am

Border Patrol agents work in dangerous situations which can lead to tragic consequences like the shooting death and wounding of agents in Arizona this week.  There is no justification for such violence targeting law enforcement officers. …

The Democracy Restoration Act: Everyone Deserves a Voice

The Democracy Restoration Act: Everyone Deserves a Voice

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office at 12:18pm

Six years ago, Desmond Meade stood along a set of railroad tracks and considered jumping in front of an oncoming train. Homeless, unemployed and recently released from prison, Desmond felt out of options, and couldn't imagine a future for himself.…