Washington Markup

On the Agenda: February 10-14

On the Agenda: February 10-14

By Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 9:41am
Old-man winter spared the nation's capital the crippling blow it dealt to the Northeast last week, which turned out to be a very good thing for NSA critics. That meant that the House Judiciary Committee's hearing on surveillance reform went on as planned, and it was a doozy for Obama administration witness, Deputy Attorney General James Cole.
Obama’s Pick to Lead FBI Approved Waterboarding Under Bush: Time to Speak Out

Obama’s Pick to Lead FBI Approved Waterboarding Under Bush: Time to Speak Out

By Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 7:52pm

While most of us are enjoying an extra-long July 4th weekend, James Comey, a top Bush lawyer who approved waterboarding...

"Beyond the imagination of George Orwell" and Other Expressions of Congressional Outrage Over NSA Spying

"Beyond the imagination of George Orwell" and Other Expressions of Congressional Outrage Over NSA Spying

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:47pm

Back in 2010, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) first started warning us that "Americans would be stunned to learn" about how broadly the government interprets its authorities under Patriot Act Section 215. Now that the cat's out of the bag about the NSA collecting…

Immigration Reform: Where Things Stand Now and What's Next

Immigration Reform: Where Things Stand Now and What's Next

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:04pm

The immigration reform bill that has emerged from the Senate Judiciary Committee is good – not ideal, not awful, but good. It is a game changer for those who currently have no hope of realizing the Constitution's promise of equal protection. But…

The Road Ahead for Newtown Legislation

The Road Ahead for Newtown Legislation

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 11:57am

At the beginning of the first Senate hearing on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) instructed those in the hearing room to stand if they had been affected by gun violence. As nearly everyone in the packed hearing room,…

Even Amidst a Host of Congressional Priorities, Drones Makes the Cut

Even Amidst a Host of Congressional Priorities, Drones Makes the Cut

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:00am

While Congress has been considering the idea of regulating domestic drone use for some time, yesterday kicked off the debate in earnest when Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on "The Future of Drones in America:…

President Issues Executive Order to Stop Human Trafficking in Government Contracts

President Issues Executive Order to Stop Human Trafficking in Government Contracts

By Devon Chaffee, Legislative Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:56pm

Today, President Barack Obama signed an executive order that will give better protections to vulnerable workers employed by government contractors. The order, announced on the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, lays out new requirements…

Bill to Stop Modern Day Slavery under Government Contracts

Bill to Stop Modern Day Slavery under Government Contracts

By Devon Chaffee, Legislative Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:44pm

Last month the ACLU released a joint report with Yale Law School, Victims of Complacency, that documents the ongoing trafficking, forced labor and abuse of foreign workers hired through U.S. government contracts to work in support of U.S. military…

Two Men Named Wes and the Challenge to Fix the Juvenile Justice System

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:53pm

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof used his space in Sunday's paper to highlight a new book called The Other Wes Moore, which tells the story of two young men from the decaying, inner-city streets of Baltimore named Wes Moore. One went on to…

On the Agenda: February 3-7

On the Agenda: February 3-7

By Meghan Groob, Media Relations Associate, ACLU at 9:57am

Last week was a big week for immigration for two very different people: Justin Bieber and House Speaker John Boehner.

Apparently we here at the ACLU aren't the only ones with questions about how differently Bieber would be treated if he…