Washington Markup

On the First Anniversary of Wal-Mart v. Dukes:  Stand Up or Be Trampled

On the First Anniversary of Wal-Mart v. Dukes: Stand Up or Be Trampled

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:27am
Over a decade ago, I had the great honor to be part of a team representing Betty Dukes, an employee at Wal-Mart who had received unfair treatment at her job and had decided to do something about it. Betty soon became the face of a large class of women who worked at Wal-Mart and faced similar types of discrimination in the workplace. These women banded together, from all across the country, to take on sex discrimination at one of the world’s largest employers—and through it all, Betty Dukes remained at the forefront fighting for justice. “In this life,” said Betty, “you have to stand up or be trampled.”  The ACLU co-authored a brief before the Supreme Court, joined by a large number of civil rights groups, highlighting the gender stereotypes that the women were banding together to challenge.
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

U.S. House Votes Show Acceptance of Racial Profiling of Latinos, Minorities

U.S. House Votes Show Acceptance of Racial Profiling of Latinos, Minorities

By Joanne Lin, Washington Legislative Office & Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:38pm

The House of Representatives told us on Wednesday thatthe majority of members are okay with state-sanctioned racial profiling of Latinos.

Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) slipped in an amendment to the FY2013 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations…

ACLU Joins in Briefing Members of Congress on the Implications of Arizona v. U.S.

ACLU Joins in Briefing Members of Congress on the Implications of Arizona v. U.S.

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:19pm

Today we let federal lawmakers know that Arizona’s racial profiling law, S.B. 1070, is about much more than just the state of Arizona and its immigrants. It’s about how we see ourselves as a nation.

TSA on the Defensive Again: Effective Security or Security Theater?

TSA on the Defensive Again: Effective Security or Security Theater?

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:18am

Monday's House hearing on TSA security measures examined whether airport security measures have been truly effective at preventing terrorism, or just create an illusion of safety.

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…

NSA Congress

House Tees Up Surveillance Reform for Senate

By Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU Legislative Counsel at 5:10pm

For the second time in just one month, late last night the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation – this time as an amendment to an appropriations bill that will now move to the Senate – aimed at reining in NSA abuse.

In…

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…

Everybody Wants to Reform ECPA - So Where's the White House?

Everybody Wants to Reform ECPA - So Where's the White House?

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:01am

A coalition of over 70 organizations sent a letter yesterday to President Obama, urging him to support a clean update to our online privacy laws and warning him about the dangers of carving out any exceptions that would give some government agencies…

Congress Could Save Tens of Thousands of Americans Today. Here's How.

Congress Could Save Tens of Thousands of Americans Today. Here's How.

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 3:10pm

"Too many Americans go to too many prisons for too long for no good law enforcement reason."

That's what Attorney General Eric Holder said in an historic speech before the American Bar Association earlier this year. He was talking about people…