Washington Markup

Senate Hearing Explores the Exorbitant Costs of Incarceration

Senate Hearing Explores the Exorbitant Costs of Incarceration

By Dan Zeidman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:51pm
Over the last 30 years, the population of the federal prison system has increased exponentially – nearly 800 percent – largely due to the overrepresentation of those convicted of drug offenses, many of whom are low-level and non-violent. Today, a record 218,000 people are confined within Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) operated facilities or in privately managed or community-based institutions and jails.
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…

Ending Solitary Confinement – The Dangers of Isolation for LGBTI Prisoners and Detainees

Ending Solitary Confinement – The Dangers of Isolation for LGBTI Prisoners and Detainees

By Patrick DePoy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:33pm

Recently, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Constitution Subcommittee held a landmark hearing on solitary confinement.  The goal of the hearing was to comprehensively examine and reassess the overuse of solitary confinement in federal and…

Protesting NATO: What to Know About the Secret Service and H.R. 347

Protesting NATO: What to Know About the Secret Service and H.R. 347

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:58pm

Know before you go: what the newly passed H.R. 347 means for NATO protestors' rights.

Anti-Gay Pandering Cannot Stop Historic Momentum for LGBT Rights

Anti-Gay Pandering Cannot Stop Historic Momentum for LGBT Rights

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:10pm

What an amazing and historic week it has been for the cause of gay rights. On Wednesday, for the first time in our country’s history, a sitting President of the United States said that he supports the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian…

Racial Justice and LGBT Equality – Moving Beyond the Politics of "Divide and Conquer"

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:53pm

It was recently revealed in internal strategy memos from the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage that the organization hoped to pit racial and ethnic minorities against the LGBT community as a way to defeat and rollback gay rights advances,…

The Kids Aren't Alright: America Fails to Protect Youth in Crisis

The Kids Aren't Alright: America Fails to Protect Youth in Crisis

By Sarah Mehta, Researcher, ACLU Human Rights Program at 4:40pm

Earlier this year, I sat in an immigration office in Nogales, Mexico, surrounded by children who had just been deported from the United States. All of the children I spoke with, ranging in age from 11 to 17 years old, traveled to the United States…

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…

No NSA Poster Child: The Real Story of 9/11 Hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar

No NSA Poster Child: The Real Story of 9/11 Hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar

By Mike German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:05am

This story originally appeared at Defense One.

Since whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed the incredible scope of the government’s domestic spying programs, two different narratives are moving forward in Congress.

One, expressed…

A Very Unhappy Anniversary for Low-Income Women

A Very Unhappy Anniversary for Low-Income Women

By Sarah Lipton-Lubet, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:07am

Some anniversaries just don't deserve a celebration, and today is one of them. Thirty-seven years ago today, Congress shut off Medicaid coverage for abortion care, unfairly targeting low-income women.

The Hyde Amendment, which was enacted…