Washington Markup

The USA FREEDOM Act is Real Spying Reform

The USA FREEDOM Act is Real Spying Reform

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:11am
Over the last several months, members of Congress have introduced at least two dozen spying reform and transparency bills. Today, a new proposal called the USA FREEDOM Act from Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was introduced to significantly limit the collection and use of Americans' information under our nation's spying laws. The ACLU strongly supports the legislation.
Playing Politics with the World War II Memorial

Playing Politics with the World War II Memorial

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 9:56am

Today, a subcommittee in the House of Representatives will hold a hearing on a bill to require that an inscription of a D-Day prayer given by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, reflecting a specific religious viewpoint, be added to the World War II Memorial.…

End Near for Shackling of Pregnant Women

End Near for Shackling of Pregnant Women

By Joanne Lin, Washington Legislative Office at 4:51pm

The massive $1.1 trillion spending bill (“omnibus”) passed by Congress last week and signed into law by President Obama includes a significant victory: a provision aimed at ending the atrocious practice of shackling pregnant women in immigration…

Anti-Backpage.com Bill Will Shut Down Free Speech

Anti-Backpage.com Bill Will Shut Down Free Speech

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:17pm

The House of Representatives is set to take up a bill this morning that would result in severe unintended consequences for free speech online. We are understandably concerned. The measure aims to target the deliberate commercial promotion of either…

Obama Baseball Card: You're Out! (of the country) 2 Million Deportations!

Three Ways We Got to 2 Million

By Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:35am

As the Administration is poised to reach the 2 million deportation mark, the question we all should be asking is not just why but how?

In its first five years, the Obama Administration has deported about twice as many people as the Bush Administration…

Being Pro Immigrant Is So In This Season

Being Pro Immigrant Is So In This Season

By Shawn Jain, Media Strategist, ACLU at 2:10pm

Wake up in the morning feeling not like P.Diddy (sorry, Ke$ha), but instead feeling like wow, another official is saying something really pro-immigrant, and it's fantastic.

Today, it's Dayton Police Chief Richard S. Biehl (in Speaker Boehner's…

The American Public Gets It. President Obama Gets It. Why Doesn't Congress?

The American Public Gets It. President Obama Gets It. Why Doesn't Congress?

By Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office at 10:46am

Like millions of Americans, President Obama doesn't think it makes a lot of sense to fire an employee or force her to take unpaid leave because she's six months pregnant and needs a stool to sit on while working the cash register.

This is a…

"Guantánamo North" – NDAA Indefinite Detention Coming Soon to a Town Near You?

"Guantánamo North" – NDAA Indefinite Detention Coming Soon to a Town Near You?

By Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:00am

Top senators thought you wouldn't notice. Behind closed doors, they wrote up new indefinite detention and Guantánamo provisions in the annual defense policy bill, and then waited 11 days to quietly file the bill.

But we now have the bill,…

The White House

Speed Over Fairness: Deportation Under the Obama Administration

By Joanne Lin, Washington Legislative Office at 11:18am

When removing individuals from this country – permanently severing them from their homes, families, and community—which is more important: fairness or speed?

The United States has a proud tradition of individualized due process. No…

VICTORY! Military Ban on Consensual Intimacy Ends

VICTORY! Military Ban on Consensual Intimacy Ends

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:33am

In the late hours on Thursday evening, the U.S. Senate, by a vote of 84-15, passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), sending the measure to President Obama for his signature.  Included within the sprawling annual defense authorization…