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On the Agenda: February 6 – 10, 2012

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February 6, 2012

The first hearing under North Carolina’s Racial Justice Act continues this week. The ACLU is part of a team of lawyers representing Marcus Robinson, a black defendant convicted in the death of a white person and who received a far harsher judgment than white defendants who committed comparable crimes from a jury that may have been tainted by a racially biased jury selection process. The New York Times editorialized on this important issue today.

Monday, February 6

Religion: On Monday, the ACLU will submit comments objecting to a proposed Department of Commerce regulation that would eliminate a constitutionally required prohibition on using buildings constructed with taxpayer funding for religious purposes. The ACLU will also join coalition comments.

Immigrants’ Rights: Legislative Counsel Joanne Lin will be on the Kojo Nnamdi show on NPR, for an episode titled the “Ripple Effect of Immigration Enforcement,” which will look at the impact of state racial profiling laws, as well as federal immigration tactics that have detained and deported U.S. Citizens.

Tuesday, February 7

Death Penalty: the ACLU and the ACLU of Florida will hold a press conference in Tallahassee on pending legislation in the Florida legislature to privatize all prisons in Southern Florida. S.B. 2038 would require Florida to privatize the management and operation of 29 correctional facilities in 18 counties and S.B. 2036 would circumvent the usual appropriations process for outsourcing projects, so that privatization could take place immediately.

Reproductive Rights: On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee will mark up the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011 (H.R. 3541).

Privacy: The Transportation Security Subcommittee of House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing titled “Screening Partnership Program: Why is a Job-Creating, Public-Private Partnership Meeting Resistance at TSA [Transportation Security Administration]?”

Wednesday, February 8

National Security: The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing titled “Cybersecurity: Threats to Communications Networks and Private Sector Responses.”

Thursday, February 9

Free Speech: The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a markup of S. 1945, a bill to permit the televising of Supreme Court proceedings.

Privacy: ACLU Legislative Counsel Michelle Richardson will speak on a panel along with representatives from The Constitution Project and the Center for Democracy and Technology about pending cybersecurity legislation and its potential impact on privacy.

Friday, February 10

The Voting Rights Project’s Katie O’Connor will participate in a panel discussion at the Charlotte Law School’s Law Review Symposium – “Behind the Curtains: Election Law and the 1st and 14th Amendments.” Other panelists include the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky.

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