Back to News & Commentary

This Week in Civil Liberties (02/08/2013)

Rekha Arulanantham,
Litigation Fellow,
ACLU National Prison Project
Share This Page
February 8, 2013

A targeted killing white paper by which government agency reasons that judicial process is unnecessary?

The conditions in Ohio’s Lake Eerie Correctional Facility have taken a dramatic turn for the worse since the state sold the facility to which private prison company?

The ACLU is challenging in court the secrecy over which government agency’s racial profiling program?

Which state may be the first to regulate surveillance drones?

True or False?: the number of legislative attacks on abortion in the past two years is more than double what it was from 2009-2010.

The Justice Department’s White Paper on Targeted Killing

Michael Isikoff at NBC News has obtained a Justice Department white paper that purports to explain when it would be lawful for the government to carry out the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen believed to be affiliated with a terrorist organization. Many of the white paper’s arguments are familiar because Attorney General Eric Holder set them out in a speech at Northwestern University in March of last year. But the white paper offers more detail, and in doing so it manages to underscore both the recklessness of the government’s central claim and the deficiencies in the government’s defense of it.

States Should Run Screaming From the CCA to Avoid Dangerous and Disgusting Prisons

Given the terrifying tales coming out of Ohio’s Lake Erie Correctional Facility, states should get as far away as possible from the Corrections Corporation of America’s (CCA) latest get-rich-off-imprisonment scheme: purchasing and running public prisons.

Shhhh – What The FBI Doesn’t Want You to Know About its Racial Profiling Program

The FBI is using a racial and ethnic mapping program to collect intelligence on American communities – and it doesn’t want you to know which ones it’s spying on, or how it’s using census data to do so. The ACLU and the ACLU of Michigan filed a brief in federal court on Friday to challenge the FBI’s secrecy over its profiling practices.

Florida Poised to Become First State to Regulate Surveillance Drones

State legislatures around the country are gearing up to take action on domestic surveillance drones. Maine has a bill introduced, as do Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas. In Virginia a hearing has already been held on a bill, while Montana has three bills, and hearings have already been held there as well.

But perhaps the state furthest along is Florida, which may become the first in the nation to enact domestic surveillance drone regulations into law. I spoke with Ron Bilbao, who is an ACLU lobbyist in Florida, and here’s what he had to say about the situation there.

Which State Will Ban Abortion First?

In Arkansas this week, the State Senate passed a bill that would ban almost all abortions. Within a month, women in Arkansas could be prevented from receiving abortion care, no matter what their circumstances.

In North Dakota, the legislature is poised to vote on set of bills that aim to ban abortion, close down women’s health centers, and could prevent couples from using in-vitro fertilization to build their family. The Senate is expected to vote on those bills next week.

In Mississippi and Alabama and several other states, legislators are playing at the same game – introducing legislation that takes away a woman’s ability to have all options open to her.

Learn more about your rights and civil liberties: Sign up for breaking news alerts, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Learn More About the Issues on This Page