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American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Mission: The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.

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Take Action with American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Campaign Priority Bills and Proposals POPVOX Sentiment Take Action
H.R. 4459
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April 10, 2014 - The Democracy Restoration Act, important legislation that ...

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Join American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in endorsing H.R. 4459

43% 57%

44 total users

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S. 2235
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April 10, 2014 - The Democracy Restoration Act, important legislation that ...

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21% 79%

314 total users

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S. 1599
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The National Security Agency has gone too far, and now ...

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Join American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in endorsing S. 1599

87% 13%

593 total users

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H.R. 3361
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The National Security Agency has gone too far, and now ...

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108 total users

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H.R. 4291
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March 25, 2014 - The Obama administration will propose ending the ...

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534 total users

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S. 815
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April 25, 2013 - The bipartisan introduction of the Employment Non-Discrimination ...

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4424 total users

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H.R. 1755
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April 25, 2013 - The bipartisan introduction of the Employment Non-Discrimination ...

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290 total users

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H.R. 1772
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October 22, 2013

Dear Speaker Boehner and Democratic Leader Pelosi ...

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H.R. 15
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October 2, 2013 – Below is a statement from Laura W ...

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583 total users

Neutral
S. 1551
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09/26/2013 - Yesterday afternoon, the first shot in the ...

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August 30, 2013

Dear Speaker Boehner, Minority Leader Pelosi, Majority ...

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Join American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in weighing in on The President's Draft Legislation Authorizing Military Action in Syria

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2948 total users

Neutral
S. 1038
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5/23/13 - Just over a year ago, the Senate ...

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723 total users

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House Amendment 101
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The Amash Amendment would prevent the NSA from indiscriminately collecting ...

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H.R. 1797
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June 12, 2013

We write to you as organizations concerned ...

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H.R. 1962
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H.R. 624
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March 11, 2013

Dear Representative:

We the undersigned organizations write ...

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H.R. 592
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February 12, 2013

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the American ...

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118 total users

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H.R. 377
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January 23, 2013

ACLU Urges Congress to Co-Sponsor the Paycheck ...

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S. 84
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January 23, 2013

ACLU Urges Congress to Co-Sponsor the Paycheck ...

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Detailed Legislative Agenda

H.R. 4459: The Democracy Restoration Act

April 10, 2014 - The Democracy Restoration Act, important legislation that seeks to restore voting rights in federal elections to millions of disfranchised Americans, was introduced today in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.).

This bill would establish a uniform standard, restoring voting rights in federal elections for millions of American citizens who are not incarcerated, but denied their right to vote because of a criminal conviction. Criminal disfranchisement laws, which vary from state to state, prevent an estimated 5.85 million citizens from voting as a result of criminal convictions, and more than 4 million of those have been released from prison. These laws, many of which proliferated in the Jim Crow era, disproportionally impact minority citizens.

The following is a statement from Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU senior legislative counsel and co-chair of the Democracy Restoration Act Coalition:

"Millions of American citizens have lost their voting rights because of criminal disfranchisement laws and have returned to our communities to live, work, pay taxes, and raise families – but are without a political voice. People of color have been particularly hard hit. Nationwide, one in 13 African Americans has lost the right to vote. The Democracy Restoration Act will ensure that the government does not endorse a system that expects citizens to contribute to the community while denying them their rights as Americans to participate in our democracy."

The Democracy Restoration Act has been endorsed by a broad coalition of groups, including religious organizations, law enforcement, and civil rights and social justice organizations.

https://www.aclu.or...estoration-act-2014

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-4459-support
S. 2235: The Democracy Restoration Act

April 10, 2014 - The Democracy Restoration Act, important legislation that seeks to restore voting rights in federal elections to millions of disfranchised Americans, was introduced today in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.).

This bill would establish a uniform standard, restoring voting rights in federal elections for millions of American citizens who are not incarcerated, but denied their right to vote because of a criminal conviction. Criminal disfranchisement laws, which vary from state to state, prevent an estimated 5.85 million citizens from voting as a result of criminal convictions, and more than 4 million of those have been released from prison. These laws, many of which proliferated in the Jim Crow era, disproportionally impact minority citizens.

The following is a statement from Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU senior legislative counsel and co-chair of the Democracy Restoration Act Coalition:

"Millions of American citizens have lost their voting rights because of criminal disfranchisement laws and have returned to our communities to live, work, pay taxes, and raise families – but are without a political voice. People of color have been particularly hard hit. Nationwide, one in 13 African Americans has lost the right to vote. The Democracy Restoration Act will ensure that the government does not endorse a system that expects citizens to contribute to the community while denying them their rights as Americans to participate in our democracy."

The Democracy Restoration Act has been endorsed by a broad coalition of groups, including religious organizations, law enforcement, and civil rights and social justice organizations.

https://www.aclu.or...estoration-act-2014

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-s-2235-support
S. 1599: The USA Freedom Act

The National Security Agency has gone too far, and now it’s time for Congress to rein it in.

On October 29, 2013, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) teamed up to introduce the USA FREEDOM Act in the House and Senate. The bill represents a truly bipartisan, bicameral effort to reform the government’s surveillance authorities revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, led by two powerful and respected members of Congress.

The legislation seeks to rein in the NSA by doing the following:

End the bulk collection of Americans' records shared with third parties and put reasonable limits on Patriot Act powers targeted at people in the United States. The new restrictions would apply not only to phone records collected under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, but national security letters and pen registers that have also been abused.

Amend the 2008 FISA Amendments Act to require the government obtain a court order before using information about Americans collected during foreign intelligence operations.

Increase transparency by allowing communications providers to disclose the number of surveillance orders they receive, mandate the government publish how many people are subject to surveillance orders, and make public significant FISA court opinions since July 2003.

Create a public advocate that could advise the secret surveillance court in certain cases.

The ACLU strongly supports the USA FREEDOM Act and urges everyone to contact their members of Congress and tell them to co-sponsor the true reform bill that begins to roll back the surveillance state.

https://www.aclu.or...ort-usa-freedom-act

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-s-1599-support
H.R. 3361: The USA FREEDOM Act

The National Security Agency has gone too far, and now it’s time for Congress to rein it in.

On October 29, 2013, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) teamed up to introduce the USA FREEDOM Act in the House and Senate. The bill represents a truly bipartisan, bicameral effort to reform the government’s surveillance authorities revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, led by two powerful and respected members of Congress.

The legislation seeks to rein in the NSA by doing the following:

End the bulk collection of Americans' records shared with third parties and put reasonable limits on Patriot Act powers targeted at people in the United States. The new restrictions would apply not only to phone records collected under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, but national security letters and pen registers that have also been abused.

Amend the 2008 FISA Amendments Act to require the government obtain a court order before using information about Americans collected during foreign intelligence operations.

Increase transparency by allowing communications providers to disclose the number of surveillance orders they receive, mandate the government publish how many people are subject to surveillance orders, and make public significant FISA court opinions since July 2003.

Create a public advocate that could advise the secret surveillance court in certain cases.

The ACLU strongly supports the USA FREEDOM Act and urges everyone to contact their members of Congress and tell them to co-sponsor the true reform bill that begins to roll back the surveillance state.

https://www.aclu.or...ort-usa-freedom-act

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-3361-support
H.R. 4291: The FISA Transparency Modernization Act (or End Bulk Collection Act)

March 25, 2014 - The Obama administration will propose ending the NSA’s mass collection of phone records, instead requesting them from phone companies on an individual, court-approved basis. The companies would not be required to retain records longer than they already do.

Also today, the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee announced a bipartisan bill that would change the way the government obtains phone records. The legislation would allow the FBI to get them directly from phone companies, but without any specific court approval.

Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union, had this reaction:

“The president’s reported plan to end the bulk collection of phone records is a crucial first step towards reining in the NSA’s overreaching surveillance. The change would replace the dragnet surveillance of millions of innocent people with targeted methods that are both effective and respect Americans’ constitutional rights. It is critical that the administration also end other bulk collection programs.

“The House Intelligence Committee, however, is on the wrong track once again. Its new bill uses reform momentum as a pretext for expanding government power. The bill’s modest improvements to the phone records program are not worth demolishing the important judicial role in overseeing these programs. The best bill we’ve seen so far to fix the NSA is the bipartisan USA Freedom Act.”

The administration will reportedly propose legislation to implement its plan. The House bill is sponsored by Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, the committee chairman, and Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, the ranking Democrat.

https://www.aclu.or...oses-new-house-bill

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-4291-oppose
S. 815: The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

April 25, 2013 - The bipartisan introduction of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) today reflects the strong national consensus that workers should be evaluated on their merits, not sexual orientation or gender identity. As organizations that have, for decades, challenged LGBT workplace discrimination in the courts and worked for passage of inclusive non-discrimination laws at the local, state, and federal level, our commitment to the passage of a robust ENDA remains absolute and resolute. The continued need for this legislation is clear and it is of vital importance to LGBT people across the country.

Despite the remarkable progress – cultural, political, and legal – that LGBT people have made in recent years, there are currently 34 states that lack workplace non-discrimination laws that are fully inclusive of LGBT people. This patchwork of protection continues to leave LGBT people vulnerable to workplace discrimination. We hear the stories every day from our clients and the tens of thousands of LGBT people who contact LGBT legal organizations like ours every year. In a country that values fairness and equal treatment under the law, we believe the current situation is unacceptable.

We greatly appreciate the efforts of Sens. Merkley (D-Ore.) and Kirk (R-Ill.) and Reps. Polis (D-Colo.) and Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) in making a number of significant improvements to ENDA. These include removing language that would have reaffirmed the discriminatory and unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act.

While we applaud the progress that has been made, we stand united in expressing very grave concerns with the religious exemption in ENDA. It could provide religiously affiliated organizations – far beyond houses of worship – with a blank check to engage in employment discrimination against LGBT people. Some courts have said that even hospitals and universities may be able to claim the exemption; thus, it is possible that a religiously affiliated hospital could fire a transgender doctor or a religiously affiliated university could terminate a gay groundskeeper. It gives a stamp of legitimacy to LGBT discrimination that our civil rights laws have never given to discrimination based on an individual’s race, sex, national origin, age, or disability. This sweeping, unprecedented exemption undermines the core goal of ENDA by leaving too many jobs, and LGBT workers, outside the scope of its protections.

We are fully committed to continuing to work for the passage of ENDA and an appropriate exemption for religious organizations. We remain hopeful that our allies in Congress will agree that singling out LGBT people alone for this kind of unequal and unfair exemption to otherwise applicable non-discrimination laws has no place in this historic legislation.

https://www.aclu.or...ation-act-statement

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-s-815-support
H.R. 1755: The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

April 25, 2013 - The bipartisan introduction of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) today reflects the strong national consensus that workers should be evaluated on their merits, not sexual orientation or gender identity. As organizations that have, for decades, challenged LGBT workplace discrimination in the courts and worked for passage of inclusive non-discrimination laws at the local, state, and federal level, our commitment to the passage of a robust ENDA remains absolute and resolute. The continued need for this legislation is clear and it is of vital importance to LGBT people across the country.

Despite the remarkable progress – cultural, political, and legal – that LGBT people have made in recent years, there are currently 34 states that lack workplace non-discrimination laws that are fully inclusive of LGBT people. This patchwork of protection continues to leave LGBT people vulnerable to workplace discrimination. We hear the stories every day from our clients and the tens of thousands of LGBT people who contact LGBT legal organizations like ours every year. In a country that values fairness and equal treatment under the law, we believe the current situation is unacceptable.

We greatly appreciate the efforts of Sens. Merkley (D-Ore.) and Kirk (R-Ill.) and Reps. Polis (D-Colo.) and Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) in making a number of significant improvements to ENDA. These include removing language that would have reaffirmed the discriminatory and unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act.

While we applaud the progress that has been made, we stand united in expressing very grave concerns with the religious exemption in ENDA. It could provide religiously affiliated organizations – far beyond houses of worship – with a blank check to engage in employment discrimination against LGBT people. Some courts have said that even hospitals and universities may be able to claim the exemption; thus, it is possible that a religiously affiliated hospital could fire a transgender doctor or a religiously affiliated university could terminate a gay groundskeeper. It gives a stamp of legitimacy to LGBT discrimination that our civil rights laws have never given to discrimination based on an individual’s race, sex, national origin, age, or disability. This sweeping, unprecedented exemption undermines the core goal of ENDA by leaving too many jobs, and LGBT workers, outside the scope of its protections.

We are fully committed to continuing to work for the passage of ENDA and an appropriate exemption for religious organizations. We remain hopeful that our allies in Congress will agree that singling out LGBT people alone for this kind of unequal and unfair exemption to otherwise applicable non-discrimination laws has no place in this historic legislation.

https://www.aclu.or...ation-act-statement

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-1755-support
H.R. 1772: Legal Workforce Act

October 22, 2013

Dear Speaker Boehner and Democratic Leader Pelosi:

The undersigned organizations oppose the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1772) and urge you to oppose its passage. If passed, the bill will require every employer in the United States to use E- Verify within two years and will allow employers to re-verify every worker. H.R. 1772 does nothing to change our broken immigration system. Instead, the bill represents an outdated, enforcement-only approach that threatens the livelihood of all workers, including U.S. citizens, while failing to provide real solutions for law-abiding employers.

Mandating E-Verify without providing for legalization will threaten our nation’s economy and will send workers and businesses into the underground economy. E-Verify is not a silver bullet to catch unauthorized workers; instead mandating its use will only push employers and workers further into the underground economy, as paying workers cash or misclassifying the workers as independent contractors is the simplest way of not complying with the bill’s mandate. Mandating E-Verify, while providing no way for unauthorized workers to become work-authorized, would cost the country more than $17.3 billion dollars in federal revenue because it would increase the number of employers who resort to the black market outside of the tax system, robbing workers and citizens billions of dollars in payroll, state and federal income taxes.

Moreover, given E-Verify’s current error rates, the bill will force hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens and legally authorized workers to visit Social Security Administration offices to correct an E-Verify error, or lose their job. Yet despite these alarming statistics, H.R. 1772 lacks any meaningful protection for U.S. citizens or authorized workers who lose their jobs due to a government error. H.R. 1772 is a misguided approach that threatens our national economy and American jobs. The real answer is broad reform of our immigration system that includes a tough but fair path to citizenship for the 11 million aspiring Americans living in our communities. We urge you to reject this enforcement-only bill and pursue comprehensive immigration reform that supports, rather than undermines, our country’s economic vitality.

https://nilc.org/document.html?id=981

(Letter provided to POPVOX by Congressional office.)

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-1772-oppose
H.R. 15: Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act

October 2, 2013 – Below is a statement from Laura W. Murphy, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington Legislative Office, on the introduction of a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the U.S. House of Representatives today.

"This bill is an admirable attempt to shake Congress free from its immigration logjam. Though mired in a fiscal stalemate, Congress cannot abdicate its duty to fix a broken immigration system that needlessly punishes aspiring citizens and their families. The ACLU will continue to work to make civil liberties improvements to whatever emerges from each chamber before final legislation heads to President Obama’s desk."

Below is a statement from Vicki B. Gaubeca, director of the ACLU of New Mexico’s Regional Center for Border Rights, on the border provisions in this bill.

"Simply stated, the House bill's border provisions are an improvement over the Senate bill's. Whereas the Senate provisions are based on no concrete analysis of actual security needs, the House bill takes a more methodical approach, assessing border security needs before any resources are committed. This is the way sensible border policy should be crafted, horse before the cart.

"That being said, though things like 'studying border needs', 'oversight', and 'accountability', may not sound sexy, they are critical components to ensuring that the civil and human rights of border communities are protected, and the House bill still needs improvement in those areas. This is especially true given Customs and Border Protection's massive increase in abuses and killings in the past several years."

https://www.aclu.or...ion-reform-proposal

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-15-neutral
S. 1551: The Intelligence Oversight and Surveillance Reform Act

09/26/2013 - Yesterday afternoon, the first shot in the fight for comprehensive intelligence reform was fired.

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mark Udall (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) held a press conference to discuss the government's surveillance overreach, staking out what they see as meaningful reform. "We're launching the debate with an actual bill, setting the bar that we think is the real measure of intelligence reform," Wyden said.

The bill they introduced, the Intelligence Oversight and Surveillance Reform Act, would do many things, but here's the core of it:

It would end the bulk collection of Americans' phone records. Sen. Udall reiterated that there is no evidence that the program even works.

It would stop the "backdoor searches" of Americans' communications. Under the warrantless surveillance program approved in 2008, the government filters, collects, and stores the content of international communications, even when an American is on one end. This limitation would prevent the NSA from actually using that data unless they can prove to a judge that there is some nexus to terrorism.

It would provide for an independent advocate within the FISA Court process, known as a "constitutional advocate," to represent privacy interests.

It would ensure that law-abiding Americans impacted by government can have their day in court, constitutionally challenge the government's surveillance, and seek redress.

"These are commonsense reforms that will keep our country safe while still protecting our constitutional rights," said Udall. He added: "Our critics say we cannot protect both safety and privacy, but that is a false choice."

The bipartisan reform package is after "real reform," according to the senators. This is not some sort of "cosmetic reform where you just take the old wine and put it in a new bottle," Sen. Wyden said.

But civil liberties and privacy aren't the only things NSA surveillance affects, the senators noted.

Sen. Wyden argued that the NSA's surveillance authorities don't protect U.S. national security, but harm it.

"When friendly governments begin to question their relationship with the American intelligence community," he said, "there are serious, serious national security implications."

Sen. Udall noted that intelligence reform was critical to maintaining international trust in American business—a point we've made before.

As Sen. Wyden stressed over and over again during the press conference, the privacy hawks have "exceptional momentum." And as he made clear, the American people are on the reformers' side. "If you had told me six months ago that somebody would come up to me in a barbershop and ask me about the FISA Court, I would have said, ‘You know, right.'"

Case in point: this afternoon, the Senate Intelligence Committee will hold a rare open hearing on FISA reform, and the Senate Judiciary Committee will continue its oversight series next Wednesday morning.

During a time when the White House and the intelligence community argue over and over again that Americans have to trade some of their civil liberties and privacy for security, Sen. Wyden insisted that "Liberty and security are not mutually exclusive."

We couldn't agree more.

https://www.aclu.or...intelligence-reform

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-s-1551-support
The President's Draft Legislation Authorizing Military Action in Syria

August 30, 2013

Dear Speaker Boehner, Minority Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, and Minority Leader McConnell:

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) strongly urges you to schedule floor debates and votes in both houses of Congress on the question of whether the President may use military force in Syria. Given the widespread reports that such action is being contemplated by the administration, and in light of reports that the some parties believe mere consultation between the President and certain congressional leaders provides sufficient authority to the President to engage in military force, floor debate should commence as soon as possible and certainly no later than the date on which Congress reconvenes. Failure by Congress to consider and decide whether the President may use military force in Syria would mark an abdication by Congress of the war powers reserved for it under Article I of the Constitution. Use of military force by the administration in Syria in the absence of congressional action would strike at the very heart of the fundamental principle of separation of powers that is at the core of the Constitution and is the undergirding of our democratic form of government.

The ACLU does not take a position on whether military force should be used in Syria. However, we have been steadfast in insisting, from Vietnam through the military action in Libya in 2011, that decisions on whether to use military force require Congress's specific, advance authorization. Absent a sudden attack on the United States that requires the President to take immediate action to repel the attack, the President does not have the power under the Constitution to decide to take the United States into war. Such power belongs to the Congress and derives from the Constitution. Article 1, Section 8 provides that only the Congress has the power “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water,” among other war powers.

The structure of the Constitution reflects the framers' mistrust of concentrations of power and their consequent separation of those powers into the three branches of our government. The framers well understood the danger of combining powers into the hands of a single person, even one who is elected, particularly a person given command of the armed forces. In order to prevent such an accumulation in times of war or emergency, the framers split the war powers between the Executive and Legislative branches, giving the Congress the power to declare war, i.e., make the decision whether to initiate hostilities, while putting the armed forces under the command of the President.

In giving the power of deciding whether to go to war to Congress alone, the framers made clear that the President's powers as Commander in Chief, while "nominally the same [as] that of the king of Great Britain . . . in substance [is] much inferior to it."1 As Alexander Hamilton explained, the power of Commander in Chief "would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces; while that of the British king extends to the DECLARING of war and to the RAISING and REGULATING of fleets and armies, all of which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature."2

Chief Justice Marshall made clear, as early as 1801, that the Executive Branch did not have the power to decide whether the country will use military force. In a series of cases involving the seizure of vessels during an undeclared naval war with France, the Supreme Court made clear that Congress, not the President, was the ultimate repository of the power to authorize military force.3 As Marshall made clear, “The whole powers of war being, by the constitution of the United States, vested in congress, the acts of that body can alone be resorted to as our guides in this inquiry.”4

In The Prize Cases5, the Supreme Court found that a “state of war” may exist without a declaration of war. But the peculiar context of the Civil War explains those cases. Indeed, the Court reaffirmed that, in contrast to the President's power to suppress insurrections, “By the Constitution, Congress alone has the power to declare a national or foreign war.”6

Although some supporters of unilateral Presidential war-making power argue that the President, as Commander in Chief, has the ability to use military force without either a declaration of war or Congressional approval when he deems it necessary in the “national interest” and does not anticipate a “war” in the apparent sense of a prolonged intensive military action, this view is based on a misreading of history. Some proponents of this view make much of the fact that the drafters of the Constitution had considered giving Congress the sole power to “make War,” but in the end decided its power would be to “declare War.” Some supporters of Executive power claim this means the President has the power to make war regardless whether Congress has acted. However, James Madison explained that this change was made simply to leave “to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks.”7 According to Hamilton, “anything beyond” such use of military force “must fall under the idea of reprisals and requires the sanction of that Department [i.e., the Congress] which is to declare or make war.”8

As this history makes clear, the correct view of the Constitution, and the unbroken view of Congress, has been that the President's power to engage in large-scale military operations without Congressional approval is limited to the power “to repel sudden attacks.” Any other use of military force requires a declaration of war or other Congressional authorization.

Moreover, Executive Branch “consultations” with or briefings of members of Congress, as have been reported publicly, may be useful for congressional oversight, but are not a substitute for the Congress carrying out its obligations under Article I of the Constitution. No amount of letters, congressional testimony, or Situation Room briefings can make up for the House and Senate declining to act in accordance with the authority that the Constitution reserves for the Congress, to decide whether the United States should use military force in Syria.

It is up to the Congress, as representatives of the American citizenry, to insist upon its exclusive authority under the Constitution to decide whether the President may use military force in Syria. This decision should be the first order of business for each house when the Congress reconvenes and, if the President wishes to engage in the use of military force before that date, Congress should reconvene early to take up this critical matter.

https://www.aclu.or..._syria_08.30.13.pdf

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-x-134-neutral
S. 1038: End Racial Profiling Act of 2013

5/23/13 - Just over a year ago, the Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on racial profiling in over a decade on the heels of the murder of 17-year-old Florida resident Trayvon Martin.

His death gave a face to the terrible practice of racial profiling and brought new media scrutiny to the issue.

Over the years, many of our political leaders have recognized the injustice that results from racial profiling. President Obama and President Bush have both urged an end to this discriminatory practice. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft said racial profiling "needs to stop [because] every American has a right to look to law enforcement officials to protect their rights." These sentiments were echoed by Attorney General Eric Holder in 2009 in his testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

But despite this high profile support, racial profiling remains a pervasive practice. From New York's stop-and-frisk policy to FBI surveillance of mosques, profiling infringes on the basic rights of Americans all across the country.

We rely on law enforcement to protect us from harm and serve as the face of justice, but the continued use of racial profiling undermines the trust between the police and our communities and reduces cooperation with law enforcement.

Today Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) introduced the End Racial Profiling Act of 2013 (ERPA) which prohibits racial profiling by law enforcement officials. ERPA is the thoughtful result of nearly two decades of work with law enforcement and civil rights communities, and its passage is vital to restoring trust between communities of color and the justice system.

https://www.aclu.or...nd-racial-profiling

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-s-1038-support
House Amendment 101: Amash-Conyers Amendment

The Amash Amendment would prevent the NSA from indiscriminately collecting the phone records of most Americans, including who we talk to, for how long, and how often.

Instead, it will limit the NSA's ability to collect these records to people who are actually under investigation under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (a pretty reasonable limitation!).

(Letter provided to POPVOX by Congressional staff)

https://ssl.capwiz....0723_AmashAmendment

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hamdt-101-support
H.R. 1797: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

June 12, 2013

We write to you as organizations concerned with protecting the rights and ensuring the wellbeing of women and families and are strongly opposed to H.R. 1797, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.” This harmful legislation – which would ban abortions after twenty weeks with only a very narrow exception – would impose unconstitutional and dangerous limits on abortion for women across the country.

H.R. 1797 is a harmful attempt to restrict women’s access to safe and legal abortion nationwide. The ban is clearly unconstitutional, and is a blatant attempt to challenge Roe v. Wade at the expense of the health of our nation’s women. As the bill bans pre-viability abortions outright, does not include an adequate life exception, and has no health exception at all, the bill violates established constitutional standards.

Twenty-week abortion bans like H.R. 1797 are a cruel attempt by anti-choice politicians to further marginalize and limit women’s access to abortion. The reality is there isn’t a one-size- fits-all solution and some women need to obtain an abortion later in pregnancy. Women need these abortions for many reasons – including if a pregnancy is endangering the health of the woman, or if a pregnancy is the result of rape or incest (research shows approximately 25 thousand U.S. women become pregnant each year as a result of rape), or in the case of severe fetal anomaly. Women don’t look to politicians for advice on mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, or maternal health needs, and abortion is no different. This deeply personal decision should always be made by a woman in consultation with her doctor, family, and other trusted individuals, not politicians. The small percentage of abortions that take place after twenty weeks often involve the most dire circumstances; denying women access to the care they need in such circumstances is both wrong and dangerous.

This ban would criminalize doctors offering critically needed and constitutionally protected care to their patients. Such a ban would serve to interfere in and obstruct the doctor-patient relationship, the sanctity of which is a cornerstone of medical care in our country. Indeed, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the nation’s leading association of medical experts on women’s health, has come out in strong opposition to twenty-week bans, citing the serious threat these laws pose to women’s health and the fact that such bans are not based on sound science.

H.R. 1797 is a blatant attempt to deny women their constitutional rights and threatens the health of women in the United States. The House Judiciary Committee should reject H.R. 1797 and instead focus on efforts to expand women’s access to comprehensive health care.

(Letter provided to POPVOX by Congressional Office.)

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-1797-oppose
H.R. 1962: The Free Flow of Information Act
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-1962-support
H.R. 624: CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act)

March 11, 2013

Dear Representative:

We the undersigned organizations write in opposition to H.R. 624, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2013 (CISPA). We are gravely concerned that this bill will allow companies that hold very sensitive and personal information to liberally share it with the government, which could then use the information without meaningful oversight for purposes unrelated to cybersecurity.

CISPA creates an exception to all privacy laws to permit companies to share our information with each other and with the government in the name of cybersecurity. Although a carefully-crafted information sharing program that strictly limits the information to be shared and includes robust privacy safeguards could be an effective approach to cybersecurity, CISPA lacks such protections for individual rights. CISPA’s information sharing regime allows the transfer of vast amounts of data, including sensitive information like internet records or the content of emails, to any agency in the government including military and intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency or the Department of Defense Cyber Command. Once in government hands, this information can be used for undefined ‘national security’ purposes unrelated to cybersecurity.

Developments over the last year make CISPA’s approach even more questionable than before. First, the President recently signed Executive Order 13636, which will increase information sharing from the government to the private sector. Information sharing in this direction is often cited as a substantial justification for CISPA and will proceed without legislation. Second, the cybersecurity legislation the Senate considered last year, S. 3414, included privacy protections for information sharing that are entirely absent from CISPA, and the Obama administration, including the intelligence community, has confirmed that those protections would not inhibit cybersecurity programs. These included provisions to ensure that private companies send cyber threat information only to civilian agencies, and stricter limits on how this information may be used. Finally, witnesses at a hearing before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence confirmed only weeks ago that companies can strip out personally identifiably information that is not necessary to address cyber threats, and CISPA omits any requirement that reasonable efforts be undertaken to do so.

We continue to oppose CISPA and encourage you to vote ‘no.’ Fundamental changes to this bill are required to address the many civil liberties problems.

(Letter provided to POPVOX by Congressional office.)

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-624-oppose
H.R. 592: Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013

February 12, 2013

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a non-partisan organization with more than a half million members, countless additional activists and supporters, and 53 affiliates nationwide dedicated to the principles of individual liberty and justice embodied in the U.S. Constitution, we are writing to urge you to vote “NO” on H.R. 592 when the measure comes up on the suspension calendar on Wednesday. This bill, which would authorize FEMA to provide houses of worship with direct grants of taxpayer funds, would flout longstanding constitutional law and harm religious liberty.

The Supreme Court has recognized that the First Amendment was devised to prohibit “[t]he imposition of taxes to . . . build and maintain churches and church property,” because such funding is an affront to “individual religious liberty.”1 Accordingly, longstanding Court precedent specifically holds that taxpayer funds cannot go to construct, rebuild, or repair buildings used for religious activities — which clearly includes houses of worship.2 The Court has never retreated from this bedrock Establishment Clause principle. In fact, the Supreme Court continues to recognize “‘special Establishment Clause dangers where the government makes direct money payments to sectarian institutions,’”3 which is exactly the use of taxpayer funds at issue here. And in a variety of bills over the past several decades, Congress has prohibited the use of funds to construct buildings used for religious purposes. Indeed, in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Congress again recognized this prohibition and limited green construction funding to buildings in which secular activities take place.4

Under current policy, houses of worship may obtain government loans — just not direct grants — to rebuild. All for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations — including houses of worship — are eligible to participate in the SBA Disaster Loan Program. Houses of worship, therefore, are not without government help to rebuild. Moreover, houses of worship are not the only non-profit facilities that would otherwise be ineligible for direct grants for reconstruction. Only non-profits with facilities used for emergency, essential, and government-like activities are eligible for grants. Thus, FEMA grants are not the same as “general government services,” like police or fire, which are available to every business, nonprofit, private residence, and house of worship. To say that the policy is unfair or that houses of worship are treated unequally — singled out among all other non-profits — therefore, is untrue.

Although houses of worship may serve a central role in the lives of their congregants, it is impossible to see how the prayer and worship conducted in these sacred buildings is equivalent to the essential, government-like activities in facilities that would be eligible for government grants. It would be a dangerous precedent to equate religious worship with the vital services government provides. And while houses of worship may host educational and social activities, only community centers that are open to the general public on a nondiscriminatory basis,5 serve the entire community (not just congregants), and are used for a range of different activities6 are eligible for a FEMA grant.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Bush administration directed that houses of worship would remain ineligible for FEMA funds. The Bush administration respected longstanding Supreme Court precedent7 and continued to adhere to this constitutional requirement. Churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples were damaged in Katrina just as they were in Sandy. As an organization whose offices were closed for weeks as a result, we very much understand the serious difficulties faced by people who were impacted by superstorm Sandy — so many of our friends and colleagues in New York and New Jersey continue to deal with its aftermath. But, the harm would be compounded if this misfortune were used as a reason to erode fundamental religious liberty protections enshrined in the First Amendment.

Religious liberty is one of our nation’s most fundamental values and it starts from the principle that religion thrives when both religion and government are safeguarded from the undue influences of the other. Barring federal funds for the rebuilding of houses of worship is not discriminatory or hostile to religion — it is one of the most fundamental ways we have to protect and defend religious liberty for all. Indeed, the Establishment Clause protects religious freedom by preventing the government from endorsing and funding any one religion — or all religions.

Because H.R. 592 would flout longstanding constitutional law and harm religious liberty, we urge you to oppose the measure and vote “NO” when the measure comes up on the suspension calendar on Wednesday.

(Letter provided to POPVOX by Congressional office.)

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-592-oppose
H.R. 377: The Paycheck Fairness Act

January 23, 2013

ACLU Urges Congress to Co-Sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act

Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), its over half a million members, countless additional supporters and activists, and 53 affiliates nationwide, we urge you to become a co-sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act of 1963. In honor of this important anniversary, we must acknowledge there is more to do to achieve pay equity and seek to improve and amend that law, through the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act. Representative Rosa DeLauro and Senator Barbara Mikulski are re-introducing this important legislation and we encourage you to sign on as a co-sponsor.

The Paycheck Fairness Act provides a much needed update to the Equal Pay Act – a law that has not been able to achieve its promise of closing the wage gap because of limited enforcement tools and inadequate remedies. Specifically, the Paycheck Fairness Act would:

• require employers to demonstrate that wage differences between men and

women doing the same work have a business justification and stem from

factors other than sex;

• prohibit retaliation against workers who inquire about their employers’ wage

practices or disclose their own wages, while also protecting certain

confidential wage information;

• level the playing field by ensuring that women can obtain the same remedies

as those subject to discrimination on the basis of race or national origin; and

• authorize additional training for EEOC staff to better identify and handle

wage disputes and require the U.S. Department of Labor to provide technical

assistance to employers and reinstate the collection of certain wage-related

data.

• provide important business-related provisions, including:

o an exemption for small businesses;

o a six months waiting period from the time of enactment that allows businesses covered under the Act sufficient time to comply with its requirements;

o a requirement that the Department of Labor help educate small

businesses about what is required under the law and assist them with

compliance;

o recognition for employers’ excellence in their pay practices; and

o federal outreach and assistance to all businesses to help improve equal

pay practices and training assistance to empower women to negotiate for

fair pay.

There should be little doubt that additional improvements are still necessary. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women who work full time still earn, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar men earn. African American women were paid only 64 cents and Latinas, only 55 cents, as compared to white men. According to a nationwide poll, support at home for the Paycheck Fairness Act is overwhelming. In the poll of registered voters, 84% said they support a new law that would provide women more tools to get fair pay in the workplace. High levels of support for this bill held true regardless of political party, gender, race, ethnicity, or regions of the country. For example, 77% of Republicans support it, along with 91% of Democrats and 87% of Independents. Large majorities of both men and women support the law as well – 81% and 87% respectively.

This bill is a measure that the American public – across the country and across parties –

overwhelmingly supports. Perhaps this is because in 6 out of 10 families, women are the primary or co-breadwinners and families are affected by the fact that women are not bringing home the wages they deserve. Moreover, when businesses do not play by thhe rules, they make it harder on those companies trying to pay employees fairly. That is why the Paycheck Fairness Act has been supported by business groups like the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce.

This Congress has the historic opportunity to change the lives of women and families all across America. Families need to bring home every dollar they rightfully earn – making pay equity even more necessary, not only to families’ economic security, but also to the nation's economic recovery. We strongly urge you to sign on as a co-sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act.

http://www.aclu.org...uction_1_2013_0.pdf

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-377-support
S. 84: The Paycheck Fairness Act

January 23, 2013

ACLU Urges Congress to Co-Sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act

Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), its over half a million members, countless additional supporters and activists, and 53 affiliates nationwide, we urge you to become a co-sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act of 1963. In honor of this important anniversary, we must acknowledge there is more to do to achieve pay equity and seek to improve and amend that law, through the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act. Representative Rosa DeLauro and Senator Barbara Mikulski are re-introducing this important legislation and we encourage you to sign on as a co-sponsor.

The Paycheck Fairness Act provides a much needed update to the Equal Pay Act – a law that has not been able to achieve its promise of closing the wage gap because of limited enforcement tools and inadequate remedies. Specifically, the Paycheck Fairness Act would:

• require employers to demonstrate that wage differences between men and

women doing the same work have a business justification and stem from

factors other than sex;

• prohibit retaliation against workers who inquire about their employers’ wage

practices or disclose their own wages, while also protecting certain

confidential wage information;

• level the playing field by ensuring that women can obtain the same remedies

as those subject to discrimination on the basis of race or national origin; and

• authorize additional training for EEOC staff to better identify and handle

wage disputes and require the U.S. Department of Labor to provide technical

assistance to employers and reinstate the collection of certain wage-related

data.

• provide important business-related provisions, including:

o an exemption for small businesses;

o a six months waiting period from the time of enactment that allows businesses covered under the Act sufficient time to comply with its requirements;

o a requirement that the Department of Labor help educate small

businesses about what is required under the law and assist them with

compliance;

o recognition for employers’ excellence in their pay practices; and

o federal outreach and assistance to all businesses to help improve equal

pay practices and training assistance to empower women to negotiate for

fair pay.

There should be little doubt that additional improvements are still necessary. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women who work full time still earn, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar men earn. African American women were paid only 64 cents and Latinas, only 55 cents, as compared to white men. According to a nationwide poll, support at home for the Paycheck Fairness Act is overwhelming. In the poll of registered voters, 84% said they support a new law that would provide women more tools to get fair pay in the workplace. High levels of support for this bill held true regardless of political party, gender, race, ethnicity, or regions of the country. For example, 77% of Republicans support it, along with 91% of Democrats and 87% of Independents. Large majorities of both men and women support the law as well – 81% and 87% respectively.

This bill is a measure that the American public – across the country and across parties –

overwhelmingly supports. Perhaps this is because in 6 out of 10 families, women are the primary or co-breadwinners and families are affected by the fact that women are not bringing home the wages they deserve. Moreover, when businesses do not play by thhe rules, they make it harder on those companies trying to pay employees fairly. That is why the Paycheck Fairness Act has been supported by business groups like the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce.

This Congress has the historic opportunity to change the lives of women and families all across America. Families need to bring home every dollar they rightfully earn – making pay equity even more necessary, not only to families’ economic security, but also to the nation's economic recovery. We strongly urge you to sign on as a co-sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act.

http://www.aclu.org...uction_1_2013_0.pdf

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-s-84-support
H.R. 4310 (112th): The National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2013 (NDAA)

December 19, 2012

Re: VETO the National Defense Authorization Act Because It Extends Restrictions on Transferring Detainees Out of the Guantanamo Prison

Dear President Obama:

The undersigned human rights, religious, and civil liberties groups strongly urge you to veto the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) because it would impede your ability to close Guantanamo. Specifically, the NDAA conference bill restricts the Executive Branch's authority to transfer detainees for repatriation or resettlement in foreign countries or for prosecution in federal criminal court for the full fiscal year. The objections the White House raised to the Guantanamo transfer restrictions in the Statement of Administration Policy on the Senate version of the NDAA--which were reiterated last week in a letter from the Secretary of Defense to the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee--were in no way resolved by the conference bill. The transfer provisions that triggered both statements were left substantively unchanged.

Your commitment to close the Guantanamo prison was a hallmark of your 2008 campaign and a signal to everyone, both across America and around the globe, of a renewed commitment to the rule of law. Your executive order, on your second full day as president, directing the government to close the prison should have heralded the end of the prison, but instead triggered a long series of failures and obstacles to its closure. There are still 166 detainees left at Guantanamo, and the promise of closing the prison remains unfulfilled.

We appreciate that you publicly renewed your commitment to closing Guantanamo in public comments this fall, and we strongly believe that you can accomplish this objective during your second term. You can still make the successful closing of the Guantanamo prison an important part of your historic legacy.

However, if the NDAA is signed with any transfer restrictions in it, the prospects for Guantanamo being closed during your presidency will be severely diminished, if not gone altogether. The current statutory restrictions on transfer expire on March 27, 2013. Those restrictions—which have been in place for nearly two years with zero detainees being certified for transfer overseas and zero detainees transferred to the United States for prosecution—are functionally similar to the restrictions in the NDAA bill pending in Congress. If extended for the entire fiscal year, then nearly a year of your second term could be lost, and the political capital required to start closing it later in your next term will be even greater.

Now is the time to end the statutory restrictions on closing Guantanamo, by vetoing the NDAA because it extends them. When signing earlier versions of these restrictions into law, you stated, “my Administration will work with the Congress to seek repeal of these restrictions, will seek to mitigate their effects, and will oppose any attempt to extend or expand them in the future.” The restrictions have proven unworkable, and should not be extended for yet another year.

There is broad support among national security and foreign policy leaders for closing Guantanamo. Your own national security and foreign policy leadership team shares your commitment to closing Guantanamo. The list of leaders who support closing the Guantanamo prison is long, and crosses party lines, including: former President George W. Bush, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, former National Security Advisor James Jones, General Charles C. Krulak (ret.) former Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Joseph P. Hoar (ret.), former CETCOM commander, and Brigadier General Michael Lehnert (ret.), who set up the Guantanamo prison, and 25 retired admirals and generals. Closing Guantanamo is good human rights policy and good national security policy.

We realize that there is a long tradition of the NDAA being enacted annually. However, an annual NDAA is not required for the Department of Defense to carry out its functions. The NDAA does not fund the Department of Defense, and all of its provisions can be either implemented by agency action or enacted as part of other legislation. Four of your five immediate predecessors--Presidents Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and George W. Bush--each vetoed an NDAA. Restrictions impeding the closing of the Guantanamo prison clearly warrant a veto by you.

We believe that you will be far more likely to succeed in fulfilling your commitment to closing the Guantanamo prison if the transfer restrictions are allowed to expire on March 27. We strongly urge you to veto the NDAA, because it includes an extension of the restrictions on transferring detainees out of Guantanamo for either repatriation or resettlement overseas or prosecution in the United States. Thank you for your attention to this request.

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-4310-oppose
H.R. 5949 (112th): The FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act

September 11, 2012

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a non- partisan organization with more than a half million members, countless additional activists and supporters, and 53 affiliates nationwide, we urge you to vote NO on H.R. 5949, the FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012. This bill will extend the warrantless wiretapping program for another five years without amendment and without meaningful public oversight.

There is little in the public record about how the government implements the FAA, but what little there is reveals substantial violations of the law. The New York Times reported in April 2009 that the National Security Agency “intercepted private e-mail messages and phone calls of Americans in recent months on a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by Congress” and “engaged in ‘overcollection’ of domestic communications of Americans” which was “significant and systemic.” Documents released in response to an ACLU Freedom of Information Act request confirmed recurring violations through March 2010, the last date for which reports were produced at the time of the FOIA release. Though heavily redacted, the documents suggest that the government is not always able to determine whether a target is a US person and therefore entitled to heightened protections. They also confirm violations of both the targeting and minimization procedures that are supposed to protect Americans’ privacy. Finally, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has said that he, “believe[s] that the government’s implementation of Section 702 of FISA has sometimes circumvented the spirit of the law, and on at least one occasion the FISA Court has reached this same conclusion.”

Even surveillance within the four corners of the law could substantially violate Americans’ Fourth Amendment right to privacy. FAA permits the bulk, suspicionless collection of electronic communications coming into and going out of the United States, so long as no specific US person or person in the United States is intentionally targeted. While the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) considers and approves the targeting and minimization procedures used for FAA interceptions, those applications are for year-long programs that do not identify the people or places to be tapped but instead identify “categories of foreign intelligence targets” to be surveilled.4 While no specific US person may be targeted, the FAA authorizes the mass acquisition of Americans’ international communications, implicating the Fourth Amendment rights of potentially millions of Americans. The public does not know the nature or amount of this privacy invasion, and it does not appear that Congress does either. In fact, when asked by Senators Wyden and Udall whether the Administration could even estimate how many Americans had been impacted by the FISA Amendments Act, the Director of National Intelligence said it “was not reasonably possible to identify the number of people located in the United States whose communications may have been reviewed under the authority of the FAA.”5

While the Committees of jurisdiction have received classified reports that include some information about the contours of the program, the rights at stake demand public oversight and this overbroad law needs amendment. In this reauthorization process we urge you to vote no until such time:

1. The administration releases basic information about the program, such as the type of information collected and how many Americans and people in the US it has affected. It is also critical that FISC opinions and administration interpretations of its authority to collect and use information under the FAA become part of the public record and congressional debate.

2. Legislation amends the FAA to prevent the bulk collection of communications. Vacuum- cleaner-like programs always collect information on people who have done nothing wrong. The FAA, even though nominally directed outward, allows the mass and suspicionless acquisition of the communications of Americans and people in the US. It should only be used to collect specific information on specific targets.

3. Legislation amends the FAA to ensure that information collected under those programs can be used only in the narrowest of circumstances and ensures that information cannot be repurposed for other government uses.

Because this oversight has not been conducted by the committees of jurisdiction and these statutory fixes are not included in H.R. 5949, we strongly urge you to vote NO.

Please contact Legislative Counsel Michelle Richardson with any questions.

Sincerely,

Michael Macleod Ball

Acting Director

http://www.aclu.org..._5949_-_9.11.12.pdf

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-5949-oppose
S. 306: National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2011

With over 2.2 million men and women incarcerated throughout the US the highest rate of incarceration of any country in the world and the fact that more than half of all people released from prison re-enter the system within three years, now is the time to embrace meaningful reforms to our criminal justice system. Even prominent conservative thinkers such as Newt Gingrich acknowledge that the criminal justice system needs fixing. In an effort begin the reform process, Senator Jim Webb introduced S. 306, the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2011, which will create a bipartisan commission to study the United States’ broken and dysfunctional criminal justice system and offer concrete recommendations to alleviate imbalances and injustices.

https://ssl.capwiz....1C00&ms=web__ac

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-s-306-support
H.R. 2212: Democracy Restoration Act of 2011

Congressional action is needed to establish a federal standard that restores voting rights in federal elections to the millions of Americans who are living in the community, but continue to be denied their ability to fully participate in civic life. In June 2011, Representative John Conyers introduced the Democracy Restoration Act of 2011 in the House of Representatives (H.R. 2212). In December 2011, Senator Ben Cardin introduced it in the Senate (S. 2017).

The provisions of the Democracy Restoration Act would:

• Restore voting rights in federal elections to nearly 4 million Americans who have been released from prison and are living in the community.

• Ensure that probationers never lose their right to vote in federal elections.

• Notify people about their right to vote in federal elections when they are leaving prison, sentenced to probation, or convicted of a misdemeanor.

Passage of the Democracy Restoration Act would:

• Create a uniform standard across the country in federal elections.

• Strengthen our democracy by creating a broader and more just base of voter participation.

• Aid law enforcement by encouraging participation in civic life, assisting reintegration, and rebuilding ties to the community.

• Facilitate election administration by streamlining registration issues and eliminating the opportunity for erroneous purges of eligible voters.

• Eliminate the confusion about who is eligible to vote.

As the Supreme Court has said, “[n]o right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined.”

It is time to restore the most precious of civil rights that has been denied far too long to millions of American citizens.

http://www.aclu.org...ress_12_16_11_0.pdf

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-2212-support
S. 2017 (112th): The Democracy Restoration Act

Congressional action is needed to establish a federal standard that restores voting rights in federal elections to the millions of Americans who are living in the community, but continue to be denied their ability to fully participate in civic life. In June 2011, Representative John Conyers introduced the Democracy Restoration Act of 2011 in the House of Representatives (H.R. 2212). In December 2011, Senator Ben Cardin introduced it in the Senate (S. 2017).

The provisions of the Democracy Restoration Act would:

• Restore voting rights in federal elections to nearly 4 million Americans who have been released from prison and are living in the community.

• Ensure that probationers never lose their right to vote in federal elections.

• Notify people about their right to vote in federal elections when they are leaving prison, sentenced to probation, or convicted of a misdemeanor.

Passage of the Democracy Restoration Act would:

• Create a uniform standard across the country in federal elections.

• Strengthen our democracy by creating a broader and more just base of voter participation.

• Aid law enforcement by encouraging participation in civic life, assisting reintegration, and rebuilding ties to the community.

• Facilitate election administration by streamlining registration issues and eliminating the opportunity for erroneous purges of eligible voters.

• Eliminate the confusion about who is eligible to vote.

As the Supreme Court has said, “[n]o right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined.”

It is time to restore the most precious of civil rights that has been denied far too long to millions of American citizens.

http://www.aclu.org...ress_12_16_11_0.pdf

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-s-2017-support
H.R. 3523 (112th): The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)

Dear Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Ruppersberger:

On behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union, a non-partisan organization with over half a million members, countless additional activists and supporters, and 53 affiliates nationwide, we write in opposition to H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011. We ask that you delay markup to consider the privacy implications of the bill that would allow companies to share private data with the government. We urge you to amend the bill to include explicit collection and use limitations and rigorous oversight mechanisms. In the absence of such amendments, we will vigorously oppose this legislation as inconsistent with the long tradition of Americans’ reasonable expectations of privacy.

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act would create a cybersecurity exception to all privacy laws and allow companies to share the private and personal data they hold on their American customers with the government for cybersecurity purposes. The bill would not limit the companies to sharing only technical, non-personal data. Instead, it would give the companies discretion to decide the type and amount of information to turn over to the government. If shared in good faith compliance with the statute, these entities would receive full liability protection and would be immune from criminal or civil liability, even after an egregious breach of privacy. Further, once an individual’s information is shared with the government, there would be no restriction on the use of that information. It could be used for any purpose whatsoever and shared with any agency. While such data might be used for cybersecurity purposes, there would be no bar on the government also using it to conduct fishing expeditions for criminal, immigration or other purposes.

Beyond the potential for massive data collection authorization, the bill would provide no meaningful oversight of, or accountability for, the use of these new information-sharing authorities. Congressional reporting would be delegated to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB). But the PCLOB has never been activated, therefore making it likely that no regular, institutionalized and substantive reporting will happen at all. Moreover, no federal agency or official has been tasked with issuing guidance to companies and government agencies as to how best protect privacy.

Writing a statute to govern the sharing of cybersecurity information is a complex and challenging task. But any new programs simply must respect privacy. The White House’s May legislative draft, the Recommendations of the House Republican Cybersecurity Task Force, and the Privacy Impact Assessment of Einstein 3 all contained more explicit privacy protections than the new bill. We encourage the committee to borrow from any of these documents in improving the privacy provisions of the legislation. Any new information-sharing legislation must at a minimum do the following:

· Narrowly define the privacy laws it will contravene. The committee must carefully consider what privacy laws truly inhibit necessary information-sharing and craft narrow exceptions limited to just those critical circumstances.

· House domestic cybersecurity efforts in a civilian agency. Congress must not empower military or intelligence agencies such as the National Security Agency to collect the internet usage data of Americans. Cybersecurity efforts on American soil should be led by the private sector, and any government information collection must be coordinated by a civilian government agency.

· Require companies to remove personally identifiable information (PII) from data they share with the government. While sharing technical data can take place without implicating civil liberties, a presumption of privacy should protect PII. Sharing PII should be an exception and not the norm, even if there could be certain limited exceptions to cover legitimate emergencies or other narrowly defined situations.

· Limit government use of information shared for cybersecurity purposes. Cybersecurity information-sharing should not become a windfall of data for the federal government to use as it pleases. Any information shared with the government must have strict use limitations to ensure that this new program doesn’t become an end run around privacy laws that would otherwise offer stronger protections.

· Create an oversight and accountability structure that includes public and congressional reporting. The executive branch must provide regular, substantive and public reporting, ideally by multiple Inspectors General and/or privacy officers.

We appreciate your consideration and look forward to working with you in the coming months as cybersecurity legislation advances through the House. Please contact Legislative Counsel Michelle Richardson if you should have questions or comments about this correspondence.

http://www.aclu.org...protection-act-2011

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-3523-oppose
H.R. 3053 (112th): The REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act

Spit as a deadly weapon? As crazy as it sounds, in some states that is the reality that people living with HIV face.

On Friday afternoon, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced legislation in Congress that will bring some much needed attention to the issue of criminalization of HIV. Rep. Lee's legislation — the REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act — would provide states with incentives and support to reform outdated criminal laws that target people living with HIV.

There are presently 34 states that have criminal laws that punish people for exposing another person to HIV, even in the absence of actual HIV transmission or a meaningful risk that transmission could occur. Many of these laws were enacted early in the epidemic, before people understood how HIV was and was not transmitted, but the laws have not been changed. And many people are serving long sentences for conduct that poses no meaningful risk of transmission of HIV, such as spitting or biting.

In March 2010, the ACLU of Michigan filed an amicus brief in the jaw-dropping case of a man living with HIV who faced bio-terrorism charges after he allegedly bit another man during an altercation (despite the fact that HIV is not spread through saliva). Fortunately, a judge eventually threw out the bio-terrorism charges against the man.

Additional cases include that of a Texas man living with HIV who received a 35-year sentence for spitting at a police officer because under Texas law his saliva was considered a "deadly weapon."

A man living with HIV in Iowa received a 25-year sentence after he engaged in a one-time sexual encounter during which he used a condom and HIV was not transmitted. The man was charged under Iowa's law on the criminal transmission of HIV — which, despite its name, doesn't actually require transmission of HIV to occur. The man's sentence was eventually suspended, but he was nonetheless required to register as a sex offender.

I could go on.

The damage these laws do is all too real. These laws undermine public health approaches to fighting the disease and limiting its spread in a number of ways. For example, criminalizing exposure does not encourage people to disclose their HIV status to sexual partners, and most of these states do not treat the use of a condom during sexual intercourse as evidence that HIV transmission was not intended. More fundamentally, these laws wrongly stigmatize and marginalize those who are living with HIV/AIDS.

In the Obama administration's first-of-its-kind national AIDS strategy, which was released in July 2010, the administration discussed the fact that the stigma associated with HIV "remains extremely high." The ACLU certainly agrees with this finding, and firmly believes that one of the most productive steps states could take to breakdown this stigma and fear of those living with HIV/AIDS is by removing outdated HIV criminalization laws from their books.

The REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act includes the following finding:

Over the past 3 decades, scientists have learned much about HIV, its transmission, and the treatment of those who become infected with it. State and federal law does not currently reflect the medical advances and discoveries made with regards to HIV/AIDS.

Our criminal laws must be rooted in facts, not outdated myths used to target those who live with a chronic disease. Rep. Lee deserves credit for bringing much-needed attention to this issue.

http://www.aclu.org...iscrimination%20Act

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-3053-support
H.R. 3261 (112th): The STOP Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

While I believe it's important to protect copyrighted material online, the language of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is severely flawed and will lead to the takedown of lawful content.

Unlike the Senate version of the bill, SOPA eliminates the concept of sites 'dedicated to infringing activity' and enables law enforcement to target all sites that contain some infringing content no matter how trivial and those that 'facilitate' infringing content. The potential for impact on non-infringing content is exponentially greater under SOPA than under other versions of this bill. Sites with user-generated content, like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, would be especially vulnerable, as one small piece of infringing content could lead to blocking the entire site.

Congress should focus not just on the goal of protecting copyright owners, but also protecting the speech rights of consumers and providers who are reading and producing wholly non-infringing content. Congress must eliminate the collateral damage to protected non-infringing content. Only in that way will Congress truly achieve its goal of protecting authors while respecting the constitutional right to free speech.

https://secure.aclu...rAction&id=3859

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-3261-oppose
S. 913: Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2011

May 9, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: (202) 675-2312 or media@dcaclu.org

WASHINGTON – A landmark bill was introduced today that will allow Americans to better protect their online privacy. The bill, the Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2011, was introduced by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) and would empower the Federal Trade Commission to create a “do not track” list for online users. A “do not track” list would allow consumers to opt out of having their online activity collected by private companies without their permission.

The American Civil Liberties Union supports the creation of a “do not track” list as it would establish a barrier against unwarranted surveillance and targeting of Americans. The practice of tracking and collecting consumers’ online habits and then aggregating that information with existing offline data allows for the creation of detailed profiles on every American. These profiles could then be shared with employers and the government. This type of surveillance infrastructure is a major invasion of privacy and may lead to the chilling of free speech and expression rights if consumers feel they should not visit certain websites where their habits may be tracked.

The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“Today’s bill will be a key step forward toward bringing Americans’ privacy rights up to date. While we spend more and more of our lives online, our ability to control the collection, sharing and use of the information we share is severely lacking. A ‘do not track’ list will give Americans the chance to both opt out of opportunistic marketing tactics and keep their personal information out of the hands of the government.

“The Senate should make this important bill a priority to ensure that Americans have the control they deserve over their online information.”

http://www.aclu.org...l-introduced-senate

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-s-913-support
S. 1212 (112th): The Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act

A bill was introduced today both in the House and Senate that would protect Americans’ geolocation data from being obtained by law enforcement without a warrant. Geolocation, or tracking, data is used to locate individuals and can be derived from GPS devices or cellphones – even when turned off. These devices hold detailed information on Americans’ locations, and gathering that information without any warrants or oversight is currently a pervasive law enforcement practice.

The bill, the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act, which was introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), would protect both historical and real-time location data. It would also mandate that private telecommunications companies obtain their customers’ consent before collecting location data.

The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office:

“Whether they realize it or not, Americans are carrying tracking devices with them wherever they go. Whether they visit a therapist, liquor store, church or gun range, Americans’ activities are often available to law enforcement in real-time or even months after the fact. Tracking our locations and movements without warrants or probable cause is a massive privacy violation. With unclear standards to regulate the collection of this information, our Fourth Amendment rights are left largely unprotected. This bill is a welcome step toward guarding some of our most private information and we hope both the House and Senate make its passage a priority.”

http://www.aclu.org...ed-house-and-senate

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-s-1212-support
H.R. 2168 (112th): The Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act

A bill was introduced today both in the House and Senate that would protect Americans’ geolocation data from being obtained by law enforcement without a warrant. Geolocation, or tracking, data is used to locate individuals and can be derived from GPS devices or cellphones – even when turned off. These devices hold detailed information on Americans’ locations, and gathering that information without any warrants or oversight is currently a pervasive law enforcement practice.

The bill, the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act, which was introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), would protect both historical and real-time location data. It would also mandate that private telecommunications companies obtain their customers’ consent before collecting location data.

The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office:

“Whether they realize it or not, Americans are carrying tracking devices with them wherever they go. Whether they visit a therapist, liquor store, church or gun range, Americans’ activities are often available to law enforcement in real-time or even months after the fact. Tracking our locations and movements without warrants or probable cause is a massive privacy violation. With unclear standards to regulate the collection of this information, our Fourth Amendment rights are left largely unprotected. This bill is a welcome step toward guarding some of our most private information and we hope both the House and Senate make its passage a priority.”

http://www.aclu.org...ed-house-and-senate

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-2168-support
H.R. 1842 (112th): The Dream Act

The American Civil Liberties Union today welcomed the reintroduction in the Senate of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, a bill that promotes fair access to higher education for all high school students, regardless of immigration status. The DREAM Act, reintroduced today by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and 31 co-sponsors, came close to passage in the previous Congress, passing in the House and falling just five votes short of the 60 required to move forward in the Senate. The DREAM Act is also expected to be introduced today in the House by Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) with bipartisan support.

“Congress has a second chance to make the right choice where the last Congress failed and pass the DREAM Act, a bill that would help thousands of bright, talented students reach their full potential,” said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “The DREAM Act is a quintessentially American bill that will allow motivated young people to secure a better future for themselves and their families by contributing to the U.S. economy and American institutions, and we urge Congress to pass it.”

The DREAM Act would provide affordable post-secondary education and military service opportunities for young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, have lived here for at least five years and have graduated from high school. The DREAM Act has the support of President Obama and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as countless other public officials, military and business leaders and educators. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has underscored the DREAM Act’s benefits for military recruitment.

The reintroduced bill includes a critical provision that would restore states’ authority to determine students’ residency for purposes of higher education benefits, a provision that was removed from the bill voted on by the last Congress.

“Passing the DREAM Act would be a watershed moment for immigrants’ rights in America that is long overdue and vitally necessary,” said Joanne Lin, ACLU Legislative Counsel. “The students who stand to benefit from this bill are talented, motivated young people who want to continue serving their communities and build a future in the U.S. It would be a tribute to American values of fairness and equal opportunity to give them the chance to match their capabilities with achievements that will help our nation grow. Congress must come together, regardless of party, to ensure that all students can access every educational and military opportunity they have rightly earned.”

http://www.aclu.org...introduced-congress

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-1842-support
S. 952 (112th): The DREAM Act

The American Civil Liberties Union today welcomed the reintroduction in the Senate of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, a bill that promotes fair access to higher education for all high school students, regardless of immigration status. The DREAM Act, reintroduced today by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and 31 co-sponsors, came close to passage in the previous Congress, passing in the House and falling just five votes short of the 60 required to move forward in the Senate. The DREAM Act is also expected to be introduced today in the House by Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) with bipartisan support.

“Congress has a second chance to make the right choice where the last Congress failed and pass the DREAM Act, a bill that would help thousands of bright, talented students reach their full potential,” said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “The DREAM Act is a quintessentially American bill that will allow motivated young people to secure a better future for themselves and their families by contributing to the U.S. economy and American institutions, and we urge Congress to pass it.”

The DREAM Act would provide affordable post-secondary education and military service opportunities for young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, have lived here for at least five years and have graduated from high school. The DREAM Act has the support of President Obama and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as countless other public officials, military and business leaders and educators. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has underscored the DREAM Act’s benefits for military recruitment.

The reintroduced bill includes a critical provision that would restore states’ authority to determine students’ residency for purposes of higher education benefits, a provision that was removed from the bill voted on by the last Congress.

“Passing the DREAM Act would be a watershed moment for immigrants’ rights in America that is long overdue and vitally necessary,” said Joanne Lin, ACLU Legislative Counsel. “The students who stand to benefit from this bill are talented, motivated young people who want to continue serving their communities and build a future in the U.S. It would be a tribute to American values of fairness and equal opportunity to give them the chance to match their capabilities with achievements that will help our nation grow. Congress must come together, regardless of party, to ensure that all students can access every educational and military opportunity they have rightly earned.”

http://www.aclu.org...introduced-congress

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-s-952-support
S. 797: Paycheck Fairness Act

The Paycheck Fairness Act provides a much needed update to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 – a law that has not been able to achieve its promise of closing the wage gap because of limited enforcement tools and inadequate remedies. Specifically, the Paycheck Fairness Act would:

• require employers to demonstrate that wage differences between men and women doing the same work have a business justification and stem from factors other than sex;

• prohibit retaliation against workers who inquire about their employers’ wage practices or disclose their own wages, while also protecting certain confidential wage information;

• level the playing field by ensuring that women can obtain the same remedies as those subject to discrimination on the basis of race or national origin;

• encourage proactive enforcement of equal pay laws by re-instating the collection of wage-related data and providing for training for the workers who enforce our equal pay laws; and

• provide important safeguards for businesses, including:

o providing an exemption for small businesses;

o instituting a six months waiting period from the time of enactment and requiring the Department of Labor to assist small businesses with compliance; and

o recognizing employers for excellence in their pay practices and strengthening federal outreach and assistance to all businesses to help improve equal pay practices.

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-s-797-support
H.R. 1519: Paycheck Fairness Act

The Paycheck Fairness Act provides a much needed update to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 – a law that has not been able to achieve its promise of closing the wage gap because of limited enforcement tools and inadequate remedies. Specifically, the Paycheck Fairness Act would:

• require employers to demonstrate that wage differences between men and women doing the same work have a business justification and stem from factors other than sex;

• prohibit retaliation against workers who inquire about their employers’ wage practices or disclose their own wages, while also protecting certain confidential wage information;

• level the playing field by ensuring that women can obtain the same remedies as those subject to discrimination on the basis of race or national origin;

• encourage proactive enforcement of equal pay laws by re-instating the collection of wage-related data and providing for training for the workers who enforce our equal pay laws; and

• provide important safeguards for businesses, including:

o providing an exemption for small businesses;

o instituting a six months waiting period from the time of enactment and requiring the Department of Labor to assist small businesses with compliance; and

o recognizing employers for excellence in their pay practices and strengthening federal outreach and assistance to all businesses to help improve equal pay practices.

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-1519-support
H.R. 1397 (112th): Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

ENDA, which is similar to other federal civil rights laws barring workplace discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age and disability, offers this Congress and American employers the opportunity to ensure workplace equality for everyone by protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees from discrimination in employment. Currently, it remains legal to fire or refuse to hire someone for being lesbian, gay or bisexual in 29 states, while transgender workers can legally be denied or refused jobs in 37 states. Such numbers demonstrate the need for the federal government to expand employment non-discrimination protections to LGBT workers.

http://www.aclu.org..._112th_Congress.pdf

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-1397-support
H.R. 1212: RECLAIM Act

Given the immediacy, gravity, and scope of the armed conflict that the United States entered into in Libya, Congress should no longer shirk its constitutional responsibility to decide whether and when the United States should use significant military force in Libya.

Delay in taking up this fundamental question of whether the President may continue to use military force in Libya would mark an abdication by Congress of the war powers reserved for the Congress under Article I of the Constitution. The failure of Congress to act would strike at the very heart of the fundamental principle of separation of powers that is at the core of the Constitution and is the undergirding of our democratic form of government. The RECLAIM Act would appropriately reassert the authority and responsibility assigned to the Congress by the Constitution.

http://www.aclu.org...IM_ACT_H_R_1212.pdf

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-1212-support
H.R. 1116: Respect for Marriage Act

The Respect for Marriage Act repeals DOMA and affects only federal law. It would not require a state to recognize a valid marriage performed by another jurisdiction. Nor would it obligate any person, organization, locality or state to celebrate or license a marriage between two persons of the same sex. What it would do, however, is end the unconscionable denial of equal protection under federal law to lawfully married same-sex couples and their families.

Under DOMA, LGBT couples and their families are denied the more than 1,100 federal protections and responsibilities that apply to married opposite-sex couples.

To take but one example, Edith "Edie" Windsor and her late spouse, Thea Spyer, shared a lifetime together and were a couple for 44 years. Windsor filed a lawsuit against the federal government for refusing to recognize their marriage and imposing a $350,000 tax on Spyer's estate when she died that Windsor would not have had to pay if she were married to a man.

https://secure.aclu...rAction&id=2885

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-1116-support
S. 598 (112th): The Respect for Marriage Act

The Respect for Marriage Act repeals DOMA and affects only federal law. It would not require a state to recognize a valid marriage performed by another jurisdiction. Nor would it obligate any person, organization, locality or state to celebrate or license a marriage between two persons of the same sex. What it would do, however, is end the unconscionable denial of equal protection under federal law to lawfully married same-sex couples and their families.

Under DOMA, LGBT couples and their families are denied the more than 1,100 federal protections and responsibilities that apply to married opposite-sex couples.

To take but one example, Edith "Edie" Windsor and her late spouse, Thea Spyer, shared a lifetime together and were a couple for 44 years. Windsor filed a lawsuit against the federal government for refusing to recognize their marriage and imposing a $350,000 tax on Spyer's estate when she died that Windsor would not have had to pay if she were married to a man.

https://secure.aclu...rAction&id=2885

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-s-598-support
H.R. 654: Do Not Track Me Online Act

It’s crucial that Americans have as much control over their online privacy as possible and this bill is a welcome and important first step toward that goal. Signing on to the Internet shouldn’t mean signing away your privacy. Americans must have a mechanism in place to opt out of having their online habits tracked so that they can protect their most sensitive information. A ‘do not track’ list is a logical and common sense place to start. We urge the House to make this bill a priority.

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-654-support
H.R. 1: Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Opposes Sections 1112 and 1113 in H.R. 1, the House CR, which would impose a blanket ban on transfers of Guantánamo detainees, even for prosecution or resettlement or repatriation. http://www.aclu.org...et_Transfer_Ban.pdf

Opposes ending all funding for the Title X program, which provides comprehensive family planning services, including counseling, contraceptives, education, and preventive health screenings, to low income women and men. For many, it is their sole entry point into the health care system and eliminating all federal funding for Planned Parenthood. https://secure.aclu...rAction&id=2813

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/aclu#aclu-hr-1-oppose