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Human Rights & Civil Liberties

Human Rights & Civil Liberties

DISCLOSE Act Passed By House Compromises Free Speech

By exempting larger mainstream organizations from certain disclosure requirements, the bill inequitably suppresses only the speech of smaller, more controversial organizations and compromises the anonymity of small donors.

American Civil Liberties Union

The House today (June 24) passed a campaign finance bill that includes disclosure requirements which raise concerns regarding the right to privacy and speech.

The Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) bill (H.R. 5175) includes an amendment obligating many advocacy organizations that wish to speak out on candidates and, in certain situations, political issues, to release the identities of many of their donors, while allowing a few large mainstream organizations to preserve the privacy of their donors. The amendment exempts organizations that have over 500,000 members, are over ten years old, have a presence in all 50 states and whose revenue from corporations and unions is less than 15 percent. By exempting larger mainstream organizations from certain disclosure requirements, the bill inequitably suppresses only the speech of smaller, more controversial organizations and compromises the anonymity of small donors.

While the American Civil Liberties Union supports the disclosure of large contributions to candidates as long as the disclosure does not have a chilling effect on political participation, the DISCLOSE Act fails to improve the integrity of political campaigns in any substantial way while significantly harming the speech and associational rights of Americans.

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Arizona's D-Day

  • The Reform Immigration for American campaign reports that "there are twenty two copycats [laws] waiting to see which way the wind blows on states' ability to preempt federal immigration law."
  • Arizona to appeal judge's immigration law ruling that put most of measure on hold


The Progress Report

Ninety days after it was signed into law, Arizona's new immigration law -- SB-1070 -- is set to take effect tomorrow (July 29). U.S. Ninth District Judge Susan Bolton is currently considering some of the seven lawsuits brought against the law along with a request by federal government that she approve a federal injunction of the law. Last night, Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) announced that she expects a ruling within 24 hours. Much is at stake. As one law professor pointed out, if the law is struck down, it will take the "wind out of the sails" of local efforts to pass immigration laws. If it isn't, Bolton's decision will "unleash more copycat legislation." Both sides are bracing themselves for implementation. National and local organizations are preparing a state-wide demonstration that will kick off today with a vigil in several cities. Demonstrators are set to descend on the Arizona state capital without their papers and "dare law enforcement in Phoenix, Arizona, to put SB-1070 to the test." The U.S. attorney for Arizona is encouraging those who believe their civil rights have been violated to contact the FBI. Meanwhile, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is "setting aside space" in his tent city for more undocumented immigrants as local law enforcement gears up to enforce SB-1070. And while most Americans support Arizona's immigration law, they also think its looming implementation tomorrow will "increase discrimination against Hispanics while not necessarily making a dent in the [immigration] problem."

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Related:

Arizona to appeal judge's immigration law ruling that put most of measure on hold, Bob Christie,  Associated Press, in StarTribune | MN
Arizona is preparing to ask an appeals court to lift a judge's ruling that put most of the state's immigration law on hold in a key first-round victory for the federal government in a fight that may go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The DEA is Out of Control: We Can Stop This!

Obama's pandering to the prohibitionists is a trial balloon. We need to shoot it full of lead.
The DEA is going to kill someone

Neill Franklin, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

President Obama's nomination of Michele Leonhart to be permanent head of the DEA is a trial balloon - a test of strength and resolve.

The nomination of a ruthless prohibitionist is a test of whether he takes himself seriously when he says that the federal government is going to stop wasting time, money and people on medical marijuana raids in states where it is legal. It is, more significantly, a test of whether he takes the drug reform movement seriously.

And the only way he will take us seriously is if we petition now telling President Obama to replace Acting Administrator Michele Leonhart with someone who respects the rights of the ill and vulnerable.

If you have received appeals from our allies in drug policy reform, please send those along as well as ours.

Every email they receive counts.

Obama's pandering to the prohibitionists is a trial balloon.

We need to shoot it full of lead.

Related:

The DEA is going to kill someone, Marijuana Policy Project
Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Ken Mitchell
Under the direction of acting-administrator Michele Leonhart, the DEA has gone rogue. They are continuing to raid homes and businesses in compliance with state medical marijuana laws in direct opposition of the directive of the Department of Justice. Leonhart has been nominated to take over as head of the DEA which is why we are asking you to join us in calling on President Obama to withdraw this nomination.

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