PROGRESSIVES SUE THE NSA – The First Amendment Coalition filed a brief on Monday in the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court supporting motions by Google and Microsoft that would allow them to publish records of government data requests. The American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Democracy & Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and TechFreedom all co-filed the brief.
Daniel Ellsberg and CREDO have also drafted a petition urging Congress to create a Church Committee to investigate and publicize the actions and abuses of the National Security Agency. Ellsberg blasted the lack of oversight in the aftermath of the allegations made by whistleblower Edward Snowden: “The existing Intelligence Committees in House and Senate, gagged by secrecy and co-opted by the intelligence community they supposedly oversee, have failed to check dangerously excessive surveillance of Americans’ communications.” Sign HERE.
WHY COURTS MATTER — The Center for American Progress (CAP) and their Legal Progress project launched Why Courts Matter, an interactive website aimed at educating policy experts, advocates, and the public on the impact of judicial vacancies due to conservative obstructionist policies in Washington. The site also features a state-specific Action Center providing tools for constituents to sign petitions and write their senators. Watch an informational video HERE.
On Twitter, tweet @legalprogress and use #WhyCourtsMatter.
COME OUT FOR FREEDOM — On the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s invalidation of DOMA, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has announced “Out for Freedom,” an ad campaign urging Republicans to help legalize marriage equality throughout the country. Out for Freedom hopes to increase the number of states that allow same-sex marriage from thirteen (plus the District of Columbia) to 20 by 2016. The ACLU is currently pursuing federal marriage cases in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia.
VOTING RIGHTS WRONGED PART II — Alliance for Justice President and Top Wonk Nan Aron analyzed the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings on DOMA and the Voting Rights Act: “By simultaneously moving in opposite directions on fundamental principles of civil rights, this Court has torn a hole in our political fabric, and once again left the nation part equal and part unequal… it’s important to remember the prophetic words of civil rights pioneer Fannie Lou Hammer: ‘Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.’”
EDUCATION PAYOFF? — Despite a 16.2% increase from 1979 to 2011 in the number of black workers with a four-year college degree or more, black workers at every age and education level are less likely to be in a good job – i.e., recieving a $19.00 per hour salary or higher – today than in 1979, according to a new report by the Center for Economic Progress (CEPR). READ: “Has Education Paid Off for Black Workers?,” co-authored by CEPR Senior Economist and Top Wonk John Schmitt.
A CONVENIENT TRUTH – 210,000 jobs and an average decrease of $.90 per month on electrical bills are both possible while simultaneuosly reducing carbon pollution, according to a new climate analysis by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Director of NRDC’s Climate and Clean Air Program Dan Lashof: “The nation must curb the largest source of climate-changing pollution pouring into the skies, without any limits, from coal-fired power plants.” READ: “Economic Impacts of the NRDC Carbon Standard.”
WE CAN DO BETTER — Advancement Project is hosting a conference entitled “We Can Do Better: Collaborating to Reform School Discipline and Accountability” tomorrow through Saturday in Washington, DC. It will be the nation’s first ever gathering of school administrators, educators, law enforcement, community activists, and students to discuss the school-to-prison pipeline exacerbated by overly rigid school disciplinary policies.
Find out more about the Advancement Project’s Ending the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track program and check out the full agenda of events HERE. There will be a blogger briefing and press availability tomorrow, Thursday July 11, at 11:00 am in the Capital Ballroom of the Marriott Wardman Hotel, located at 2600 Woodley Road, Washington, DC.
RSVP to Jennifer Farmer at email@example.com or participate via conference call: 1.800.434.1335 / Conference Code: 249421#
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