Latest News from the Brennan Center
New voting laws could make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012, according to Voting Law Changes in 2012, a nationwide study of the wave of new restrictions. Widespread voting cutbacks could have a significant electoral impact in next year’s hard-fought races, the study concludes. Minority, low-income and young voters will likely be most affected. To learn more, read the press release, check out this overview of the report, or read the New York Times and Washington Post coverage. See Michael Waldman discuss the report on MSNBC’s Hardball and the Daily Rundown.
A new study concludes that unnecessary classification is detrimental to national security efforts and democratic decision making — and offers a proposal to curb abuse and needless secrecy. The report comes as the Obama administration’s advisory committee on classification is preparing recommendations for reform, in advance of a forthcoming executive order. The proposal contained in the report is currently under consideration by the advisory committee.
The Brennan Center unveiled Reducing Overclassification Through Accountability at the National Press Club on Wednesday. Moderated by New York Times reporter Scott Shane, the discussion featured report co-author Elizabeth Goitein, along with classification experts J. William Leonard, Jennifer Sims, and former Rep. Christopher Shays. Read the New York Times coverage of the report, and see video and photos of the event.
On October 13, Attorney General Eric Holder will honor Laura Abel as a Champion of Change for dedicating her professional life to closing the justice gap in America. As a leading strategist, advocate and thinker on expanding legal representation for low-income families, Ms. Abel has worked tirelessly to make vivid the importance of civil legal aid. She has also been a driving force behind expanding access to the courts for people who have limited proficiency in English. Read her recent study Language Access in State Courts. And look for our forthcoming report on foreclosures.
The Brennan Center, New York City Council Members and other community groups gathered at City Hall Thursday to call for more oversight of the NYPD’s intelligence operations following a recent Associated Press investigation of the department’s domestic counter-terror tactics. The most recent revelations show Muslim religious leaders were under surveillance while working directly with Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD on community-police relations. Earlier this year, the Brennan Center issued a comprehensive look at law enforcement strategies to combat "radicalization." The report was launched at a convening of law enforcement, intelligence, and civil liberties experts. Read this Brennan Center analysis, “Unchecked NYPD Operations in Need of Oversight.” See the Associated Press and NY1 coverage and view photos of the press conference.
Lawyers Take NYPD to Court – Faiza Patel
Civil rights lawyers filed suit to see whether the NYPD violated a decades-old settlement forbidding political spying.
'Top Ten' Supreme Court Preview – Sidney S. Rosdeitcher and William J. Taylor, Jr.
This Supreme Court preview analyzes four upcoming cases dealing with access to justice issues. The Brennan Center will continue to track upcoming cases throughout the term, focusing on the intersection of national security and civil liberties, more on access to justice, and voting rights, campaign finance reform and fair elections.
Bipartisan Agreement: Political Spending, Political Favoritism – Elizabeth Kennedy
In this moment of rare bipartisan agreement, President Obama should sign his draft executive order that would bring transparency to government contracts without delay.
Better Ballots for New York – ReformNY
The Brennan Center supported legislation to improve paper ballots in New York State, including the Voter Friendly Ballot Act of 2011 in the New York State Assembly.
See what the Brennan Center’s reading in this daily round-up of quick hits, clips, and opinion pieces touching on key issues of democracy, justice, liberty and national security
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- Oct. 13 – Laura Abel receives a Champions of Change award from Attorney General Eric Holder at the White House. The award recognizes Ms. Abel for dedicating her professional life to closing the justice gap in America.
- Oct. 14 – Keesha Gaskins will present, Goals of Reform: Transparency and Public Participation at the University at Buffalo Law School in NY at the Major Developments in Redistricting Conference.
- The New York Times wrote a front-page story on the Brennan Center’s new report Voting Law Changes in 2012, which finds that new voting laws could make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012.
- Michael Waldman, executive director of the Brennan Center, also discussed the report on MSNBC’s Hardball and the Daily Rundown.
- More coverage of the voting report: Washington Post, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, NPR, CBS News, TPM, Huffington Post, Reuters, The Nation, The National Law Journal, Mother Jones, Democracy Now, The Maddow Blog, Political Wire, and Esquire.
- New York Times reporter Scott Shane covered the Brennan Center’s latest report, Reducing Overclassification Through Accountability.
- City Council Members and community groups, including the Brennan Center, held a press conference to put a spotlight on NYPD intelligence operations. See the Associated Press and NY1 coverage.
- The Atlantic’s Andrew Cohen included an article from Sidney Rosdeitcher, a senior advisor to the Brennan Center, in his “Top 10 Supreme Court Previews” list.
- Faiza Patel spoke to WNYC about the latest developments in the NYPD intelligence gathering case.
- Writing for The Hill's Congress Blog, Brennan Center Counsel Elizabeth Kennedy highlighted bipartisan agreement on the idea that political spending can lead to favoritism.
- Keesha Gaskins talked to WNYC’s The Empire about New York’s redistricting process.
- Governor Cuomo announced a new online town hall website to help "spark dialogue between New Yorkers and their state government." "We’re happy to see Governor Cuomo taking this new step to further open the governor’s office to the public," said Lawrence Norden, deputy director of the Brennan Center's Democracy Program.
- The Brennan Center for Justice argued in favor of New York’s law banning prison-based gerrymandering in front of the state Supreme Court. See coverage from Reuters, the Albany Times Union, and WNYC.