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On the Agenda: March 24-28

Meghan Groob,
Media Strategist,
ACLU Washington Legislative Office
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March 24, 2014

Have you tuned into cable news lately? I have, and based on what I've seen, the only thing happening in the world these days is the ongoing saga of Malaysian Airlines MH370. While the story is fascinating and heartbreaking, it's a bit hard to remember that there are other important stories out there. Like how Duke's loss totally busted my March Madness bracket.

Just kidding! This week is actually a big one for civil liberties. From oral arguments in the birth control coverage cases to a potentially big announcement on the NSA from the President, stay tuned to this blog, Twitter, or however you get your news. We promise this week's going to be a doozy.

Tuesday, March 25th

Reproductive Rights
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, two challenges to the birth control coverage rule brought by for-profit companies.

The ACLU will be hosting a House briefing and video presentation on "Balancing Border Security and Quality of Life: How Border Patrol Checkpoints and Roving Patrols Affect Southwest Border Communities." Panelists include Clarisa Christiansen and Jason Garcia, U.S. Citizen residents of Arizona; Brian Erickson, Policy Advocate at the ACLU of New Mexico; James Duff Lyall, Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Arizona, Tucson; and Chris Rickerd, Policy Counsel ACLU Washington Legislative Office.

Juvenile Justice
Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) will appear at an Organization of American States Inter-American Commission Hearing on juvenile life without parole.

School-to-Prison Pipeline
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing titled "Teacher Preparation: Ensuring a Quality Teacher in Every Classroom."

Wednesday, March 26th

The Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel will hold a hearing on the FY15 National Defense Authorization Act.

The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee will hold a hearing titled "Strengthening Public-Private Partnerships to Reduce Cyber Risks to Our Nation's Critical Infrastructure."

First Amendment
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act.

Friday, March 28th

NSA Surveillance
The Attorney General and Director of National Intelligence will report back to the President on a plan to reform the NSA's bulk telephony metadata collection program. We expect the President to make a public announcement about this proposal. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is expected to make its proposal reforming the bulk telephony metadata collection proposal public sometime before the President's announcement.

Also Happening This Week

Religious Liberty
The Senate will begin debate on the Equitable Access to Care and Health (EACH) Act, sponsored by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.). This bill would provide a religious exemption from the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act.

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