Comment to White House Science and Technology on Collecting and Reporting Policing Data (March 2023)
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a professional society, offers the following comments for the White House’s consideration. … NACDL has particular expertise in the collection of law enforcement data. Since 2020, NACDL’s Full Disclosure Project has managed an open-source web application to track, aggregate, and analyze law enforcement misconduct data. NACDL also collaborates with advanced computing and data science partners to develop tools and processes that automate collecting and digesting police data.
Comments to Dept of Education on Proposed Changes to Public Service Loan Forgiveness (August 2022)
We submit this letter in support of many of the Department’s proposed amendments to 34 CFR 685. … NACDL supports amendments to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that will provide greater flexibility for qualifying payments and establishing a process for reconsideration when an application for forgiveness is denied. We also strongly support additional changes contemplated by the Department that would allow more lawyers providing full-time public defense services (a job function explicitly listed in the Higher Education Act as qualifying employment) access to PSLF.
- Public Comment from NACDL's Fourth Amendment Center on NIST's "Digital Investigation Techniques"
Coalition Letter to President Biden on Trial Penalty Clemency (June 2022)
We write to propose a category of individuals who are deserving of clemency. Specifically, we respectfully request that you consider clemency for (1) individuals who suffered severe sentences as a consequence of having exercised their Sixth Amendment right to trial rather than having pleaded guilty and (2) individuals who accepted severe plea bargains under threat of substantially greater post-trial sentences. These scenarios—routine in our criminal justice system—illustrate a profound constitutional and human injustice: the “trial penalty”…
- Comments on Proposed Amendments to the Rules of the U.S. Supreme Court (April 2022)
- Comments to the Office of Science and Technology Policy on Biometric Technologies (January 2022)
FDP Comments to IADLEST on Transparency in National Decertification Index Expansion (August 2021)
NACDL Full Disclosure Project's response to the Request for Information and recommendations to the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST) regarding the National Decertification Index Expansion Project and the need to address and present law enforcement misconduct data transparently.
- Comments to Education Secretary Cardona to Preserve Due Process in Title IX Hearings (June 2021)
- Letter to President Biden on Need to Address Discriminatory and Militarized Policing (February 2021)
Statement to Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement on Accountability and Reform (June 2020)
As a criminal defense organization, we do not profess to possess expertise in policing practices insofar as those practices do not directly intersect with the criminal justice system. But many police practices do have a direct impact on the treatment of accused persons, the degree to which their cases are litigated justly, and case outcomes. Accordingly, we offer a few key insights, which we hope will find their way into the Commission’s recommendations.
- Comments to ASTM on Proposed Standard for Hair Examination (May 2020)
- Comments to FDIC on Restrictions for Those with Relevant Criminal Convictions (March 2020)
- Comments to USDA on Proposed Changes to SNAP Benefits for ABAWD (April 2019)
- Letter to Education Secretary DeVos on Proposed Title IX Procedure in Campus Hearings (January 2019)
Coalition Letters to DNI Coats, House Judiciary on Americans Surveilled by Section 702 (June 2017)
To Director of National Intelligence Coats: The undersigned organizations write to express our dismay at your decision to abandon the effort to estimate the number of Americans whose communications are incidentally collected pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. We ask that you reconsider.
To Chair Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers: ... If Director Coats remains steadfast in his efforts to evade oversight by the public and this Committee, we urge you to use all powers at your disposal to obtain this number.
Coalition Letter On Yahoo Surveillance Revelations (October 2016)
The undersigned civil society groups write to express our concerns about recent reports of an order issued under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that compelled Yahoo! to scan the emails of all of its users, in real time, for a “signature” associated with a foreign power. We believe such a massive scan of the emails of millions of people, particularly if it involves the scanning of email content, could violate FISA, the Fourth Amendment, and international human rights law, and has grave implications for privacy.
- Letter to President Obama on Banning the Box for Fair-Chance Hiring (October 2015)
- Letter to the President Supporting Federal Ban the Box (March 2015)
Coalition Letter on USA PATRIOT Act Reforms (March 2015)
We represent a wide range of privacy and human rights advocates, technology companies, and trade associations that hold an equally wide range of positions on surveillance reform. Many of us have differing views on exactly what reforms must be included in any bill reauthorizing USA PATRIOT Act Section 215, which currently serves as the legal basis for the NSA’s bulk collection of telephone metadata and is set to expire on June 1, 2015. Our broad, diverse, and bipartisan coalition believes that the status quo is untenable and that it is urgent that Congress move forward with reform.
Coalition Letter to Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board on 702 Backdoor Searches (June 2014)
We urge the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to follow the House’s lead and to recommend that backdoor searches under section 702 be prohibited. Such access should be granted only when the government has obtained an order from the FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] Court upon a showing of probable cause that the U.S. person whose communications are sought is an agent of a foreign power.
- Coalition Letter to End NSA Bulk Collection (June 2014)
- Letter to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on the Deliberate Misconduct Rule (May 2014)
Letter to NIST, Functional Analysis of Subcommittee Composition and SAC/Sub Leadership (May 2014)
... NACDL proposes that each subcommittee include a balanced, multidisciplinary combination of experts reflecting the fact that each subcommittee will be tasked with developing a wide range of standards that require input from different fields of expertise. As part and parcel of its functional analysis of subcommittee composition, NACDL also addresses the related issues of the systematic review of scientific literature that must precede development of scientifically-supported standards, and the leadership of the subcommittees and their governing Scientific Area Committees.
- Coalition Letter to White House on Email Privacy and Reform of the ECPA (April 2014)
NACDL Comments to Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board re FISA Surveillance (April 2014)
NACDL applauds the PCLOB for its premiere report on the telephone records program conducted under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). NACDL recognizes that the 702 surveillance program remains subject to more classification authorities than the 215 program, and understands that the PCLOB‘s report on the 702 program may be more limited in its public analysis than the 215 report. However, NACDL encourages the PCLOB, to the maximum extent consistent with national security, to make its report public, with limited redactions.
Comments to NIST on the Formation and Composition of Guidance Groups (November 2013)
NACDL urges the National Institute of Standards and Technology to form Guidance Groups dominated by scientists who are independent of law enforcement and inclusive of statisticians, researchers, and quality control experts. Since the National Research Council issued its clarion call for reform of forensic science, NACDL has consistently advocated for implementation of the NRC’s overarching recommendation – that the validity of forensic disciplines be examined and standards be set by an entity independent of law enforcement and dominated by a culture of science.
Coalition Letter to President Obama on Guantánamo Detainee Transfers (October 2013)
The undersigned human rights, religious, and civil liberties organizations strongly urge your administration to promptly and fully carry out two key commitments you made as steps toward closing the Guantanamo Bay prison and ending indefinite detention. These actions would help to fulfill your renewed promise to end indefinite detention and close the Guantanamo prison.
Coalition Letter to Secretaries Hagel & Kerry on Periodic Review of Guantánamo Detainees (July 2013)
The undersigned civil liberties and human rights organizations write regarding the Periodic Review Boards (PRBs) for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba that the Department of Defense has announced will commence shortly. …should the administration proceed with PRBs, we encourage you to take appropriate steps to ensure the PRBs, as established by Presidential Executive Order 13567, have the required processes in place for meaningful review of a detainee’s detention status at Guantanamo.
- Coalition Letter in Favor of Transparency for National Security (July 2013)
Coalition Letter to Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board on NSA Surveillance (June 2013)
We are very glad that the Board has been fully constituted, and we greatly appreciate your immediate attention and work in response to the recent disclosures concerning NSA surveillance. We understand that you are meeting to consider the impact of these NSA programs on privacy and civil liberties. We write to ask that, as one of your first action items, you urge the administration to make public information about the legal authorities for government surveillance of Americans.
- FAA Comments on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (April 2013)
- Coalition Letter to White House opposing CISPA (March 2013)
Coalition Letter to DoD Military Commissions on Guantánamo Press Conferences Access (February 2013)
The undersigned nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) authorized to observe the military commission proceedings at Guantánamo Bay write to express our objection to new restrictions that the Department of Defense put in place this week on our ability to attend press briefings. … The information and insights we obtain from these briefings help shape our understanding of what we observe during the proceedings, and provide additional information not necessarily available from the viewing area at the back of the courtroom.
Coalition Letter to President Obama on Gitmo Transfer Restrictions in FY2013 NDAA (December 2012)
We strongly urge you to veto the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) — if the conference bill, which is being negotiated now, impedes your ability to close Guantanamo. Specifically, we urge you to veto the NDAA conference bill if it restricts the Executive Branch's authority to transfer detainees for repatriation or resettlement in foreign countries or for prosecution in federal criminal court. … We urge you to veto the NDAA if any of these restrictions are included in the final bill sent to you by Congress.
Coalition Letter to President Obama on Gitmo Transfer Restrictions in NDAA FY2013 (November 2012)
We strongly urge you to veto the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 — if it impedes your ability to close Guantanamo, by restricting the Executive Branch's authority to transfer detainees for repatriation or resettlement in foreign countries or for prosecution in federal criminal court.
NACDL Amicus Letter in GTMO Habeas Counsel Access Litigation (August 2012)
NACDL urges this Court to grant Petitioners' motions challenging the Government's Memorandum of Understanding Governing Continued Contact Between Counsel/Translator and Detainee Following Termination of the [Guantánamo] Detainee's Habeas Case. NACDL also encourages this Court to hold that Judge Hogan's Protective Order continues to apply to Petitioners, and that the Government may not condition Petitioners' access to counsel on counsel's submission to the new MOU.
Coalition Letter to DoD Military Commissions on Access to Guantánamo Press Conferences (May 2012)
We appreciate that nongovernmental organization (NGO) observers and the press had opportunities to meet while at Guantanamo Bay for the arraignment of the 9/11 accused; however, it is unfortunate that the Office of Military Commissions denied NGO observers access to the press conference on Sunday, May 6, 2012. This raises concerns about the government’s commitment to transparency.
Coalition Letter to FAA on the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (February 2012)
We the undersigned consumer rights, human rights, technology, and civil liberties organizations, members of the EPIC Advisory Board, and members of the general public submit this Petition to the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) to urge the Agency to conduct a rulemaking to address the threat to privacy and civil liberties that will result from the deployment of aerial drones within United States. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 provides a timely opportunity for you to address this critical question.
- Coalition Letter to DOJ and SEC on FCPA Guidance and Enforcement (February 2012)
DoD Military Commissions Response to Norman Reimer on Guantánamo Observer Access (November 2011)
Thank you for your letters to Secretary Panetta dated July 5, 2011 and October 3, 2011, concerning military commission proceedings and related issues of access by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The Department of Defense is committed to making military commission proceedings transparent and accessible to the public, consistent with protecting national security, the safety of individuals, and the rights of the accused. … Recently, we have been working to improve public access to military commission proceedings and materials.
Coalition Letter to DoD Military Commissions on Guantánamo Observers’ Access (October 2011)
We are writing to follow up on the letter we sent in July concerning the logistical difficulties that in the past have prevented us from adequately performing our role as nongovernmental organizations authorized to observe military commissions at Guantanamo Bay. To date, we have not received a response to our letter. … While we are encouraged that the commission may be expanding access to the commissions for some individuals and media, this new venue would not address any of the NGO observers' concerns about the commissions' lack of transparency, as set forth in our earlier letter.
Coalition Letter to DoD Military Commissions on Guantánamo Observers’ Access (July 2011)
As nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) authorized to observe military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, we are writing regarding logistical difficulties that prevent us from adequately performing that role. Now that the U.S. government has decided to try those accused in the September 11, 2001 attacks and the bombing of the USS Cole before military commissions, we believe that it is especially important that NGOs not only observe commission hearings, but are better able to obtain relevant documents and share our observations with the general public.
Coalition Letter to Secretary Gates Regarding Military Commission Rulemaking (April 2011)
In light of Attorney General Holder’s April 4, 2011, announcement regarding the prosecution of the alleged planners and co-conspirators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the undersigned organizations request that the Department of Defense open the process for issuing regulations for the military commissions to allow meaningful pre-promulgation public participation. Certainly, future commissions will result in intensive public scrutiny of the system. Therefore, the Department should uphold the President's promise of openness in government by reforming the military commission rulemaking process.
- Letter to the SEC on Whistleblower Provisions to the Securities Exchange Act (December 2010)
Coalition Letter on Public Participation and the 2010 Manual for Military Commissions (April 2010)
As a new round of military commission trials takes shape at Guantanamo Bay, an important piece of unfinished business is revision of the Manual for Military Commissions. The 2010 Manual will spell out the specifics of proceedings under the Military Commissions Act of 2009. The Department of Defense has been working on this revision for some time but has not made a draft available for public comment, even though doing so is the norm for both federal court and court-martial rule making. An opportunity for public comment may produce improvements in the final text.
- Letter to the FCC on Prison Pay Phone Industry (July 2009)
- Statement to Judicial Review Commission on Foreign Asset Control in the Kingpin Act (September 2000)
- Statement to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on Three Strikes Mandatory Minimums (July 1996)
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