First Amendment

NLG Releases Report on Government Spying on Legal Profession, Launches FBI FOIA Project

April 24, 2014

The new report brings to light the government’s long history of covert surveillance of attorneys and their activist clients. The release also marks the launch of a new NLG Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) project that seeks to recover FBI files on individual Guild members as exposed by the 1977 case, National Lawyers Guild v. Attorney General of the United States.

Breach of Privilege: Spying on Lawyers in the United States

In Breach of Privilege: Spying on Lawyers in the United States, NLG Senior Researcher Traci Yoder gives a comprehensive analysis of covert government spying on the legal profession and its detrimental impact on the attorney-client privilege. A resource for scholars, lawyers, and activists, the report opens with the Guild’s own story of surveillance, outlining the tactics developed to undermine zealous lawyering. As Yoder demonstrates, these actions against the Guild marked the precursor to J.

NLG, CCR, and DDF Letter to MD Assembly: Anti-Boycott Bill Violates First Amendment

The Maryland and D.C. Chapters of the NLG, along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and Defending Dissent Foundation (DDF) submitted this letter to the Conference Committee for the Budget of the Maryland General Assembly, expressing concern over the proposed Amendment 923228/1 of Budget Bill SB 170.

Pro-Palestinian Students Charge Universities With Censorship

Students for Justice in Palestine
NBC News
March 24, 2014

At first glance, the 150 people gathered just outside Northeastern University on March 18 seemed to be staging a typical rally criticizing Israeli policies—an increasingly common sight on left-leaning American campuses. But upon closer inspection, the mix of NEU students and local Boston activists were calling for another thing to be freed: their speech.

Letter: Rights groups appeal to the Maryland Senate and House to Oppose Anti-Boycott Bills

Center for Constitutional Rights
March 3, 2014

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the Maryland and D.C. chapters of the National Lawyers Guild, and the Defending Dissent Foundation sent Maryland Senators and Delegates a letter on March 3, 2014 urging them to oppose pending legislation that would reduce state funding to colleges and universities that fund membership and activities in organizations supporting boycotts of certain countries, including Israel. According to the legislation’s supporters, Senate Bill 647 and House Bill 998 were drafted in response to the American Studies Association’s recent resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

Van Hollen should scrap singers' prosecutions

Activist Craig Spaulding handcuffed at Solidarity Sing Along (Mike DeVries - The Capital Times)
The Cap Times
February 7, 2014

“The First Amendment still lives in Wisconsin’s Capitol today,” declares Patricia Hammel, the vice chair of the Madison chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. Hammel, an attorney for one of the singers arrested during Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to silence dissent in the state Capitol last year, was celebrating a major victory in the long legal struggle to restore respect for the Constitution in Walker’s Wisconsin.

CCR, NLG and CAIR-USA Ask House Education Committee to Oppose Anti-Boycott Bill

Center for Constitutional Rights
February 12, 2014

February 12, 2014, New York - The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations-USA (CAIR-USA) sent members of the House of Representatives Education and the Workforce Committee a letter urging them to oppose legislation that would deny federal funding to colleges and universities that participate in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions or scholars. According to the legislation’s sponsors, H.R. 4009 was drafted in response to the American Studies Association’s recent resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

AETA Revisited: How the Green Scare Act Continues to Bind the First Amendment and What the NLG is Doing About It

Green Scare NLG Hotlie 888-NLG-ECOL

One clear example of the targeting of animal activists is the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) which was passed by Congress and signed into law in 2006. The AETA amended and expanded the Animal Enterprise Protection Act (AEPA). The AETA makes “damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise” or “intentionally plac[ing] a person in fear of death or serious bodily injury” federal crimes of terrorism.

Letter to Brookyln College President Re: BDS Controversy

Dear Ms. Gould:

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) applauds you and the Brooklyn College Political Science Department for your support of an open discussion of the growing campus movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Your stand is especially important in light of the recent attempts to intimidate you and the department into canceling the event. Efforts to pressure the Brooklyn College administration to cancel the panel run contrary to the values enshrined in the First Amendment and they are an affront to the principles of academic freedom.

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