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The House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees have begun hearings on recommendations for funding the federal government in fiscal year 2015, including a $3.9 trillion budget proposed by President Obama.
The ABA expressed concerns to a Senate subcommittee last month about the negative effects of solitary confinement on prisoners and emphasized that the impact on juveniles is especially pronounced.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved another significant cost-savings criminal justice proposal March 6 when it reported a bill that would allow lower-risk inmates to participate in programs aimed at earlier transfer to pre-release custody arrangements such as house arrest and halfway houses.
ABA President Silkenat wrote to National Security Agency’s (NSA) Director General Keith B. Alexander and General Counsel Rajesh De on Feb. 20 to express the ABA’s concerns about alleged foreign government surveillance of American attorney communications with foreign clients and the potential harm this might cause to the attorney-client privilege.
The ABA Board of Governors has approved Legislative and Governmental Priorities for the Second Session of the 113th Congress. The selection of the priorities is based on a survey of bar leaders and ABA members and a joint recommendation from the Standing Committee on Governmental Affairs and the Governmental Affairs Office.
In a comments submitted March 4 to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the ABA cited the need for greater coordination between the VA fiduciary program and state courts that have jurisdiction over adult guardianships and conservatorships.
Prior to the Senate’s failure to invoke cloture March 5 of the nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Justice Department Civil Rights Division, ABA President James R. Silkenat expressed alarm over the harsh criticism the nominee had received regarding the legal representation he provided to a death-sentenced prisoner.