February 12, 2008
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) would like to thank the Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary for the opportunity to submit testimony for this hearing on “Federal Cocaine Sentencing Laws: Reforming the 100-to-1 Crack/Powder Disparity.” The ACLU is a nonpartisan organization with hundreds of thousands of activists and members and with 53 affiliates nationwide. Our mission is to protect the Constitution and particularly the Bill of Rights. Thus, the disparity that exists in federal law between crack and powder cocaine sentencing continues to concern our organization due to the implications of this policy on due process and equal protection rights of all people. Equally important to our core mission are the rights of freedom of association and freedom from disproportionate punishment, which are also at risk under this sentencing regime.