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This Week in Civil Liberties

The text, "Week in Review."
The text, "Week in Review."
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May 20, 2011

This week, a lot of you found it hard to believe that Congress wants to give up its constitutional obligation to declare war.

New Authorization of Worldwide War Without End?
A hugely important provision for Congress to authorize a new worldwide war was tucked away inside the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), making its way through our legislature. First there was: Unchecked Executive War Power Could Slip Through the House. Then we brought you: House Gets Ready to Vote on New Worldwide War. And finally there was More Eyes Needed on Congress as they Prepare to Vote on Worldwide War Authorization. Today’s: House to Vote on Endless Worldwide War Next Week

The CIA Weighs In: Torture Did Not Help Find Bin Laden
Since the killing of Osama bin Laden, there has much debate over whether the torture of detainees in U.S. custody helped American intelligence find the terror leader. It would be hard to find a better authority on where the truth lies than CIA Director Leon Panetta and he says, mmm, not so much.

Debunking the Mythical “Sharia Threat” to Our Judicial System
Multiple states have proposed legislation banning the consideration of Islamic or “Sharia” law by state courts. Anti-Muslim groups claim these measures are necessary because the courts are being “overtaken” by Sharia law, but a new report from the ACLU says, nope, not the case.

Florida Law Punishes Poor People for Being Poor
During this legislative session, more than two dozen states have introduced legislation to drug test individuals receiving or applying for various forms of public assistance. And by public assistance, we mean individuals applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), welfare, unemployment and Medicare. Nice.

Sentencing Children to Die in Prison
One year ago this week, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that sentencing youth who have committed non-homicide offenses to life in prison without some meaningful opportunity for review of that sentence is unconstitutional. Denying children some meaningful opportunity to obtain release upon demonstrating their growth and rehabilitation is unfair, unconstitutional and un-American.

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