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At the ACLU, Every Day is Constitution Day

We honor the Constitution every day.
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September 17, 2010

Is it any coincidence that Constitution Day falls in the same week as ACLU Day? We think not.

Of course, every day is Constitution Day at the ACLU. We honor the Constitution every day by defending Americans’ rights in the courts and legislatures across the country. We have 53 affiliate offices across almost every state, a national office in New York, and our Washington Legislative Office is a hop-skip from Capitol Hill.

Constitution Day 2010 has special significance for us, because the ACLU turned 90 years old this year. We’ve got a few gray hairs from all the battles we’ve fought, and we’ve taken punches from all sides. But we’re still standing, and we’re stronger than ever.

But instead of reflecting on all the awesomeness we’ve achieved in the past 90 years, we want to, in the words of President Obama, look forward. As in, the next month. That’s right: we’re expecting an action-packed month while Congress is still in session before they all head to their home districts for the general election.

Next week, the Senate is expected to debate repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT). The DADT repeal is part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and DADT supporters in the Senate will try to offer an amendment to strip the repeal language out of the bill. We cannot let this happen; DADT repeal must pass. So there isn’t a better time for you to tell your senator to support repeal of this unconstitutional, un-American policy.

We’re also watching to see if anti-choice senators will move to strip the Burris Amendment — which repeals the ban on using private funds to obtain abortions on military bases — from the NDAA. Debate on that bill will likely start next week. We need to keep the Burris Amendment in the Senate bill and make sure that it stays in the final bill. Contact your members of Congress now, and urge them to fight for the constitutional rights of our military women overseas.

Finally, before Congress adjourns again in a few weeks, it has to opportunity to really help American workers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2008, women who worked full-time earned, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar men earned. This chronic wage discrimination can deprive a woman of between $700,000 and $2 million over her career. The Paycheck Fairness Act, which has already passed the House and is poised for passage in the Senate, would give employees the legal tools they need to finally close the wage gap. Urge your senators to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

So what are you waiting for? Contact your members of Congress today. What better way to celebrate Constitution Day than by having your voice heard?

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