The ACLU Celebrates Constitution Day by Urging Congress Not to Fail Freedom

September 14, 2007 12:00 am

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Washington, DC – The American Civil Liberties Union is urging Congress to fix the outrageous Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act legislation that opened the doors to warrantless government spying on Americans. The ACLU’s national field director Jeani Murray said, “Constitution Day just took on a whole new meaning: because the Constitution needs to be repaired.” Murray explained that before leaving for their August recess, Congress caved in to the administration’s demand for more out-of-control authority to spy on Americans.

ACLU activists across the country are contacting members of Congress and reminding them of their responsibility to hold the executive branch in check. The ACLU is asking that Congress live up to its promise to protect and defend the Constitution, starting with fixes to FISA and restoring due process rights.

Activists are signing petitions and asking Members of Congress to fix the mess they made when they caved to the administration’s demand to grant this or any president and any attorney general vast new powers to invade our privacy with no meaningful oversight from the courts or Congress. Activists are also asking Congress to restore our Constitution, not destroy it. This means:

Ending rampant surveillance and warrantless spying on Americans.

Restoring habeas corpus and due process.

Shutting down Guantánamo Bay and giving those held there access to justice.

Stopping torture and extraordinary rendition: secretly kidnapping people and sending them to countries that torture.

Murray said, “Thanks to overwhelming support from our activists, the ACLU’s petitions will be delivered on September 17, Constitution Day, to really bring the message home. Already, more than 50,000 people have added their voice to our message.”

In addition, Murray said, ACLU affiliates across the country have planned Constitution Day activities, many of them focusing on restoring the Constitution so that it is clear to this government that if they want to monitor Americans’ phone calls or emails that they must go to a court first and get a warrant. The ACLU is also working to restore the Constitution so it is clear that this government will not hold people in jail indefinitely without due process rights.

ACLU members are also asking Congress not to let the telephone companies off-the-hook for their role in illegal spying on Americans. To learn more about the ACLU’s efforts please visit /legislative/

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