ACLU Celebrates Its 90th Anniversary And Honors Political Figures At Union Station Tonight

September 21, 2010 12:00 am

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Biden, Holder And Members Of Congress To Be Recognized For Civil Liberties Achievements

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union is holding a reception tonight at Union Station to celebrate its 90th anniversary and to honor political leaders for their civil liberties achievements. Awardees include Vice President Joseph Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder and members of Congress for their roles in passing the Fair Sentencing Act, a bill which reduced the disproportionate mandatory minimum sentence for crack cocaine. The ACLU will also honor New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his support of religious freedom in the face of the controversy over the Islamic community center proposal in New York City. Some of the awardees, including some members of Congress, are expected to accept their awards in person.

“As we mark our 90th anniversary tonight, the ACLU is thrilled to honor these leaders who have played such a significant role in protecting the Constitution. The need for politicians to stand up to defend American freedom is critical, and the people we are honoring tonight rose to the occasion,” said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “Still, as we celebrate our successes tonight, we know that challenges remain and our work is not yet finished. For every Fair Sentencing Act our government passes, there is a Patriot Act waiting in the wings. The ACLU will continue its tireless work to defend civil liberties.”

The ACLU will also unveil its nationwide 90th anniversary exhibit, No Victory Ever Stays Won, 90 Years of Protecting Liberty, during the reception at tonight’s event. Following the reception, the ACLU’s exhibit will be displayed in the West Hall of Union Station on September 23 and 24.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating 90 years of the ACLU’s defense of fundamental American rights, and proud to honor political leaders who have had the courage and commitment to defend some of our most precious civil liberties,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. “The ACLU’s work over the last nine decades has had an immeasurable impact on the American landscape of constitutional rights and the everyday lives of all Americans. But, as the title of our exhibit suggests, the hard-fought victories we have won need constant reinforcement, and the work to defend fundamental rights never ends. Our 90th anniversary is an opportunity not only to look back and celebrate, but also to repledge our commitment to safeguard American freedom.”

The ACLU’s 90th anniversary exhibit is composed of 14 visually compelling and provocative panels that take viewers through a tour of the ACLU’s historic achievements and highlight the ACLU’s major contributions to defend the freedoms promised in the Constitution. In addition to Washington, D.C., the ACLU’s traveling exhibit will also tour the following states in the coming months: Nebraska, Indiana, Missouri, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Iowa, Maine, New Jersey, Tennessee, Oklahoma, California, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Texas, Montana, West Virginia, Nevada, Alabama, Wisconsin, and Utah.

The ACLU will be honoring the following members of Congress for their work in helping to pass the long overdue Fair Sentencing Act: Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-GA), Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-SC), Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD), Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Robert D. “Bob” Inglis (R-SC), Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, Jr.(R-WI), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).

For more information on the ACLU’s 90th anniversary, please go to: www.aclu90.org

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