ACLU Launches Advertising Campaign to Restore Due Process Rights, Targets Key Senators and Presidential Primary States

March 20, 2007 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union today launched a new radio campaign to build support for legislation that would restore habeas corpus and other due process protections eliminated by the Military Commission Act of 2006. The ads, targeting key Senators and audiences in presidential primary states, urge listeners to “Never give up a right that defines us as Americans.”

“These ads are a wake-up call for America,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “For five years, our rights have been disappearing-endangering our very democracy. The recent Justice Department revelations demonstrate what happens when elected and appointed officials place themselves above the law. It’s up to all Americans to demand Congress fix the problems in the Military Commissions Act and restore due process protections as a first step towards saving our Constitution.”

The Restoring the Constitution Act (S. 576/H.R. 1415) would stop the president – any president – from independently deciding who is an enemy combatant and limit that designation to people actually in armed conflict with our country. It would also restore the Constitution’s habeas corpus protection, allowing a court to decide whether a person is being imprisoned unlawfully. The legislation would require compliance with the Geneva Conventions, stopping the administration’s practice of making up its own rules on torture and abuse.

The ACLU is running two sets of advertisements. The “Watch” spot will run in Maine, Nebraska, Missouri, Virginia and Washington, DC, and encourages constituents to ask their senators to support the Restoring the Constitution Act. The “Swearing-In” version will run in the key primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and asks residents to urge presidential candidates to support the bill. Both ads urge listeners to ask senators and presidential candidates to support the bipartisan Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007. The radio spots were produced by the Dixon/Davis Media Group and will run through the end of March.

“The question of respecting the Constitution should be a key issue in the 2008 elections,” Fredrickson added. “While we neither support nor endorse any candidate, we urge them all to pledge to support the very values and freedoms that define America.”

The ACLU’s radio advertisements can be heard at: action.aclu.org/site/PageServer?pagename=RadioAds

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