ACLU Says Ashcroft Could Benefit From Visit to Philadelphia's Constitution Center During Controversial Patriot Act "Roadshow"

August 19, 2003 12:00 am

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ACLU Says Ashcroft Could Benefit From Visit to Philadelphia’s Constitution Center During Controversial Patriot Act “Roadshow”


PHILADELPHIA — The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania today suggested that Attorney General John Ashcroft use tomorrow’s visit to the National Constitution Center to actually tour the exhibits at the Center and learn more about the constitutional rights he is supposed to uphold.

“Based on his actions over the last two years, it is clear that our Attorney General needs to brush up on his understanding of and appreciation for the Constitution and Bill of Rights,” said Larry Frankel, Legislative Director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “Rather than lecturing a select audience about his dubious achievements, Attorney General Ashcroft should spend a few hours at the Constitution Center educating himself about his obligation to protect our most cherished freedoms.”

Ashcroft’s tour comes in the midst of rapidly growing public concern about the impact of the USA PATRIOT Act on regular Americans and the Department of Justice’s record on civil liberties and civil rights.

Across the United States, more than 150 communities — including Philadelphia — and three states have passed resolutions calling for a fix to troubling sections of the USA PATRIOT Act. These communities have drawn attention to the fact that the Act isn’t just about terrorism but adversely impacts on regular Americans.

“In diverse communities across the country, there has been widespread condemnation of Ashcroft’s ongoing assaults on checks and balances,” Frankel said. “The reality is that many Americans just do not see John Ashcroft as a true defender of our Constitution.”

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