ACLU Says New Ashcroft Anti-Terror Proposal Undermines Checks and Balances

February 7, 2003 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – Earlier today, the Center for Public Integrity released what it said was draft legislation from the Department of Justice that would further expand the powers granted to the government in the name of fighting terrorism. The ACLU continues to analyze the draft legislation but from our preliminary read of the bill, it would do serious harm to civil liberties.

The ACLU’s statement follows:

“”The initial USA Patriot Act undercut many of the traditional checks and balances on government power — the new Ashcroft proposal threatens to fundamentally alter the Constitutional protections that allow us to be both safe and free,”” said Gregory T. Nojeim, Associate Director of the ACLU Washington National Office. “”By seeking to overturn court-approved limits against police spying on political and religious activities, allowing for increased government surveillance and the ability to wiretap without going to court, the latest Ashcroft proposal would do serious harm to civil liberties in America.””

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