ACLU Urges Congress To Clean House; Calls on Lawmakers to Restore and Protect Civil Liberties

January 9, 2007 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – Top leaders of the American Civil Liberties Union today called on the newly installed 110th Congress to defend the fundamental freedoms of all Americans. In a letter sent to all members, the leaders also outlined the ACLU’s legislative agenda.

“The ACLU is here to remind Congress that the American people voted for change,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director. “That change starts with standing up for the American people and defending the Constitution.”

Romero and Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, alerted Congress to the organization’s top priorities for the 110th Congress. Specifically, they are calling on lawmakers to:

  • Restore habeas corpus and due process rights, which were gutted in the Military Commissions Act,
  • Investigate and stop the warrantless NSA surveillance program,
  • Take steps to better protect the privacy of all Americans,
  • Investigate and stop the administration’s policies of torture, abuse and rendition, and
  • Curb overuse of the state secrets privilege and Sensitive Security Information classification.

In addition, the ACLU will also continue to work on racial profiling, lesbian and gay rights, immigration, the Real ID Act, reproductive rights and protecting the First Amendment, among other important civil liberties issues.

The ACLU is optimistic that the new Congress will provide better oversight into the actions of the Bush administration and enact legislation that protects freedom and privacy. However, Fredrickson noted, the organization will continue to aggressively lobby lawmakers to ensure that anti-civil liberties measures are not adopted.

“We urge the new Congress to shine sunlight onto this administration when it acts to take away our basic freedoms,” said Fredrickson. “The American people can be both safe and free.”

To read the ACLU’s letter to Congress, go to:

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