ACLU Welcomes Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Act, Says Bill Would Safeguard Constitutional Right to Counsel

December 7, 2006 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union put the weight of its over 550,000 members behind Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) today as he introduced legislation to guard the Constitution’s guarantee to fair legal representation. His bill, the “Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Act of 2006,” would allow prosecutors to pursue information they believe is not confidential but would recognize and protect valid claims of attorney-client privilege.

The following may be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“The right of Americans to speak freely and without hesitation to their attorneys is fundamental and vital to the court system. It is the very heart of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Preserving the right to counsel allows all Americans the opportunity to protect themselves and others.”

“This is a common sense approach to restoring one of the fundamental legal protections guaranteed under the Constitution to those under investigation. This is a rubber meets the road justice issue. Americans under investigation should not be intimidated into waiving their rights, as has been the practice during certain Justice Department investigations.”

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