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ACLU Announces Agenda For 111th Congress


Renewing Checks And Balances Tops Group’s Priorities

WASHINGTON – Top leaders of the American Civil Liberties Union today called on the newly-installed 111th Congress to defend the fundamental freedoms of all Americans. In a letter sent to every member of Congress, the ACLU outlined its legislative agenda.

“The gaveling of the 111th Congress is an opportunity to renew America’s founding principles,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. “For years, our country has slid farther and farther away from its ideals – but the damage is not irreparable. Now is the time to turn back the clock on eight years of shameful policies and again become an America we can all be proud of.”

The ACLU will be encouraging the new Congress to repair the damage done to the Constitution by:
· Restoring appropriate limits on governmental power;
· Reestablishing and advancing each individual’s right to live free of discrimination; and
· Setting meaningful standards to reestablish and preserve the right to speak freely and openly.

Specifically, the organization is urging the repeal of, among other laws, the Military Commissions Act, the FISA Amendments Act and the REAL ID Act. The ACLU is also asking for greater privacy standards concerning government databases, a meaningful federal reporters’ shield law and reform of both juvenile justice and drug sentencing laws.

“Our system of checks and balances is broken,” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “There must be a full and thorough investigation into the abuses of the past eight years by both Congress and an individual special prosecutor. By urging Congress to hold itself and the executive accountable, we reaffirm that no one is above the law. Americans have made their voices heard and are crying out for change. It’s time for Congress to listen.”


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