WASHINGTON -- December 15 -- Today is Bill of Rights Day. The League of Women Voters believes the best way to celebrate and honor this historic document is to protect the liberties it guarantees, said Kay J. Maxwell, President of the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS). The Bill of Rights includes some of our nations most fundamental rights, and we must be vigilant to protect those rights. The League has been a historic defender of civil liberties, and continues this emphasis today.
Since the Leagues inception, the protection of the individual liberties laid out in the Bill of Rights has been one of the organizations top priorities. During World War II, the League worked to balance the preservation of civil liberties with the importance of national security. During the witch hunt period of the early 1950s, the League conducted a community education program known as the Freedom Agenda, providing Americans with the opportunity to discuss and learn about the Bill of Rights.
The League continues to actively engage on this issue in a number of ways. Leagues around the country work to raise awareness about threats to the Bill of Rights through community forums and discussions. LWVUS advocated on Capitol Hill against troubling provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act, and supported the bipartisan Security and Freedom Ensured (SAFE) Act, which addresses some of the PATRIOT Acts problems. LWVUS believes that basic civil liberties must be preserved and protected as the nation seeks to guard against terrorism and other threats to national security.
As we advocated during World War II, members of the League today are steadfast in their conviction that the need to protect against security threats to America must be balanced with the need to preserve the very liberties that are this countrys foundation, Maxwell said. The Bill of Rights is not only an important part of our nations history, but also a living document that will guide us into the future, and we must protect it.
The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.