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A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Mandy Simon, (202) 675-2312;

ACLU Announces Agenda For 111th Congress

Renewing Checks And Balances Tops Group’s Priorities


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
The ACLU will be
encouraging the new Congress to repair the damage done to the Constitution
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
"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
ACLU's legislative priorities for the 111th Congress are posted here:
To read
the ACLU's recommendations to the executive transition team, go

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

(212) 549-2666