For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Claire O'Brien, (202) 675-2312;

American Civil Liberties Union Calls for Change in the US Commission on Civil Rights

ACLU Joins Coalition Partners in Urging Reforms

American Civil Liberties Union will join the Leadership Conference on
Civil Rights, the Campaign for a New Domestic Human Rights Agenda and
the Rights Working Group in co-sponsoring a congressional briefing
calling for reforms to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR).
Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Legislative Counsel and former Acting Deputy
General Counsel and Senior Attorney-Advisor to USCCR, will participate
in a panel discussion for members of Congress and their staffs,
recommending ways to transform the USCCR into a more effective guardian
of civil and human rights. 

current USCCR has strayed from its core mission to investigate and
diagnose the state of civil rights in our nation. Far from being the
prestigious body that once championed landmark civil rights reforms,
the current commission has used its former prominence to articulate
views hostile to vigorous civil rights enforcement.

ACLU joins with its partners in the civil rights community in urging
Congress and President Obama to strengthen and transform the U.S.
Commission on Civil Rights into a nonpartisan, independent U.S.
Commission on Civil and Human Rights. The ACLU and its coalition
partners support expanding the USCCR's purpose to include the
protection of human as well as civil rights, a necessary step towards
more comprehensive protections against discrimination in America.

Congressional briefing on the need to reform the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Deborah J. Vagins, Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union
Lisa Crooms, Chair, Campaign for a New Domestic Human Rights Agenda
Wade Henderson, President and CEO, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
Fatima Goss Graves, Vice President, National Women's Law Center
David M. Smith, Vice President of Programs, Human Rights Campaign

Wednesday, November 18, 2009, 2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

2237 Rayburn House Office Building


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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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