Friday, July 30, 2004

b) Restoration and Expansion of Civil Liberties & Constitutional Rights
(Back to Nader Table of Contents)

Civil liberties and due process of law are eroding due to the “war on terrorism” and new technology that allows easy invasion of privacy. Americans of Arab descent and Muslim-Americans are feeling the brunt of these dragnet, arbitrary practices. Mr. Nader supports the restoration of civil liberties, repeal of the Patriot Act, and an end to secret detentions, arrests without charges, no access to attorneys and the use of secret “evidence,” military tribunals for civilians, non-combatant status and the shredding of “probable cause” determinations. They represent a perilous diminishment of judicial authority in favor of concentrated power in the executive branch. Sloppy law enforcement, dragnet practices are wasteful and reduce the likelihood of apprehending violent criminals. Mr. Nader seeks to expand civil liberties to include basic human rights in employment and truly equal rights regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or religion.

I am not an expert on the Patriot Act, so for the time being I will have to skip any support or critique of this issue. All I will say on this issue is that the real liberty that is being curtailed is not our fourth, fifth, or six ammendment rights, but rather our first.
Not an expert on free speech, I can only point one to a single issue that I know of, plus the extensive work of others. Free Speech is under assault by the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act. The act restricts when a neutral person or organization can run issue adds criticizing politicians. You can see the act in action here.

Also, Free Speech is under assault by extensive Workplace Harassment Rules and Hostile Workplace Environment Rules as well.

If Nader wants to talk about our civil liberties being restored, he should start with the most important one of all – our first amendment rights.

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