Reagan Record Said To Threaten Rights
Washington--The executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (aclu) said last week that "the record of the last two years shows that the most dangerous threats to civil liberties have come and will continue to come" from "the Reagan Administration and its allies in Congress."
"In many ways, these are the most dangerous times for civil liberties since the founding" of the nonprofit civil-liberties group 62 years ago, said Ira Glasser, national director of the aclu, in a prepared statement announcing the release of a two-year report on the group's efforts to blunt perceived Administration moves against civil rights.
"For the first time, we face an Administration that seems firmly opposed to key legal and political principles upon which our constitutional system is based," Mr. Glasser said. "This Administration doesn't just oppose certain freedoms for certain people or groups; it has begun to attack the constitutional system established 200 years ago."
The report noted that passage of legislation similar to the proposed Helms-Johnston amendment "would permanently alter the delicate balance of power between" the legislative and judicial branches of the federal government.
Such legislation, the report said, would ensure that "any special-interest group which disagrees with an interpretation of the Constitution by the Supreme Court would need only to find a simple majority in Congress willing to pass legislation curtailing federal court jurisdiction in that area."
The report also reviewed the status of civil liberties in relation to school prayer, scientific creationism, censorship, women's rights, and civil-rights enforcement.--tm