Sunday, July 24, 2005

ACLU: Their Article on John Roberts

The original article may be found Here

WASHINGTON -- The American Civil Liberties Union today expressed deep concern about some of the civil liberties positions advocated by Judge John Roberts, President Bush's choice to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court.

While serving as principal deputy solicitor general from 1989-1993, he authored briefs calling for Roe v. Wade to be overruled, supporting graduation prayer, and seeking to criminalize flag burning as a form of political protest."All these positions were rejected by the Supreme Court," said Steven Shapiro, the ACLU's National Legal Director. "But the Supreme Court remains closely divided on many of these questions."As a senior Justice Department official, Roberts was in a position to help shape the government's legal positions as well as represent them.

At a minimum, the Senate should determine the extent to which the positions taken in these briefs also reflect Roberts's personal views.
Judge John Roberts was appointed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in May 2003. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University and clerked for Justice Rehnquist. He served in a number of positions in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, including as principal deputy solicitor general from 1989 to 1993.

"The Supreme Court has played a pivotal role in advancing freedom," said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director. "Without the Supreme Court, the South would still be segregated, illegal abortions would be claiming thousands of lives, the indigent would have no right to a lawyer, and lesbian and gay Americans could be imprisoned for their private sexual conduct."

"The stakes could not be higher," Romero added.

The ACLU will only oppose a Supreme Court nominee on a majority vote of its 83 person national board.

I find this article a bit funny because the only dirt the ACLU could find on John Roberts was that he wanted to outlaw the burning of our country's flag in protest and that he wanted to allow a graduation prayer.
The ACLU says that they want to protect the liberties of all as well as fight against religious indifference, but I guess burning the flag and taking away graduation prayers does not take away the liberties and rights of many?

If it were my graduation and there was not allowed to be a graduation prayer/blessing because of the ACLU I would be more than angry and feel that my rights to a prayer were being taken away. If some members of the graduating class are not Christian it still wouldn't matter, being blessed by a person or being prayed for by others should never be insulting even if the person is from another religion.

The burning of the American Flag in protest is a difficult subject for me. Personally I believe that it is wrong but it is not always wrong. Before you all start getting outraged please let me explain. If the government is doing something very wrong and or harmful to someone or a group of people I could understand the logic behind burning the flag by that group of people. They would feel that their government was betraying them and they would want to show that they believed the country has fallen, by burning the flag. I think that if a person wants to burn an American Flag we should let them. The material of that flag being burned is not going to affect or tarnish what it stands for and we should simply pay no attention to the people burning the flag, most likely they are just out for attention and we should not give it to them.

But, back to John Roberts. I believe that he is a more than qualified man for the job. His past records, experience, outstanding history at Harvard, and views make him a prime canidate for the job. I find relief in the fact that this article is the only thing the ACLU could throw at Roberts.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

ACLU: FBI Documents

This article from the ACLU main site peaked my interest today. You can find the original article here

Government Has Amassed Thousands of Pages on National Peace and Civil Rights Organizations

NEW YORK -- The American Civil Liberties Union today revealed that the FBI has amassed more than 1,100 pages of documents on its organization since 2001, as well as documents concerning other non-violent groups including Greenpeace and United for Peace and Justice.

"We now know that the government is keeping documents about the ACLU and other peaceful groups - the question is why," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero.

"We are urging the court to order that these documents be turned over immediately," he added. "If the FBI has nothing to hide, it should release the documents promptly. The government’s claim that it needs nine more months to turn over these documents is a stalling tactic," Romero said, referring to the FBI’s request for more time to "process" the 1,173 pages of documents it says it has on the ACLU.

The ACLU also revealed today the contents of a report on United for Peace and Justice, a national peace organization that coordinates non-violent protests. The document, sections of which are redacted, is addressed to FBI "Counterrorism" personnel and quotes from UFPJ’s website calling for a public demonstration prior to the 2004 Republican National Convention.

The document was released in response to an ACLU lawsuit filed two months ago to expedite its FOIA request for FBI surveillance files on the ACLU, Greenpeace, United for Peace and Justice, Code Pink, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

"The UFPJ report underscores our concern that the FBI is violating Americans’ right to peacefully assemble and oppose government policies without being branded as terrorist threats," said Ann Beeson, Associate Legal Director of the ACLU. "There is no need to open a counterterrorism file when people are simply exercising their First Amendment rights."

The ACLU has launched a nationwide effort to expose and prevent FBI spying on people and groups simply for speaking out or practicing their faith. In addition to the FOIA request on behalf of the national organizations, the ACLU has filed similar requests on behalf of more than 100 groups and individuals in 16 states and the District of Columbia. The ACLU is seeking information about the FBI’s use of Joint Terrorism Task Forces and local police to engage in political surveillance. The requests were filed in response to widespread complaints from students and political activists who said they were questioned by FBI agents in the months leading up to the 2004 political conventions.

The FOIAs seek two kinds of information: 1) the actual FBI files of groups and individuals targeted for speaking out or practicing their faith; 2) information about how the practices and funding structure of the task forces, known as JTTFs, are encouraging rampant and unwarranted spying.

I find this article pretty funny because the ACLU is complaining that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has investigated them and gathered information about them. It's almost as if the ACLU is beginning to cry about the FBI doing their jobs, that has never happened before though right?

The ACLU says that if the FBI has nothing to hide they shouldn't keep the documents to themselves, however what is the ACLU so scared of that they have to have the documents? It seems to be hypocritical for the ACLU to call for these documents. After the ACLU has expressed their dismay they try to cover it up with a "we are protecting you by doing this" scheme when they say "The ACLU has launched a nationwide effort to expose and prevent FBI spying on people and groups simply for speaking out or practicing their faith."
The truth is the ACLU either A) Wants another reason to complain about the federal government or B) Is actually worried about what the FBI knows.

I hate to think that the downfall of America is going to be America but it's leading that way. It seems we are the next Rome, through our own corroption and inner turmoil we will perish and our "empire" will crumble. I'm not trying to be chicken little here but I really do wish that our government would be allowed to do their jobs. The government is not the must corruption free orginization by far so don't get me wrong. However, when they are actually trying to do something that falls within their job description it'd be nice to let them do it. Groups are needed to keep the government in check but not to restrict them from doing their job and making their private records known.


It seems a lot of my dismay is towards this group so before I go into detailed posts with examples let me just say that I will probably be writing a lot about them. This blog is not meant to be an anti-ACLU blog but if it appears to be I'm not sorry. This blog is for everyone to comment on about anything happening in America right now, it just so happens a lot of what is wrong with America is not CAUSED by the ACLU but is represented by them.

I feel that most of the time the group is just out to make head lines. You can not claim to defend the constition and the freedom of our people if you keep taking away their RIGHTS to pray in public, protect themselves from those who wish to hurt us, and condem America by limiting the orginizations founded to protect it.

As much as I want to I won't go as far to say the ACLU are just as bad as the terrorists, but it seems to me that disallowing useful tools and methods to stopping terrorism is up there with the "man thats just wrong" list.

Everyone has rights including those who wish us harm. However, when your rights start to infringe on the rights of another...well your rights stop. The ACLU has made it where we cannot even search people if they do not wish to be searched at airports and subways. If you walk into an airport or subway right now carrying a bag and a security guard stops you and asks you to open the bag you may refuse and all he can do is ask you to go to the next airport or subway where you may try to slip by the guards there. This is not only because of the ACLU and they do not deserve all of the blame, but they represent the bulk of the reason why this kind of thing happens.

I feel that as an American citizen the right to protect myself, allow my government to protect me, and allow people that I pay with my tax money to do their jobs is a right I have to have. So thus the reason of the seemingly anti-ACLU.

Welcome to A Teen's Thoughts on America


My name is Robert and I am a 17 year old teen living in Alabama. I view myself as a conservative though I have not ever voted, of course. I was/am Pro-Bush but more than that I am Pro-America and Pro-President. Which means I not only love America and support it but I respect the President even if he was to be a Liberal, Democrat and Republicans have become blurred lines so I use the word Liberal. (Just because I respect a person does not mean I support all he says, for instance I do not agree with everything Bush has done but I respect my President and I am very thankful he was put into office over John Kerry.)

I am also a Catholic, so in this world I now have 3 strikes against me...being a Catholic, Conservative, and a Teen. With those strikes my views aren't really even counted expect by those who wish to get my vote when I turn 18. For that reason and for the reason of brining some light to and relieving some anger about groups and problems in this country like the ACLU I have created this blog. It may never accomplish much but I'm sure it'll at least make me sleep better at night knowing that I've done something instead of zilch.

I'm not going to make any excuses for my blog but I will tell you that I understand that my views are just that, my views. I don't expect everyone to agree with them and if you don't please feel free to post your comments in an intellectual way.