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League of Women Voters of Maryland

Civil Liberties Resolution 6/01/03

WHEREAS the League of Women Voters from its inception has worked to protect civil liberties and foster open government for all; and

WHEREAS portions of several executive orders and legislative acts, such as the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 and the Homeland Security Act, are contrary to the following positions of the League of Women Voters of the United States:

  • citizen rights: protect the citizen's right to know and facilitate citizen participation in government decision making
  • individual liberties: oppose major threats to basic constitutional rights; and

WHEREAS portions of these acts and executive orders have undermined our fundamental rights and liberties including:

  • freedom of speech, religion, assembly and the press
  • protection from unreasonable searches and seizures
  • the rights to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings equal protection under the law; and

WHEREAS portions of these acts and executive orders impact our libraries and other sources of information, reducing our privacy as well as restricting our ability to obtain public information as provided under the Freedom of Information Act;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the delegates of the League of Women Voters of Maryland in Convention 2003 do express great concern about the erosion of civil liberties and acknowledge the need for extensive education to increase
awareness and aid in protecting our constitutional rights, while acknowledging widespread fear in the United States and the need for fair and effective ways to cope; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the League of Women Voters, at all levels, stands publicly and with other respected organizations that have voiced their concern about civil liberties and open government processes, takes timely and appropriate action to affirm and defend the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the League of Women Voters, at all levels, urges our elected representatives to

  • closely oversee the implement of these acts and executive orders
  • actively work for the repeal of such portions of them that violate our rights and liberties
  • adamantly oppose proposed legislation, such as the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, and any future legislation that would undermine or curtail our fundamental rights and liberties set forth in the United Constitution and the Bill of Rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the League of Women Voters of Maryland communicates this will of the convention to the League of Women Voters of the United States and all our elected officials and urges their immediate action.