Voters want terror law safeguards: ACLU

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- New polls demonstrate that voters want Congress be more active in balancing the president's powers to fighting terror, the ACLU said Tuesday.

Recent surveys of 600 registered voters in the key battleground states of Connecticut, New Mexico, Ohio and Pennsylvania reveal that the participants in the polls want to see Congress take a stronger role in providing checks and balances to President George W. Bush's efforts to combat terrorism. The voters also showed "a strong preference for House and Senate candidates who will oppose the president's policies on the treatment of Guantánamo detainees, the use of torture and extraordinary rendition of detainees as well as secret searches of the private records of Americans," the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement.


"This poll shows that voters care deeply about protecting our civil liberties and Constitution, which have been under unprecedented attack by the Bush administration," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero.

"Voters in four of the most hotly contested battleground states have made it clear that preserving freedoms and the checks and balances of our democracy are critically important to them. For voters, protecting the civil liberties of Americans and upholding our Constitution are key issues in November's elections, and these lessons apply to both Republicans and Democrats," Romero said.

"House and Senate candidates should know that while voters want protection from terrorism they don't want it at the expense of their constitutional rights," he said. "We can be both safe and free. Those candidates who ignore civil liberties do so at their peril."

According to the poll, "the voters in the four states strongly express a preference for candidates who oppose policies the President has sought in the name of fighting terrorism," the ACLU said.

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