Former Republican Congressman Bob Barr in Pensacola August 9 to Speak on the Patriot Act

Affiliate: ACLU of Florida
August 2, 2005 12:00 am

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PENSACOLA, FL — Former Republican Congressman Bob Barr, who joined forces with the American Civil Liberties Union and several conservative organizations to urge Congress to fix some of the most extreme provisions of the Patriot Act, will be in Pensacola on August 9 to talk about the urgent need to reform the controversial anti-terror law.

“”Checks and balances are absolutely essential, even and especially during times of threat,”” said Barr. “”Our message is universal: liberty is not divisible, even in the face of terrorism, and we must not allow any part of it to be sacrificed in our efforts to defeat acts of terrorism.””

Barr will speak on the dangers of the Patriot Act at 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 9, at the Baroco Center for Science and Technology Auditorium, Building 21, Pensacola Junior College, 1000 College Boulevard, located off of Airport Boulevard across from Cordova Mall. The event, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the Panhandle Chapter of the ACLU, the League of Women Voters, WEBY 1330 Talk Radio, Chuck Baldwin of “”Chuck Baldwin Live”” Radio Show and the University of West Florida Library.

As chair of the Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances Coalition, Barr is urging Congress to thoroughly review the most intrusive and constitutionally suspect provisions of the Patriot Act, some of which are scheduled to “”sunset,”” or expire, at the end of the year.

The ACLU and groups including the American Conservative Union, Americans for Tax Reform, Citizens’ Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and the Second Amendment Foundation, are strenuously opposing efforts to keep the Patriot Act the same, arguing that certain provisions allowing federal agents to gather library, medical and gun purchase records without criminal suspicion and permitting secret searches of homes and businesses with indefinite notification violate civil liberties.

The groups also are pressing to expand the sunsets so these flawed powers do not become a permanent part of law.

Despite these efforts, the House of Representatives voted on July 21 (257-to-171) to reauthorize most of the expiring provisions of the Patriot Act, and it added additional 10-year “”sunset”” provisions on two of the most contentious sections (including Section 215, known as the “”library records”” provisions).

In the coming weeks, the ACLU will work to ensure that the Senate’s version of the reauthorization bill reforms some of the most far-reaching sections of the Patriot Act, including Section 215, so that federal agents would have to at least show some specific facts to get an order for personal records.

For more information on the ACLU’s work to reform the Patriot Act, go to

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