Largest Community Unanimously Approves 100th PATRIOT Act Resolution; Broward County Measure Approved With Support of Gov. Bush Appointee

May 6, 2003 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – In a move signifying rapidly mounting concern over federal security policies that go beyond fighting terrorism and infringe on basic American freedoms, Florida’s Broward County commissioners, including one appointed by Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, today unanimously approved the 100th resolution protesting 2001’s USA PATRIOT Act and other unnecessary federal policies and regulations.

Broward County – with more than 1.6 million residents — is the largest jurisdiction to pass a civil liberties resolution.

“”This year alone, 77 cities and one state have passed resolutions rebuking the federal government for its willingness to sacrifice our civil liberties in responding to the threat of terrorism,”” said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington National Office. “”Today’s 100th-resolution milestone is further testament to the fact that Americans do not want to sacrifice their freedoms as we confront the challenges of the post-9/11 era.””

The Board of County Commissioners of Broward County, Florida, which includes Republican Jim Scott, an appointee of Gov. Bush, unanimously approved a resolution this afternoon. Democrat Randy Fleischer introduced the measure.

Significantly for Florida, a state with a strong immigrant population, the Broward County resolution includes a call for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and local police to publicly disclose the names of any terrorism detainees held in the county, detainees that, judging from past tactics, are likely to be non-citizens held on minor immigration violations.

The resolution also affirms support for county officials and employees who take action against federal or state orders or directives that violate the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Florida.

Finally, the resolution concludes, “”the Broward County Commission affirms its strong opposition to terrorism, but also affirms that any efforts to end terrorism should not be waged at the expense of essential civil rights and liberties of the people of Broward County and the United States,”” and calls on the Florida Congressional delegation to monitor the implementation of the USA PATRIOT Act and other troubling laws and regulations.

The Broward County measure comes on the heels of a slew of other resolutions, including one in Tucson today that had been strongly criticized by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) in a letter that mischaracterized the 100 communities that have passed pro-civil liberties measures as a “”miniscule minority.”” Including Broward County, almost 10 million Americans live in communities that have spoken out against the PATRIOT Act. In addition to dozens of municipalities, Hawaii recently became the first state in the union to adopt an anti-PATRIOT Act resolution.

For more information on the resolution movement:

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