Senate Candidates Offer Support for Civil Liberties

November 30, 2009 12:00 am

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ACLU of Massachusetts questionnaire to U.S. Senate contenders examines issues such as domestic surveillance, freedom of choice, death penalty


BOSTON — Several contenders for the open U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts expressed support for protecting civil liberties, in their responses to a questionnaire from the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. The nonpartisan ACLU sent a questionnaire on key civil liberties issues to all the candidates running to fill the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Edward Kennedy.

The questionnaire explores issues such as:

  • investigation of possible unlawful activities by government officials in the post-9/11 era to determine who should be held accountable;
  • fixing problems with the USA PATRIOT Act and FISA Amendments Act that threaten the rights and liberties of all Americans;
  • establishing independent oversight and enhanced privacy standards for so-called fusion centers, including the Massachusetts Commonwealth Fusion Center <>;
  • support for reversing the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal Medicaid funding for abortion;
  • opposition to the death penalty.

The complete results from the questionnaire are available here:

“It will be tough to fill Senator Kennedy’s shoes,” said Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. “He made a lifetime of contributions to the cause of civil rights and civil liberties, and in 2006, we gave him the ACLU of Massachusetts’ highest honor, the Roger Baldwin Award, named for the Massachusetts-born founder of the ACLU. We hope that the next U.S. Senator from Massachusetts will provide that kind of leadership.”

In alphabetical order by last name, the ACLU received responses from candidates Michael Capuano (D), Martha Coakley (D), Alan Khazei (D), and Stephen Pagliuca (D). We did not receive responses from candidates Scott Brown (R) and Jack E. Robinson (R).

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The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.