The U.S. Senate confirmed President Bush’s nomination of longtime confidant Alberto Gonzales to replace John Ashcroft as United States Attorney General, in spite of a public record that raises serious questions about his commitment to constitutional principles and the rule of law. The 60-36 vote reflected significant opposition for an executive branch nominee, and the second highest vote against an attorney general nominee since 1925.
Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales was narrowly approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which voted 10-8 along party lines to send his nomination to the floor. People For the American Way President Ralph G.
PFAW has sent U.S. Senators a statement strongly opposing the confirmation of White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales as U.S. Attorney General. The statement reviews Gonzales’ repeated failures as a public official to meet the standards that should be expected of the nation’s highest law enforcement officer.
People For the American Way Foundation President Ralph G. Neas decried a decision by CBS and NBC network officials to refuse a 30-second ad produced by the United Church of Christ to promote the denomination’s commitment to welcoming everyone. People For the American Way Foundation is urging activists to sign a petition to the networks protesting their decisions.
PFAW President Ralph G. Neas: John Ashcroft was one of the most destructive attorneys general in the modern era. His tenure was marked by a severe erosion of Americans’ constitutional liberties and a diminished commitment to civil rights enforcement. His tenure at the Justice Department would have been even more damaging if the Supreme Court had not rejected his claims that the President could unilaterally suspend American citizens constitutional protections.
New York, NY - On the evening of September 1st, 2004, People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF) will sponsor a reading of the U.S. Constitution, free to the public, in the historic Great Hall of Cooper Union. Some of the country's leading figures from the worlds of film, art, politics, theater, music and sports will participate in reading portions of our founding document.
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld a preliminary injunction against the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), a 1998 law that imposes stiff criminal and civil penalties -- fines as high as $50,000 per day and imprisonment for up to six months -- for Web content that is deemed “harmful to minors.”
Today the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the Bush Administration’s assertions that it has the right to indefinitely detain American citizens it deems “enemy combatants” without meaningful due process and that individuals incarcerated in the American military installation in Guantanamo have no access to U.S. Courts. The cases ruled on today were a critical test of the federal courts’ role in upholding the constitutional rights of individual citizens and the rule of law against the powers of the President and the executive branch.
A right-wing political group on Thursday urged the Federal Election Commission to prohibit commercials for Michael Moore’s film “Fahrenheit 9/11” featuring President Bush from being broadcast in the 30 days before the Republican National Convention or the 60 days before the election. On the same day that Citizens United filed its complaint, FEC commissioners in a separate case involving ads for a documentary adopted an advisory opinion that raises concerns about how broadly the commission will interpret legal restrictions on campaign advertising.
The proposed flag amendment is before Congress again, and this time it is very close to getting the needed votes. Should it be adopted, this amendment would be the first to make illegal some forms of free expression. Increasing pressure from pro-amendment lobbyists eager to exploit Americans’ patriotism during wartime will make the vote in the Senate razor thin.
In a victory for free speech, a federal judge dismissed charges against Greenpeace for allegedly violating an antique law of the sea, last used 113 years ago. The case was seen by many as an attempt to selectively prosecute Greenpeace for disagreeing with Bush administration policies.
Last week the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments concerning the Executive Branch's right to unilaterally strip citizens of core constitutional rights. People For the American Way Foundation believes the government's "enemy combatants" and detention policies -- the heart of the case before the high court -- violate fundamental principles enshrined in our Constitution, such as the separation of powers and due process of law, and actually threaten progress in the war on terror and America's campaign for greater freedom and democracy around the world. Read the powerful new PFAWF report on these policies.