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ACLJ Demands Retraction from DHS on Labelling Pro-Lifers as "Extremists"

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ACLJ Demands Retraction from Dept. of Homeland Security on Labelling Pro-Life Supporters as 'Extremists' in Terrorism Report

(Washington, DC) – The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), focusing on constitutional law, announced it is launching a national campaign today demanding that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) retract a warning it included in a recent report on domestic terrorism that labels pro-life supporters as ‘extremists.’  At the same time, the ACLJ is notifying all 50 states that the report – and the offensive warning – should not be used to curtail the First Amendment rights of pro-life supporters.  Further, the ACLJ is supporting a call for Congressional hearings on the DHS report.

“The report creates a very troubling climate for those who want to exercise their constitutional rights to speak out about protecting the life of the unborn,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ.  “It’s now clear the DHS ignored its own internal concerns about this outrageous and inflammatory warning.  We’re very concerned that this disturbing report not be used by law enforcement agencies around the country to silence the legitimate First Amendment rights of pro-life supporters.  The fact is that the DHS must retract this offensive reference.  We also support the call for Congressional hearings to get to the bottom of this.  The DHS report represents at the very least – bad judgment – and at worst – an Administration-backed effort to intimidate and silence pro-life supporters.”
The DHS’s April 7th warning is entitled: “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”

Included in its assessment is this reference to specific groups including those who oppose abortion:

“Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”

You can read the DHS assessment here.  News reports now reveal that the civil rights division inside the DHS expressed concern about the definition of terrorists which included the ‘extremism’ label being applied to groups like abortion opponents.  But, the DHS issued the report without addressing those concerns.   And, some members of Congress – including Rep. Peter King (NY) – are calling for hearings to investigate the DHS report.

Sekulow sent a letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano citing the ACLJ's concerns and demanding a retraction.  That letter is here.

The ACLJ is urging Americans to sign on to its Demand for Retraction to the DHS.  The ACLJ Demand for Retraction is available here. Further, the ACLJ is notifying all 50 states that the report should not be used to curtail the legitimate constitutional rights of pro-life supporters.

Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice focuses on constitutional law and is based in Washington, D.C.

 

American Center for Law and Justice, P.O. Box 90555, Washington, DC 20090-0555, 1-800-296-4529, http://www.aclj.org/

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