Saturday, November 8, 2008

ACLU's recommendations for Obama's first day, first 100 days, and first year

The ACLU has published a list of recommendations for immediate executive attention following Obama's oath on Jan. 20. Some of this stuff seems pretty sensible. For example, the group recommends an executive order forbidding torture. Some seems potentially problematic: the group calls for a moratorium on executions of death sentences until racial disparities in the system are addressed. It's not clear what this would do. Yes, there are glaring problems in the system. Yes, African Americans are far more likely to be sentenced to death than are Caucasians. But those who are currently scheduled for federal execution were duly tried and convicted of crimes Congress has chosen to punish with sentences of death. It's not equitable to stop all pending executions. Furthermore, it would be political suicide. Can you imagine what John Boehner or Rush Limbaugh would say if Obama did this? Of course, those mouthpieces don't have a veto over Obama's policies. But Obama still must consider the political realities. Luckily, he's a saavy Chicago pol, and he's got another saavy Chicago pol as Chief of Staff. I'm betting Obama won't be making any rash judgments.

That said, there are lots of very reasonable recommendations in the ACLU's list. Check it out.

ACLU Recommendations for Obama

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