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ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE ACLU Calls White's Career One of Repeated Disappointments; Urges Clinton to Strengthen Court's Protection of Individual Rights For IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 19, 1993 NEW YORK -- The retirement of Associate Justice Byron White presents President Clinton with an early opportunity to begin to strengthen the United States Supreme Court's unique and historic role as an institution committed to limiting government powers and protecting and expanding the civil liberties and civil rights of all Americans. Appointed by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, Justice White's long career on the Court has been one of repeated disappointments for civil libertarians. While he has often voted to end school desegregation and other forms of race- and sex-based discrimination, he has repeatedly opposed affirmative action remedies that would implement the Constitution's guarantee of equality. Justice White has also consistently demonstrated insensitivity to the fundamental right of privacy. He is one of the Court's strongest critics of Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision legalizing abortion, and he authored the Court's unprincipled opinion in Bowers v. Hardwick, the 1986 case that upheld Georgia's sodomy statute. Justice White was also hostile to the rights of criminal suspects and defendants. He argued in his dissent in Miranda v. Arizona that the police were not constitutionally required to inform criminal suspects that they had the right to remain silent. Justice White's position that public aid to religious schools was not a violation of the First Amendment's establishment clause was inconsistent with the Court's own precedents and with the fundamental principle of separation of church and state. In addition, he has called for reconsideration of the Court's landmark decision in New York Times v. Sullivan, which imposed First Amendment limits on libel actions by public officials. The ACLU urges President Clinton to remember the Court's crucial role as he considers whom to name as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and to move confidently and swiftly to restore to the Court its proper role as the protector of the Bill of Rights. --endit-- ============================================================= ACLU Free Reading Room | A publications and information resource of the gopher:// | American Civil Liberties Union National Office | | "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty"


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