WASHINGTON, DC— The Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights and the Center for American Progress released a report today which details the detrimental impact that the Bush Administration has had on our nation’s civil rights and civil liberties. Since 2000, the administration has allowed the historical tools of the executive branch for civil rights enforcement to collapse, leaving many of our citizens susceptible to unequal opportunity and rising religious and racial intolerance.
“This report describers how the Bush administration has failed to enforce civil rights, protect civil liberties and confront long-standing and emerging threats to our nation’s most precious asset: equal opportunity” said Bill Taylor, the Commission’s chair. “Congress urgently needs to take action and implement changes to ensure that our civil rights do not continue being trampled upon.”
“The Erosion of Rights: Declining Civil Rights Enforcement under the Bush Administration” reveals how civil rights enforcement by the executive branch has fallen to a dangerous state of disrepair, why this is happening, and how Congress can take action to remedy the situation. The report consists of recommendations by members of the Commission and the Center for American Progress and of a series of working papers by leading civil rights and public interest experts on a broad range of civil rights issues including voting, education, housing, immigration, and communications policies.
“The fact that this report comes on the heels of Attorney General Gonzalez’s implication in the scandal over the firing of 8 United States Attorneys is further evidence that civil right enforcement has also fallen prey to political maneuvering at the Justice Department,” said Cassandra Butts, Senior Vice President for Domestic Policy at the Center for American Progress. “This report is an invaluable contribution to the current discourse on what needs to be done in order to protect our civil rights.”
Since 1989, the Commission has released biennial, comprehensive reviews of the civil rights policies of each Administration. Each of these exhaustive reports combines working papers by experts on a broad range of issues within the civil rights community with the Commission’s own recommendations for government action.