By David Swanson
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida has followed the lead of the ACLU of Central Florida, the ACLU of Monroe County Florida, and the ACLU of the Treasure Coast (Florida), all of which followed the lead of the ACLU of Southern California in backing impeachment and calling for the National ACLU to do the same.
The ACLU was a prominent supporter of Richard Nixon’s impeachment. In 2006 an ACLU panel argued for impeachment. In recent years, the national ACLU has lobbied against numerous offenses that appear quintessentially impeachable, but refused , despite intense lobbying by its members and others, to back impeachment. The national ACLU recently announced a new motto that many impeachment advocates view as a wish for the impossible (a reference to the current presidential administration): “One More Year, No More Damage.”
Richard W. Spisak Jr. of the ACLU of Florida reported that the state chapter met in Fort Myers at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and passed a motion in support of impeachment hearings for George Bush and Richard Cheney. The motion calls on the National ACLU to urge hearings in the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. Florida Congressman Robert Wexler, a member of that committee, has recently been leading a push for hearings to begin. Florida citizens have been pushing for impeachment for a long time.
Motion Language Follows:
“The Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida urges the National ACLU Board of Directors to call for the convening of hearings by the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives to determine whether to recommend Articles of Impeachment against President George Bush, and Vice President Richard Cheney to the House.”
According to Spisak, “The debate was energetic with opposing perspectives on tactics related to national staff and issues related to potential complications. Ultimately those who felt this an important step, a pricipled step won the day.”
Diane Lawrence, a leading Florida impeachment activist with http://www.floridaimpeach.org said that her group had lobbied Howard Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida, and that he recently hinted at his support for impeachment when speaking at an event in Florida with House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, a long-time friend from Simon’s days in Michigan. At the event, hosted by the ACLU, Simon said that he disagreed with Conyers on one important point. Perhaps we now know what that point was.