The AHA will continue to work tirelessly in cases where civil rights have been compromised by the government. All Americans are entitled to the inalienable rights laid out in the U.S. Constitution, not to be diminished by the government under any circumstances. Although national security risks have frequently threatened the well-being of individual Americans, and have led our leaders to weaken civil right protections, erosion of our guaranteed civil rights is the greatest danger to individual American citizens. Instances when the government has diminished the rights of ordinary citizens, detainees, prisoners, defendants, and suspected terrorists have been frequent, especially in the wake of September 11, 2001. Yet even the attack on American soil does not legitimize the rampant abuses against the civil jury trial system that is central to justice. Accountability of government officials is a bullwark against future abuses. Membership in the International Criminal Court would ensure that when the entire American system of justice fails, American political interests will not prevent rogue American leaders from being brought to justice.
Official government discrimination based on race, heritage, class, or religion undermines the universality of these rights. Discrimination based on religious predilection or other prejudice has no place in the discussion of civic rights for all. Racial profiling, official discrimination against minorities, government sponsorship and favor to religious groups, and unwarranted detentions threaten the tenets of our free, open, and pluralistic society. The government must be held accountable when it trespasses on the rights of its citizens. Respect for civil rights of all people is necessary for preserving the dignity of individuals and of humanity.