Anthony D. Romero is the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation’s premier defender of liberty and individual freedom.
In less than two months, Mitt Romney will announce his choice for vice president. Based on a new white paper from the ACLU Liberty Watch 2012 campaign, that choice is likely to have abysmal views on civil liberties.
Our white paper, which can be viewed here
, explored 11 of the most-often mentioned potential Republican vice presidential choices and examined their views in five key civil liberties categories: a humane immigration policy, LGBT equality, reproductive rights, torture and indefinite detention and fair voting access.
The white paper examined Republicans Rep. Paul Ryan (WI), Sen. Kelly Ayotte (NH), Sen. Marco Rubio (FL), Rep. Rob Portman (OH), Sen. John Thune (SD), Gov. Chris Christie (NJ), Gov. Nikki Haley (SC), Gov. Susana Martinez (NM), Gov. Bobby Jindal (LA), Gov. Bob McDonnell (VA) and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (MN).
Most political observers might not be too surprised at the results. The potential candidates almost uniformly share the same anti-civil liberties views across all five categories with few exceptions.
Christie broke with the pack, with his support of same-sex civil unions, although he opposes marriage for those same-sex couples. And Thune voted in favor of the Voting Rights Act reauthorization in 2006.
We also examined Vice President Biden's record and, while he opposes torture and indefinite detention, he continues to embrace President Obama's unconstitutional policies under the Patriot Act.
Civil liberties shouldn't be political or partisan. These issues affect millions in America -- families, immigrants, women, voters and everyone who wants a national security policy that preserves our freedoms while keeping us safe.
Romney and Obama should choose civil liberties in every decision they make, including the one that puts a possible successor in line for the Oval Office.
ACLU Liberty Watch 2012 is the voice for the Constitution in the this year’s presidential election. Follow us on Twitter: @ACLULW, or 'Like' us on Facebook: Facebook.com/ACLULibertyWatch.