The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (ACLUFL) today announced that the entire Florida Senate received the organization? most recent ?efender of Freedom?award for the week which ended today, April 22, 2011.
The Senate has been on recess this entire week and as a result the Florida Legislature has been unable to pass new limitations on civil rights including free speech, privacy, protections against government searches and access to personal medical care.
?his week was the best week in the Legislature on civil liberties,?said Howard Simon, Executive Director of ACLUFL. “The assaults and roll backs on basic rights have been so sweeping and so fast that simply going on vacation is the best thing that could happen,” he said.
The Florida House was in session two days this week meaning for several days both chambers of the Legislature were not working and Floridians?rights were temporarily safe. But the Senate earned the award by taking the whole week off.
?he Senate is not the biggest problem this year but by being gone, they slowed down some really punitive and regressive big government over-reaches still being considered. In this political climate, doing nothing is progress,?said Danielle Prendergast, Director of Public Policy for ACLUFL. ?here is some great stuff to see and do in Florida and I wish Senators and Representatives would get out and enjoy our state and stay on vacation just a bit longer.?
The Defender of Freedom award is presented weekly during the Florida Legislative Session to the lawmaker or other leader who displays public courage and defends constitutional freedoms in public policy. Previous winners were Reps. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) and Alan Williams (D-Tallahassee), Sen. Jack Latvala (R-St. Petersburg), Rep. Carlos Trujillo (R-Miami), Senator Mike Bennett (R-Bradenton), Rep. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) and Rep. Scott Randolph (D-Orlando).