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Obama Campaign Promises: Civil Liberties & Rights

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Obama Campaign Promises: Civil Liberties & Rights

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

At a glance, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's 2008 campaign promises in regards to U.S. civil liberties and rights were to:

Strengthen Civil Rights Enforcement

Obama will reverse the politicization that has occurred in the Bush Administration's Department of Justice. He will put an end to the ideological litmus tests used to fill positions within the Civil Rights Division.

Combat Employment Discrimination

Obama will work to overturn the Supreme Court's recent ruling that curtails racial minorities' and women's ability to challenge pay discrimination.

Obama will also pass the Fair Pay Act to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Expand Hate Crimes Statutes

Obama will strengthen federal hate crimes legislation, expand hate crimes protection by passing the Matthew Shepherd Act, and reinvigorate enforcement at the Department of Justice's Criminal Section.

End Deceptive Voting Practices

Obama will sign into law his legislation that establishes harsh penalties for those who have engaged in voter fraud and provides voters who have been misinformed with accurate and full information so they can vote.

End Racial Profiling

Obama will ban racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies and provide federal incentives to state and local police departments to prohibit the practice.

Reduce Crime Recidivism by Providing Ex-Offender Support

Obama will provide job training, substance abuse and mental health counseling to ex-offenders, so that they are successfully re-integrated into society.

Obama will also create a prison-to-work incentive program to improve ex-offender employment and job retention rates.

Eliminate Sentencing Disparities

Obama believes the disparity between sentencing crack and powder-based cocaine is wrong and should be completely eliminated.

Expand Use of Drug Courts

Obama will give first-time, non-violent offenders a chance to serve their sentence, where appropriate, in the type of drug rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than a prison term in changing bad behavior.

Read the full text of Obama's civil liberties and rights plans at BARACK OBAMA: CREATING EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.

SOURCE for this article: Barack Obama '08 Website

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