Colorado Senate Race May Deal Major Blow To Civil Liberties

Canada Goose Parka WASHINGTON Sen. Mark Udall (D Colo.) isn’t the only one sweating out his tough re election. Civil liberties groups are dreading the prospect of Senate without Udall, and say a loss to Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner may mean major setbacks for transparency. Canada Goose Parka

canada goose uk outlet “A Senate without Udall is a Senate without a real champion,” said Laura Pitter, senior national security counsel at the nonpartisan Human canada goose kensington parka uk Rights Watch. “[He’s] canada goose factory outlet toronto location one of the few politicians who will do what’s right, even when it means confronting his own political leadership.” canada goose uk outlet

Udall, well known as an advocate for government accountability, is clawing for his political life canada goose outlet store quebec in next month’s election, with his zeal for national security reform largely absent from his campaign. That omission may well have helped Republicans gain traction in attacks tying him to the Obama administration. Udall lags his GOP challenger by more than 2 percentage points, according to HuffPost Pollster.

Canada Goose sale Udall, a longtime mountaineer, sits on both the Intelligence Committee and the Armed Services Committee, putting him in a unique position on national security. As of late, he’s made himself a thorn canada goose factory outlet vancouver in the side canada goose outlet uk sale of the Obama administration’s prized spy agencies, the CIA and National Security Agency. Canada Goose sale

Udall has been one of the NSA’s staunchest critics in the wake of Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations of massive, warrantless data collection on millions of Americans. More recently, he has fiercely advocated for the declassification of the Intelligence Committee’s study on the CIA’s post 9/11 enhanced interrogation program, in which suspected terrorists were shipped to secret overseas prisons and subjected to waterboarding and other harsh techniques.

Udall was a key figure in shaking loose an explosive feud that had festered between the Intelligence Committee and the CIA behind closed doors. Through consistent public prodding, Udall helped lay a trail through letters and public hearings that revealed the CIA had improperly accessed Senate computers used by staffers for the committee’s study.

He was canada goose outlet reviews one of only two lawmakers to canada goose outlet call for the resignation of CIA Director John Brennan an Obama appointee and former counterterrorism adviser to the White House over the scandal.

canadian goose jacket “He’s been a very powerful and credible voice, and I think his would be huge shoes to fill,” said Scott Roehm, senior counsel for the Constitution Project, a bipartisan think tank based in Washington. canadian goose jacket

Udall’s civil liberties advocacy extends through his term in the Senate. He objected to provisions of the legislation that would allow for canada goose outlet mississauga indefinite detention of American citizens without charge or trial, and was the sole vote against the bill in the Democratic led Armed Services Committee.

cheap canada goose uk “It’s that kind of ability to be the one when it’s 25 to 1 that is a quality that is in short supply in the Senate,” said Chris Anders, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. cheap canada goose uk

It’s examples like that, advocates say, that show what Udall’s departure from the Senate would mean. While Gardener has bludgeoned Udall for alignment with Democrats on topics like health care, Udall’s positions on national security may offer a valid defense against accusations of serving as a rubber stamp for President Barack Obama.

canada goose coats “He’s definitely deviated from the Obama administration on these issues,” Pitter said. “He’s not towed the party line in a lot of respects.” canada goose coats

canada goose uk black friday Instead, Udall has found comfortable national security footing with a bipartisan group of lawmakers loosely called the “checks and balances caucus,” where he and Sen. Ron Wyden (D Ore.) join Sens. Rand Paul (R Ky.) and Mike Lee (R. Utah) to champion civil liberties causes. canada goose uk black friday

They group has clout, and has pushed several issues. But it’s small. The loss of Udall who carries extra weight because he belongs to the majority party would hurt.

canada goose clearance sale “When you actually list out the number of senators who work on pushing back, it’s a short list,” Anders said. “There’s a tremendous amount of work to do. So if you lose one of those people, it’s a big loss. It’s a big loss for the country.” canada goose clearance sale

Anders stressed that the ACLU’s stance is nonpartisan, pointing out that the organization has supported Republicans as well as Democrats in the fight for civil liberties in Washington. Udall’s importance as an advocate for transparency, he said, far outweighs his ties to the Democratic Party.

Canada Goose Outlet “I think that’s why I feel comfortable having this conversation,” Anders said. “He’s not just any other senator on these key issues. He’s someone who canada goose outlet black friday sale actually uses as much power as he has in the Senate to push back. And doing it within the president’s own party does give it more force than doing it from the opposing party. It’s a key thing.” Canada Goose Outlet

Polls show Gardner’s lead canada goose outlet los angeles over Udall widening, with less than two weeks until Election Day.

“Udall has been a stalwart advocate for civil liberties and one of the few politicians willing to stand up to the CIA and for what he believes in,” Pitter said. “So it’s hard to believe his race is even contested.”.