ALEC Bills Eliminate Accountability, Endanger Americans

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For Immediate Release: April 12, 2012

Contact: Michelle Widmann
American Association for Justice
202-965-3500 x8369
AAJ Press Room

ALEC Bills Eliminate Accountability, Endanger Americans

ALEC legislation jeopardizes consumer products, civil rights, safety

Washington, DC Florida Special Prosecutor Angela Corey announced yesterday that the State of Florida has taken the first step to achieving justice for Trayvon Martin and his family by filing criminal charges against George Zimmerman. 

The Martin family’s fight for basic access to justice has been delayed and jeopardized by Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” immunity law that grants complete criminal and civil immunity, regardless of the facts, when individuals take the law into their own hands.  The law was adopted and promoted in state legislatures across the country by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). 

“ALEC’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws make our streets more dangerous by taking all accountability out of the equation,” said American Association for Justice (AAJ) President Gary M. Paul.  “If no one is accountable, no one is safe.” 

ALEC is a secretive organization composed of multi-national corporations and state legislators that together write and spread dangerous legislation to counter our constitutional rights.  In addition to pushing “Stand Your Ground” laws, ALEC has been working behind the scenes for decades on behalf of its corporate donors to pass legislation that eliminates accountability by limiting Americans’ access to the political process and our nation’s courts.  ALEC-sponsored legislation includes voter ID laws that disenfranchise whole groups of voters and laws that grant immunity to manufacturers of deadly products like asbestos and pharmaceuticals that harm and kill patients.

“All Americans benefit when justice and democracy are accessible,” said Mr. Paul.  “If the courts and the voting booths are barred, accountability will be eliminated and Americans will be left voiceless with dangerous products, vulnerable civil rights and unsafe streets.  Americans deserve to know exactly who or what corporations are behind these ALEC-sponsored laws.”

AAJ was one of the first organizations to shine a spotlight on the way ALEC’s corporate contributors pay to gain access to legislators and distribute their corporate-crafted legislation.  In a May 2010 report, AAJ exposed ALEC as the ultimate smoke-filled backroom for introducing laws that protect corporate interests at the expense of consumers’ rights.  For a full copy of the report, “ALEC: Ghostwriting the Law for Corporate America,” visit: http://www.justice.org/ALEC

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