ACLU criticizes bill criminalizing domestic terrorism

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union is urging ranking members of the House Judiciary Committee to oppose a bill that targets white supremacist groups by criminalizing domestic terrorism.

The ACLU said on Tuesday that the bill would unnecessarily expand authorities used by the Trump administration to target and discriminate against the very communities Congress hopes to protect. The civil rights group said authorities have subjected people of color and other marginalized communities to unfair surveillance, investigations and prosecutions.

Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, introduced the bill on Aug. 16 amid a growing number of mass shootings in America.

Schiff’s office did not immediately comment on the ACLU’s letter. Schiff said in a recent interview that he kept the bill narrowly tailored to avoid civil liberties and privacy concerns.