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President Sees Rights Bill Fostering Intrusive Control

January 26, 1988|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Reagan on Monday delivered a rhetorical broadside against a pending civil rights bill he claimed would bring "intrusive regulation by federal agencies and courts."

In a 67-page legislative message that accompanied his State of the Union address, Reagan raised vehement objections to the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, which was to be taken up by the Senate today.

The measure, which has 58 co-sponsors in the 100-member Senate, is intended to negate a 1984 Supreme Court decision that narrowed the actions the government could take against institutions found guilty of discrimination. But the President said: "This Administration opposes this far-reaching legislation."

Options on Terrorism Studied

Among other features of the legislative message was a disclosure by the President that the Justice Department is studying new options for dealing with domestic threats of terrorism within U.S. borders.

Reagan said the department is seeking ways to accomplish "the expeditious removal of aliens from the country," if they are found to be involved in terrorist activities.

The department also is weighing the possibility that it will recommend legislation that would permit the government to seek criminal and civil forfeiture of assets of individuals or groups found to be involved in terrorism, he said.

Federal law enforcement authorities have often praised the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, passed several years ago, as an effective weapon against organized crime. This law allows authorities to zero in on corrupt enterprises as well as individuals and to curb their activities by choking off the support systems for their criminal organizations.

Adheres to Preamble

The legislative message was constructed along the lines of themes spelled out in the preamble to the Constitution.

Under the subsection titled "to establish justice," Reagan singled out for criticism the Civil Rights Restoration Act, which was introduced in response to the Supreme Court decision narrowing the government's authority to use the power of the purse string to enforce Title IX of the Civil Rights Act.

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