Monty Hall's old TV game show Let's Make a Deal asked contestants to choose a prize, sight unseen--behind door #1, door #2, or door #3. Voting shouldn't be like that. Read up below on where your congressional representatives stand on the civil liberties issues that matter most to you.
The Gold Standard
These ratings give a good general idea of where candidates stand on civil liberties issues. If you're in a hurry, or just don't feel like doing a whole lot of research on this, you can't really go wrong with these three sources.
Whether you're talking about the juvenile death penalty, massive public school and children's Medicaid cuts, or underfunded social services programs, the rights of children are always on the chopping block.
Church and State
If you're worried that the United States is importing theocracy faster than it's exporting democracy, check this scorecard to find out which side of the crusade your representative is on.
The congressional representatives who protect most civil liberties are often the same congressional representatives who do the most to restrict your right to bear arms. If the Second Amendment is central to your voting agenda, these three scorecards will tell you where your representative stands. (Note: The Brady Campaign is an anti-gun site, so an unfavorable rating from them means that a candidate supports gun rights.)
Lesbian and Gay Rights
In recent years, politicians have made countless legislative attacks on lesbian and gay families--the fashionable target of self-proclaimed culture warriors. If you're concerned about gay rights, or just want to find out whether or not your representative is a bully, check this scorecard.
Race, Equal Opportunity, and Immigrants' Rights
If you're worried about the backlash against people of color, these scorecards will tell you how serious your representative is about dismantling racism and xenophobia.
Legislators throughout the country blocked emergency contraception, killed safe sex education programs, and attempted to make 2006 the year of the illegal back-alley abortion. If you want to know where your representative stands, this is how you can find out. (Note: The National Right to Life Committee is an anti-choice organization, so an unfavorable rating from them means that the candidate supports reproductive rights.)
With Friends Like These...
You can tell a lot about people just by looking at who their friends are. If any of the organizations listed here give a candidate a high rating, that is a strong indication that the candidate supports an extremist right-wing agenda and is not
especially interested in defending your constitutional rights.