The American Civil Liberties Union described 1982 yesterday as "a year of stunning victories and painful defeats for the Bill of Rights in Washington."
ACLU national legislative director John Shattuck said in a special report that the victories came on Capitol Hill while almost all the losses were dealt by the Reagan administration, described as "an implacable and increasingly isolated foe" of civil rights and civil liberties.
Shattuck noted, for example, that:
* The Legal Services Corporation was saved on Capitol Hill, but "the delivery of legal services has been drastically curtailed by Reagan budget cuts and severe restrictions on legal representation."
* Administration efforts to cut back the Freedom of Information Act have been foundering in Congress, but, by a stroke of the pen, President Reagan reversed a 30-year trend toward declassifying more information and issued an executive order providing for "the broadest security classification system in American history."
* Congress enacted a stronger Voting Rights Act at the urging of "a reborn civil rights movement," but the Justice Department filed only two new cases in the voting rights field during Reagan's first 20 months, compared with a dozen during President Carter's first year.
* New Right legislative proposals on the "social issues" of prayer, abortion and school desegregation were defeated, but Reagan came out in favor of tax exemptions to private schools that discriminate on the basis of race, then reversed himself.
According to Shattuck, the major failure of "the Bill of Rights lobby" on Capitol Hill was the enactment of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act by overwhelming margins in the House and Senate.
"The new statute makes it a crime to publish any information that identifies an individual as a covert agent" of the CIA of the FBI, even if the information is a matter of public record, Shattuck said.
"For the first time in American history," he said, "the press has been prohibited from publishing information that is already public, and the executive branch has been armed with a sophisticated new censorship device."
At the same time, the ACLU official said, "the most dramatic and hard-won victories were in defense of the federal courts." More than 40 bills were introduced in the 97th Congress to deny courts jurisdiction over controversial issues, but "not one bill was enacted into law," he said.
The assessment came in an ACLU newsletter that included the group's legislative scorecard for members of the 97th Congress, based on 14 selected votes in the Senate -- abortion, voting rights and school prayer amendments, for example -- and 12 similar roll-call votes in the House.
The senator with the highest ACLU rating was Gary Hart (D-Colo.) with 96 percent. He was followed by Bill Bradley (D-N.J.), Don W. Riegle Jr. (D-Mich.) and Alan Cranston (D-Calif.) with 93 percent.
At the other end of the scale, with zero ratings, were both of Utah's Republican Sens. Orrin G. Hatch and Jake Garn, and Don Nickles (R-Okla.) and Mack Mattingly (R-Ga.).
In Maryland, Paul S. Sarbanes (D) was rated at 86 percent and Charles McC. Mathias (R) at 82 percent. Virginia's Harry F. Byrd Jr. (Ind.) and John W. Warner (R) each received 14 percent.
In the House, 30 Republicans and six Democrats, including Virginia Reps. Thomas J. Bliley Jr. (R), Dan Daniel (D) and Robert W. Daniel Jr. (R), had zero ratings. Seventeen Democrats, including Maryland's Michael D. Barnes received 100 percent. No one from Maryland scored zero, and no Virginian scored 100 percent.