Since its creation on Jan. 19, 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has often been at the center of controversy and public debate. They have taken on issues ranging from abortion, the death penalty, and immigration to religious displays, drug policy, and the war on terror. In fact, the ACLU has appeared before the US Supreme Court more times than anyone except the US Department of Justice.
ACLU proponents say the ACLU is the country's leading watchdog in protecting the civil liberties, freedoms, and rights of all people. They say the ACLU preserves the Constitution by defending liberty against government abuse and illegal policies.
Their opponents say the ACLU is a left-wing organization that uses the courts to subvert the Constitution, protect criminals, and attack religion. They contend that the ACLU advances an extremist agenda, and is a threat to the United States.