Last updated on: 7/21/2011 | Author: ProCon.org

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Biography

Position:
Pro to the question "Is the ACLU Good for America?"
Reasoning:

“The ACLU is the only organization that can serve as a wholesale bulwark against attacks on our civil liberties. While most civil rights and civil liberties organizations focus on a specific issue or a particular constituency, the ACLU is the only organization that defends all of our constitutional liberties and the rights of all Americans.”

Official statement of Anthony D. Romero, JD upon appointment as Executive Director of the ACLU, 2001

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
  Organizations/VIPs/Other
Individuals and organizations that do not fit into the other star categories.
Description:

“The ACLU today is the nation’s largest public interest law firm, with a 50-state network of staffed, autonomous affiliate offices. We appear before the United States Supreme Court more than any other organization except the U.S. Department of Justice. About 100 ACLU staff attorneys collaborate with about 2,000 volunteer attorneys in handling close to 6,000 cases annually.

The ACLU is non-profit and non-partisan. We do not receive any government funding. Member dues and contributions and grants from private foundations and individuals pay for the work we do. The ACLU, with headquarters in New York City, litigates across the nation and all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Our Washington, D.C., legislative office lobbies the U.S. Congress. We use strategic communications to educate the public about issues.”

“ACLU History,” www.aclu.org (accessed June 27, 2011)

Mission:

“The mission of the ACLU is ‘to maintain and advance civil liberties, including, without limitation, the freedoms of association, press, religion and speech, and the rights to the franchise, to due process of law, and to equal protection of the laws for all people throughout the United States and its jurisdictions. The ACLU’s objects shall be sought wholly without political partisanship.'”

“990 Form: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax,” www.guidestar.org, Nov. 18, 2010

Other:
Non-profit 501(c)(4)
Quoted in:
  1. Does the PATRIOT Act Unfairly Target Minority and Immigrant Communities?
  2. Would Mandatory Parental Notification Laws Regarding Contraceptive Prescriptions Negatively Affect Teenage Girls' Health?
  3. Is the ACLU Anti-Religion?
  4. Should Same-Sex Marriage Be Allowed?
  5. Does the ACLU Fail to Protect the First Amendment Rights of Abortion Clinic Protesters?
  6. Does the ACLU Support Child Pornography?
  7. Is the ACLU Justified in Claiming That Limits on Political Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Compromise Free Speech?
  8. Do National Security Letters Give Excessive Surveillance Power to the Government?
  9. Is the ACLU against Christmas or Other Religious Holidays?
  10. Is the ACLU Good for America?
  11. Is the ACLU Pro-Criminal?
  12. Does the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA), Protecting Fetal Rights, Threaten Abortion Rights?
  13. Is the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) a Good Law?
  14. Is the ACLU Justified in Claiming That Limits on Political Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Compromise Free Speech?
  15. Is the Principle of Separation of Church and State Mandated by the Constitution?
  16. Should Homosexuals Have Equal Protection Rights Based on Their Sexual Orientation?
  17. Do Religious Displays on Public Property Violate the Constitution?
  18. Is the ACLU against Christmas or Other Religious Holidays?
  19. Is the ACLU against Christmas or Other Religious Holidays?
  20. Should the Death Penalty Be Abolished?
  21. Is the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) a Good Law?
  22. Is the ACLU a Communist or Left-Wing Organization?
  23. Does the ACLU Support Child Pornography?
  24. Do Mandatory Parental Involvement Laws Infringe on Minors' Rights and Endanger Their Health?
  25. Is the ACLU Pro-Criminal?
  26. Does the Real ID Act Unfairly Target Immigrants?
  27. Do School Vouchers Violate the Prohibition on Government Funding of Religion by Making Public Money Available to Private Religious Schools?
  28. Should Public Schools Allow Gay-Straight Alliances?
  29. Does the ACLU Undermine the War on Terror?
  30. Is Desegregation in Public Schools Still Necessary to Achieve Racial Equality?
  31. Is the ACLU a Communist or Left-Wing Organization?
  32. Should Schools Have Gay-Straight Alliances and Anti-Discrimination Programs Addressing Sexual Orientation?
  33. Should Employers Be Required to Provide Health Insurance Coverage for Contraceptive Services and Supplies?
  34. Does the Hyde Amendment, Prohibiting the Use of Federal Funds for Abortions and Allowing Health Care Professionals to Refuse to Perform Abortions, Conflict with Women's Reproductive Rights?
  35. Is the ACLU Anti-Religion?
  36. Does the PATRIOT Act Provide the Government with Excessive Power to Conduct Searches, Surveillances and Wiretaps of US Citizens?
  37. Should the ACLU Defend Free Speech Rights of White Supremacists?
  38. Is Title IX, the Law Protecting People against Discrimination Based on Their Sex, a Good Law?
  39. Does the US Need Affirmative Action?
  40. Is Illegal Immigration an Economic Burden to America?
  41. Should Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?
  42. Have Mandatory Minimum Jail Sentences Been an Effective Tool in the War on Drugs?
  43. Should Incarceration Be Substituted with Treatment for Drug Offenders?
  44. Should Employers and Insurance Companies Be Allowed to Gain Access to Our Genetic Information?
  45. Do Current Drug Laws and Policies Discriminate Against Minorities and Women?
  46. Should "Partial-Birth" (Third Trimester) Abortion Be Banned?
  47. Does the PATRIOT Act Allow the Government to Conduct Secret Searches and Access Records of Individuals Held by Third Parties, without Providing Sufficient Judicial Overview?
  48. Should the Government Be Allowed to Collect DNA Samples from Non-Violent and Non-Convicted Offenders?
  49. Is the Voting Rights Act Still Necessary?
  50. Is Gun Ownership an Individual Right Guaranteed by the Second Amendment?
  51. Do University Regulations Against Offensive Speech Often Inhibit Freedom of Expression?
  52. Should School-Sponsored Prayer Be Allowed in Public Schools?
  53. Should Illegal Drugs Be Legalized?
  54. Should Racial Profiling Be Accepted as a Law Enforcement Practice?
  55. Should Prostitution Be Decriminalized?
  56. Should Intelligent Design Be Taught as Science in Public Schools?
  57. Would Amending the US Constitution to Allow for a Moment of Silence or Voluntary Prayer in Public School Undermine the First Amendment?
  58. Does Abstinence-Only Education Work?
  59. Do National Security Letters Give Excessive Surveillance Power to the Government?
  60. Should Gays and Lesbians Be Restricted from Adopting Children?
  61. Does the ACLU's Protection of Prisoners' Civil Rights Go Too Far?
  62. Does the "No-Fly" List Make Us Safer?
  63. Do Mandatory Parental Involvement Laws Infringe on Minors' Rights and Endanger Their Health?
  64. Should the US Constitution Be Amended to Prohibit Same-Sex Marriage?
  65. Does Regulating Access to Pornographic Content on the Internet to Protect Minors Infringe on the First Amendment Rights of Adults?
  66. Do Hate Crime Laws Often Violate the Right to Free Speech?
  67. Is the ACLU a Communist or Left-Wing Organization?
  68. Should HIV Testing for Pregnant Women Be Mandatory?
  69. Would Amending the US Constitution to Prohibit the Desecration of the US Flag Limit Free Speech?
  70. Is the USA PATRIOT Act a Good Law?
  71. Should the ACLU Challenge Government Sponsorship of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA)?
  72. Should the Government Be Allowed to Collect DNA Samples from Non-Violent and Non-Convicted Offenders?
  73. Should Health Care Workers Be Required to Offer Emergency Contraceptives (aka Plan B or the "Morning After Pill") to Victims of Sexual Assault?
  74. Has Welfare Reform Helped Poor Women Improve Their Lives?
  75. Is the Principle of Separation of Church and State Mandated by the Constitution?
  76. Is the USA PATRIOT Act a Good Law?
  77. Does the ACLU Fail to Protect the First Amendment Rights of Abortion Clinic Protesters?