The American Civil Liberties Union (Aclu)

713 words - 3 pages

Where do you go if someone is threatening your personal rights? Do yougo to the police, or maybe to the government? What if the police andgovernment are the parties threatening your rights? All you have to do is justcall the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). Sounds like a commercialdoesn't it. The ACLU blankets the United States with its legal protection. It isinvolved in so many aspects of the fight for civil liberties that it is difficult tocover it all. To fully understand what the ACLU has done for the United Stateswould take much longer than I have. Therefore, I have picked a couple ofincidents that, to me, exemplify what the ACLU is, and how they have affectedour society.The ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union, is an organization that beganthe struggle to protect the civil liberties of the American people. The ACLU isdefined as being a US non-partisan organization offering legal aid and otherassistance in cases of violation of civil liberties.(Websters) Civil liberties containa substantial body of law including: freedom of speech and press, separation ofchurch and state, free exercise of religion, due process of law, equal protection,and privacy.(Walker 3) The Encyclopedia of the Constitution defines civilliberties as 'those rights that an individual citizens may assert against thegovernment.' In a formal sense, the ACLU is a private voluntary organizationdedicated to defending the Bill of Rights. Officially established in 1920, theACLU now claims over 270,000 members. With offices in most of the states andthe District of Columbia the ACLU justifiably calls itself ' the nation's largest lawfirm.'(Walker 4)The ACLU, despite its noble goal, has a terrible public image. The reasonfor such hatred or support is the fact that civil liberty cases generally involvemoral and personal issues. These issues are those that incite feelings from allcorners of society. The rights the ACLU is generally protecting are thosesegments of society that least agree with mainstream society. The ACLU haspromised to protect the rights of everyone. Those rights include the free speechrights of such detested groups as the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis, and Communist. TheSkokie Case is an example of the classic freedom of speech case the ACLUwould undertake. This case which hit the media April...

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