American Civil Liberties Union
A favorite of Red Room authors Eddie Muller, Natasha Bauman, Jonathon Keats, Harriet Scott Chessman, Mark Childress, Susie Bright, Stephen W. Leigh, Jane Juska, Jane Straus, M. Christian, Jim S. Melvin, Vincent Louis Carrella, Michael Christopher Lent, Henry Garfield, Bob Levin, G. K. Wuori, Jewelle Gomez, Anita Burdman Feferman, Jeffrey Kingman, Terry Phillips, Gloria White, Marilyn Kallet, Tracy Grant, Fenton Johnson, Susan Rich, Broos Campbell, Alvin Orloff, Lon Milo DuQuette, Gary C. King, Jim S. Melvin, Julia Stein, Sherry Clements, Rob Boston, Libby Cone, Paul Douglass, Dorothy Hearst, Kathleen Jesme, Allison Johnson, Sherry Jones, John J. Leone, Laura W. Nathanson, Kaya Oakes, Nahid Rachlin, Zack Rogow, and Dorene O'Brien.
Name of founders: Crystal Eastman and Roger Baldwin
Year founded: 1920
Mission: The ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Union,works through litigation, lobbying, and communication to preserve the rights enshrined in the Constitution of the United States.
- Established fifty-three affiliates nationwide
- Succeeded in generating more than a quarter of a million messages opposing the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment in February 2004
- Convinced leaders in eleven states not to participate in the MATRIX program, a computer system that combines a vast array of government and private-sector personal information into a database that law enforcement agents can use to examine and investigate private life and activities. More than two-thirds of the states that initially supported MATRIX have subsequently withdrawn their support
Profile: Since its founding, the ACLU has been involved in most of the high-profile court cases that have involved constitutional rights, including:
- The 1925 Scopes trial concerning teaching evolution and creationism in schools, which the ACLU lost but which drew much attention to the issue
- Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark school desegregation decision
- Loving v. Virginia, which struck down laws banning interracial marriage
- Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, which extended the right of privacy to women seeking abortion
- ACLU v. NSA, whose decision ordered the U.S. government to cease its controversial warrantless wiretapping program
- The case against the town of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, which had passed a law making it illegal for landlords to rent to, and business to employ, undocumented immigrants
To become more involved, visit the ACLU's Join/Donate page.
–Huntington W. Sharp, Editor, Red Room
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