The American Civil Liberties Union (Aclu)

Topics: Civil liberties, American Civil Liberties Union, Human rights Pages: 3 (792 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Where do you go if someone is threatening your personal rights? Do you go to the police, or maybe to the government? What if the police and government are the parties threatening your rights? All you have to do is just call the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). Sounds like a commercial doesn't it. The ACLU blankets the United States with its legal protection. It is involved in so many aspects of the fight for civil liberties that it is difficult to cover it all. To fully understand what the ACLU has done for the United States would take much longer than I have. Therefore, I have picked a couple of incidents that, to me, exemplify what the ACLU is, and how they have affected our society.

The ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union, is an organization that began the struggle to protect the civil liberties of the American people. The ACLU is defined as being a US non-partisan organization offering legal aid and other assistance in cases of violation of civil liberties.(Websters) Civil liberties contain a substantial body of law including: freedom of speech and press, separation of church and state, free exercise of religion, due process of law, equal protection, and privacy.(Walker 3) The Encyclopedia of the Constitution defines civil liberties as "those rights that an individual citizens may assert against the government." In a formal sense, the ACLU is a private voluntary organization dedicated to defending the Bill of Rights. Officially established in 1920, the

ACLU now claims over 270,000 members. With offices in most of the states and the District of Columbia the ACLU justifiably calls itself " the nation's largest law firm."(Walker 4)

The ACLU, despite its noble goal, has a terrible public image. The reason for such hatred or support is the fact that civil liberty cases generally involve moral and personal issues. These issues are those that incite feelings from all corners of society. The...

Bibliography: "American Civil Liberties Union." Webster 's New Lexicon Dictionary. 1989
Walker, Samuel. In Defense of American Liberties: A History of the ACLU. New
York: Oxford UP, 1990.
Norman Dorsem, "Civil Liberties." in Leonard Levy, ed., Encyclopedia of the
Constitution (New York:Macmillan, 1986), pp. 263-270
Dionne, E.J. Why Americans Hate Politics. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991
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