Third Party & Independents Archives

An ACLU Resurgence?

The ACLU was once the pillar of non-partisan protection of constitutional rights in America- it would defend any person, no matter how much they disagreed with their views, if their constitutional liberties were in danger. I used to want to even want to work for the ACLU (I even called them once to volunteer but could not get hours that jived with my job). Sadly, the ACLU came under control of more leftist types, and started having a much more left-wing agenda- refusing to come out strongly against speech codes on campuses (because it did not want to anger minority groups), refusing to defend the free speech rights of anti-abortion protestors, ect. Many, including myself, who once admired the ACLU despite our disagreement with them on key issues (like abortion), have been dismayed there is no group that now fills the shoes of an even-handed proponent of civil liberties for all people, no matter their political ideology.

Recently, though, the ACLU has been showing some strong signs of a bi-partisan resurgence. First, they came out in defense of the civil liberties abuses during the prosecution of Rush Limbaugh, and now they have come to the defense of a republican group who wanted to point out the hypocrisy of affirmative action by having a whites-only scholarship (a small one, just as symbolic gesture, with a hilarious and very sharply written essay question). They even came out against the left's darling campaign finance reform.

I applaud the ACLU to take steps back to its former bi-partisan position and I hope this will begin the long march back to the ACLU being a group all civil libertarians, both on the right and on the left, can respect and count on. Maybe I will call the ACLU in my area this summer to volunteer after all...

Posted by Misha Tseytlin at March 20, 2004 6:42 PM