American Civil Liberties Union

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is the largest public interest law group in the United States. The ACLU has nearly 400,000 members and supporters and tries more than 6,000 court cases a year.

The ACLU claims it's goal is to protect American civil liberties as established in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The ACLU describes its mission as preserving the following protections and guarantees:

  • First Amendment rights. Freedom of speech, association and assembly. Freedom of the press, and freedom of religion supported by the strict separation of church and state.
  • Right to equal protection under the law. Equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.
  • Right to due process. Fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.
  • Right to privacy. Freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.

The ACLU also works to "extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor."

The ACLU was founded in 1920 by Roger Baldwin, Crystal Eastman and Albert DeSilver to defend Anarchists, and Marxists in the wake of the Palmer raids which in turn were the result of Palmers house being bombed.

The October 2006 ACLU leadership was as follows:

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