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California
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Tennessee
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Cold War
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Upton Sinclair
(Literature)
Henry Ford
(Business)
Alabama
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Illinois
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See also

American Civil Liberties Union

Knowledge Identifier: &American_Civil_Liberties_Union

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American Civil Liberties Union

Nonpartisan non-profit organization whose stated mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States add

Category: Civil society

Founded in 1920.

Countries: United States (55%), (10%), U.S. (3%)

Main connections: California, Tennessee, Cold War

Linked to: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Communist Party USA, American Bar Association, Direct Marketing Association

 

Timeline


 

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1920

A series of Supreme Court decisions in the 1920s foretold a changing national atmosphere; anti-radical emotions were diminishing, and there was a growing willingness to protect freedom of speech and assembly via court decisions add something

 

Baldwin himself was involved in an important free speech victory of the 1920s, after he was arrested for attempting to speak at a rally of striking mill workers in New Jersey add something

 

During the 1920s, the ACLU expanded its scope to include protecting the free speech rights of artists and striking workers, and working with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to combat racism and discrimination add something

 

During the 1920s, the ACLU's primary focus was on freedom of speech in general, and speech within the labor movement particularly add something

 

In the 1920s, government censorship was commonplace add something

 

There were some civil rights that the ACLU did not make an effort to defend in the 1920s, including censorship of the arts, government search and seizure issues, right to privacy, or wiretapping add something

 

When the ACLU was founded in 1920, its focus was on freedom of speech, primarily for anti-war protesters add something

 

The CLB directors concurred, and on January 19, 1920, they formed an organization under a new name, the American Civil Liberties Union add something


1921

The ACLU itself was banned from speaking in New York public schools in 1921 add something

 

Garland Fund - In 1921, Garland was approached by Roger Baldwin, head of the American Civil Liberties Union, probably through ACLU attorney Walter Nelles, a law partner of Swinburne Hale, who had recently married Garland's widowed mother


1923

For example, the reactionary, anti-Catholic, anti-black Ku Klux Klan was a frequent target of ACLU efforts, but the ACLU defended the KKK's right to hold meetings in 1923 add something

 

In one typical instance in 1923, author Upton Sinclair was arrested for trying to read the First Amendment during an Industrial Workers of the World rally add something


1925

That changed in 1925, when the ACLU persuaded John T. Scopes to defy Tennessee's anti-evolution law in a court test add something


1926

Starting in 1926, the ACLU began to expand its free speech activities to encompass censorship of art and literature add something


1928

Although the decision was limited to the state of New Jersey, the appeals court's judgement in 1928 declared that constitutional guarantees of free speech must be given "liberal and comprehensive construction", and it marked a major turning point in the civil rights movement, signaling the shift of judicial opinion in favor of civil rights add something


1929

In 1929, after the Scopes and Dennett victories, Baldwin perceived that there was vast, untapped support for civil liberties in the United States add something


1930

But the Great Depression brought new assaults on civil liberties; the year 1930 saw a large increase in the number of free speech prosecutions, a doubling of the number of lynchings, and all meetings of unemployed persons were banned in Philadelphia add something

 

By the early 1930s, censorship in the United States was diminishing add something

 

During the 1930s, the ACLU started to engage in work combating police misconduct and for Native American rights add something

 

In the late 1930s, some local affiliates proposed shifting their emphasis from civil liberties appellate actions, to becoming a legal aid society, centered on store front offices in low income neighborhoods add something

 

The Catholic Church attained increasing political influence in the 1930s, and used its influence to promote censorship of movies, and to discourage publication of birth control information add something

 

The late 1930s saw the emergence of a new era of tolerance in the United States add something

 

Two major victories in the 1930s cemented the ACLUs campaign to promote free speech add something


1931

Although the ACLU deferred to the NAACP for litigation promoting civil liberties for African Americans, the ACLU did engage in educational efforts, and published "Black Justice" in 1931, a report which documented institutional racism throughout the South, including lack of voting rights, segregation, and discrimination in the justice system add something

 

The ACLU formed the National Committee on Freedom from Censorship in 1931 to coordinate this effort add something

 

The ACLU played a key role in initiating a nationwide effort to reduce misconduct within police departments, by publishing the report "Lawlessness in Law Enforcement" in 1931, under the auspices of Herbert Hoover's Wickersham Commission add something


1932

In 1932twelve years after the ACLU was foundedit had achieved significant success; the Supreme Court had embraced the free speech principles espoused by the ACLU, and the general public was becoming more supportive of civil rights in general add something


1934

In 1934, the ACLU lobbied for the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act, which restored some autonomy to Native American tribes, and established penalties for kidnapping native American children add something

 

This conflict between the ACLU and the Catholic Church led to the resignation of the last Catholic priest from ACLU leadership in 1934; a Catholic priest would not be represented there again until the 1970s add something


1935

Senator Robert F. Wagner proposed the National Labor Relations Act in 1935, which empowered workers to unionize add something

 

The first person arrested under New Jersey's 1935 hate speech law was a Jehovah's Witness who was charged with disseminating anti-Catholic literature add something


1937

In 1937, an internal debate erupted over whether to defend Henry Ford's right to distribute anti-union literature add something

 

The ACLU attorney Osmond Fraenkel, working with International Labor Defense, defended De Jonge in 1937, and won a major victory when the Supreme Court ruled that "peaceable assembly for lawful discussion cannot be made a crime add something

 

The ACLU took no official position on president Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1937 court-packing plan, which threatened to increase the number of Supreme Court justices, unless the Supreme Court reversed its course and began approving New Deal legislation add something

 

The newly formed National Labor Relations Board posed a dilemma for the ACLU, because in 1937 it issued an order to Henry Ford, prohibiting Ford from disseminating anti-union literature add something

 

Until 1937, the ACLU felt that civil rights were best upheld by citizens and private organizations add something


1938

Legal battles concerning the separation of church and state originated in laws dating to 1938 which required religious instruction in school, or provided state funding for religious schools add something

 

The House Unamerican Activities Committee was created in 1938 to uncover sedition and treason within the United States add something

 

Two children were convicted in 1938 of not saluting the flag add something

 

Even public health films portraying pregnancy and birth were banned; as was "Life" magazine's April 11, 1938 issue which included photos of the birth process add something


1939

A bitter struggle ensued throughout 1939, and the anti-communists prevailed in February 1940, when the board voted to prohibit anyone who supported totalitarianism from ACLU leadership roles add something

 

Eleanor Roosevelt was the keynote speaker at the 1939 ACLU convention add something

 

In 1939, a heated debate took place over whether to prohibit communists from serving in ACLU leadership roles add something

 

When witnesses testified at its hearings, the ACLU was mentioned several times, leading the HUAC to mention the ACLU prominently in its 1939 report add something


1940

By 1940, the ACLU had achieved many of the goals it set in the 1920s, and many of its policies were the law of the land add something

 

During the 1940s and 1950s, the ACLU continued its battle against censorship of art and literature add something

 

In 1940, the ACLU leadership was caught up in the Red Scare, and voted to exclude Communists from its leadership positions add something

 

In the late 1940s, several ACLU local affiliates established permanent committees to address policing issues add something

 

The 1940 resolution was a disaster for the ACLU, and considered by many to be a betrayal of its fundamental principles add something

 

The ACLU supported their appeal to the Supreme Court, but the court affirmed the conviction, in 1940 add something

 

The ACLU was internally divided when it purged communists from its leadership in 1940, and that ambivalence continued as it decided whether to defend alleged communists during the late 1940s add something

 

The ACLU was one of the few organizations to protest against passage of the Smith Act in 1940, which would later be used to imprison many persons who supported Communism add something

 

The period from the 1940 resolution to the 1954 resignation of the anti-communist leaders is considered by many to be an era in which the ACLU abandoned its core principles add something

 

Edward Alsworth Ross - In 1940, he became national chairman of the American Civil Liberties Union, serving unti 1950


1942

A majority of the board passed a resolution in 1942 which declared the ACLU unwilling to defend anyone who interfered with the United States' war effort add something

 

International League for Human Rights - The group was reconstituted in New York in 1942 by European refugees and Roger Nash Baldwin, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, and was known until 1976 as the "'International League for the Rights of Man"'


1945

As early as 1945, the ACLU had taken a stand to protect the rights of the mentally ill, when it drafted a model statute governing mental commitments add something

 

During their 1945 annual conference, the ACLU leaders composed a list of important civil rights issues to focus on in the future, and the list included racial discrimination and separation of church and state add something

 

The African-American purchasers won the case in 1945 add something

 

When the war ended in 1945, the ACLU was 25 years old, and had accumulated an impressive set of legal victories add something


1946

Anti-communist sentiment gripped the United States during the Cold War beginning in 1946 add something


1947

Also in 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee subpoenaed ten Hollywood directors and writers, the "Hollywood Ten", intending to ask them to identify Communists, but the witnesses refused to testify add something


1948

In 1948, the New York affiliate of the ACLU received mixed results from the Supreme Court, winning the appeal of Carl Jacob Kunz, who was convicted for speaking without a police permit, but losing the appeal of Irving Feiner who was arrested to prevent a breach of the peace, based on his oration denouncing president Truman and the American Legion add something

 

The federal government took direct aim at the U.S. communist party in 1948 when it indicted its top twelve leaders in the Foley Square trial add something


1949

Cold War - One reason for the Supreme Court's support of cold war legislation was the 1949 deaths of Supreme Court justices Frank Murphy and Wiley Rutledge, leaving Hugo Black and William O. Douglas as the only remaining civil libertarians on the Court add something

 

However, not all cases were victories; ACLU lost cases in 1949 and 1961 which challenged state laws requiring commercial businesses to close on Sunday, the Christian Sabbath add something


1950

During the 1950s and 1960s, the ACLU was responsible for substantially advancing the legal protections against police misconduct add something

 

During the early 1950s the board was divided on whether to defend communists persecuted under McCarthyism add something

 

During the early 1950s, the ACLU continued to steer a moderate course through the Cold War. When leftist singer Paul Robeson was denied a passport in 1950, even though he was not a communist and not accused of any illegal acts, the ACLU chose to not defend him add something

 

In 1950, the ACLU board of directors asked executive director Baldwin to resign, feeling that he lacked the organizational skills to lead the 9,000 member organization add something

 

The ACLU later reversed their stance, and supported William Worthy and Rockwell Kent in their passport confiscation cases, which resulted in legal victories in the late 1950s add something

 

The ACLU, which had been controlled by an elite of a few dozen New Yorkers, became more democratic in the 1950s add something

 

Marjory Stoneman Douglas - Douglas served as a charter member of the first American Civil Liberties Union chapter organized in the South in the 1950s

 

Robert Ryan - Throughout the 1950s, he donated money and services to civic and religious organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, &American_Friends_Service_Committee, and United World Federalists


1951

In 1951, the ACLU amended its bylaws to permit the local affiliates to participate directly in voting on ACLU policy decisions add something


1952

The ACLU was more successful with an education effort; the 1952 report "The Judges and the Judged", prepared at the ACLU's direction in response to the blacklisting of actress Jean Muir, described the unfair and unethical actions behind the blacklisting process, and it helped gradually turn public opinion against McCarthyism add something


1953

As late as 1953, books such as "Tropic of Cancer" and "From Here to Eternity" were still banned add something

 

In 1953, the anti-communists, led by Norman Thomas and James Fly, proposed a set of resolutions that inferred guilt of persons that invoked the fifth amendment add something


1954

McCarthyism declined in late 1954 after television journalist Edward R. Murrow and others publicly chastised McCarthy add something

 

The anti-communists finally gave up and departed the board of directors in late 1954 and 1955, ending an eight-year reign of ambivalence within the ACLU leadership ranks add something

 

This ambivalent state of affairs would last until 1954, when the civil liberties faction prevailed, leading to the resignation of most of the anti-communist leaders add something


1955

Jane Harman - Jane Harman was criticized by the &American_Civil_Liberties_Union for submitting HR 1955, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, which passed in the House 404-6.


1956

Hollywood continued employing self-censorship with its own Production Code, but in 1956 the ACLU called on Hollywood to abolish the Code add something


1957

The Supreme Court, until 1957, upheld nearly every law which restricted the liberties of communists add something


1958

The Philadelphia affiliate was responsible for causing the City of Philadelphia, in 1958, to create the nation's first civilian police review board add something


1959

In 1959, the Illinois affiliate published the first report in the nation, "Secret Detention by the Chicago Police", which documented unlawful detention by police add something


1960

But public standards rapidly became more liberal though the 1960s, and obscenity was notoriously difficult to define, so by 1971 prosecutions for obscenity had halted add something

 

Civil liberties actions in the 1960s were often led by young people, and often employed tactics such as sit ins and marches add something

 

During 1960-61, the ACLU defended black students arrested for demonstrating in North Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana add something

 

During the 1960s, the ACLU underwent a major transformation tactics; it shifted emphasis from legal appeals to direct representation of defendants when they were initially arrested add something

 

In the 1960s, the ACLU continued its decades-long effort to enforce separation of church and state add something

 

In the 1960s, the ACLU opposed involuntary commitments, unless it could be demonstrated that the person was a danger to himself or the community add something

 

In the 1960s, the ACLU, in response to member insistence, turned its attention to in-class promotion of religion add something

 

Prior to 1960, prisoners had virtually no recourse to the court system, because courts considered prisoners to have no civil rights add something

 

The 1960s was a tumultuous era in the United States, and public interest in civil liberties underwent an explosive growth add something

 

The ACLU played a central role in all major civil liberties debates of the 1960s, including new fields such as gay rights, prisoner's rights, abortion, rights of the poor, and the death penalty add something

 

The ACLU, during the 1960s and 1970s, expanded its scope to include what it referred to as "victim groups", namely women, the poor, and homosexuals add something

 

Walker, p 262 In 1960, there were affiliates in seven states, and by 1974 there were affiliates in 46 states add something

 

Robert Bierstedt - Bierstedt was a longtime director of the American Civil Liberties Union, serving as chairman of its academic freedom committee and the church-state committee in the 1960s and 1970s


1962

In 1962, the ACLU published a policy statement condemning in-school prayers, observation of religious holidays, and Bible reading add something

 

Lawrence K. Karlton - He was in private practice in Sacramento, California , California from 1962 to 1976, and litigated civil liberties cases as a volunteer lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union


1963

The ACLU published a breakthrough document in 1963, titled "How Americans Protest", which was borne of frustration with the slow progress in battling racism, and which endorsed aggressive, even militant protest techniques add something

 

Occupational sexism - Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Organization for Women are established to fight against this discrimination, leading to the creation of groundbreaking laws such as the Equal Pay Act of 1963


1964

ACLU leader Harriet Pilpel raised the issue of the rights of homosexuals in 1964, and two years later the ACLU formally endorsed gay rights add something

 

By 1964, membership had risen to 80,000, and the ACLU participated in efforts to expand civil liberties add something

 

In 1964, the ACLU opened up a major office in Atlanta, Georgia, dedicated to serving Southern issues add something


1965

The decade from 1965 to 1975 saw an expansion of the field of civil liberties add something

 

Thirteen year old Junior High student Mary Tinker wore a black armband to school in 1965 to object to the war, and was suspended from school add something


1966

Rights of the poor was another area that was expanded by the ACLU. In 1966 and again in 1968, activists within the ACLU encouraged the organization to adopt a policy overhauling the welfare system, and guaranteeing low-income families a baseline income; but the ACLU board did not approve the proposals add something

 

The ACLU participated in a lobbying effort against the amendment, and the 1966 congressional vote on the amendment failed to obtain the required two-thirds majority add something


1967

Robert E. Gould - Gould was involved in 1967 in successfully working with the American Civil Liberties Union in overturning the institutionalization of a lady who was homeless by choice since she was not mentally ill


1968

A major crisis gripped the ACLU in 1968 when a debate erupted over whether to defend Benjamin Spock and the Boston Five against federal charges that they encouraged draftees to avoid the draft add something

 

Also in 1968, the ACLU held an internal symposium to discuss its dual roles: providing "direct" legal support , and appellate support add something

 

In 1968, the ACLU successfully sued to desegregate the Alabama prison system; and in 1969, the New York affiliate adopted a project to represent prisoners in New York prisons add something

 

The resolution was rescinded in 1968, and Flynn was posthumously reinstated to the ACLU in 1970 add something


1969

In 1969, the ACLU won a major victory for free speech, when it defended Dick Gregory after he was arrested for peacefully protesting against the mayor of Chicago add something

 

R. Kent Greenawalt - He was a member of the Due Process Committee of the American Civil Liberties Union from 1969 to 1971


1970

Vietnam War - After the Kent State shootings in 1970, ACLU leaders took another step towards politics by passing a resolution condemning the Vietnam war add something

 

Administratively, the ACLU responded by appointing Aryeh Neier to take over from Pemberton as Executive Director in 1970 add something

 

Heeding the call of female members, the ACLU endorsed the Equal Rights Amendment in 1970 and created the Women's Rights Project in 1971 add something

 

In the 1970s and 1980s, the ACLU ventured into new legal areas, defending homosexuals, students, prisoners, and the poor add something

 

In the early 1970s, conservatives and libertarians began to criticize the ACLU for being too political and too liberal add something

 

Membership in the ACLU increased from 52,000 at the beginning of the decade, to 104,000 in 1970 add something

 

The ACLU supported several measures, including the 1970 Fair Credit Reporting Act required credit agencies to divulge credit information to individuals; the 1973 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which provided students the right to access their records; and the 1974 Privacy Act which prevented the federal government from disclosing personal information without good cause add something

 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg - She advocated as a volunteer lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union and was a member of its board of directors and one of its general counsel in the 1970s


1971

The ACLU supported "The New York Times" in its 1971 suit against the government, requesting permission to publish the Pentagon papers add something


1972

In 1972, the ACLU consolidated several prison rights efforts across the nation and created the National Prison Project add something

 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg - In 1972, Ginsburg co-founded the Women's Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union and, in 1973, she became the ACLU's General Counsel

 

Suzy Post - When she was elected to the National American Civil Liberties Union Board of Directors, she organized a women's caucus to improve the status of women on the national board, and directed the strategy planning in 1972 whereby the National ACLU made women's rights its top priority


1973

In 1973 the ACLU created the Sexual Privacy Project which combated discrimination against homosexuals add something

 

In 1973, there was internal conflict over whether to call for the impeachment of Richard Nixon add something

 

The ACLU published a full page newspaper advertisement on October 14, 1973, urging impeachment add something


1974

By 1974, ACLU membership had reached 275,000 add something


 

In particular, the Civil Rights Attorney's Fees award Act of 1976 leaves the government liable in some civil rights cases add something


1977

In 1977, a small group of American Nazis, led by Frank Collin, applied to the town of Skokie, Illinois for permission to hold a demonstration in the town park add something


1978

Hugh Haynie - The Kentucky Civil Liberties Union named him Civil Libertarian of the Year in 1978, and he was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 1987


1980

Their convictions were later overturned in the 1980s add something


1981

Fifty years after the Scopes trial, the ACLU found itself fighting another classroom case, the Arkansas 1981 creationism statute, which required schools to teach the biblical account of creation as a scientific alternative to evolution add something

 

The inauguration of Ronald Reagan as president in 1981, ushered in an eight-year period of conservative leadership in the U.S. government add something


1982

Chip Berlet - From until 1982, he worked as a paralegal investigator at the Better Government Association in Chicago, conducting research for an American Civil Liberties Union case, involving police surveillance by the Chicago police


1983

John Lennon - In 1983, Wiener sued the FBI with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California


1986

Marc Morial - He served as a board member for the Louisiana American Civil Liberties Union from 1986 to 1988


1988

During the 1988 presidential election, Vice President George H. W. Bush noted that his opponent Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis had described himself as a "card-carrying member of the ACLU" and used that as evidence that Dukakis was "a strong, passionate liberal" and "out of the mainstream" add something

 

The ACLU became an issue in the 1988 presidential campaign, when Republican candidate George H. W. Bush accused Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis of being a "card carrying member of the ACLU" add something


1990

James Stoll - He was president of the San Francisco chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union in 1990s

 

Wendy Kaminer - Kaminer was a member of the board of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts from the early 1990s until June 2009

 

Alex Shapiro - Shapiro served on the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California from 1990 to 1996, including a term as the 30,000-member affiliate's Vice President


1991

Nadine Strossen - In February, 1991, Strossen became the president of the American Civil Liberties Union, filling the vacancy left by the resignation of Norman Dorsen


1992

Steve Cohen - He was awarded the Bill of Rights Award from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Bird Dog Award for Ethics from Tennessee Common Cause in 1992.


1997

As early as 1997 the ACLU had taken a strong position that nearly all spam legislation was improper, although it has supported "opt-out" requirements in some cases add something

 

Mel White - In 1997, White was awarded the American Civil Liberties Union's National Civil Liberties Award for his efforts to apply the "soul force" principles of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. to the struggle for justice for sexual minorities

 

The Tin Drum (film) - Michael Camfield, leader of a local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a lawsuit against the police department on July 4, 1997, alleging that the tape had been illegally confiscated and his rights infringed


1999

Wendy Kaminer - She was a national board member of the American Civil Liberties Union from 1999 until her term expired in June 2006

 

Bob Barr - The "Barr Amendment" to the 1999 Omnibus spending bill not only blocked implementation of Initiative 59, but prohibited the vote tally from even being released. filed by the American Civil Liberties Union eventually revealed the initiative had received 69 percent of the vote


2000

In 2000, Marvin Johnson, a legislative counsel for the ACLU, stated that proposed anti-spam legislation infringed on free speech by denying anonymity and by forcing spam to be labeled as such, "Standardized labeling is compelled speech add something

 

The debate found the ACLU joining with the Direct Marketing Association and the Center for Democracy and Technology in criticizing a bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives in 2000 add something

 

Howie Klein - In 2000, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California honored him with its "Bill of Rights Award" for his activism in the protection of free speech

 

In November 2000, 15 African-American residents of Hearne, Texas, were indicted on drug charges after being arrested in a series of "drug sweeps" add something


2001

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the federal government instituted a broad range of new measures to combat terrorism, including the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act add something

 

The ACLU has been a vocal opponent of the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, the PATRIOT 2 Act of 2003, and associated legislation made in response to the threat of domestic terrorism add something


2002

Southern Poverty Law Center - In 2002, the SPLC and the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against Alabama Supreme Court justice Roy Moore for authorizing a two-ton display of the Ten Commandments on public property

 

Digital Millennium Copyright Act - In July 2002, American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on the behalf of Benjamin Edelman, a computer researcher at Berkman Center for Internet and Society, seeking a declaratory judgment to affirm his first amendment rights when reverse engineering the censorware product of defendant N2H2 in case he intended to publish the finding


2003

Jake Gyllenhaal - Raised in a family concerned with social issues, in 2003 Gyllenhaal participated in an advertising campaign by the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization his entire family strongly supports

 

War on Terror - On 30 July 2003, the American Civil Liberties Union filed the first legal challenge against Section 215 of the Patriot Act, claiming that it allows the FBI to violate a citizen's First Amendment rights, Fourth Amendment rights, and right to due process, by granting the government the right to search a person's business, bookstore, and library records in a terrorist investigation, without disclosing to the individual that records were being searched


2004

During the 2004 trial regarding allegations of Rush Limbaugh's drug abuse, the ACLU argued that his privacy should not have been compromised by allowing law enforcement examination of his medical records add something

 

Jake Gyllenhaal - He has appeared in Rock the Vote advertising, campaigned for the Democratic Party in the 2004 U.S. presidential election, promoted environmental causes, and campaigned on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union

 

In March 2004, the ACLU, along with Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, sued the state of California on behalf of six same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses add something

 

Combined Federal Campaign - This resulted in the American Civil Liberties Union resigning from the CFC July 31, 2004, because such checks violate their principles


2005

In 2005, there was internal conflict about whether or not a gag rule should be imposed on ACLU employees to prevent publication of internal disputes add something

 

On May 11, 2005, the ACLU and Robertson County announced a confidential settlement of the lawsuit, an outcome which "both sides stated that they were satisfied with add something


2006

In 2006, the ACLU challenged a Missouri law that prohibited picketing outside of veterans' funerals add something

 

In 2006, the ACLU of Washington State joined with a pro-gun rights organization, the Second Amendment Foundation, and prevailed in a lawsuit against the North Central Regional Library District in Washington for its policy of refusing to disable restrictions upon an adult patron's request add something

 

In 2006, the Public Expressions of Religion Protection Act sought to prevent monetary judgments in the particular case of violations of church-state separation add something

 

In April, 2006, Edward Jones and the ACLU sued the City of Los Angeles, on behalf of Robert Lee Purrie and five other homeless people, for the city's violation of the 8th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and Article I, sections 7 and 17 of the California Constitution add something

 

Booz Allen Hamilton - In 2006 at the request of the Article 29 Working Group, an advisory group to the European Commission , the American Civil Liberties Union and Privacy International investigated the U.S. government's SWIFT surveillance program and Booz Allen's role therein

 

Robert Byrd - In 2006, Byrd received a 67-percent rating from the American Civil Liberties Union for supporting rights-related legislation

 

Quentin Young - In May 2006, Young signed on as a plaintiff in a suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against AT&T, alleging that the telecommunications company provided its customers' phone records to the United States government without a court-issued warrant

 

On August 17, 2006, that court ruled that the warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered it ended immediately add something

 

On September 20, 2006, the Los Angeles City Council voted to reject the compromise add something

 

On October 3, 2006, police arrested Skid Row's transients for sleeping on the streets for the first time in months add something


2008

Since 2008, the ACLU has increasingly assisted gun owners recover firearms that have been seized illegally by law enforcement add something

 

In February 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down an appeal from the ACLU to let it pursue a lawsuit against the program that began shortly after the Sept add something

 

Lockyer", was eventually consolidated into "In re Marriage Cases", the California Supreme Court case which led to same-sex marriage being available in that state from June 16, 2008 until Proposition 8 was passed on November 4, 2008 add something

 

The growth continued, and by August 2008 ACLU membership was greater than 500,000 add something


2009

The 2009 film American Violet depicts this case add something

 

Ted Kennedy - The American Civil Liberties Union gave him an 84 percent lifetime score as of 2009

 

Sexting - The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against Wyoming County District Attorney George Skumanick Jr. on March 25, 2009, for threatening teenage girls who were the subject of allegedly risque photos with prosecution on child pornography charges if they did not submit to a counseling program

 

This list was prompted by a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed in September 2009 by the ACLU, whose lawyers had requested detailed information about conditions, rules and regulations add something

 

Parwan Detention Facility - This list was prompted by a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed in September 2009 by the American Civil Liberties Union, whose lawyers had demanded detailed information about conditions, rules and regulations

 

Robin Ficker - In October 2009, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, Ficker convinced parks officials in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties to rescind enforcement of a rule requiring a permit before a person could carry signs or solicit signatures in county parks


2010

This stance on the landmark "Citizens United" case caused considerable disagreement within the organization, resulting in a discussion about its future stance during a quarterly board meeting in 2010 add something

 

A. A. Birch, Jr. - In 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee recognized Birch with a Lifetime Achievement Award, citing his "enduring commitment to equality and justice" and calling him a "beacon for equality" in Tennessee

 

In January 2010, the American military released the names of 645 detainees held at the Bagram Theater Internment Facility in Afghanistan, modifying its long-held position against publicizing such information add something

 

al-Qaeda - In August 2010, al-Awlaki's father initiated a lawsuit against the U.S. government with the American Civil Liberties Union, challenging its order to kill al-Awlaki


2011

In 2011 the ACLU criticized the killing of radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki add something

 

It remained at that level through 2011 add something

 

The ACLU is led by an executive director and a president, Anthony Romero and Susan Herman, respectively, in 2011 add something

 

There were over 500,000 members in 2011, and the ACLU annually receives thousands of grants from hundreds of charitable foundations add something

 

MDMA - In a 2011 federal court hearing the American Civil Liberties Union successfully argued that the sentencing guideline for MDMA/ecstasy is based on outdated science, leading to excessive prison sentences

 

Cellebrite - In April 2011, the Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union questioned whether Michigan State Police troopers were using Cellebrite UFEDs to conduct unlawful searches of citizens' cell phones


2012

In 2012, the ACLU sued the same library system for refusing to temporarily, at the request of an adult patron, disable internet filters which blocked access to Google Images add something

 

Cyber-security regulation - Critics of the bill included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, advocacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, cybersecurity expert Jody Westby and The Heritage Foundation, both of whom argued that although the government does need to act on cybersecurity, the 2012 bill was flawed in its approach and represented "too intrusive a federal role"

 

The ACLU's official position statements, as of January 2012, included the following policies: add something

 

Siri (software) - In March 2012, the American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern that Siri was sending a large amount of personal voice and user information to Apple, including the first name and nickname of the phone owner and his or her contacts, the owner's relationship with those contacts, personal labels assigned to email accounts, and the names of songs and playlists stored on the phone

 

Siri - In March 2012, the American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern that Siri was sending a large amount of personal voice and user information to Apple, including the first name and nickname of the phone owner and his or her contacts, the owner's relationship with those contacts, personal labels assigned to email accounts, and the names of songs and playlists stored on the phone

 

On March 27, 2012, the ACLU reaffirmed its stance in support of the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" ruling, at the same time voicing support for expanded public financing of election campaigns and stating the organization would firmly oppose any future constitutional amendment limiting free speech add something


2013

ProCon.org - Iraq War - As of November 2013, the site covered 49 topics, including such historically controversial issues as prostitution, illegal immigration, sports and drugs, insider trading, abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia, drinking age, gay marriage, voting machines, presidential elections, the Iraq War, the ACLU, medical marijuana, the Pledge of Allegiance, video game violence, and the origins of sexual orientation

 

Edward Snowden - On December 28, 2013, Judge William Pauley dismissed a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union alleging that the NSA's phone records program was unconstitutional


2014

Anaheim, California - In response to loud protests and a California Voting Rights Act lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union and several residents, the city placed two measures on the November 2014 ballot


2015

The ACLU is led by a president and an executive director, Susan N. Herman and Anthony Romero, respectively, in 2015 add something

 

At its discretion, the national organization provides subsidies to smaller affiliates that lack sufficient resources to be self-sustaining; for example, the Wyoming ACLU chapter received such subsidies until April 2015, when, as part of a round of layoffs at the national ACLU, the Wyoming office was closed add something

 

Kris Kobach - On September 2, 2015, representatives of groups most likely to be disenfranchised by Kobach's plan to shorten a deadline for tens of thousands of suspended voters to produce proof of citizenship, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the League of Women Voters, the NAACP and the National Organization for Women, all testified against Kobach's strategy


2016

Following Donald Trump's election as President on November 8th, 2016, the ACLU responded on Twitter saying: "Should President-elect Donald Trump attempt to implement his unconstitutional campaign promises, we'll see him in court add something

 

Bradley Manning - On July 28, 2016, the ACLU announced that Manning was under investigation and facing several possible charges related to her suicide attempt

 

Bradley Manning - On September 13, 2016, the ACLU announced that the army will be granting Manning's request for gender transition surgery, a first for a transgender inmate


2017

On January 27th, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order indefinitely barring "Syrian refugees from entering the United States, suspended all refugee admissions for 120 days and blocked citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, refugees or otherwise, from entering the United States for 90 days: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen" add something

 

Maplewood, Missouri - In 2017, the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of the victim, claiming that the Maplewood nuisance ordinance violates the First Amendment right to petition the government for assistance, as well as the rights to travel, equal protection and due process

 

Mavis Staples - In January, 2017, Staples was featured as a guest vocalist on "I Give You Power", a single from Arcade Fire benefiting the American Civil Liberties Union

 

On January 28, 2017, a federal judge granted a temporary injunction against the immigration order add something

 

The ACLU of Tennessee protested the Shooting of Jocques Clemmons which occurred in Nashville, Tennessee on February 10, 2017 add something

 

On May 11, 2017, as Glenn Funk, the district attorney of Davidson County, decided not to prosecute police officer Joshua Lippert, they called for an independent community review board and for Nashville police officers to wear body cameras add something

 

Jennifer Granick - The American Civil Liberties Union announced that Granick would be joining the organization as Surveillance and Cybersecurity Counsel in September 2017


2018

Dana Makoto Sabraw - In February 2018 Sabraw was assigned a case in which the American Civil Liberties Union sued the Donald Trump administration over its policy of separating families of undocumented immigrants who arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border

 

Wentzville, Missouri - The ACLU sued Wentzville in April 2018 on behalf of Ms Hunt which was settled in November 2018

 

However, a leaked memo from June 2018 said that speech that can "inflict serious harms" and "impede progress toward equality" may be a lower priority for the organization add something

 

Alan Dershowitz - In June 2018, Dershowitz wrote an op-ed criticizing the American Civil Liberties Union for, in his view, becoming an organization dedicated to advancing leftist policy goals, and marginalizing conservatives and centrists

 

On June 21, 2018, a leaked memo showed that the ACLU has explicitly endorsed the view that free speech can harm "marginalized" groups by undermining their civil rights add something

 

Jeff Sessions - According to the American Civil Liberties Union , a woman and her child fled domestic abuse in El Salvador to seek asylum in the U.S. However the mother was removed from her detention facility and likely put on a plane on August 9, 2018, despite Justice Department promises that she and others would not be deported before the judge could rule on their cases