American Civil Liberties Union


Also found in: Dictionary, Legal, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

American Civil Liberties Union

(ACLU), nonpartisan organization devoted to the preservation and extension of the basic rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Founded (1920) by such prominent figures as Jane Addams, Helen Keller, Judah Magnus, and Norman Thomas, the ACLU grew out of earlier groups that had defended the rights of conscientious objectors during World War I. Its program is directed toward three major areas of civil liberties: inquiry and expression, including freedom of speech, press, assembly, and religion; equality before the law for everyone, regardless of race, nationality, sex, political opinion, or religious belief; and due process of law for all. Its most significant and successful activities have involved court tests of important civil liberties issues. Since its founding, the ACLU has participated directly or indirectly in almost every major civil liberties case contested in American courts. Among these are the so-called Scopes monkey trial in Tennessee (1925), the Sacco-Vanzetti case (1920s), the federal court test (1933) that ended the censorship of James Joyce's Ulysses, and the landmark Brown v. Board of Education (1954) school desegregation case. In the late 1970s the ACLU defended the right of a neo-Nazi group to march in Skokie, Ill. The ACLU has about 275,000 members in its state organizations. The national office, located in New York City, also supports lobbying and educational activity on behalf of civil liberties issues.

Bibliography

See J. L. Gibson and R. D. Bingham, Civil Liberties and Nazis (1985).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
References in periodicals archive ?
Public Schools") by the Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union are shocking and unacceptable.
But the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other groups say the new law would lead to violations of civil rights because U.S.
With the American Civil Liberties Union, Helen Green filed suit on March 2 in federal court against Bowman and the town Bowman has since called the allegation against him "a boldface face lie."
Signers include Americans United, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida: Florida Education Association: American Association of University Women of Florida; American Jewish Congress, South East Region; the Anti-Defamation League, Florida Region; Florida Congress of Parents and Teachers; Florida State Conference NAACP; Gray Panthers of North-Dade; Gray Panthers of South-Dade; the League of Women Voters; the National Council of Jewish Women FL State Public Affairs and People For the American Way.
People for the American Way and the American Civil Liberties Union have criticized the council, saying its materials promote religion.
(Defense Department documents and geographic disparity--similar incidents have surfaced in Afghanistan and Guantanamo--offer tantalizing evidence of a system-wide pattern of abuse.) By suing Rumsfeld in the state of Illinois, where he is believed to have assets, eight Afghan and Iraqi detainees represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First are trying to place responsibility at the top of the chain of command.
CHALLENGING THE SYSTEM: Ask students to think about how and why teacher Scopes and the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law in Tennessee, rather than abide by it.
The American Civil Liberties Union maintains such cameras infringe on the privacy rights of teachers as well as students, and do more harm than good.
If the ever-vigilant American Civil Liberties Union has its way, atheists visiting the Grand Canyon will be spared the supposed trauma of being reminded of God's handiwork in the park's glorious natural setting.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit on behalf of Padilla and Hamdi.
The American Civil Liberties Union, however, has waged a thirteen-year campaign against it on the ground that it violates the constitutional separation of church and state.
According to The New York Times, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) contributed $25,000 to help North Dakota campaign for stricter privacy rules.

Encyclopedia browser ?
Full browser ?